Welcome to MILSAP! We are dedicated to collecting and publishing information about the history of lift-served ski areas in Michigan. If you have fond memories of flying down the slopes on your favorite hill, but the area has closed, let us know about it. Michigan has a long, rich history of skiing and sliding and it should not be forgotten. Please help us keep it alive by sharing your recollections, snapshots, memorabilia, news clippings, home movies, or whatever you may have that would remind you and others of the places where people used to enjoy winter in Michigan.
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Hello there. It has been way too long since I posted an update, but I was on vacation with limited Internet access and when I returned there always seemed to be too many things to do. Well, enough excuses, there have been 32 comments in the last 3 months.
Amanda requested that Jeremy contact her about the Mackinac College Ski Slopes. She is working on a piece for “The Ski Journal,” a publication based in western Washington. Chuck Chaltron said he has an original road sign from Snow Bowl. He picked it up years ago while hunting, the day he got his first (and only) deer. We asked him to send us a picture. Paul said he has some old 8mm of his grandparents at Snow Bowl. He has transferred it to DVD.
Sean Lorbeske said that he explored Skyline on snowmobile with a friend this past winter and visited our site while researching the history of the area. Erich from the city of Grayling Zoning Department sent a request to Bob Sisco to forward any pictures he has from Skyline to use in a presentation they are developing to market the property. He posted an email link to the department.
Max R. Thiele left long, historical comments on both the Pinnacles and Tyrolean Hills pages. He also asked if anyone has pictures of the log lodge. Paul Ferszt wants to know is anyone remembers a waitress at Tyrollean Hills named Cheri.
Anne S. said she worked at the nursery at Sugar Loaf for the last 4 seasons it was open. She said she would look for pictures and would send them along if she finds them. Matthew Heinemann replied to Larry on the Sylvan Knob page. He said his family skied there in the ’60s and ’70s. The kids had to buy their $60 season pass. He remembers great hamburgers, fun slopes and jumps, and good times!
Bill Panzika commented to Dave on the Royal Valley page that he used to patrol with Dave and his dad. David Siekman left a reply. Ed Kobak replied to Jody Almon Seward on the Mt. Frederic page that he has an old brochure with a picture of her. He sent pictures to me and I will post them soon.
Tracey Sanders provided her contact information to Karen on the Mt. Grampian page. Mark Kimmerly requested pictures of Silver Bell. Dave Sherwood posted a link to a list of all the rock groups that performed at Silver Bell from the Motor City Music Archives. Detroit57 said he skied Silver Bell once in the ’65-’67 time frame. He recalled that it has about 125′ of vertical with two or three chairlifts, two T-bars and ropes. he said it faced away from M-24.
Michael Sleep found a picture of a painting of a ski jump at Caberfae from 1938 by Carlos Lopez, a professor at U of M. Old Goats and Nannies reminisced that he worked with Everett to build the golf course at Boyne Mountain. Dan Montgomery said he grew up skiing at Thunder where his dad was on the ski patrol. Bruce Clapp remembers that before it closed, Thunder was only open on weekends, so if there was a good snow week you could get great powder runs on the un-groomed trails first thing Saturday morning, then head over to ski Boyne Mountain on the same pass when the runs packed out. Michael Smith also skied Thunder. He sprained an ankle on Pico and then a knee on Sun Valley and wishes the deed restrictions would come off.
Doug Joy said he started skiing at Mott Mountain in the early ’60s. There were 2 ropes and he had to ride behind a “grown up” or a “bigger kid” because he wasn’t strong enough to hold the rope up by himself. Barb Kent said she skied at Snow Valley between ’55 and ’58.
Adez7 replied to Denise on the Fonro page that he remembers two men and one woman on the ski patrol: Tom Straley was in charge and he (the writer) was Tris Harkless. The woman was Olivia. He also remembers Tom Brost. Rhonda skied at Fonro in the early ’60s. Her last name was Lee and her uncle Harlan Brost and cousin Don Brost helped run the lodge. Susan Edwards said her family used to rent an A-frame at Cole Creek over Xmas break and she would ski all day on the two hills.
Bob Felton says he currently owns the property at Glacier Hills, he bought it in ’98 and built two homes there. The one at the bottom is a vacation rental with VRBO.com, and he lives in the one at the top. The Poma bases and rope remains are still visible. Eric Harder remembers racing at the Lansing Ski Club.
I have several items that have been sent by email to post on the site and I have also received a whole box of information by mail with many, many brochures and press releases from the ’50s and ’60s. I will get this information sorted and posted soon, I hope. We are still hoping to hear any information about a possible lost ski area named Thornapple. In the mean time, we hope you have been enjoying the discussions on our pages and please keep those comments coming to our blog and our Facebook page.
Bob Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project