MILSAP Updates, July 15, 2014

Well, since our last post on July first we have found a new “lost” area, and heard news that two or three lost areas may become”unlost”!  We have also received 15 new comments on our pages.

The new “lost” area is the one we asked about on July 1, Timberline on the same ridge south of Hubbard Lake as Mt. Maria. The information was passed on via Facebook and we heard that Mt. Maria was up for auction last weekend. It was bought by a family from Colorado and Jeff notified us that they bought both the Maria and the Timberline acreage and are looking into re-opening the areas for skiing. That would make it the only operating ski area that we are aware of in the northeastern lower peninsula. Mt. Maria closed around 1980 but Timberline closed in the ’60’s(?) and that might make it the longest “lost” area to be re-opened if they follow through.  Jeff is looking for information about the areas, so if you would like to see them re-open, contact him at purplebookcat at gmail.com.

We also learned that there are new owners for the Norway Mountain Ski Area in the Upper Peninsula. That area closed in the spring of 2013 and was not open last season, but the new owners are running the lifts to check them out and are planning on opening this season.

In other news, there has been a lot of posting activity about Tyrolean Hills. kapololock replied to Susan Genovesi that he remembers the trail names and has a patch and a sweatshirt but would like to acquire a pin. Cliff replied that he doesn’t have a Tyrolean Hills pin for sale. Susan replied that she lives at the top of the hill and would like a trail map to force a neighbor to un-gate his property to allow passage on an “existing trail” as required by their deeds. Jessica Hertlein also replied to Susan.

Norman Graham commented that he remembers attending concerts at Silverbell. David Shanahan remembers riding the ski patrol toboggan downhill after dark (I bet they wondered who did that, Dave). Kerry Irons remembers skiing at Mt. Frederic in 66-7 or 67-8 (after the lodge burned?)

Steve Hanzek remembers learning to ski at Thunder Mountain in the early ’60’s. He remembers breaking a leg at Sun Valley and again at Tuckermans in New Hampshire. He also skied Mott Mountain on the ski club bus from Reed City HS, remembers it being so cold they skied the rope instead of the chair to keep warm. Mott must have been quite a come down from Thunder, Baldy and Tuckermans. His family also skied at Caberfae from the mid-60’s through the mid-70’s. He worked as a photographer for the Caberfae summer dinner theater until they went bankrupt.

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We are a clearinghouse for information about retired ski areas in Michigan
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5 Responses to MILSAP Updates, July 15, 2014

  1. Bill Endres says:

    Maybe somebody can fill us in on more information on Thunder Mountain. I remember going by there on family trips as a kid. I never talked to anyone that knew much about the place. Were the slopes any good? Why did the Kircher family abandoned it?

    -Bill

    • MILSAP says:

      Bill, Please check out our Thunder Mountain page in the Ski Regions–Northwest Lower Peninsula–Boyne Falls section. You will find a lot of comments about Thunder mountain. I never skied there, but from what I have been told, it had the best expert terrain in lower Michigan. I cannot speak to why Ev Kircher closed it, but I understand that a lot of locals and chalet owners around Thunder and especially Walloon were very upset. When Kircher stripped the lifts and equipment and sold the land, he put restrictions in the deeds to prevent them from ever operating as ski areas again. Sounds like he didn’t want the competition. He did, however, deed Walloon over to to a charity which to this day operates the old Walloon property as Challenge Mountain for the exclusive use of “challenged” skiers and their guides.

      • Bill Endres says:

        Thanks or the great info on the replies. I did check out the Thunder Mountain page and already know far more about the place that I did before.

        -Bill

  2. I thought you might be interested to see this map. There are a whole lot of ski areas on it that are now lost! I’m thinking that it is from the 1960s. Hope it is helpful. http://goskimichigan.com/images/Old_ski_michigan_map.pdf

    • MILSAP says:

      Thanks, Mr. MacWilliams. From the areas which are listed and those which are not, I speculate that it dates to between ’67 and ’73. I think that was the interval when Bear Mountain went under that name and not Grayling Winter Sports Park or Hanson Hills. If MSIA has any information about the history of the sport in Michigan, we would love to share it here. (I just checked Snow Valley and noticed that it closed in ’68 so that may date the map to ’67-’68.)

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