Well, it’s been 5 weeks since our last post and the holidays are almost here! It is finally Winter and for the past week or two, the weather has been suitably wintry. Last month we learned of a new, lost area, and this month we have another new one and the possibility of a third! Merry Christmas to us. We have also received 14 new comments on our pages and a slew of activity on our Facebook page.
Our new area came from a Facebook post–Russell’s Ridge near Hart. It was mentioned in a post on Facebook and confirmed by an article in the Detroit Free Press dated October 27, 1968 which listed it as a new area scheduled to open that season. Another Facebook comment seemed to indicate it was closed in the winter of 1970, so perhaps it didn’t last long. If you know anything about skiing at Russell’s Ridge, please help us out.
Daryl Turcott replied to Trish Ellis on the Mt. Grampian page that he knew Marty, Marylou, and Elizabeth Ellis and lived down the street. Marc replied to Brad “Hoser” Miller on the Mott Mountain page that he just drove by the area today (11/18) and thought it was a cool place. Terry Feldman Keatley commented about Apple Mountain that she broke her leg there when she was 10 (51 years ago). She remembers skiing with her sisters, apples, cider, warm donuts and the slopes. Now lived in Colorado where the slopes are on mountains. Craig Bronson commented about Kandahar that he remembers breaking a leg on Chicken Ridge, his favorite hill was Apache (before they widened it) and he remembers crock-pots plugged in all over and stealing dad’s beer from the snowbank.
Jay commented on our Sugar Loaf page that there is a new owner. There were a number of announcements on Facebook that the may have plans to re-open it as a 4-season resort. However, on a tour of the property, he announced that “hammers will not swing” for at least two years. We look forward to returning the Loaf to our list of Current Ski Areas as soon as possible.
Bob asked on our Thunder Mountain page when it opened and if Herb Walker was the first manager. Bill Behse replied that it opened in ’57 and Joe and Donna Behse, the principal owners were the first managers. Eric Harder replied to Will Stebbins on the Lansing Ski Club page that Mr. Stebbins took him and Chuck Yost on a ski trip to the UP in the ’60s. Eric remembers learning to ski at LSC with Tom Green.
Bob Wiest says he skis at Big M a few times every year; he uses the x/c trails to access the slopes. It’s a blast to ski the hills on the newer fat nordic skis, telemark style, although you can also use regular x/c gear or snowshoes. Chris Morely replied to Ben Dancer on the Skyline page that he remembers going with Ben to Mike Russell’s ski camp in Tennesee. Jessica Hartlein commented on the Tyrollean Hills page that the log cabin was at the bottom of the chairlift, but has been gone for 10 or 20 years. She thinks the pool was filled in. Terry Edwards replied to kapollock asking if she remembered Snow Valley.
Terry also commented on our Brighton Ski Jumps page that in 1958, Steamboar Springs was celebrating an anniversary. They were looking for people who had won competitions there in days past. Terry located Henry and Clarence Hall, famous jumpers from Detroit and the UP. Henry had set a record at Steamboat many years before. The Ford Ski Club sponsored the brothers’ trip to Steamboat and henry took his jumping skis. They wouldn’t let him jump on the Holmenkollen jump where he had set his record, but his did jump on a practice jump.
Finally, Rex replied to Kyle V on the Bald Eagle page that his family owned property on Herringbone Ridge in Clarkston. He wondered it that was the same area as Bald Eagle. Can anyone help with this? Do we have another lost area in SE Michigan? Please let us know.
In the mean time, we hope everyone has a happy, snowy Holiday Season and thinks about the good times they may have enjoyed at Michigan ski areas in days gone by.
Bob Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project