Lansing Ski Club – Lansing

I thought this area was at Lake Lansing Park, but I was wrong. According to Mike, it was several miles west of there near Park Lake Rd. Apparently, it was open in the 60’s and the 70’s and closed after the 83-84 season according to Edward. It had more than one rope and a chairlift after 1970, which was unusual in that it served both the front and back slopes. The back side was steeper and moguled. There is a facebook page for former skiers. If you have any information about this area, Please post it or send it to us using the instructions on the About MILSAP page.

Lansing SC poster from Tom Koch

Skilifts.org reports that LSC installed an 1143′ Heron-Poma double chair with a 120′ rise in 1970.

LSCSign

Picture of LSC Sign sent by Steve Park

46 Responses to Lansing Ski Club – Lansing

  1. mike says:

    Lansing ski club was not located at Lake Lansing Park, It was in fact several miles west of there near Park Lake rd. I skied there when I was in high school around 1979/1980. the area was closed shortly after that and was redeveloped into a subdivision of high end houses.

  2. Mark dehertogh says:

    Use to ski there in the 60’s and 70’s george Janis taught me to ski there on the rope tow at age 5 we had the rope tow and the one lift the little lodge and ski lockers my mother ski patrolled there I got busted several times skiing during school hours a few time with Wayne benson who lived on the hill.now I’m the director of a small ski school here in Alaska came full circle

  3. Brad says:

    I also skied the Lansing Ski Club in high school and before 75 thru 79 It was a great place to spend time after school and produced the state championship high school ski racing team in 77 Okemos high boys team. I have fond memories of night skiing there and it did indeed have a chairlift that went completely over the hill and down the backside picking up skiers from both sides. With several large lights on top of the hill and rope tows coming up the sides that ran on weekends

  4. Edward Tank says:

    I skied there as well from the late 70’s till it closed after the winter of 83-84. Great little place, Ihave skied all over out west and trace my roots the The Lansing Ski Club. The last few years you could get a season pass for $100, those were the days!

  5. Dave says:

    Ah yes – used to take the bus from Central School in Okemos in 1973 out to the club. We used color tags that had various stripes and color combinations that changed each day. Bragging rights went to whoever could build up the most sticker tags on their coat. we went through gloves fast as the tow ropes were pretty fast. Chairlift had one pole between the bottom and top!

  6. Brian says:

    Lansing Ski Club is where I learned to ski. So many fond memories. It was a bit of a quirky area because it was sort of a members only area for the chair lifts. My family signed up for passes through the local paper, the Lansing State Journal ski club but we were relegated to the back side entrance and could only use the rope tows and poma lift. We were prohibited from the chair lifts because we were not full members. Occasionally (okay, often) we would sneak over and ski the chairlifts. There were some very fast rope tows that served some pretty decent terrain – bumps and somewhat steep as I recall. Tidbit – Mark Anderson was part of the Ski School at little Lansing Ski Club and later went on to become the national President of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. Best teacher I’ve ever skied with – and I’m an instructor now myself.

  7. Teresa says:

    I also skied at Lansing Ski Club during the 70’s and 80’s. It is where I learned to ski. I was crushed when they closed the hill. I remember catching a bus every day from East Lansing High School to the hill for an evening of snow filled fun. One of my fondest memories was when a path was cleared in the trees at the bottom of the back hill. You could shush down the hill and then shoot up the path through the trees and land on the golf course at Walnut Hills Country Club. Of course you couldn’t go back the way you came so you had to cross country ski in your downhill skis to get back to the ski hill. Great times!

  8. Chris says:

    I skied at the Lansing Ski Club during the late 70’s. My companion then was on the National Ski Patrol and was an excellent teacher. Negotiating public transport with skis, poles and boots was a challenge!

  9. mike says:

    I was a pro ski patrol there during the winter of ’72-73 , great little hill !

  10. Paul says:

    I skied there in the early 80’s as a middle school kid. I believe on Sundays they had a package deal of a lift ticket, ski rental and a lesson all for around $25. We had a great time hanging out with friends.

  11. Dave Tschirhart says:

    My father Tom Tschirhart helped put up the first tow rope in 1959. I was 6 when I took my first schuss. We used skip class in the afternoon at ELHS in the early 70’s and head out for fun.

  12. Paul K says:

    Skied here in the early 80’s while attending MSU. Lansing Ski Club had a deal with the MSU ski club. We could ski there once a week. Only ski area I’ve ever seen with a chair that went up and down both sides of the hill. Small, but a lot of fond memories with good friends

  13. Nick says:

    My friend Cathy used to come here during her childhood. She is a very sweet lady.

  14. Bob Brook says:

    I am doing research on the organization of the Lansing Ski club and the hill. So far the documents I have read indicate that the club was first organized in the mid 1940s, became a private group and likely incorporated in 1948.
    Meridian township SUP #70261 (3/8/1971) “grandfather” the Club following the 1960 zone law changes. It indicated that it the Club purchased the land in 1948. A PUD #86014 (Oct 1987) referred to the “hill” as man made and a new regrading plan was approved for the Walnut hill estate housing development. The grading plan indicated it would regrade to the original lay of the land.
    I would appreciate any information on the early development of the club and the ski hill.

    • Jan Harold Brunvand says:

      I was born in Cadillac in 1933, but we moved to Lansing when I was a baby. My dad, Harold Norman Brunvand was a founding member of the Lansing Ski Club. If it started in 1948, I was 15 yrs old when he took me to an organizational meeting at the home of Rollie Stebbins on Morse River Drive. Mr. Stebbins was a local realtor, and he set up a rope tow on a toboggan in his gently sloping backyard. This was the first uphill ski conveyance I ever rode, and I have some home movies of skiing in his backyard. Later, of course, I skied at the Lansing Ski Club and I should have some of photos of this. I’d be very interested to learn what you have found about the early history of the club. I have lived in Salt Lake City since 1966 and still ski about 70-80 days a year at age 82.

  15. John Hurley says:

    Umm I skied there ( learned to ski ) like 1967 ish. When I was there I don’t remember any “big hill” just this circle thing around the clubhouse that went down into a man made hole. You skied in a circle and around the clubhouse till you got to the bottom of the dug out area basically.

    Maybe later in the season perhaps there was a tow row going further down into the field. I am guessing that the ( ha ha alleged chair lift ) came into life a little after that?

    Someone should have some better pictures of it somewhere?

  16. dan balluff says:

    I taught cross-country skiing there through the Gannett Newspaper (Lansing State Journal) during nights and weekends. Probably 1978, 79. Started with the Ski for Light program ran by a great man name Harold Brunvand. Volunteered for that and then became an instructor for the paid program through the newspaper. We taught a lot of people how to ski the golf course. Was great. Only skied the downhill once or twice except for clambering up on my x-country skis.

  17. Jan Harold Brunvand says:

    Harold Brunvand, of course, was my dad. My brother Dick worked with him at Ski For Light, the cross country program for blind skiers. Dick now lives in South Haven and I live in Salt lake City. Our brother Tor lives in Waterville Valley, NH. I have three photos taken during a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Lansing Ski Club in 1972. They were official photos taken by the Michigan Dept. of State Highways (where my dad worked) showing MDSH members of the Lansing Ski Coub. Stein Eriksen is in all three, as he was visiting the club during this commemoration. I believe at that time Stein was running the ski school at Boyne Mt. My dad is in all three photos. I also have a patch and pin from the club plus my dad’s own name tag used in club events. Someone should write up the entire history of the club.

    • Bob Ucman says:

      Jan,

      We met a while back on a ski lift at either Snowbird. I knew Harold and Thor from the ski club. I was one of the owners of Freestyle Sports and we ran the rental shop there. The ski club was a great place.

      • Jeff Oster says:

        Hi Bob!

        Jeff Oster here. Former Marker/Look/Koflach/SOS Rep back in the mid 80’s, good friends at that time with Ray Skelton. What brought me here to this site, is that my daughter is now a student at MSU and I was trying to remember and explain to her that there was an old ski area near Lake Lansing but could not remember exactly where and also told her about your old shop near the Harrison Roadhouse. Back in the good old days of the ski industry. Hope this finds you well!

  18. Win Stebbins says:

    Absolutely great to read these remembrances of the Lansing Ski Club! My father was Rolly Stebbins, the main person behind starting the LSC in 1948. My personal goal for 2016 is to write as complete a history of the LSC as I can (with help of others) for the Lansing History group; these comments will help!

    Jan, I would be most interested in talking with you and your brothers. Your Dad told me he retired in 1969 to make room for me at MDSH/MDOT! 1969-2008.

    Win Stebbins, age 72 Holt MI home phone 517 889-5096 or roaringbrook1902@yahoo.com

  19. Tor Brunvand says:

    My brother Jan and I skied in the Stebbins backyard several times using the old portable rope tow before it was used at the Lansing Ski Club. Had to make sure we did not go so fast we ended up in the Grand River. Fun days. Rolly Stebbins was called “Snow Plow Stebbins” as he insisted we all use the snow plow turn instead of going very fast with skies together like Stein.

  20. Jon Mann says:

    I taught my first ski lesson here! circa1979 While attending MSU. It was dumping one night and my goggles broke so I grabbed a pair on the bench. After a good pow shred I went in. Apparently the goggles were my boss’s, the head of the ski school . He was not pleased! I wish I remembered his name. He was a big PSIA type and years later I saw him at a PSIA event and he was still mad at me!(don’t borrow goggles without asking) The next season I was at Alpine Valley ski school. Now at Stevens Pass Ski School Wa. still teaching the sport I love and remember growing up in Michigan.

  21. Win Stebbins says:

    Jon Mann: Thanks for sharing your memories of being a ski instructor in about 1979 at the Lansing Ski Club, Lansing Mich.

    My Dad Rolly Stebbins started the LSC in 1948 with about 10 other Lansing men, purchased the land, and helped/watched it grow as Lansing area people young and old learned to ski with the newspaper Learn To Ski weekly 1-hour lessons (197__-1984). The Members club house was off Lake Lansing Road immediately east of Walnut Hills Country Club; the Lesson warming house and rentals were on the north side off Park Lake Road. The Lansing Ski Club property was lost at Bankruptcy in fall 1985, due to too-high debt load from the over-the-hill chairlift and snowmaking installed in 197__ and the new indoor year-round athletic clubs that began in the mid-1970’s for much less than the annual membership cost of 3-months of local skiing on our good 90-foot hill.

    I am typing my personal memories, typing newspaper clippings contained in 8 scrapbooks, and asking other LSC Members or skiers for their memories, to be included in a written history of the Ski Club to be given the Lansing Historical group. I ask your permission to include your story.

    I am now up to 1970 typing info in the scrapbooks, so I don’t yet know the Manager’s names after Roy Schaefer (196__- 1976). I have entered Terry Ketola (1980 – 198__) from other sources, and possibly Hugo Bohm (no dates). From your account, it might be that Roy Schaefer was the Manager and Ski Pro, as he was PSIA and very active in it. My wife and I visited 5 hours with Roy this past June at his Berkshire East ski area he owns and runs in western Mass.

    I would be glad to talk with you if you have additional info. And I am looking to hear from others regarding their skiing or social experiences at the Lansing Ski Club. Win Stebbins, Lansing Mich home phone 517 889-5096. email: roaringbrook1902@yahoo.com

    • eric harder says:

      Mr stebbins took me eric harder and chuck yost on a ski trip some ski areas in the up. It was in the late sixties. We replied to a ad at lansing ski club which we were both members. I liveed out west for 30 years in tahoe jackson hole and aspen. I was sorry to here that the ski club had closed. Kinda like missing the last dance. That is were i learned to ski with tom green. Thanks for a great time lansing ski club. Eric harder

  22. John Baumer says:

    Here are a couple of memories of the LSC, around 1980 Lansing Eastern High School had a gym class field trip to the LSC. The AM was set up for XC at Walnut Hills and in the PM we headed over to terrorize the LSC. This was an exceptional opportunity for a diverse group of students to experience how ” the other side lives”. I will never forget the sight of one of the guys whom I played football with straight lining the back side. The young man in question was ” to cool” to be bothered with the free group lesson. He started down the hill and froze….. unable to slow himself, turn or fall he ended up in the parking lot. After catching BIG AIR on the snow bank, He landed on the hood of a big blue Chevy with his skis stuck under the car. Poor Hugo was unable to free himself due to the safety straps.
    That field trip altered my passion in life. I spent the remaining winters during my time in High School at LSC. They had a “student membership” that was affordable for me, that had restrictions. More often than not the staff looked the other way and were “flexible”.
    I remember during the later stages of the one season the groomer was broken and the hill was extremely challenging with very large bumps and moguls. I remember seeing the adults lined up on the deck with beer in hand cheering wildly as they watched the kids fly through the air!
    This experience never left me. I was determined to one day join this culture. It took a few years, but I now look forward to winter. I have been back at it for over 10 years and even brought my family with. I am now a die hard and ski 4-5 times per week.

  23. Gary Goodridge says:

    I worked at LSC in the winter of 1976 as a chairlift operator. I was a freshman at MSU living at Asher House at the time. Three or four of us from there worked at LSC. Working 10 hrs. per shift up at the top of the hill in the shack was incredibly boring work. The chairlifts streaming by every few seconds were hypnotizing. But – the end of season employee party was a riot! We used cafeteria trays to go down the hill. Dangerous and crazy – just like a young college kid liked it. [remember the caddie pool party scene in Caddyshack? Yah, kinda like that] My sister babysat for Roy Schaefer’s kids a few years earlier. I remember a story that Schaefer had a couple of Austrian ski instructors come to work at LSC – when they saw the little hill, they were dumbfounded. Good memories.

  24. Mike Potter says:

    I started skiing there when I was 3. I’d have to make a bold claim and say I easily have more time on that hill than anyone. Every winter, every day in every way until it closed. And then my junior high, high school days, night skiing was my thing. I have many, many memories. Was some of the best times in my young life. Until 9th grade I was huge on freestyle. As that was the cool trend. Moguls, jumping, ballet. Racing came next. I ended up going pro. I got to race against some of my childhood “wide world of sports” hero’s. Mike P

  25. eric harder says:

    Dont remember you were you from okemos or lansing. I went to e. Lansing. 1973. Jim crites did well in racing got to ski with john foster.

  26. Jeff Brosch says:

    My family use to own Mt Holiday in Traverse City. We bought all the ski hill lights among other things at the auction and are still lighting up Mt Holiday now. I remember there was a poma floating bull wheel chairlift that went up one side of the hill and down over the other side so you could load skiers from both sides of the hill with one chairlift. Somebody but the cable on that chairlift and let everything fall to the ground. Everything at that area was very vandalized by the time I saw it. I was 13 years old at the time of that sale.

  27. Floyd Sutherland says:

    I worked there 3 winters in late 60’s tow line opporater, played with the nodwell groomer, made snow. Been away for years, sad to see one more memory lost. Just what is there for kids to do here now?

    • eric harder says:

      Didnt you have a brother that went to elhs i think he was in my grade. I skied out there in the 60s and 70s before moving out west. Sorry to see it not there when i came would be skiig there today.

  28. Gregg Park says:

    What was the name of the ski shop / sporting goods store in Lansing or maybe East Lansing? They’re long gone now I’m sure. They sold goose down jackets, hiking boots, skis, bindings, boots. Kind of a high end place I guess. I can’t for the life of me remember the name and it’s bugging me!

    • eric harder says:

      I believe you are talking about sports miester on grand river in east lansing. The arboughs owned it . ted than joe. Tony vescolany was the guy down stairs that ran it. He latter owned it.he also had the pants store. I knew them well and were great people.

      • Win Stebbins says:

        There was Sportsmeister sporting downstairs in downtown East Lansing, and then Freestyle Sports in Okemos on the north side of Grand River Ave just east of Coral Gables. Freestyle was owned by Mike Miller and run by Bob Ucman, and they also ran the Rental Shop at the Lansing Ski Club for a few years just before the LSC folded due to Bankruptcy in 198___.

        Of course before them was Larabee’s in downtown Lansing.

        There now is a residential subdivision The Greens on the site of the LSC, after they bulldozed the top of the ski hill to make more building sites. Entry is off Park Lake Road.

        Walnut Hills Country Club, our neighbor to the west, is again going thru tough financial times.

        Win Stebbins in Holt MI 517 889-5096

  29. Gregg Park says:

    The shop I’m referring to was around in the ’60s and ’70s. Maybe longer. I’ve been in California since 1983.

  30. john phillips says:

    hi all, i skied lsc in the ’50’s. a season pass was $10. there was always a cute hs girl selling coco and hot dog fare in the lodge, the first lodge was one room as i remember. when i learned to use the rope tow i would go airborne over the dips. i raised hell as a senior to get the ski team made official but never got a letter sweater in 1970, got it going though. we had a downhill training course with one gate! the coach would make huge ruts with a shovel. my grandad bought he land for walnut hills and the ski area i was always told and they lived right on park lake road across from the hill with a commanding view. i have never seen such ice as they made with snowmaking! one night i skied with just boots. lots of fun days and nights. i moved to aspen in 1970 and,opened a pizza place. then moved to crested butte much later for 14 years. still skiing monarch outside of salida where i have found a place to work and ski for the rest of my like. maybe not work so much now. if i wasn’t skiing at lsc at night i was skating at the marble rink. all good training for a future in ski racing until 2002. the training on ice taught me so much for gates. hard to believe they closed the place. john phillips elhs 1970 jellero@yahoo.com

    • Win Stebbins says:

      Glad to hear the Lansing Ski Club (1948 – 1984-6?) helped you thru life and still does!

      My father Rolly Stebbins (1903 -1983) bought the old Renz farm property in 1948 off Lake Lansing Road, just west of Park Lake Road, and started the LSC in 1948 with about 15-20 other Lansing area skiers. After they built Dawn Ave and sold the lots along it to repay Dad, the LSC was on its own financially.

      Yes, the few skiers initially used their own parked cars to warm up in, then Claude Chamberlain designed and built the one-room warming house with fireplace and full windows looking east toward your Grandparents’ home on Park Lake Rd. Then they used equipment to dig out the bottom to add 10-20′ height at the top, then eventually borrowed money for snow-making and the single over-the-hill double chairlift.

      Competition in the 1980’s from 12-month indoor recreation and fitness clubs caused a decline in LSC membership (only could ski 2-3 months), and the Mich National Bank foreclosed in 1984-6 (actual date kept elsewhere). The LSC property is now a residential condo area called The Greens at Walnut Hills or close to that, with their only entrance off Park Lake Rd. They can walk in/out using a path to Dawn Ave.

      Nice to hear your memories. I’m still in Lansing area, and many still comment to me about how they enjoyed and miss the Ski Club. I hope to eventually write a memory history of the LSC from materials saved by my Dad, and personal involvement.

      Win Stebbins, Rolly’s oldest son born 1943, age 75

  31. john phillips says:

    rest my life not like…

  32. Steve Rosewarne says:

    Oh man, the LSC.

    Was the best place ever growing up. It might not have been the biggest/baddest hill, but as a kid growing up, it didn’t matter and being on skis from morning until night taught me to ski like it was second nature. I snowboard now, but same difference. I have lived in California since 1990 and spent some time in Zurich and have skied/boarded all over both places, including lots of back-country stuff, none of which would have been possible if I hadn’t grown up doing it on the daily.

    My parents could get me to do anything they wanted during the off-season buy simply threatening to not get me a season pass for the next winter if I didn’t get in line. Grades, behavior, whatever.

    Always laughable when they closed schools for snow days because we supposedly couldn’t drive 3 miles to get there. My Mom, facing the daunting prospect of four kids home and indoors all day, would immediately get us geared up and no matter how bad the conditions, get us all the way across town to LSC and out of her hair until that evening.

    So many memories there growing up. Building jumps in the woods that spat you out onto the Walnut Hills property. Ski racing practice and weekend meets. Got my pass pulled several times for skiing to fast. Lots of good times at practice for the Okemos Ski team.

    Shout out to Bob Ucman above. I worked at Freestyle Shop for some time, sometimes in the store, sometimes in the ski shop doing tune-ups/waxing/repair and summers as a windsurfing instructor. If I didn’t say so at the time, THANKS for coaching our Okemos Ski Team. Undoubtedly a thankless job with a bunch of “less than courteous” teens. Super fun though.

    • john phillips says:

      one of the okemos team members has been living in crested butte for many year,
      bobby vandevort? i skied cb 14 years, had a house in almont, just down the road. i am sick i had to move here. in the ’70’s, i was living in my cabin by monarch ski area for years, then got married… had to move to salida. she was from michigan, weak stock i guess. history now but i am still in the valley, salida. 18 miles to monarch, copper mt is about two hour drive as is crested butte.
      we used to skip school and head up to boyne or thunder mt. where i had a pass.
      skiing is excellent here now, it just keeps snowing… john phillips salida, co.

    • john phillips says:

      i was on elhs ski team, 1969, first year of the ski team. those jumps in the woods where the lights didn’t reach? moved to aspen 1970, opened a pizza place after my high school career at dominos. john phillips

  33. Pete B says:

    This is fantastic and I remember the LSC very well – where I learned to ski. Thanks to all of you and Respects.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s