The Winter Olympics open tonight, and I thought this stunning shot from the Grand Haven Ski Bowl that Kevin took back in 2010 is perfect for wishing all participants high flying & safe landing!
See more in Kevin’s Sports gallery on Flickr.
Fall Color from Sugar Loaf by Andrew McFarlane
Every so often I like to sprinkle in one of my own photos on Michigan in Pictures, and today is one of those days! I took this photo on October, 22, 2018 at the long-shuttered Sugar Loaf Resort on the Leelanau Peninsula. The ski run was called Devil’s Elbow, and you can see Little Traverse Lake, Lake Michigan, and South Manitou Island & Pyramid Point in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (shout out to the Lakeshore for yesterday’s 51st birthday!)
While the color isn’t as spectacular this year as 2018, it’s still pretty nice. Also, fun fact: when I was 11 years old an out of control man ran me off the left side of the Elbow. I slid over 100′ down a very steep hill, broke my arm & had to be pulled out by a rope with a snowmobile by the Ski Patrol. You know I was right back at it as soon as the arm healed!!
If you want to read the long & depressing saga of the ski area, head over to Sugar Loaf Resort on Leelanau.com!
I thought I’d bring back this photo from February of 2013 when Cory attended the 126th annual ski jumping tournament at Suicide Bowl in Ishpeming, where skiers have been jumping annually since 1887! Suicide Hill is run by the Ishpeming Ski Club. You can get more photos including shots from last weekend’s USA Nordic World Cup weekend on their Facebook!
Here’s a feature by Bob Garrett of Seeking Michigan about the history of Ishpeming’s Suicide Hill from a on Michigan in Pictures.
More skis and skiing on Michigan in Pictures.
Michigan’s ski resorts have enjoyed the best launch to the ski season in recent memory. The reason for this is simple: steady cold temperatures and lots of lots of “white gold.” mLive’s Weekend Snowmobile and Ski Report leads with a graphic showing 4-40 inches of snow on the ground across Michigan:
In the Upper Peninsula, the Lake Superior shoreline has over 10 inches of snow cover. The Keweenaw Peninsula mostly has over 20 inches of snow. The deepest snow cover in the Great Lakes is just east of Lake Superior in Canada. Satellite reports have the snow cover over 40 inches already. That area has seen heavy lake effect due to very cold air and a persistent west wind.
…Gaylord has had 17 inches more snow than normal, and most other cities are near normal to slightly above normal on seasonal snowfall. Traverse City, Sault Saint Marie, and Petoskey have already shoveled over 20 inches of snow. This time last year northern Michigan was well below normal on snowfall.
PS: In case you’re wondering, Mulligan’s Hollow where this photo was taken is located in Grand Haven and is 100% open already. If you follow that link you can see their webcam.
More skiing photos on Michigan in Pictures.
While the blizzardy blowing going on this morning in northern Michigan and the U.P. isn’t the best for “over the rivering”, it is ensuring that Many of Michigan’s ski resorts get to enjoy their earliest opening date in tears with plenty of white gold!
If you’re looking to check out Michigan’s ski scene, head over to goskimichigan.com from the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association. They have updates from Michigan ski resorts on snow conditions & planned opening dates. Their Discover Michigan Skiing program will give you a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard rental equipment and a beginner-area ski lift pass or cross-country trail pass at 23 Michigan ski facilities! It’s available through January 31 and costs just $20 for cross-country skiing, $30 for downhill skiing and $40 for snowboarding. While you’re there, check Cold Is Cool – a promotion that gives every Michigan 4th Grader FREE skiing at participating Michigan resorts.
This photo from yesterday (Nov 26, 2013) shows Crystal Mountain’s new PistenBully Winch Cat roaring up the ski hill “Buck” – they open for skiing and riding Thanksgiving Day! Stay up to date with their ski & snow report.
More Michigan skiing on Michigan in Pictures!
Cory writes that he attended the 126th annual ski jumping tournament Friday night at Suicide Bowl in Ishpeming, where skiers have been jumping annually since 1887! It’s run by the Ishpeming Ski Club. You can get more photos on their Facebook where I also found a video by Under the Radar Michigan.
Here’s a feature by Bob Garrett of Seeking Michigan about the history of Ishpeming’s Suicide Hill from a couple of years ago on Michigan in Pictures.
More skis and skiing on Michigan in Pictures.
Every year, Lake Superior State University puts together their list of Banished Words. Before we get to the current list, here’s a little back story:
In 1977, one year after Lake Superior State University Public Relations Director W.T. (Bill) Rabe released the first “banished words list,” he said that the international reaction from news media and the public told him “it would go on forever.”
Forever may be stretching it, but the annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness has been going strong since New Year’s Day 1976 and shows no signs of stopping. People from around the world have nominated hundreds of words and phrases such as “you know,” “user friendly,” “at this point in time,” and “have a nice day,” to be purged from the language.
Here’s a few choice words from their 2011 Banished Words List:
“Standards for using ‘epic’ are so low, even ‘awesome’ is embarrassed.” Mike of Kettering, Ohio.
It may have been word of the year in some wheelhouses, but “refudiate” wasn’t looked upon favorably by many who sent in nominations.
“Aren’t all Americans people? Every political speech refers to the ‘American’ people as if simply saying ‘Americans’ (or ‘people’) is not enough.” Deb of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
But words and phrases related to technology and the way we communicate dominated the list for 2011, including “viral,” “epic,” “fail,” and the use of websites “Facebook” and “Google” as verbs. “Viral” received the most nominations.
“Facebook is a great, addicting website. Google is a great search engine. However, their use as verbs causes some deep problems. As bad as they are, the trend can only get worse, i.e. ‘I’m going to Twitter a few people, then Yahoo the movie listings and maybe Amazon a book or two.” Jordan of Waterloo, Ont.
With the Winter Olympics just around the corner, it’s a good time to look back on the history of skiing. I’m guessing many folks aren’t aware of the pivotal role that Michigan has played in the history of skiing.
A great place to start is the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum in Ishpeming. It’s the only hall of fame in America dedicated exclusively to skiing and boasts 20,000 square feet that are packed with cross-country, downhill and snowboarding exbibits and memorabilia to take you from the founding of skiing to the latest innovations.
The core of the hall are the 368 inductees who represent some of the great names in skiing history. Included in their ranks are a number of Michiganians from one of the most influential ski resort owners in the nation, Everett Kircher (who developed the double and triple chair and made numerous other innovations at Boyne Mountain) to Lansing native and world class racer Cary Adgate (whose daughter is currently tearing up the slopes in Northern Michigan).
At this point, you may be asking yourself the same question that I did: “Why Ishpeming?”
About a century ago, a group of Ishpeming businessmen and skiing enthusiasts took the first steps to organize the National Skiing Association, now known as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. USSA is the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding and the entity behind the US Ski Team and US Snowboarding Team. For the story on why that happened in Ishpeming, we have to turn to the International Skiing History Association who explain that:
…The first actual recorded tournament in the Midwest took place in St. Paul, Minnesota, January 25, 1887. Starting from a tower all of twenty feet high, the Norwegian champion Mikkel Hemmestveit went 60 feet in the air to win. Then Hemmestvedt and his brother Torjus took the sport west to Red Wing, Minnesota with an exhibition tourney on February 8, 1887, sponsored by the year-old Aurora Ski Club of Red Wing. That very year, the idea of jumping spread to the Upper Peninsula and Ishpeming soon became a particular hotbed of jumping culture. In the Upper Peninsula after 1900, any town aiming to rank as a place worth living in had at least one big jump trestle. It became a matter of civic pride. The movement was supported by generous donations from the Upper Peninsula mining companies. Along the entire peninsula, ski clubs were founded, copying the organization of earlier Norwegian ski clubs the immigrants had known in their homeland. In Ishpeming, dozens of small backyard jumps were fashioned out of the plentiful snow and a few larger ones were built from trusses of native iron.
The Ishpeming Ski Club was organized in 1887 as the Norden Ski Club. A year later, it changed its name to Den Nordiske Ski Club (the Nordic Ski Club) to reflect its ethnic makeup. Business during club meetings was mostly transacted in Norwegian. Then diversity set in. With the arrival of Finns, the name was changed in 1901 to the Ishpeming Ski Club and meetings were thenceforth conducted in English. From that came a gradual growth toward the birth of organized skiing and, eventually, the founding of the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame.
Definitely click through to their homepage – there’s an awesome ski history video there – and if you want to know more about ski jumping in Michigan, the Detroit News Rearview Mirror has a cool feature on Michigan’s long history of ski jumping with some great old photos!
The photo above from Pine Mountain is one of countless postcards featuring Michigan’s rich history available from Don Harrison. Be sure to check it out bigger or in his ski slideshow (which leads off with a postcard of the jump they had in Ishpeming).