Skiing

2012 Chef’s Challenge at Boyne Mountain via Instagram

Team one gets down to business by farlane
Team one gets down to business by farlane

Absolute Michigan was fortunate enough to be able to attend the 2012 Chef’s Challenge at Boyne Mountain last weekend. This annual event benefits Challenge Mountain, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching and improving lives for the mentally and physically challenged through outdoor recreation.

The team from The Art Institute of Michigan in Novi (who placed second last year) was named the 2012 winner, edging out the team from Odawa Casino & Resorts. Judges included Chef Angus Campbell of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, Chef Matthew Millar, Reserve Wine & Food in Grand Rapids; Chef Nathan Mileski of Northern Michigan University, Pastry Chef Rob Haney, retired pastry chef; Chef Robb White, Culinary Institute of Michigan and author Ruth Mossok Johnston. Chef Chris Kibit, professor at Northern Michigan University in Marquette once again served as liaison to the judges. Chef Michelle Bommarito served as emcee for the evening’s activities. The team from Marquette High School was named winner of the student competition on Friday night.

Check out our photos below and click the Facebook icon to the left to see more photos and video on the Challenge Mountain Facebook!

[slickr-flickr search="sets" set="72157629529824310" type="gallery"]

Carnival Weekend at Boyne

Mardi Gras meets Boyne Mountain this weekend (March 16-18) for their annual Carnival Weekend. The weekend is a Boyne tradition that allows you to kick off spring fever in costume with an on-hill cookout and party featuring live music and crazy races.

A highlight is the Slush Cup, which pits skiers and snowboarders against a big pool of water. (hint: the water usually wins).

You can get more at the link above or on the Boyne Facebook. If you want to see some recent action from Boyne’s Slush Cup & Mardi Gras weekend check this video out. We have to go with this classic feature on Boyne from the king of ski movies, Warren Miller.

Five Things You Need to Know about Michigan snowstorms

Fit Strip snow storm panorama_Web_BWa_contrast boost_lrg blk border
Fit Strip snow storm panorama by tifranta

The majority of our snow comes from lake effect. We don’t usually see that heavy cement-mixer type of snow.”
~ Gaylord-based National Weather Service meteorologist John Boris

5thingsMarch came in like a lion this year. A 2011 Detroit Lion to be precise.

Back in the day we would mark notable items with a special “Five Things You Need to Know” so here you go, and please post your thoughts in the comments.

Better Late by Elizabeth Glass
Better Late by Elizabeth Glass

1 On the evening of March 2nd, 2012 a late winter storm roared through Michigan. The National Weather Service pegged the total at 27 inches in Ishpeming while Long Lake near Traverse City totaled 26″. A state of emergency has been declared in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties with schools closed in all three counties. Michigan Radio has a nice overview of the storm and the damage.
2  Over 250,000 people lost power across the state as wind gusts of up to 55 MPH and heavy wet snow took their toll on power lines. Power companies and other utilities scrambling, and mLive reported last night that over 50,000 people were still without power. The TC Record-Eagle has an update this morning, and Consumers Energy is updating their Facebook with outage reports and they also have a list of open shelters.

3 The   Northern Michigan March Blizzard of 2012 has a collection of pics from the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr – we’ll add more as we find them!

Houston, we have a problem by farlane
Houston, we have a problem by farlane

4 If you’re wondering where this storm ranks on the all-time list, it’s certainly behind the Great Blizzard of 1978, a brutal storm in Jan 26-27 that dropped almost 30″ on parts of Michigan and was “The most extensive and very nearly the most severe blizzard in Michigan history.” 20 people died, many were hospitalized and 100,000 cars were abandoned on Michigan highways. It was perhaps eclipsed by The White Hurricane of 1913. The Detroit News has a feature on the worst snowstorm in Detroit history from April 6, 1886 which dropped over 2 feet on the city, piling drifts 12 feet high.

5 WOOD-TV took a trip north to check out the situation. Check it out below and you can also go for a drive around Traverse City.

MI recovers after storms black out 264K: woodtv.com

Here’s the cover photo from the Absolute Michigan Facebook page. Feel free to use it on your page and/or share YOUR photos in the Michigan cover photos group on Flickr!

 

  • Kite Sailing Under the Mackinac Bridge
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    WISSA 2012: World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships in St. Ignace

WISSA 2012: World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships in St. Ignace

The 2012 World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships (WISSA) take place February 20 – 26 in St. Ignace. The Holland Sentinel explains:

For the first time in more than 17 years, the World Ice and Snow Sailing Championship (WISSA 2012) is taking place in the U.S. — in Michigan, and athletes from all over the world will be competing.

The competition begins Monday in St. Ignace. According to its website, WISSA is the only world event where wings, kites and sails compete on snow or ice, slalom and course. It is expected the championship will be televised in more than 86 million households. There will be food and beer tents, a free shuttle, a warming tent and more.

The Detroit Free Press adds that they are expecting expecting 80 athletes, including some from all over the world. The championships were first held in 1980 in Helsinki, Finland, and the U.S. has hosted only three times before this year’s meet – New Hampshire in 1986, Maine in 1988 and Wisconsin in 1995.

Unfortunately the worst ice conditions on the Straits of Mackinac means you won’t be seeing images like those above this year. The good news is that the site at Chain Lake has great ice and pictures like the one to the left are being posted to the WISSA 2012 Facebook and their blog. We’ve read that some of the event might be televised and will report details here if we learn them!

Here’s a little preview entitled “Les ELF KITES sont en ville” (the ELF KITES are in town). Keep an eye on WISSA 2012 at YouTube for more!

Fly High at the Pine Mountain Ski Jumping Tournament

pine-mountain-ski-jumpEvery year the Kiwanis Ski Club in Iron Mountain holds the Pine Mountain Continental Cup Ski Jumping Competition, one of the best tournaments in the United world. The first competition was held in 1939, making 2012 is the 73rd annual. The event takes place the weekend of February 11-12, 2012 and will draw top US & international jumpers from a dozen countries along with over 20,000 spectators .

The Pine Mountain ski slide was at one time was the highest artificial ski jump in the world and is still known throughout the world as one of the best jumping hills. At the first Pine Mountain Tournament, Bob Roecker, riding for the Duluth Ski Club, shattered the American jumping record with a leap of 257 feet.

For questions regarding tickets, please contact the Kiwanis Ski Club (906) 779-1110 or (800) 236-2447.  This video from Pine Mountain 2008 is a little bright, but it gives you a good sense of this exciting event. Here’s another video with lots more jumps from the Continental Cup, but we have to give you this great newsreel from the 1950s voiced by Mel Allen. It was shot in Iron Mountain, and features several local jumpers including then 9-year-old Willie Erickson, a two-time Olympian and FIS World Championship competitor. Also don’t miss the jumping videos from the Kiwanis club!

February Michigan Event Calendar

Iron Works #2 - Cranbrook by MikeRyu
Iron Works #2 – Cranbrook by MikeRyu

Our Michigan February Event Calendar shows that the more the weather tries to keep us holed up, the more ways we find to get out and have fun!! Of course, there’s still many, many more and we invite you to fill us in on other February events in the comments.

February Fast FactsWikipedia

  • Having only 28 days in common years, it is the only month of the year that can pass without a single full moon. 2012 is a Leap Year!
  • It has 29 days in leap years, when the year number is divisible by four (except for years that are divisible by 100 and not by 400 in the Gregorian calendar)
  • It is the only month of the calendar that once every six years and twice every 11 years, will have only four full 7-day weeks.
  • Its birth flower is the Viola (plant) and the Primrose.
  • Its birthstone is the amethyst.
  • Boarder at Boyne courtesy Boyne Mountain
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    Absolute Michigan Giveaway: Boyne Mountain & Boyne Highlands Ski Tickets

Absolute Michigan Giveaway: Boyne Mountain & Boyne Highlands Ski Tickets

Absolute Michigan is committed to helping our readers get more out of Michigan with our giveaways of products and services from all kinds of Michigan businesses. It's free, fun and all you have to do to be eligible is to be on our email list!
If your business is interested in participating, you can get all the information right here.

All January we have been giving away ski tickets to Michigan resorts in our January Ski Month Giveaway. Our last giveaway is to one of the pioneering ski resorts in Michigan.

boyne highlands lodge by northernlightphotograph
boyne highlands lodge by northernlightphotograph

Boyne Mountain started in 1947 when Detroit native Everett Kircher moved to northern Michigan to build a ski resort. For just $1, he bought what is known today as Boyne Mountain. Kircher had many firsts including the world’s first triple chair and first four-person chair and America’s first 6-seat high-speed chairlift. Kircher also pioneered the design of much of the snow grooming equipment and techniques in use today and invented the Boyne Snowmaker, the first efficient marginal temperature snowmaking machine.

Boyne has grown into a nationwide empire that includes some of the nation’s premier resorts like Big Sky, and also two four-season ski resorts in Michigan: Boyne Mountain and nearby Boyne Highlands. A cool feature of tickets at the two resorts is that you can use the same ticket at either resort – ski in the morning at one and finish your day at the other, giving you 115 downhill runs & terrain parks between the two resorts!

Boarder at Boyne courtesy Boyne Mountain

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Boyne has expanded the opportunities for winter fun with ice skating, tubing, snowshoeing, dog sled and horse drawn wagon rides, zipline adventures and the Avalanche Bay water park. They also have a wide range of dining and lodging options at each resort. If you want to take a look at what they have to offer, their webcams and videos are a great place to start.

All you need to do to be eligible to win is to be on our email list (below the video). This video gives you a first-person look at skiing at Boyne, but we have to go with this one from the incomparable Warren Miller!

Absolute Michigan is committed to helping our readers get more out of Michigan with our giveaways of products and services from all kinds of Michigan businesses. It's free, fun and all you have to do to be eligible is to be on our email list!
If your business is interested in participating, you can get all the information right here.

Absolute Michigan Giveaway: Ski Tickets to The Homestead

Absolute Michigan is committed to helping our readers get more out of Michigan with our regular giveaways of products and services from all kinds of Michigan businesses. It's free, fun and all you have to do to be eligible is to be on our email list!
If your business is interested in participating, you can get all the information right here.

View from Bay Mountain by Patrick Kuras
View from Bay Mountain by Patrick Kuras

Our January Ski Month giveaways continue with a chance to win a pair of lift tickets to The Homestead in Glen Arbor – to be eligible, just add your email to our list using the form above!

As you can see from the photo, Bay Mountain at The Homestead overlooks Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Bay, providing one of the most amazing views in the Midwest. While the terrain is by no means extreme, they have a nice terrain park and some fun runs. Their strength is as a destination for families, and their great ski program includes lessons and Camp Tam-A-Rack, offering child care for resort guests and a chance for parents to get out and enjoy the hill.

In addition to downhill, they have some great cross country trails at the resort and are moments away from some of the most amazing trails in the world at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. They also have a number of restaurants and a wide variety of condos and lodging options.

Absolute Michigan isn’t the only place you can win stuff – The Homestead is offering an $84,000 Winter Sweepstakes this winter with regular chances to win all kinds of prizes. Twenty-five skiers or boarders will win prizes each week for the first 10 weeks, two will win 2013 season passes in the last two weeks and they’ll even give away ski weekends!

Now here’s a video that gives you a look at the resort.

Absolute Michigan Giveaway: Lift Tickets to Shanty Creek

Absolute Michigan is committed to helping our readers get more out of Michigan with our regular giveaways of products and services from all kinds of Michigan businesses. It's free, fun and all you have to do to be eligible is to be on our email list!
If your business is interested in participating, you can get all the information right here.

Ski Month keeps rolling on Absolute Michigan with our latest giveaway, a pair of lift tickets to Shanty Creek near Bellaire in Northern Michigan.

Shanty Creek boasts a 450′ vertical drop and has 53 runs with 4 terrain parks and a 300′ half pipe on its two mountains. With nearly 200″ of snow every year and a wealth of additional resort amenities including a tubing park, 30km of cross-country trails, indoor & outdoor pools, a wellness spa and fitness center and multiple dining options, this full-featured resort is a top destination for Michigan skiers.

This Saturday, January 14 from 3-6 PM Shanty Creek Resort will host their 3rd Annual Beer and Boards Microbrew Festival, pairing a day on the slopes with an après-ski party featuring some of Michigan’s best known master brewers including New Holland, Bells, Right Brain, Arcadia, Mt. Pleasant Brewing, Shorts Brewing Company, and more.

They also offer super-affordable $15 lift ticket on Summit Mountain (a section of the resort that includes a terrain park) along with $20 ski rentals if you need them and packages and Monday – Friday lift ticket specials that can help you stretch your skiing dollar:

  • 4 For $44 Mondays – four lift tickets for $44; 9am-4:30pm on Schuss Mountain (Not valid 1/16 or 2/20)
  • 2 For 1 Two-sdays – Two for the price of one lift tickets, rentals and group lessons
  • KHQ Wednesdays – $20 day lift tickets (through March 14), $10 night lift tickets (through March 14), $15 Rentals (5-9pm) and $7/Hour Tubing from 5-9pm (through March 14).
  • Thankful Thursdays – $15 day tickets, $10 night tickets, $20 day rentals and $15 night rentals for seniors (62+), military, police and firefighters.
  • 9&10 News Fridays – Every Friday, ski Summit Mountain from 5-9pm for $9 and Schuss Mountain from 5-10pm for $10; rentals are $15 beginning at 5pm. Available every Friday night (excluding 2/17/12).

You won’t need ski deals if you’re this week’s winner – just make sure you’re signed up for our email list in the blue box at the top of the page!

January is Skiing Month on Absolute Michigan!

Mulligans Hollow by Second Glance Photos Kevin Ryan
Mulligans Hollow by Second Glance Photos Kevin Ryan

January is Ski Month on Absolute Michigan, and all month long we are celebrating skiing in Michigan with original articles and features on downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding along with photos and videos that take you up close and personal with the Michigan ski experience. We’ll also have features on Michigan ski pioneers and the rich history of skiing in the Great Lakes State, and from our friends at Seeking Michigan and the Archives of Michigan we’ll have a feature on the Suicide Hill ski jump in Ishpeming.

At the center of it all is a giveaway of 4 pairs of lift tickets to 4 great Michigan ski resorts:

All you need to do to enter is be on our email list – sign up at the bottom of the article! We’re not alone in celebrating skiing this month. Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed January as Discover Michigan Snow Sports Month, citing the fact that we are home to more downhill ski areas than any other state and encouraging Michigan residents and visitors to use this month to take advantage of it.

Black Diamonds Will Have to Wait...
Black Diamonds Will Have
to Wait… by ( Jennifer )

The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association has jumped on board, offering a program called Discover Michigan Skiing that 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 downhill skiing and $40 snowboarding. The program is open to everyone 7 years and older and you can get all the details at their website goskimichigan.com. While you’re there, don’t miss Cold Is Cool – a promotion that gives every Michigan 4th Grader FREE skiing at participating Michigan resorts.

All in all, it’s a great month to be skiing in Michigan. We’ll take you out to the slopes right now with the masters of ski videos, the good people at Warren Miller Entertainment and their feature on Boyne Mountain, one of the early and present leaders of the Michigan ski industry.

Absolute Michigan is committed to helping our readers get more out of Michigan. To that end, we are adding an exciting new program featuring regular giveaways of products and services from all kinds of Michigan businesses. It's free, fun and all you have to do to be eligible is to be on our email list - sign up using the form below. We guarantee that we will not share your email address with anyone!
If your business is interested in participating, you can get all the information right here.