Freeze, Thaw, Snow, Repeat - Collin Rehm
The only thing predictable about the weather in the Upper Peninsula is its unpredictability. After a cold, and one of the all-time snowiest starts to a season in December. Mother Nature decided it was time for a change. It rained. It hit 50 degrees. There was even a small thunderstorm. All of this in the last week of January. As a skier it was heartbreaking to watch. One of the best starts to a ski season ever literally went right back down to grass. There was not enough snow to set a skin track, let alone attempt to ski down the rocky backcountry of Marquette County. The only way to save the thaw was Springuary park laps.
Everybody knows the park is where you go when the skiing is bad everywhere else on the hill. No matter how icy, slushy, or in this case brown the snow is everywhere else on the mountain, park laps will always be fun. Luckily for us in Marquette, Marquette Mountain has stepped up their game with a long, top-to-bottom park lap that can keep even the most jaded of park skiers entertained for days. The features are well spaced and utilize the natural undulations of the terrain to maximize flow all the way down the run. While the rest of the skiers in town were getting on their fat bikes, or just drinking the rain away. Seth and I got back to our tow rope park roots and spent the week spinning park laps at the ski hill.
After spending so much time on my Bootjack 115s with frame touring bindings on them, I forgot how light my ‘Sarge 95s really are. With all the touring and deep snow skiing I had been doing, my legs were more than ready to take full advantage of the ski’s fun flex and light swing weight. Getting some of my tricks back, along with a few new ones made for a fun week of spring skiing… unfortunately in late January. Luckily however Springuary didn’t last very long. When the temperatures flipped back to normal the lake effect machine powered right back up. Until spring actually comes for good it’s back into the woods to chase the lake effect powder!
Check out Collin's profile at www.skishaggys.com/blogs/ambassadors/collin-rehm
Winter Returns - Austin Leder
The mid winter thaw was devastating as a backcountry skier but warm lake superior water temperatures brought early February lake effect. The snow began to accumulate in the backcountry with a couple storms that passed through. For the first time I ventured over to Munising for some skin laps and it was all time. High vertical accompanied by about a foot of fresh snow made for great backcountry turns. The snow didn't stop here, the second week in February brought a 10 inch storm mid week, Seth, Ryan Busch, and myself ventured into the Huron mountains a bit in search of some much needed cliff drops and pillow lines. What we found was epic, the drop was around 25 feet tall with a relatively open landing and all three of us went for the send.
The weekend brought even more snow into the Keweenaw so naturally the boys packed up and headed for Mt. Bohemia. The snow was great with about six inches of fresh on top of a solid base. It was very nice riding a chair lift again as the legs needed a break from skinning. The first two weeks in February brought tons of snow, turns, smiles, and stoke. It feels great that winter decided to take a turn for the better and the search for snow and stoke continues.
Check out Austin's profile at www.skishaggys.com/blogs/ambassadors/austin-leder