Friday, November 15, 2019

Skiing Minnesota

My kids on top of Lutsen Mountains overlooking lake Superior.
When you hear "Minnesota" you often think of all the aspects of a cold snowy winter, except for skiing. However, the Twin cities area as well as northern Minnesota are home to a few gems. Skiing here is a little different. Runs are shorter, with ~400 vertical feet being the maximum elevation you'll find in the Cities, but there's a lot more opportunity to hone your technique. Lindsey Vonn even got her start on the Minnesota slopes at Buck Hill before becoming a downhill superstar.

Areas such as Afton Alps (a member of the Epic pass family) and Welch Village are vast in the sheer number of runs and varied terrain. The close proximity to the Twin Cities also means there's a lot to do when your ski day is done. If you live in town or are visiting for an extended time, you can easily drop the kids off at Hyland Hills for a few hours while you go off to dinner or shopping at the Mall of America; a short ten minutes away.

Snowboarders here also have an advantage when it comes to the terrain park. Skilled boarders don't have to unbind to hop short rope tows back to the top. They can also quickly and repeatedly work on mastering certain tricks.

For those liking longer runs it is only a few hour drive up to Spirit Mountain in Duluth and then a couple more hours to Lutsen and Giant's Ridge where the slopes have nearly 1,000 vertical feet to enjoy. A pro tip is to visit these place in the early and late season as the wind coming off lake Superior in late January can be brutally cold.

Minnesota definitely makes the best out of what it has to offer for skiing and boarding. It's definitely worth a visit.

For more information, check out the Minnesota Ski Areas Association Web Page. Looking for great gear? Try Ebay for Downhill Skiing

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