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Midwest skiers have their pick of resorts in Michigan

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Michigan's Boyne Mountain resort is modeled after a Swiss-Austrian village; its Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa opened three years ago. There's also an indoor park with waterslides, a wet climbing wall and a surf simulator.BOYNE FALLS, Mich. — For most of his 66 years, Tom Fanning has been an avid skier, relishing the challenge of steep mountainside runs in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming.

But the investment adviser from the Detroit suburb of Birmingham doesn't have to jet to the Rockies for an enjoyable weekend on the slopes. He simply drives north a few hours to Boyne Mountain, one of the best-known resorts in his home state.  more..



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Frigid air lets skiers hit slopes during early openings

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photoBronti Frattini looked at the 150 or so people on the snow-covered hills at Pine Knob ski resort Thursday night with glee.

And a little envy.

The 17-year-old, who couldn't remember starting the ski season so early in the year, had to put work before play.

"We've been counting down the days. I'll be out here tomorrow at the crack of dawn," said Frattini of Oxford, as he worked the ski check booth at Pine Knob.   more...

 



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Detroit's worst snowstorms

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"You people don't know what snow is," grandpa used to say. "When I was a boy we had REAL snowstorms and we had to walk . . . yakkity yakkity yak. . . "

Well, chalk up one for grandpa. It seems he was right.

The worst snowstorm in Detroit history came in early April, 1886, and dumped 24.5 inches of the white stuff on the city. Accompanying winds caused drifts up to 12 feet high in some places. The second worst storm in 1974 brought us a mere 19.2 inches.

The Detroit News editions of April 6, 1886, reported that "Snow began at 12:30 a.m. and fell light until about 4 a.m., when it began to fall heavy . . . a tremendous fall of snow continued all day, ending at 9 p.m.

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Get your boots ready, it could be a snowy winter

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If this week's taste of snow has you dreading winter already, the current edition of the Farmers' Almanac has a bit of advice: Get used to it.

The Farmers' Almanac is predicting a cold, snowy winter in the Great Lakes region. In fact, the Almanac -- which claims to correctly predict long-term weather patterns 85 percent of the time -- is forecasting a repeat of last year's frigid, snowy winter.

To which Jim Rudicil, executive director of the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, said bring it on.  more...

 



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What's new on Michigan's ski slopes for the 2008/09 winter

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The exhilarating freedom to ski or ride the snow-covered hills, moguls and pipes is not far away for any Michigander.  There are ski areas in nearly every part of the state.  Michigan has it all, from expert runs through the trees to Olympic-sized half pipes.  Michigan ski areas boast a combined total of 42 ski areas with over 200 chairlifts, 840 runs, 40 terrain parks and thousands of kilometers of groomed cross-country trails.  Mickey MacWilliams, Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) executive director, says there’s really something for everyone and every ability level on Michigan’s ski slopes and trails.  more...

 



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Climbers brave wall of ice in test of wills at Michigan festival

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By Felicia Schneiderhan

I've just hiked 45 minutes through freezing farmland in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, hauling heavy bags of gear. Snow sticks to my eyelashes.

I stand before a frozen waterfall nestled deep in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and the cold disappears. My breath quickens. Adrenaline fills my limbs. I've come to climb this foreboding wall of silent, thick ice.

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Events  SNOW  Stories  

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Lakes water levels expected to rebound with high snow volume

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By Tina Lam

The melt from one of the snowiest winters in years around the Great Lakes is expected to boost water levels in the upper lakes, which had hit or approached record lows last fall, by as much as a foot this summer, bringing joy to boaters and lakeside businesses.

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Inland Water  SNOW  

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Americans sweep Snowboarding Cup

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Associated Press

Lindsay Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner gave the United States a first-place sweep in the U.S. Snowboarding Cup snowboard cross event at Whiteface Mountain on Saturday.

Jacobellis and Baumgartner each won all of their qualifying races as well as the final heats in the men's and women's World Cup contest.

Jacobellis, from Stratton Mountain, Vt., also won her fourth straight SBX title at Whiteface.

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Wintertime, and Fishing Is Easy

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By Greg Breining

AS the lakes of the Midwest, Northeast and Canada freeze, clusters of fishing shacks appear, forming villages above the best wintertime fishing spots — despite the cracking, moaning and eerie warbling of the thickening but unstable skin of ice.

Once a foot of ice accumulates, fishermen in New York tow houses onto Saratoga, Oneida and Champlain. In Michigan, ice-fishing villages sprout on Houghton, the state’s biggest inland lake, and nearby Higgins, where anglers camp in their shacks all night to catch rainbow smelt.

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Fishing  SNOW  

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'Michael's angels'

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Click to enlarge

Dive team trains to avert a tragedy like the one that led to its founding


By Donald Behm

Town of West Bend - Sharon and Donald Mann stood on the snow-covered ice of Big Cedar Lake Saturday, near the place their son, Michael, drowned on a January night five years earlier.

They returned to the lake to watch angels at work, Sharon Mann said. Angels are what she calls members of the Washington County dive rescue and recovery team.

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John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

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The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon commemorates the life of John Beargrease, the son of a Chippewa chief who delivered mail by dog sled along Lake Superior’s rugged North Shore in the late 19th century.

John Beargrease’s weekly deliveries along the North Shore played a pivotal role providing a lifeline for communities and commerce.

On January 27, the world will be watching as we continue the tradition of honoring John Beargrease’s character and commitment—and to celebrate life along the North Shore.

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Animals  SNOW  

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The lure of the outdoors

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Midwesterners have a long history of amusing themselves with ice and snow, and some of the best places for frozen fun are along the region's freshwater inland coasts and shorelines -- winter wonderlands of sculpted waterfalls, cliffs and canyons, surrounded by white-blanketed woodlands and ice-topped lakes.

Winter activities go beyond the requisite skiing, ice-skating, sledding and snowmobiling, from a snowshoer listening to the quiet of a frozen waterfall or an ice-kiter gliding across a glassy lake to an ice-climber enduring a warm rush of adrenaline.

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Bigfoot Snowshoe Race 2008

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January 26, 2008!

Bigfoot Snowshoe Race 2008

I love this race! I love a winter road trip to Traverse City!

Late registration takes place around a roaring fire at the beautiful log lodge at Timber Ridge Resort. The pre race mood is just fun. Usual crowd about 240 entered and 100 rent snowshoes, probably their first time on them, so no excuse, come join us. The learning curve is zero, strap em’ on and run.

The low snowfall downstate always hurts winter tourism in the north. It’s hard to picture that there is snow just 200 miles north. The north woods are like stepping into a fridge, the snow stays through many a thaw, just plan on going now!

The course is a super hilly off trail run with plenty of logs to jump and branches to duck, like a leg of DWD.

There are a handful of very serious shoers at Bigfoot because it the Midwest qualifier for the National Championship Snowshoe race coming up in March. A 5 person U.S. Team goes on from that event to compete at the World Snowshoe Championships. Serious stuff! Mike Decker, of Running Fit Traverse City and previous member of the U.S. Team, will be back to defend his Bigfoot title. Go Mike!

Race Director, Randy Step

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BUDDY MELGES - Faster Than a Speeding America’s Cupper!

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At 77, Zenda, Wisconsin’s Buddy Melges (left with wife Gloria), former America’s Cup helmsman (America3, 1992), Olympic gold medalist (Soling class, 1972), perennial scow champ, and lifelong iceboater, is still the fastest man on ice. This spring, Melges won his fourth Northwest Ice Yacht Association Class E Skeeter title (Melges’s father, Harry, won the family’s first NIYA Skeeter title in 1936). We asked Melges about winning the event, held in Menominee, Wisconsin, and why he’s hooked on black ice.   more...

 



Sailing  SNOW  

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20-year-old rescued from lake

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Daniel Cobb, 20, of Allendale had hoped to get a better look at the sunset early Thursday night by venturing out on the ice on Lake Michigan with two others at Grand Haven City Beach; instead, he found out the hard way that ice in mid-March is unstable.

Cobb fell 15 feet into Lake Michigan when the ice gave way and had to be rescued from an ice floe by Grand Haven Department of Public Safety officers. Although Cobb was not injured, officials said he is fortunate the incident happened while there still was light and one of his companions had a cell phone to call for help.   more...

 



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