Skiers and Boarders Take to the Hills

Southeast Michigan Ski Resorts are Open

Blessed with a record amount of snowfall last winter, ski and snowboard resorts had wonderful conditions most of the year. Those who braved the polar vortex temperatures raved about the slopes and enjoyed run after run at Mt. Brighton, Pine Knob, Mt. Holly and Alpine Valley.

The snow has not been as giving, so far, this season. However, with freezing temperatures and numerous snowmaking machines, the four resorts of southeast Michigan opened before Thanksgiving this year. While a few warmer days and rain forced the resorts to halt the lifts here and there, they now have most runs open and nearly all the lifts operating.

Sunrise at Mt. Brighton as the Snow guns Blow a Fresh Winter Coat on the Slopes

Sunrise at Mt. Brighton as the Snow guns Blow a Fresh Winter Coat on the Slopes

Man-made Snow Builds the Base

Snowmaking capabilities continue to improve, and many of the resorts add new snow guns and equipment each season. “We create our own weather,” said Mt. Brighton General Manager Taylor Ogilvie. “Thanks to the latest in modern snowmaking technology we’ve been able to not only remain open, but deliver quality snow conditions despite the recent warm temperatures. We can’t stress enough that even though there’s no snow on the ground around southeastern Michigan, there is plenty of snow on the slopes.”

Mt. Brighton added 43 new, state-of-the-art, energy efficient snowmaking guns, which will cover its 130 acres and allow for faster recover due to warm temperatures throughout the season. Mt. Brighton became a Vail Resort in 2012 and they continue to utilize newer technology. “You can purchase a lift ticket on your mobile device as you pull into Mt. Brighton’s parking lot, instead of waiting in line at the traditional ticket window,” said Ogilvie.

Pine Knob Skiers Get a New Lift

Pine Knob also added new snowmaking capabilities. Their most challenging run, The Wall, now has high-tech automatic snow guns. These machines register humidity and temperature and make snow when needed and less labor is required. Pine Knob has always been cutting-edge with their snowmaking.

Skiers unload from the new Skytrac chairlift at Pine Knob - photo by Michael Dwyer

Skiers unload from the new Skytrac chairlift at Pine Knob – photo by Michael Dwyer

The bigger news at Pine Knob is the new Skytrac chairlift. Replacing an old chairlift with a new variable speed three-person chair, this new lift (chairlift number three) takes skiers to the top in comfort. Built in Utah by Skytrac, its smooth ride and padded seats add to the experience. Besides going to the very top now (the previous chair didn’t quite go to the top), the loading area is now 20 feet lower. Truckload after truckload of dirt was excavated out at the bottom creating a longer overall run and makes it easier for skiers and boarders to access the chairlift from other runs on the hill.

Are you ready to go skiing? Below is the contact information for all four southeast Michigan resorts. Want to get started on the slopes, next week The Community Edge will cover everything you need to know to learn how to ski and snowboard.


Mt. Brighton Ski Resort


Mt. Holly


Pine Knob Ski & Snowboard Resort


Alpine Valley Ski Area
About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

Speak Your Mind