In a story for today’s New York Times, I cover Mount Bohemia, a tiny ski area on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where chutes, cornices and cliffs exist on a 1,465-foot hill overlooking Lake Superior.
Two chairlifts give access to the area’s gladed tree runs and 71 named trails, none of which are groomed. Black diamonds dot the trail map. Deep blanketing snow — up to 300 inches in some seasons — covers boulders, streambeds, fallen trees and outcroppings of rock.
A sign at the entrance to the resort reads “Warning: NO BEGINNERS ALLOWED.”
Indeed, Mount Bohemia is an anomaly in its region, where short runs, manmade snow and icy groomed slopes are the norm. With 900 feet of vertical drop and runs that reach close to a mile in length, Bohemia is also one of the highest ski resorts in the Midwest.
“Mount Bohemia has very little in common with other Midwestern ski areas,” said Sam Moulton, a Chicago-based editor with Skiing Magazine who grew up skiing in the Midwest. “The runs at Bohemia are legitimately steep and sporting, with quality fall-line skiing.”
Another distinguisher: Bohemia has no snowmaking. Instead, the hill relies on nature — and the consistent dumps of lake-effect snow from one of the largest bodies of fresh water on the planet — to blanket its slopes.
Mr. Moulton added that the consistent pitch and vertical drop of Bohemia’s trails makes them comparable to runs at mountain resorts in New England and the West.
See the full story here: nytimes.com