Talk about riding in the Midwest, and arrange meet-ups.


Postby John » Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:43 am

I went to Lutsen on Saturday, for my last day of riding in the Midwest for the season. (It's open for one more week). Writing up a longer report is something I will do over the summer, and it will be on the Grays on Trays blog as well as here. But here's a preliminary account:

- You get some great views of Lake Superior, starting with the drive from Duluth along highway 61.

- Oh yes, getting there takes a drive. Once you get to Duluth, it's another 90 minutes--and that's if you don't stop along the way to take in some great views of waterfalls, the Lake, etc.

- I could hear waves from Lake Superior while on one of the lifts. How cool is that?

- Subjectively, the runs don't feel that much longer than at Spirit Mountain (Duluth). The difference in vertical drop is less than a football field. Comparable distances would be found at Granite Peak (Wisconsin) and Mt. Bohemia (Michigan). But the rest of the Midwest lags behind these three.

- Lutsen is big by Midwestern standards. You could put two or even three other resorts into its space. It has four peaks, some of which would serve as the entire area somewhere else.

- They reported that 30 percent of the runs were closed. Many of those were the more difficult ones, though an entire section of Moose was closed.

- Still there's enough room to keep you occupied if you want to seek out new terrain.

- The snow was typical spring: forgiving in the morning, and harder to work in the afternoon after it gets pushed around. Lots of little moguls developing.

- There's a new lodge on Moose. Nice. Airy. The light wood will keep the building from developing Midwest gloominess.

- It's fairly expensive. I paid $53 for a walk-up price. By comparison, a few days earlier I paid $59 for Vail. (Granted, that was an online purchase so it might have been discounted).

- If you park in the right place, you may ride a lift over your car. This may be commonplace, but it was new to me.

- If you want to get from Moose Mountain to anywhere else, the most sure was is to take the gondola, only one in the Midwest. Not only will you get some good views of Lake Superior, but you will also avoid what could be a long ride / walk on a catwalk over to Eagle Mountain. I failed to keep enough speed, and had to unbuckle and walk a ways. Then again, doing this allowed me to see something unusual--a deer on the trail. Too bad my camera wasn't at the ready.

- It is possible to make a run long enough to get thigh burn. For the neighborhood, that's good.
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