Snowriver offers wacky fun in final weekends of skiing
April 6, 2023
By P.J. GLISSON
Snowriver Mountain Resort was celebrating Hawaiian Day, and it brought out a bevy of snow gear in every color of the rainbow as skiers loaded the slopes to enjoy the site’s last weekend of skiing.
The festive day included two fun races and even had one woman singing as she headed down the slopes.
In a Sunday phone call, Snowriver General Manager Benjamin Bartz said that the resort’s inaugural Sugar Cup races, for both skiers and snowboarders, were a success.
“They went really well,” said Bartz. “We had 33 for the first time.”
The event included a designated trail with a pump track and big bank turns, and participants of age 10 or older could enter free and take unlimited runs from 1-3 p.m. in an effort to achieve their best time and a cash prize.
Bartz said that people liked it so much that the resort plans to offer it again next year. Related photos and details are on the Snowriver website.
In addition, said Bartz, “We had a silly slalom,” which he described as less “serious” than “goofy.”
For that event at the base of the hill, skiers in costume were encouraged to maneuver through obstacles and under a limbo stick.
Loads of other folks from near and far showed up just to enjoy a warm day on the slopes.
“It’s gorgeous out there — blue skies and the snow is wonderful,” said Mike Shouldice of Mercer, who was in the Sugar Maple Chalet, preparing to hit the slopes again with a large group of friends.
One of them was Carrie Stiegler of Presque Isle, Wisconsin, and a former resident of Ironwood.
“I taught skiing here for years,” said Stiegler, who added that she skis daily. “I raised my family in Wyoming and then ended up back here.”
When she returned to this region, she said that all the friends she knew in her youth were still here, so she was able to resume skiing with them.
Todd Pomplun of Green Lake, Wisconsin, was outside, getting his gear ready. He said the snow was still in good shape and claimed that he and his wife, Colleen, had made the 4-hour drive for the third time this season.
Dustin Filippini of Bessemer was taking a break with his daughter, Giana, who is almost 11.
“We have passes here,” said Filippini, who said they often ski at Snowriver’s sister site of Black River Basin in Bessemer Township.
Giana said her favorite trail there is called Enchanted Mountain.
Three generations of the Andreski family also were skiing. They included Lou and Mary Andreski and their son, Zach Andreski, along with Zach’s daughters, Charlotte, 5, and Ivy, 3.
The Andreskis are all of Merrill, Wisconsin, but Lou said, “We’ve had a place in Ramsay for 20 years.”
Helping to monitor slope conditions was Josh Kennedy who was about to head out on parks and trails duty on his snowmobile. “I basically just make sure the terrain is well kept,” he said.
Snowriver’s Black River Basin will be open for one more weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m.-4:20 p.m. each day.
Bartz said that a Slush Cup event will start on Saturday at 1 p.m. next to the “A” chairlift. Entrants of any age may enter free, but Bartz said they are encouraged to “dress in a fun costume.”
“We’ll build a little pond at the bottom,” said Bartz of the BRB staff.
He added that entrants will ski down a slope and then do their best to continue skimming across the small pond.
“It’s a great spectator event,” assured Bartz, who expects that some viewers also will engage in barbecuing. In addition, Corey Carlson will provide live music in the Gabbro Grill at 3:30 p.m.
Bartz added that, on Easter Sunday, the Easter Bunny will leave eggs around the resort, and the Snowriver website promises that “fantastic prizes” will be inside of them.
Cross-country skiing also is winding down on local trails. Shouldice, who is president of MECCA Trails in Mercer, said that volunteers completed the season’s 98th grooming on March 25, but he added, “There will still be cross country skiers taking advantage of spring skiing.”