Author's daughter and wife riding the lift at Porcupine Mountains Ski Area.



Immense, Wild Joy: A Michigan Ski Reunion

Icy lake water presses the air from my lungs and I can’t get to the dock ladder fast enough. Robbie Koets had descended slowly in the January chill, forcing himself into a zen trance with only hands and head above the surface. He said this strategy allowed a thin bubble layer to form around his skin, offering some modicum of insulation. But my cannonball burst that bubble and shocked him from his reverie. The 50-degree air and gentle rain feel good as we emerge from the lake, but man it sucks for skiing. 

Bittersweet Ski Resort, the 350-vertical-foot hill I learned upon, had once been a 300-vertical-foot hill, but the summer before my senior year of high school bulldozers added an extra cushion of earth for a new high-speed quad. Today, not one of those 350 feet is open in an attempt to conserve its meager snowpack. The mountain manager laughed at me this morning when I asked if we could hike a few laps, but I hadn’t been joking…

Buy issue

Subscribe to start your collection of The Ski Journal.


The Ski Journal Mailing List

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.