With the past week of good snow making weather and a forecast of sunshine and 35-40 degrees it was time to make the 3hr and 20min drive north to Cadillac Michigan.
Two weeks ago the South Peak had maybe a dusting of snow on it.
Now after two weeks there is a good 2-3 foot base
We were on the lift by 10:30 and the snow was still a little firm, but the coverage was fantastic. I can't remember the last time I have seen this great of a base in mid December.
We skied until 12:30 or so and it was time for lunch. Caberfae is one of the only places that I know of that encourages you to bring a crock pot, the whole bottom level of the lodge has cubbies thatgo around the outside and have plugs all along the cubbies, there has to be at least 50 plugs. They also have a toaster and a microwave you can use. There only rule is you have to keep all picnic lunches downstairs.
But seeing how it was sunny and pushing 40 out we tailgated for lunch
Ciscokid toasting his favorite Jestons Lodge in the backround
After lunch the snow had turned into a very nice packed man made soft snow.
We went back in for the mandatory Arlos Ultimate Bloody Mary for all of $4.
After a coctail it was time to go out for some early evening skiing and a gorgeous Michigan sunset
Mid West skiing on a 450' hill may not be for everyone, we don't have mile long runs, real steep terrain or all tree lined trails, but what we do have is here at Caberfae you have an owner that knows you by name, lift operators that know who you are and you also get to know a lot of skiers that you see each time you come. In the end it's still skiing and with good company and food it was a great way to spend a Saturday
I gotta ask, was the summit there artificially created?
Yes it is. Both the North Peak and South Peak are not the natural summit. The North Peak l
Has a number of pine tress planted on it and in 10 years or so you probably won’t be able to tell that it is man made. By 2020-2021 there is supposed to be a third peak that will be built up and incorporate some of the original Caberfae Peaks into the new peak. There is so much history at Caberfae Peaks. It is the first ski area in in Michigan and the 4th in the United States. Here is a link to some of that history
The red zone is part of the original Caberfae and anywhere in that area you can ski. There is no snow making, no grooming or lifts. If you get too far in you will have to hike out. But there are trees you can ski in, it just not that big of an area.
The area in red in what they call the back country. Also as far as building the summit up they do dig holes at the bottom and then they push the dirt to the top. When you don't have real mountains you have to do the best with what you have.
Might be easier to dig a hole at the bottom. Anybody consider that?
There's always issues with terraforming.
I'd guess that digging down any significant amount would have the following issues:
- filling with water. Eventually you'll make a pond.
- hitting bedrock. This would then require blasting.
- hitting aquifers. Same issue as above. Fills with water.
- higher thermal mass. Just like your basement in the winter, the lower you go in the ground, the more thermal mass you are going to be surrounded by, creating slightly higher temperatures.
Those are the few I could think of. I bet there are more. Adding mass to the top of the hill generally won't have any drainage issues if the proper fill is used and it certainly has more thermal loss because it is mostly in contact with air, which is a poor thermal conductor. The biggest issue is the energy it takes to get there.