Minnesota Skiing: A Perspective
Chances are if I’m on a chairlift out west and mention I’m from Minnesota I’m going to get one of two responses. The first being that they send their condolences for my burden of bearing the ice, cold, and lack of vertical. Other responses including, “are there mountains in Minnesota?” No, there are not mountains in Minnesota. For those of you unfamiliar, vertical drop here in the lovely “Land of 10,000 Lakes” ranges from anywhere around 150 feet to 900 feet, and yes it is normally freezing.
We do not get powder days, and there is no back country, but I may make an attempt to explain why so many of us have stayed.
We owe much of our progression in the sport to tow ropes. They allow us to get back up the hill in less than a minute, giving us over 100 park laps in a couple of hours. My ability to hit a rail over and over again gives me a tremendous advantage when trying to master a new trick.
If you’ve ever made a visit to Minneapolis, Duluth, or even watched an industry ski film, it has become no hidden secret that Minnesota’s urban is excellent. There are an endless number of handrails and other features that draw athletes to Minnesota from all over the country to film. While sitting down this season watching Kyle Decker’s “The Wallisch Project,” and Level 1 Productions “Partly Cloudy,” I found myself thinking,"I’ve been there", "I’ve hit that", and "that’s definitely in Minnesota." Skiers around the state embrace the playground that is among us, this past winter the Minnesota Represent Show (http://www.mnrepshow.com) shot an urban movie featuring many of Minnesota’s best locations.
No Lift Ticket
Perhaps my favorite part about growing up skiing in this state is not the urban nor the rope laps, but the community. I can go to any hill on any given day and chances are highly likely that I’m going to run into someone I know. The Minnesota rep show has begun a page on their website where Midwest skiers can show off and view edits from other riders around the area (http://mnrepshow.com/2014-midwest-ski-videos/).
I aspire to someday live in a place where I can lose myself in powder and breathtaking views, but until then I’m embracing the Midwest, and Minnesota specifically for a community I cannot find anywhere else in the world.