Granite Peak's $2M Snowmaking Improvements Are Paying Off (Opening Day Trip)

Granite Peak's $2M Snowmaking Improvements Are Paying Off (Opening Day Trip)

Skiing

Granite Peak's $2M Snowmaking Improvements Are Paying Off (Opening Day Trip)

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Line forming for first chair. Granite’s GM told me a group of kids got there at 7am (3 hours before opening) to secure that coveted first ride up.

I was starved for getting turns on snow a couple of weeks ago. I spend my days as a ski blogger usually writing about all of the mountains opening across the country, and I was desperately waiting for a hill to open up here in the Midwest. Then the folks up at Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau, WI announced they were opening the day before Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get some turns.

Granite Peak invested $2 million in new snowmaking equipment this offseason, and the fruits of that investment are definitely paying off. It’s been an abnormally warm fall here in Wisconsin, but Granite was able to open up 6 trails on a surprisingly impressive man-made snow base.

Don’t get me wrong, I would have definitely preferred to have bee riding on natural snow, but I honestly had a great time skiing on what Granite had to offer last Wednesday.

Comet Express lift line

Granite spun Wisconsin’s only detachable six pack, The Comet Express, and had 6 trails available for opening day. I spent most of my day lapping Exhibition (a black diamond) because it was really the only trail that provided a satisfyingly steep albeit short run.

I decided to ski the new pair of Zorro 89s from ROMP Skis that I’ve come in possession of recently, and had an absolute blast on them. It took me a couple of runs to get dialed in on them as I’ve been skiing a 105mm underfoot ski for the better part of 3 years now, but I eventually got comfortable in making some really nice quick turns on the steeper sections of Exhibition.

ROMP Skis Zoro 89’s

I’m not ready to give these skis a full review yet as the terrain I rode them in was pretty limited, but I’m impressed so far on how they handled on hard-pack man-made groomers. I really want to get them into some tree runs at Mount Bohemia and Smugglers’ Notch later on this season to see how they hold up. They’re really light and nimble, and I’m thinking I’ll be able to let them fly in that kind of terrain. Stay tuned for a full review later on this season.

There wasn’t a whole lot to report on as far as the skiing experience at Granite Peak other than what I’ve already said. It was just such a relief to make turns on snow, and I’m extremely grateful for Granite’s impressive snowmaking system to make that happen. I packed it up and headed back home once the lines started getting long and the snow quality was deteriorating in the 43-degree temps. I still had an absolutely fantastic time.

It doesn’t look like all that much, but I had a great time getting turns on Exhibition

Granite is probably the best traditional resort skiing experience I’ve had since I moved to the Midwest. They actually have a surprisingly large number of trails that vary in difficulty, and even some gladed runs when the snow is stacking up. I’m definitely going to be back up at Granite later on this season for more turns once more terrain is opened.

It was great to see the huge turnout for Granite’s opening day. There’s a bustling ski community up there in Wausau, and it was cool to be apart of it for a day. Hope you enjoyed reading my silly little trip recap, and I hope you’re able to get some turns out there soon if you haven’t already!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

All photos please credit: Matt Lorelli, Unofficial Networks

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