^Yurts for the ultimate ski-in, ski-out experience
There’s a lot of ski resorts across the country that claim that they have the best spring skiing around.
Arapahoe Basin, Palisades Tahoe, Killington, and Mt. Bachelor come to mind, but there’s a rippin’ ski hill on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula that can go toe-to-toe with any of them.
We’ve talked a lot about Mount Bohemia (Boho) here on Unofficial Networks, but the conversation usually revolves around the awesome powder skiing we’ve enjoyed in the middle of winter.
I had no idea that Mount Bohemia was a Midwest mecca for sun-soaked slush bump laps until this season. Let me explain.
^I felt kind of weird creeping on this guy, but he fit into this shot perfectly.
I checked the OpenSnow app on Friday, March 25th and was surprised to see that Mount Bohemia was forecasted to pick up 18″ of fresh snowfall the following week. I immediately started to get my ducks in a row, and began planning my trip.
You can bet your ass that I was willing to drive 6 hours for powder skiing in early-April in this part of the country. I am an admittedly ski-crazed blogger who is constantly thinking about skiing, after all.
I woke early on Friday, April 1st to hit the road. I checked the snow report was bummed to see that the storm had all but missed Boho.
The forecasted 18″ turned out to be 2-3″ of heavy and wet slush, but I was hopeful that the trip would still be worth it. Turns out I made the right call.
^I just couldn’t get enough of these views!
Mount Bohemia was reporting 302″ of total snowfall as of April 1st, and I was banking that the significant base would hold up for some decent skiing.
I arrived at Mount Bohemia around 1:30PM after losing an hour due to the stupid time zone change. Yeah, I traveled due north and yet lost an hour because Michigan insists that (pretty much) their entire state is under the same time zone. Lame. Dumb. Stupid. Weird. Whatever.
I immediately started changing into my ski gear in the parking lot at the sight of the mountain.
The slopes were getting baked by full-on sunshine, and I couldn’t spot a single bare spot on the entirety of the mountain. My mood shifted from pretty excited to absolutely stoked.
I was ready for some real spring skiing.
^ 🎶 ‘The long and neon lift…*bum bum* that leads to the top’🎶 Beatles, anybody…?
I took the slow lift ride up the Bohemia’s summit and basked in the glory of the surrounding views. Mount Bohemia is the tallest overlook in the entirety of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and I could see for miles.
I could see Lake Superior lapping against the shoreline in the near-distance, and smaller mountains dotting the adjacent landscape. For a second, I didn’t feel like I was in Michigan.
I can’t really explain it other than to say it just felt special. It just felt like I was in the right place at the right time, ya know?
Maybe some of you can relate.
I spent the rest of the afternoon lapping steep tree runs with the biggest smile on my face. I just couldn’t get enough.
The spring snow was perfect, the coverage was fantastic, and I didn’t wait in a single lift line the whole afternoon. You really can’t ask for anything better this time of year.
^Hey! I think I can see nothing but a huge lake that looks like an ocean from here!’
I noticed that I started to get really comfortable on the spring snow. It wasn’t completely mashed potatoes, and I could hold an edge quite nicely. I was flying through tree lines faster than I normally would, and airing off small natural features that I would have otherwise avoided.
It just all felt right.
I wrapped up the afternoon with a long soak in Mount Bohemia’s awesome Nordic Spa hot tub, and went to bed later that night with a feeling of excitement for the rest of the weekend.
^Don’t even think about wearing a diaper in the hot tub at Mount Bohemia, Okay? Don’t even do it.
Day 2 was a little bit different.
I was surprised when I woke up and saw snow falling outside of my log cabin window. Why was the white fluffy stuff cascading down from the sky? The weather forecast didn’t mention any chance of precipitation for the whole weekend.
Then it hit me… lake effect.
Mount Bohemia racks up significant snowfall each year thanks to Lake Superior dumping her bountiful moisture in the form of snow throughout the winter. It turns out that she wasn’t done just yet.
Conditions had frozen up over night, but the new snowfall on top made the mountain skiable. I say that with caution, however, as I had a couple of runs that early morning where I felt like I was downhill ice skating, but no matter.
The east coaster in me lives for this shit. I wasn’t going to let some firm conditions keep me from getting my turns in.
^Yeah. This really is Michigan.
Thankfully my persistence paid off.
By 1PM the sun came out, and the temperature started to rise. The entire mountain let out a sigh of relief, and the snow softened up significantly. I spent the remainder of the day lapping the same run in Mount Bohemia’s Extreme Backcountry zone, and I couldn’t have been happier about it.
One of the things that makes Mount Bohemia so unique is the culture.
It’s not uncommon to see things around the hill that make you stop and say, “Huh. That’s different.” on a regular basis.
My Boho moment(s), if you will, came during the mountain’s Spring Party.
The party consisted of: a raging hot tub scene, a costume contest where a kid who had a skunk cover on his helmet beat out a college kid who went all out in a Spiderman suit, a bikini race (both men and women participated), and a ski patroller who handed out leis to anybody who showed him their boots.
Yes, you read that correctly. Showing him your boots, not boobs, was the ticket to get a Hawaiian lei donned around your neck.
Only at Mount Bohemia.
The spring party might not be considered PC by most modern standards, but it was all in good fun. I only saw smiles, laughter, and camaraderie between everybody that was involved.
It felt like I was part of something that could only happen at Mount Bohemia, and that in itself was special.
I mean, where else can you ski slush bumps in the trees all day and then party your face off in a slopeside hot tub with its own bar and kitchen? I’ll wait…
I’m not a drinker these days so I didn’t partake in the party scene, and that’s okay. I still had a great time talking to strangers and reminiscing on the weekend so far.
^Staring down the barrel of the cliffs at Boho. Nobody was willing to send it this day. The sun had melted the landing just a little bit too much for our comfort.
Everybody had come from different places, but one thing remained the same- all were attracted to Mount Bohemia because of the mountain itself.
Boho is special. There’s literally nothing like it on the planet. 900′ of vertical, nearly 300″ of annual snowfall, no grooming, no snowmaking, endless glades, cliffs, chutes, and steep trails. It’s in a category of its own.
I woke up on Sunday excited for another day of glorious spring skiing. The sun was shining bright again, and the snow was soft by 10AM.
It was time for more spring bumps.
I met up with a group of ski patrollers that I met the night before. I had an absolute blast ripping around the mountain with them. Highlights of the day included numerous runs in the Extreme Backcountry, and some hero laps under Boho’s main chairlift.
^New friends made.
I just couldn’t stop smiling.
There’s just something about Boho that feels magical, and I was elated to learn that feeling is amplified at the end of the season. The sun, the soft snow, the smiling faces, and the glorious views create a concoction that could turn any skier or rider’s mood around.
Mount Bohemia is hard to get to, but I highly encourage those of you willing to take an adventure to plan a trip out there. It’s worth it whether you’re there in the middle of winter or the middle of spring. You won’t be disappointed.
^Just a glimpse of the glory that is Mount Bohemia, MI.
I know this story is significantly longer than the content usually posted here to Unofficial Networks, and I thank all of you that have stuck with me through it.
I just felt this deep desire to share how special Mount Bohemia is in general, but especially in the spring. I want others to enjoy it as I have.
Thanks again and as always- Stay safe out there, friends.
All photos taken by yours truly. Please credit: Matt Lorelli/Unofficial Networks if you use them in any other setting.