Yes, I know … another skiing blog. Wait until the summer when golf season is upon us, you will be sick of the golf talk and will be wishing for a snow report!!
I am using my blog space this week to give some blogging love to Pine Knob Ski Resort in Clarkston. I am in no way affiliated with Pine Knob. I am just an avid skier who wants to make sure our local ski resort is not forgotten during this crazy spring like winter. I took my three sons skiing last Thursday night, and we had a great time, and yes there was plenty of snow!!
Pine Knob has always been a way to enjoy the Michigan winters. I spent most of my middle school years skiing Friday nights at Pine Knob. It was the one place where my parents said “Karen you are on your own…Be careful and have fun!” I had a group of girlfriends that I skied with, and we would be all over the hills. Sometimes skiing, sometimes chasing boys, but most of the time we were learning life lessons that weren’t being taught in school.
- Lessons of responsibility: Gloves, hat, ticket, and money…check, check, check, check.
- Lessons of manners: You must wait your turn in line, no cuts. If you cut the line, you were outright spoken to by other skiers. You learned quickly not to cut the line.
- Lessons of caring: Make sure the person that took a nasty fall in front of you is okay. If they are not, ski down and find a ski patrol. Help little kids get safely on and off the lift.
- Lessons of respect: All ages ski. Treat the older skier as well as the younger skier like they are your best friend. You may need them if you get in a jam out on the hill.
All of this learning was going on under the guise of skiing. Best of all, we were getting some exercise and having fun.
Pine Knob is Ready and waiting
Having those memories made it a simple choice to sign my boys up for the school ski program through Hart Middle School in Rochester Hills. We skied through this program last year, and quickly signed up again this year in October. Then we waited for the snow. And waited .... and waited ... and waited. Well, we are still waiting. But Pine Knob has not waited, and they have been making snow on the cold nights.
Still, I was skeptical.
The kids really wanted to ski because we hadn’t gone since our trip up north to Crystal Mountain. I looked out the window Thursday and saw the neighborhood kids shooting baskets in their shorts. Runners were running in T-shirts, and there wasn’t a snowflake in sight. As the begging ensued, and the youngest showed me a snow-covered webcam picture of Pine Knob, I gave in and pulled out the ski wear. We loaded up the skis and headed up I-75.
Once I pulled in the lot, I still was skeptical. The lot was pretty empty. But we grabbed our gear (gloves, hat, ticket, money….) and we were off.
The snow was really good. It wasn’t icy and of course the mild temperatures made for a wonderful ride up the chair lift. We made a few runs on the front beginner hills, which consist of a couple rope tows, two “magic carpet” conveyors and one chair lift. This beginner hill section is a great place to learn how to ski or snowboard.
We then made our way over to the intermediate slopes. Once again, the snow was really good. Pine Knob had done a great job in grooming the hill and the rides down were fast, but not slushy or icy.
The conditions were perfect, and for those of us who were out there skiing and boarding, it was a great night. I also saw an abundance of ski patrol giving lessons and basically being great ski ambassadors. The lift operators were extremely friendly also. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the night.
All that was missing was a few more people. I don’t like crowds, but in this case, I would put up with a longer lift line and dodging a few more snow boarders if it meant that people were getting back out skiing and boarding at Pine Knob.
I checked the weather for this weekend, and it seems to be getting colder and as I am typing this, a few flakes are starting to come down. So grab your kids and your gear and get out to Pine Knob. Yes, they are open and the skiing is great!!