This year the Midwest Sport/Ski Council went to Indianhead Mountain Resort in Michigan. Two years ago, Blackjack purchased the neighboring ski resort of Indianhead. Thereafter, the twin resorts became known as Big Snow Resort. And not only did the MSC change the venue for this year’s Winter Carnival, it changed the timing. From time immemorial, the Winter Carnival had always been the second weekend of December. But that was becoming unpopular as more often than not, the ski resort was only 10% or less open as there was rarely enough snow that early in the season. Many times, just having two to three runs ready for skiers.
Friday, January 5, was a crystal clear, blue sunny day. And a bit cold. But 35 hearty skiers got up early to catch the 7 AM bus for Big Snow. Several slept on the way up. They arrived before noon and most took advantage of a half day of skiing. They had a great time as there were 22 runs open between Indianhead and Blackjack and rarely any lift lines.
Early that afternoon another 80 people boarded the late buses and arrived at Big Snow just in time for happy hour and dinner. Dudley’s Saloon at Indianhead provided the late night entertainment with a very good one-man band.
Saturday found everyone excited to get out and go skiing. The weather again cooperated with blue sunny skies and temps in the teens. Those that went to Blackjack first thing were treated to boot deep and un-tracked powder most of the day. And no lift lines. Indianhead’s runs were well groomed and fast. Around 1:30pm a large contingent gathered at the Upper Voyager’s Sundeck for the traditional Wine&Cheese Hill Party hosted by Ski Hawks. The Turtle Races hosted by Sitzmark and conducted by Chris Mickman was held at the same time. It was quite the spectacle. As the afternoon wound down, people started migrating either to their rooms or the bars.
That evening, the group was treated to a 2-entrée plated dinner at the Sky High Room. Traverski started the evening festivities with their infamous Poker Run. Ski Hawks once again held the Funny T-Shirt Contest. There were quite a lot of really comical tee shirts. After the meal, prizes for all the games were handed out. Then everyone headed back to Dudley’s Saloon for more dancing and drinks.
Sunday was a day for slow moving people heading to breakfast. A few were nursing hangovers from having too much fun the night before. But most everyone got out to ski. The weather was even better as it warmed up into the 20’s and snow conditions were excellent. But like all parties, this one had to come to an end. So that afternoon 115 people said their good byes to friends, new and old, and boarded the buses back to Minneapolis.
By all accounts, this year’s Winter Carnival was a huge success. Almost everyone wanted to repeat for next year. And so we are! Mark your calendars for the 2019 MSC Winter Carnival, January 4-6, 2019 at Big Snow Resort.
MSC Winter Carnival Coordinator