This year the Midwest Sport/Ski Council once again went to Big Snow Resort at Indianhead and Blackjack Mountains in Upper Michigan for the 2020 Winter Carnival. There was a total of 146 members from 7 different clubs attending this year. The very unusual event about this Carnival is that the trip was completely full by first week of November. I can’t remember when, if ever, this event sold out that fast. We must be doing something right for it to become that popular!
Friday, January 3, was an unusually mild and warm day for early January with temps in the upper 20’s. The 7am early bus was again packed with 46 people wanting to ski that afternoon given the mild weather and great snow conditions in Michigan. I can’t ever remember when the early bus was filled nearly to capacity! They arrived before noon and those avid skiers 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.
Later that morning approximately 90 more people boarded the late buses and arrived at Big Snow just in time for happy hour and dinner. Big Snow also provided a Welcome In party at Dudley’s Saloon with a very good selection of both hot and cold appetizers. It was a nice start for the weekend festivities. A lot people just hung around at Dudley’s waiting for the evening’s entertainment which was a very good one-man band.
Saturday found everyone excited to get out and go skiing. The day started with Big Snow Resort treating us all to a free breakfast buffet which was very good. The weather again cooperated starting with partly cloudy skies and mild temps. Those that went to Blackjack first thing were a little disappointed as the groomer broke down the day before, so the runs were not groomed. But skiing there was good just the same. Indianhead’s runs were well groomed and fast. A little after noon the clouds parted completely, and we enjoyed clear blue sunny skies and warmer temps for the afternoon. At 1:30pm around 35 people took part in the Human Slalom led by Ullr’s. A run or two after that a very large contingent gathered at the Upper Voyager’s Sundeck for the traditional Wine&Cheese Hill Party hosted by Ski Hawks for some wine, meat & cheese. The Turtle Races was sponsored by Sitzmark and conducted by John Olson and was held at the same time. It was quite the spectacle as usual. Soon thereafter, people started migrating either to their rooms or the bars.
That evening, the group was treated a Hawaiian Theme Banquet hosted by Ski Hawks. They had decorated the dining area with Hawaiian center pieces and even had a scenic Hawaiian photo booth which was very popular. Everyone dressed in Hawaiian style clothing including some grass skirts, shorts, sandals and some other unique articles of clothing. We had a very tasty buffet dinner including roast beef medallions and chicken cordon bleu, fruit salad and sides. After dinner, we proceeded with our program announcing the winners of the Turtle Races and allowed the clubs some time to talk about their clubs, trips or events. When that was over, we loaded our buses to return to the Lodge for more dancing at Dudley’s Saloon. We were entertained by a great 4-man band and many people danced the night away!
Sunday found some slow-moving people heading to the free breakfast. A few were nursing hangovers from having too much fun the night before. But most everyone got some breakfast and then out to ski. The weather remained mild with temps in the upper 20’s and we were greeted with 2-3” of new snow! The skiing was fabulous! But like all parties, this one had to come to an end. So that afternoon 146 people said their goodbyes to friends, new and old, and boarded the buses back to Minneapolis.
By all accounts, this year’s Winter Carnival was an even bigger success than last year. Maybe it was having blue sunny skies on Saturday followed by a great meal and band for dancing. Or maybe it was the fresh snow on Sunday. Regardless, the post trip survey results showed an overwhelmingly high percentage of responders wanting to return to Big Snow. And so we are! Mark your calendars for the 2021 MSC Winter Carnival, January 8-10, 2021 at Big Snow Resort. See you then!
MSC Winter Carnival Coordinator