Plans were made at least two weeks ago when there was speculation that some resorts might be open for some early season skiing and snowboarding – we were riding somewhere. That somewhere wasn’t determined until about 24 hours before we hit the road. With varying weather across the state and a looming warm front, we were on a mission to get after some goods in November. After mulling over our options and determining the closest resort to get some vertical in, the plan was to hit up Boyne Mountain for their season opener.
Knowing that we were headed out early in the morning, it was like a frantic rush to get my gear setup. I know what you’re thinking… you were not prepared? Nope! Scraping skis at the wee hours, then realizing I needed to adjust my bindings for the new boots, getting pissed at the balled up mess that was my pants that apparently got caught in a load of laundry this spring with a kleenex, then looking at the weather one more time. Ok, I was set.
6:30am rollout from GR, a quick stop along the way to pick up MiSkiReport team member and fellow snowboard cameraman, Justin – we headed north! Many might say we’re crazy, with statements like “seriously man… 4.5 hours of driving for what?” My response… we’ve only been waiting since March to do this, so we’re going on a mission.
I had my negative opinions headed into this venture. Visions of rock hard boilerplate, manmade death cookies, groomer tracks – you name it, I dreamt it up. Totally the exact opposite. Somewhere around Kalkaska it’s like someone flipped the winter switch on and it was the middle of January. Snow banks, road salt and snowmobile tracks – Welcome Winter!
We were booted up and on the lifts by 9:30 getting after possibly some of the best early season conditions I’ve seen. It was far from boilerplate and hardpack. Hats off to the crew at Boyne for making some stellar snow on the groomers. We even found some pow stashes on Aurora and thanks to the fun police for not killing our early season stoke! By 3pm we were beat. After almost 6-hours of riding and nearly 7-months of no skiing, it was back to the car. Our mission was complete.
Wherever you’re at, whatever the conditions, get out there, make the best of it and have fun!