While merits of kite-powered icebreakers are discussed in the context of starting the season,
I would like to report on our trip to Mt. Bohemia.
One word: incredible. Don't bother going there, unless there's solid chance of a decent snowfall. But if you hit it right, it's MAGIC. I don't mean Midwestern magic, I'm talking the big league, like Grand Targhee, Moonlight Basin (backside of Big Sky, MT), Steamboat Springs, Silverton.
To be fair, if you don't like tree skiing/riding, you may be less impressed because 90% of the terrain there, and 666% of the fun is going into the trees, most of them nicely spaced but some, especially in the Outer Limits area, a little tight.
The terrain is quite varied for such a small place - sudden drops, little gulches, an occasional running creek under snow, fantastic pillows over bumps. And with so few people chopping the snow, it lasts.
Those who complain about small vertical drop, and short runs, should try to do several of them, one by one, without ever stopping. I was lucky to hook up with a really nice local skier, a speed demon in the trees, and I have to say I had more leg burn than on recent runs in the Alps, which were 10 times the size.
Nice people run the place, Widowmaker Black Ale at the bar is quite decent, and while I heard some complaints about the on-the-mountain lodging, the motel in town (White House in Mohawk, 20 minutes away) is run by really sweet people, and a double room is $56, tax included, year round. Clean, good size rooms, and a good restaurant across the street serves food for time-capsule prices (a $10 steak, anyone?).
In the afternoon of day 2, we went to Lake Medora, just a few miles from the hill, for a nice snowkiting session, I think 7 guys altogether. Despite wind-packed snow, it was fun riding, mostly on 12-13s.
Plan on 8 hrs to/from Chicago, heavy snow effects / pit stops are extra.
$99 season passes are on the first Saturday of December only. I'm marking my calendar in thick, red letters!
Thanks, Keith, for safe driving, and generally being a great companion!