In our ongoing effort to Live Better Stories (a Teva
project), Saturday Tazer and I braved the cold (about 9 degrees) and drove just over an hour to Wilmot Mountain
. The ski hill sits just over the Wisconsin border and appears after plenty of flat land, with some rolling hills along the way as well.
In 1938, Walter Stopa leased the property, where Wilmot Mountain is located today from a farmer for skiing. As the years passed, he eventually bought the land from the farmer and Wilmot Mountain was born.
Wilmot Mountain began it’s reign as one of the first successful ski resorts in the Midwest, by being the first to master the art of “snowmaking”. This provided the Midwest with a place that had ski-able snow all season long regardless of the unpredictable Wisconsin winters…
Lights were added to the mountain in the mid 50’s thus making night skiing available.
It has been many years since we’ve been to Wilmot, and I couldn’t remember much about it. The last time we were here I spent the day carrying Tazer up the bunny hill, as he couldn’t figure out the rope tow to get back up himself.
The mountain (really a hill), is bigger than expected, but obviously nothing similar to what you would find in one of the mountain states. It does however, have a variety of terrain, differing levels of difficulty, and plenty of chairlifts.
One benefit of a short down is the short up – no long, freezing rides up the mountain! With 15 or so runs (depends on how you count them) and 8 lifts, it’s enough to keep one’s interest for a while. Add some terrain parks and it only gets better.
Every mountain has its runs based according to what exists there, so a black on Wilmot is less expert than a black in Colorado. But it still is more difficult than the blues and greens there, so one can progress as desired.
We started on the green, but with Tazer skiing backwards and practicing jumps, and me getting more comfortable, it wasn’t long before we moved up to blue (me) and black (Tazer). With snowmaking on an adjacent run going full blast, I even got to ski some powder.
Video shot with the GoPro Hero3
We skied about half a day or so, stopping for lunch and then a few more runs after, not wanting to take a chance on getting injured. We’d bundled up, layering and bringing extra jackets and gloves, but for the most part it wasn’t too bad. If you’re planning on skiing here in the Midwest, invest in a good balaclava, worth its weight in gold.
People might sneer at our Midwest skiing, but time on slopes such as Wilmot’s provide plenty of fun, even though we don’t get plenty of vertical. With its basic base lodge, simple yet diverse terrain, and proximity to home, this was a good day skiing. We’re looking forward to exploring more of the ski areas around here soon.