I skied fifty days last winter, almost all of them at CaberfaePeaks near Cadillac , Michigan . When I tell other skiers this they sometimes look at me funny and ask, “Why did you do that?”
It’s at this point I know that they’re thinking of the old Caberfae, the one with all the rope tows circa 1950. I don’t ski there. I ski at today’s Caberfae Peaks, the one with the two highest lift-served peaks in lower Michigan, four chairlifts, a new day lodge with a two-story fireplace, and some of the best trail grooming this side of Breckenridge, Colorado.
Now, let’s be clear about this. There are other resorts in Michigan that offer far more in the way of glam and glitz. There are no amusement park rides, parking valets, or beauty treatment therapists at the ‘Fae (as the locals call it). This is precisely why I ski there. For me the operative word in ski resort is “ski” and that’s where Caberfae comes through.
The development of North and South Peaks has transformed this place. Thirty-four runs spill off in every direction with terrain for every type of skiing from cruising to bumps to “gee I wish I had remembered to pay that life insurance premium.”
My favorites are the legendary Number 1 on North Peak, one of the first ski runs carved out of the Manistee National Forest by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the late 1930’s, and Charlie on South Peak, which I consider the best single ski run in Michigan’s lower peninsula. These are great expanses for big turns with enough length to make my thighs burn.
Perhaps the best part about all of this is that it comes at such a reasonable price. A lift ticket is just $42 on weekends and $34 midweek, but I buy a season pass for $99 (weekend) plus $99 (midweek), which means I get a whole winter of unlimited skiing for $198 bucks. After October 31 the passes go up $50 at each end, but it’s still a steal of a deal.
To be sure, Caberfae has a ski in-out hotel, a hot tub and pool, and a pretty cool après ski bar in RJ’s, but for me the allure is the skiing itself. The snow is abundant, the grooming is impeccable, and I always come off the hill with a smile at the end of a ski day. For me, it doesn’t get much better than CaberfaePeaks .