Alpine Valley, MI

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7 thoughts on “Alpine Valley, MI

  1. Detroit Skier August 12, 2021 / 12:05 pm

    Peter, there are a few items in the list above that need adjustment:

    1. Chair 4 is the 1997 Riblet new installation based on historical trail maps. It has almost an identical installed length and similar vertical rise to Chair 5.

    2. Chair 5 is what appears to be a new Riblet installation, but it is not listed in the SAM Lift Installation Survey, so it may be a relocation or was not reported. It was installed around 1995 (it was labeled as “new” on the 1995 trail map while Chair 4 was still a double).

    3. The stats you have listed for Chair 4 from 1987 belong to Chair 8. I don’t yet have a copy of the actual 1987 SAM Lift Installation Survey (only re-typed data from another source), but my source showed this installation erroneously as a double instead of a quad. The stats are perfect for Chair 8 per online tools, and it matches up with the 1988 trail map.

    4. Chair 9 is likely a relocation, as the trails were not cut by 1973 per overhead photos, but it was in place by 1980. I put additional comments on the Chair 9 page.

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    • Detroit Skier February 27, 2022 / 4:25 pm

      After reviewing an accurate county topo map, my comments below are confirmed. Follow-up comments:

      Chair 2/3 – Estimated vertical and length for the lengthened lifts are about 210-215 ft vertical and about 1255 ft inclined length.

      Chair 4 – Matches perfectly for vertical and length with topo map and length calc tools with 1997 SAM stats.

      Chair 5 – The data from the Alpine Valley WISCONSIN installation for 1995 matches the calculated stats at Alpine Valley MICHIGAN. This was pointed out on the separate Chair 5 page. This is definitely the 1995 installation.

      Chair 8 – Matches perfectly for vertical and length with topo map and length calc tools with 1987 SAM vertical/length stats.

      Chair 9 – Calculated stats using the same tools are about 65 ft vertical and 555 ft inclined length.

      Chair 10 – While currently out of service, this is a lot closer to the SAM stats from the 1971 or 1972 installation as you have indicated above. Were these entries the same lift published twice? There is really nowhere else on the mountain where those stats would make sense at all.

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    • Detroit Skier November 12, 2022 / 10:29 pm

      Further research on Chair 9 indicates the lift was indeed licensed by Michigan in 1972, so likely was an original installation and not a relocation. Sorry, I guess my memory failed me on this one.

      Without pulling the actual public records or consulting Alpine Valley itself, I cannot confirm much else. The SAM stats from my source clearly appear to be a copy/paste error from the 1971 installation (Chair 10). I stand behind my numbers from the previous post as being a good estimate (65 vert/555 length).

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  2. Randy August 24, 2021 / 12:07 pm

    Internet chat has this area sold to Wisconsin resort inc. Website states ‘under new ownership”.

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  3. Detroit Skier November 12, 2022 / 10:12 pm

    I’m sad to see the beginner terrain pod completely wiped off the 2022 trail map, indicating it’s closed for now. While it’s not very compelling terrain for intermediates and certainly not for experts, it seemed like a unique setup that could be used for beginners and ski school to keep them isolated from better and more intimidating skiers. I can only guess that the snowmaking infrastructure is dated, and with old lift stock (1972 Hall center-pole double and very old rope tows, along with a removed 1971 Hall center-pole double) and part of it being southern or southeastern exposure, it isn’t worth it to keep it open. Also, it was hard to get to, considering you had to use a rope tow and skate over the top of a little ridge. Getting back to the main area was just as difficult.

    While not being overly challenging when comparing to “up north” areas in Michigan, even with fairly easy intermediate terrain, Alpine Valley doesn’t have any easy beginner terrain anymore outside of the learning hill and the short slope across from it with the rope tow. I wonder if they would consider bringing the pod back if they invest in the infrastructure and have a business idea of how to use it (e.g. dedicated ski school, beginner terrain park, etc.). Unfortunately, there are probably more pressing investments needed regarding the main slope lifts. I actually enjoy riding the Halls, but they are over 50 years old now.

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  4. afski722 November 13, 2022 / 7:22 pm

    The reality was that prior to the acquisition by Wisconsin Resorts, Alpine Valley has been in a state of decay for years. The prior ownership never reinvested much into the ski area over the past two decades. They put a few “newer” Riblets on the hill in the 80s, and then the last new modern lift was the Riblet triple in the 90s.
    The rest was the fleet of original and aging Halls.
    They never invested in their snowmaking system and had anywhere near the capacity/capability that Mt. Holly or Pine Knob did. Mt. Brighton was in similiar shape until Vail Resorts bought it and made investments in the area.
    For the past decade, Alpine was well behind the other 3 downstate areas in terms of snowmaking and infrastructure. With the notorious freeze-thaw cycles, in some years they really struggled to get much of their main terrain open.

    Not surprised to see them idle the Chair 9/10 area for the time being. At least the new owners have installed a lot of new snowmaking infrastructure this season.

    I haven’t skied there in the past 3-4 years (pre-pandemic) but I’ll have to check it out this year.

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  5. afski722 November 23, 2022 / 7:57 pm

    I was out at Alpine Valley today….

    Chair 6 / Hall double has been removed and the towers / bullwheels / carriers are all sitting in the back of the parking lot.

    Chair 9 & 10 are still in-place but this portion of the ski area has been abandoned for the time being.

    They have installed a lot of new snowmaking equipment on the main runs on the hill.

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