Granite Peak ski area opens


The Mirror reporter

At 1,924 feet above sea level, Granite Peak Ski Area is the second highest point in the state of Wisconsin. Granite Peak started with six runs and one T-bar in 1937 and has grown into one of the most popular ski areas in the Midwest with 75 runs and six chairlifts.

Granite Peak is re-opening their lifts to the public on Dec. 10 and plan to open more in the upcoming weeks. The ski hill is trying to make as much snow as possible to open more runs. Granite Peak has 100 snow guns to help speed the process up.

Ryan Hansen, a senior at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) and longtime skier who attended opening weekend on Nov. 26 said, “It is always exciting to participate in opening weekend after counting down the days all summer. The snow was slim due to warm weather but hundreds of people showed up and everybody was excited about the new ski season.”

Granite Peak has four different terrain parks that include many different features. Boxes, rails and jumps are the most popular features. “I like the terrain park because the snow is very groomed and the rails are set in a good order with decent height to them,” Chinguun Khurelbaatar, a senior and snowboarder at SPASH, said.

Granite Peak has 95 volunteer ski and snowboard patrollers who make sure that it is a safe ski resort while attending to injured skiers.

“The National Ski Patrol system, has a major influence on ski areas around the country by providing them with qualified Outdoor Emergency Care technicians who have been voluntarily trained in the area of life saving, rescue and transportation skills. All of these skills have been learned through the materials provided by the National Ski Patrol system,” Bruce Iatonni, a current Ski Patroller at Granite Peak said.

Skiing and snowboarding also creates a community that brings people together because of their love for the sport.

“I talked to several people from all over Wisconsin that drove hours to ski the limited terrain. Interacting with the variety of fun people is what makes Granite Peak such a special place. I’m looking forward to another great year of skiing” said Hansen.

“I continue to snowboard every year because the snowboard scene is constantly evolving, there’s always something new to learn and experience, and it’s something to look forward to during the winter months,” Corrina Soroko, a senior at SPASH said.

SPASH students have an opportunity to try a new sport by joining the SPASH Snow Club which has been revived by student Natalie Emerson, and staff members Paula Perron and Max Rady.

The Snow Club has 25 members and will always accept more. Beginners are welcome and can receive a lesson on the first trip at a discounted price.

The SPASH Snow Club meets at the flagpole by the student parking lots at 3:10 after school to ski for the night on Fridays.

The trip dates are Dec. 16, Jan. 6, Jan. 13, Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and Feb. 17.  Without a season pass, it will cost $22 dollars per trip. It will cost $10 per trip with a season pass.

On weekdays, Granite is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, Granite is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays it is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Granite Peak has a wide variety of ticket deals and packages you can buy.  A full day ticket is $100, a half day of skiing from open until four. Noon until close costs $40 and a ticket for night skiing is $40.

If equipment is needed, Granite Peak provides rentals to their guests. A guest at Granite Peak can get a full ski or snowboard set for $38. For $44, Granite Peak offers a premium ski set. Skiers can also rent certain pieces of equipment from as low as $12.