Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Skiing Lutsen, the Midwest answer to Aspen" from the Chicago Tribune
Making the best of low elevations and short runs, Midwestern skiers become masters of the chairlift. Not that this is a bad thing. Just ask decorated downhiller Lindsey Vonn, who honed her champion's technique lapping the lanes at tiny Buck Hill in a suburb south of Minneapolis. But the pride of Midwestern ski resorts lies another 250 or so miles north of Buck Hill, in Lutsen, Minn.
On the north shore of Lake Superior, Lutsen Mountains is the region's largest resort, with 95 runs spread across four mountains. From the tops of these peaks, skiers have the vast expanse of Lake Superior stretching to the horizon, like a limitless Lake Tahoe.
Last ski season, Lutsen added a new gondola that whisks skiers in cherry red capsules from the top of one mountain to another, like a smaller version of the Peak 2 Peak Gondola at Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia. Lutsen's 825-foot vertical rise doesn't compare to anything in Utah, Colorado or even New Mexico, but, in lieu of Aspen Snowmass in Colorado or Boyne Highlands in Michigan, two of our favorites, my family and I made the long, wintry trip to find out how the best of the Midwest compares with the rest by the following four critical metrics.
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