Summit Boardshop in Lake Elmo, Minnesota (“a suburb of The Cities”) closed their Backyard for the season.  The Backyard terrain park ended its season on Oct. 17, but the place is still worth mentioning.  The only artificial snow park in Minnesota features a rope tow and three different rail lines.  Check this snowboarding edit for an idea of what the park is like, and swing by the Backyard next summer for some park skiing when the real snow is gone.


Minnesota NICE is still thriving as the crew from Parimaj Media follows up last year’s film and gets TOO NICE. In regard to last year’s film, NICE, David Beck (one of four producers for this year’s film) says on, “The movie stood for everything everyone loves about skiing in Minnesota.”

As was the case last season, everything in this season’s film is Minnesota-based: the skiers, the filmers, the hills and the music (hello Atmosphere, Doomtree and Eyedea!).  This fall TOO NICE is premiering throughout the Midwest with a limited DVD release, the film will be released online for free on Jan. 1, 2011.

Filmer, Skier, and sole returning crew member from last year, Allen Lam says on

“TOO NICE isn’t a sequel, it’s a tribute to the greatest Minnesota ski movie ever made. A tribute to our small, flat hills, icy landings, rutted kickers, poorly cut pipes, lack of snow, out of touch management, and rusty rails. It will feature no one but the nicest Minnesota skiers. It has been filmed only in the parks and streets of Minnesota. It will be set to only our rich and diverse Minnesota music scene. With the help of a new generation of filmers, editors, and skiers, the dream of the Minnesota Movie lives on.”

Producer, Matt Boetcher says on

“To me, TOO NICE is another chapter in the story of Midwest progression. Minnesota, along with other areas of the country, are not lacking in the level of riding, but what sets us apart is how tight the skiers here are. Here, you don’t have to look for ‘approval’ from the ‘good’ kids, we’re all at the hill for the same reason. TOO NICE isn’t going to be a sequel, nor do I believe is it meant to be. It’s just another chance for us to illustrate what sets our state apart from the rest of the ski community, and to again show what it means to be Minnesota Nice.”



Snow is coming early in Illinois, at the 3rd Annual South Side Snow Rail Jam.  The jam takes place Oct. 23 at Millennium Park in Homewood, Ill.  Five dollars to enter, helmets required.  “We bring the snow; you bring the skills or just come out and enjoy the show,” says the H-F Parks District website.

For the third year running, the Midwest Ski Film Festival will take place in Milwaukee, Wis., on Saturday, Oct., 16th.

Boston-born Brian Landgran, founder and director of MWSFF, grew up skiing amongst a “very active ‘Newschool’ community,” in New England.  At age 16, Landgran moved to Milwaukee, Wis., where he said he “decided to make the best of the move and become as involved in the Midwest Ski Community as (he) could.”  Since then, Landgran has relocated to SLC and joined Inspired Media Concepts, with Tanner Hall, Eric Iberg and Josh Finbow.

This year’s MWSFF will be held at the Times Cinema.  “The films will be shown at an actual movie theatre. The Times has really comfortable chairs, a projection room (no duct tape this year!), and they also have a bar,” said Landgran.  Films showing this year are: Eye Trip, Like a Lion and Gunnie Season.

According to Landgran, who admits he’s leaned a lot since year, this year’s festival will run on a more organized schedule, “to ensure everyone gets the full experience of MWSFF.”  There will also be an after party hosted by Red Bull for those 18+ where Poor Boyz Production’s Revolver will show.  Afterward, Hathbanger and Daywalker will spin ‘til bar close.

Athletes Tom Wallisch, Matt Walker, Mike Hornbeck, Nick Martini, Wiley Miller, Hathbanger. Kyle Decker & Freedle Coty from Level 1 Productions will be in attendance, as well as Pete Drago director of Jiberish Clothing.

“This past year has been a dream for me, I get to work close with my idols, and give back to the Midwest Ski Community like never before,” said Landgran.

Pre-ordering tickets is recommended for $15, door price is $20.

I asked Brian Landgran how he chose the films showing at this year’s MWSFF, I think he phrases it best…

“This is one of the toughest parts about running the festival. With so many great ski movies to choose from it is quite a difficult decision to narrow it down to 5 movies. This year a lot of people contacted me about showing their movies, and I would love to say yes to everyone but I also have to think about what is going to make kids the most stoked. This year I choose Eye Trip first as I had the opportunity to travel along with the Level 1 crew as they filmed around the Midwest… there are some shots from down the street from the venue (for MWSFF) so it was a no brainer. I chose Like a Lion because its a project that I was able to watch behind the scenes, I think the story is a great one no matter what your opinion is of Tanner, I am sure people will enjoy the film. I have known the 4bi9 crew since the beginning, and it’s a great time watching their movies evolve each year, so Gunnie Season was a no brainer. This year I had the chance to get out to IF3 which helped me choose to show Stept ProductionsNetwork, one of the best “Am” movies I have ever seen. Last but not least I choose to show Poor Boyz’ Revolver because of the sheer level of skiing in it. Some of the best skiing I have ever seen is in that movie.”

The sequel to Parimaj Media’s NiceToo Nice—will also be showing at this year’s festival.  “I feel this gang produces some of the highest quality skiing content from the Upper Midwest. Too Nice features amazing skiing from Minnesota and Wisconsin, and I think everyone will surely be stoked on it,” said Landgran.


Roxy Anderson & Pat Homyak

So a new school year’s begun, which means I spend far too much time on my computer looking for distractions from school-work, which makes me feel like I should do something productive with my Internet time, which means that I will be blogging once again!  Although fall came early this year in Minnesota, practically arriving in August, there aren’t too many ski-related happenings taking place just yet.  But I did spend the weekend doing one of my favorite non-snow skiing activities, wakeboarding!

I’ve come pretty far since my first experience at a cable park.  (See post from 2009).  I grew up waterskiing, and spent practically every night behind an inboard boat, standing on a single board with one binding.  I looked to wakeboarding just as an escape from the monotony of learning new ski tricks… and falling and falling and falling.  Since last year I’ve been exposed to so many aspects of the sport and have learned so much about wakeboarding.

10,000 Wakes and WSU Wakeboard & Waterski Club

My rough box hit

So one year, four cable parks and numerous pulls behind the boat later, I end up in New Germany, Minn., at 10,000 Wakes Cable Park.  It being so late in the season, the park was closed to the public, but thanks to the Winona State University Wakeboard & Water Ski club president, Eric Anderson and his employment at 10k, we gained exclusive access.  We were pretty much riding on V.I.P. status with unlimited runs and free reign to do whatever our minds could conjure up.  The weekend was spent with our small group of 12 at the System 2.0 cable on a small “lake” that held a “barn-shaped” rail and a small 10-foot box to the right and a 10-foot rail and a kicker to the left.  My accomplishment of the weekend:  I finally worked up enough confidence to hit the small 10-foot box.  And though the rope pulled me off before I could ride the entire length of the box the two times I attempted it, I take pride in the fact that I landed both “ollies” off half-way through the box.  The weekend was only perfected by the bonfire to warm us in the 50 degree Minnesota fall weather and Roxy, the golden retriever, acting as the staple dog found at every cable park.

The time has come; fall semester at Winona State University commences at the end of this week. FINALLY!  Although this blog was being done as an ongoing project, I grew to love it.  I was writing about something I enjoyed and I was able to immerse myself in the news of this sport and all this counted as “school work.”  And though this is end of the assignment, it may not be the end of posts from me.  So as I take a break from this blog, KEEP REPPIN’ THE MIDWEST AND LIVIN’ IT UP!

YES!  That actually happened amidst the tropical weather that’s going on in Wisconsin.  Dedicated skiers and snowboarders that have been anticipating the start of the 2009-2010 season finally got their fix.  Tyrol plans to have enough snow made by next weekend to open a lift.

The time has come; ski season in the Midwest is upon us!  Tyrol Basin in Mt Horeb, Wis., has opened!  The hill opened a box and rail-filled hike only trail with a six to twelve inch base.  For the time being, the run is only open this weekend from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  However, as temps continue to drop more runs will have snow.

Freeskier magazine has posted the finalist videos for the annual Salomon Backyard Jib contest.  The setups and skills these skiers whip out further proves that massive elevations aren’t necessary for honing the park skillZ.  In some cases snow isn’t even needed… which just so happens to suit the Midwest perfectly at this time!  Check out the four finalists on

As Thanksgiving weekend approaches I cannot help but reminisce.  My thoughts drift back to all the wonderful opening days spent skiing during this weekend.  In particular, I am reminded of an opening weekend when I was 16.  Being an inexperienced driver it’s hard to forget that time in late November when it was necessary to drive through “blizzard-like conditions” just to ski the first traces of snow of the year.  Now, as I sit writing this and wearing moccasins (sans socks!) and one of my lighter North Faces, I crave a weekend of skiing decked out in goggles and winter jackets.

As of Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 10:54 a.m. the snowcam at Tyrol Basin in Mt. Horeb Wis., had roughly a two yard-wide trace of created snow at the bottom of the hill and snowguns lined the entire length of the bunnyhill- a sure sign that indeed there is hope.  So, this weekend, as my fingers remain crossed that snow is in the near future, I will enjoy my food and family-filled Thanksgiving without skiing.