Archives for posts with tag: freeski

Last weekend, during a trip to visit one of my best friends in Minneapolis, Minn., we decided to hit up Hyland Hills for their $15 Sunday night special.  I was apprehensive about visiting the tiny hill on such a cheap night.  One of my snowboard friends also warned me against it, saying the hill would be crawling with park rats and a huge rut would follow every feature in the park.  He was wrong.  The hill was crowded, but no more out-of-control than any other Midwest hill with a park.

Hyland holds two parks, both accessible via separate chairlifts and separate rope tows that yank you up the hill at lightning speed (Seriously.  I was laughing so hard during my first trip up the rope. we. were. flying).  And though the hill is tiny, a whole 175 vertical feet, you could see downtown Minneapolis/ St. Paul from the “peak,” which is a perk!

Ironically, on my trip back to Winona, Minn., the next morning I was paging through this month’s Freeskier and found an article about Hyland Hills.

With their new publicity my friend could be right about the crowds and ruts, but for the time-being Hyland was legit and well-worth $15 on a Sunday night.

Though my BFF and I did get a little bored on the mild night and decided to switch skis for snowboards, which was an ultimate failed attempt on my part, but so fun and so safe with such minimal elevation!


Two city blocks in beautiful, majestic, best city in the United States downtown Madison, Wisconsin will play host to several events and rail jams during the Downtown Throwdown February 18 through 20.  A team challenge will take Friday night, in which any recognized shop or team rider can compete in a 2-person team challenge.  A rail jam will take place Saturday and consist of 5 heats of 20 riders with 3 to 4 riders advancing from each heat, followed by semi-finals and finals, aka the Downtown Throwdown will consist of lots of skiing! (and snowboarding).  And to wrap the weekend of shredding up, Sunday there will be a JibCamp with top ams helping out with tricks.  This event is part of Madison’s Winter Festival.

This weekend (Jan. 27 through 30) in the heart of Chicago, the Snow Days Chicago Rail Jam at Navy Pier is going down.  As the title suggests, the rail jam is taking place on Chicago’s Navy Pier as part of Snow Days ChicagoRaging Snowboard Ski Park and Mayor Daley’s office is hosting the event- a true community effort.  Aside from the rail jam, Snow Days also features a few out-of-the-box things, like a national snow sculpting competition and dog sled demonstrations. Stan Evans

Bloomington, Minnesota-native Keri Herman grew up and lived in the same city as the Mall of America.  After graduating highschool, Keri moved on to bigger and better places and attended college at the University of Denver.  Since journeying west, Keri has gone pro and competed in numerous events including the Dew Tour, the European Open, the Aspen Open, and the X Games where, this year, she took home silver in slopestyle.  I had the chance to send Keri (who now calls Breckenridge home) some questions about her time in the Midwest and beyond, here’s what she had to say…

What did you enjoy most about growing up in Minnesota?
I loved how nice and friendly everybody is, and that there’s always something to do if you’re bored. No matter what you can always find somebody to go outside to play.

Where was your local ski hill? Which Midwest hill was your favorite?
Hyland Hills is the best! I skied there over Christmas last year, and it was SO much fun! I like Buck a lot too.

Do you miss the area at all?
I used to, but not really anymore. I live in Breckenridge, and I can’t ever imagine living anywhere else. This place is the best, and my family comes out all the time to ski.

Growing up, did you always plan to move west? And did you foresee yourself going as far with the sport as you have?
I didn’t really ski growing up. I had no idea how much fun it was until I moved out to CO and got addicted.

Since going pro, how has your life changed, what have you enjoyed most?
I get to travel a ton more to really amazing places. I went to Iraq and Kuwait last summer on an X Games tour to visit the troops, which was an absolutely amazing experience! I also get to compete all over the word. It’s really fun going to different countries and having all of your friends there to hang out with.

Do you think you’ve brought and spread a Minnesota-nice attitude to Colorado?
I sure hope so!

20 tons of imported snow will make its way to the shores of lake Mendota in Madison, Wis on Thursday, November 11, 2010.  The 2nd Annual Terrace Rail Jam will be held on the University of Wisconsin’s Memorial Union Terrace.  Unfortunately’s 10-day outlook predicts similar weather conditions as last year: 52 degrees and rain showers.  However, according to the UW Hoofers, “This event is going to be HUGE! Don’t miss out on incredible riding, free swag, great music, and a taste of how amazing the 2010-11 winter season is going to be!”

Once again Loveland Ski Area wins the race as Colorado’s first resort to open for the season. One run opened today (Sunday, October 24) with a base of both natural and man-made snow measuring 18 inches. Runner-up, Arapahoe Basin, will open tomorrow (Monday, October 25).

Sunday River in Maine opened on Friday but wasn’t planning to be open on weekdays yet. Oregon’s Timberline Lodge has been open Fridays through Sundays since Oct. 1,” according to

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.”

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.


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!