INDIANHEAD MOUNTAIN STATS
– 638 Vertical feet
– Annual snowfall of over 17 feet
– 30 wide open runs on over 230 acres
– 9 lifts and tows including a Magic Carpet conveyor lift
– 2 terrain parks Big Chief and Timber Wolf beginner park
– 15 Expert Black Runs(50%) 10 Intermediate Blue Runs(33%)
5 Beginner Green Runs (17%)
– Lifts run 9am to 4pm daily
DINING Lodge restaraunt, Sky Bar and Grille, Smiley’s Cafe, Summit cafeteria
BARS Sky Bar and Grille, Red Dog Saloon, Dudley’s Saloon
Great Snow! It’s the single most important ingredient at a ski/snowboard resort and the #1 priority at Nub’s Nob. Without great snow, nothing else matters. While our natural snowfall average hovers around the 123” per year mark, artificial snowmaking is still the lifeblood of the area. Our experience, commitment and dedication to producing the finest man made snow surfaces is the cornerstone of our mission.
<> It takes a lot of snow guns to make snow.
292 of our patented Nub’s Nob snow guns are used to cover the entire area. This gun was invented and patented right here at Nub’s and is the original energy efficient fan gun the rest of the world is still catching up with. These guns can turn over 50 gallons of water per minute into snow at temperatures below 29 degrees and over 100 gallons of water per minute in snow at temperatures below 17 degrees. We like it cold!
Jim Bartlett has been the general manager of Nub’s Nob Ski Area in Harbor Springs since 1977. In this video, he talks about Nub’s Nob’s arsenal of snowguns that includes the world’s largest — known affectionately to the Nub’s crew as “The Hammer” — and how they supplement nature’s snowfall each season to create first-class conditions for skiers and snowboarders. Nub’s Nob plans to open for the season Nov. 30, 2012.
She’ll wow you when you wake up to a lovely few inches of glittering flakes as rare and precious as diamonds. But Mother Nature is an unpredictable and sometimes temperamental creature. She’ll tease you and taunt you with a mid-October four inches of surprise powder that will urge you to trade your shorts and t-shirts for snow scrapers and ice melt. And then she’ll follow up with a November that feels a little more like a June, leaving you sweating in your preemptively-donned snowsuit.
But, when Mother Nature fails to provide, it is mankind that steps in.
Man, coupled with machine, tames and harnesses Mother Nature’s processes to create winter. He utilizes the same raw ingredients as Mother Nature–water, air, and energy–to produce a winter that he can rely on. After years of growing frustration with Mother Nature’s untimeliness, a tool was invented to control what no man previously could.
Invented in 1950, the snow cannon could blast a mid-February sized supply of man-made snow. Soon after, Boyne Mountain began experimenting with the snowmaking process, even patenting their own Boyne Snowmaker which was six times more energy-efficient than most systems. While other snow guns could make snow at 28°F degrees, Boyne could make snow at 30°F.
Like mathematicians correcting a difficult equation, the Boyne Mountain Snowmaking Crew has perfected the process of snowmaking over many years to reach more complex, precise and efficient capacities. Boyne recently unveiled a new and improved snow gun called the Boyne Low-E Fan, which makes better snow, is easier and less expensive to use, and makes more snow faster with little water wasted in the process. The crew starts the process with a reservoir of water which is then forced through a pipeline up the mountain. The water is allotted to a series of valves and pipes to the areas where snow is needed.
Next, the Boyne Mountain crew adds air. In the old days, Boyne added air to their snow guns with a huge, military-grade compressor, affectionately known as “Big Bertha,” that could be heard all over Boyne City. However, today the Boyne Low-E Fan Guns take air from twin screw style compressors which save energy and completes the perfect formula at a much quieter level. Now that the process is complete, the Boyne Mountain Snowmaking Crew steps back to let the magic happen. Heavy duty snow flies through the air and falls to the ground, piling up on those dainty little flakes that Mother Nature left.
While Mother Nature can gift us with unique, magical flecks that float down from the sky, she does not always supply enough to feed the hunger for hefty loads of snow that winter-lovers require. It is then that the Boyne Mountain crew steps in heroically to rescue the season. Thank you, Boyne Mountain Snowmaking Crew!
How many gallons of water does it take to cover all the runs at The Homestead with machine-made snow? What’s the perfect combination of conditions for snowmaking? We caught up with The Homestead’s master snowmaker, Steve Sanborn, for these answers and more. Read on.
When most people think of Northern Michigan in winter, they naturally think of snow—deep, deep snow. So it may come as a surprise to learn that The Homestead has any snowmaking machines at all.
But the resort’s coastal location provides some unique challenges where snow is concerned. That’s why, years ago, The Homestead invested in top-of-the-line SMI snowmaking machines to take over when Mother Nature doesn’t exactly cooperate. Steve Sanborn is the man in charge of making those machines hum.
How has this year been on the snowmaking front? Have the snowmaking machines been quiet thanks to all the snow we’ve been having?
On the contrary, we have been quite busy. The resort’s grooming staff does an excellent job in presenting runs in a way that most skiers have no idea they are skiing over a golf course. Filling in the sand traps with snow, smoothing out the bunkers—contouring winter ski runs over land that is used as a golf course for the rest of the year requires a significant amount of snow.
How many snowmaking machines do you have? What are the ideal conditions for making snow?
We have five stationary tower guns and fourteen traditional snow guns—the barrel-shaped kind that we can move throughout the ski area. We also have twelve snow-sticks that are used for narrower runs. But none of it works without the right conditions. Basically, what you’re looking for are temperatures in the mid-teens, low humidity and minimal wind.
What are some of the unique challenges of making snow at a place like The Homestead?
Two major challenges being right next to Lake Michigan are the water and the wind. Water acts as an insulator at this time of year (until it freezes). Typically, air temperatures here at the resort are 5- to 10-degrees warmer than areas just a few more miles inland. As for the wind, the almost constantly blowing wind coming off Lake Michigan makes it difficult to keep snow on the North Face of the ski hill.
Where does the water for the snowmaking machines come from at The Homestead?
It takes approximately 12-million gallons of snow to cover all of our ski runs. We’re lucky to have a river flowing right through the property—the Crystal River, which is our primary water source. Wells at The Homestead also provide water. We take the water out, transform it into snow, and—when it all melts in the spring—the water goes right back where it came from.
What are some of the conservation measures The Homestead takes to making more efficient?
The SMI snowmaking machines we use at The Homestead are really topnotch. They’re all designed to maximize efficiency, specifically when it comes to conserving electricity used in the snowmaking process.
Any memorable tales from the snowmaking trenches?
Looking back over the years, one incident that remains most memorable is the time that our snowmaking team returned from the booster pump house on a routine operations check to find the snowmobile they road in on entirely engulfed in flames. The apparent cause was an electrical wire short, and the team brought things under control quickly; however, we were reminded that a seemingly “tame” job like snowmaking, definitely presents its own challenges to snowmakers.
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Happy National Golf Lover's Day! Swing on over to our sister property, Manitou Passage Golf Club, an Arnold Palmer Signature Course and enjoy the beautiful fall weather on the fairways. 🏌️ ... See MoreSee Less
Fall colors + local wine + a day at the spa = the best self care day ever . For a limited time, treat yourself to a pumpkin spice scrub & ginger root massage at Spa Amira, available now through December. Call 231-334-5253 to book your day of rest and relaxation 🎃 ... See MoreSee Less
Hello October 🍁 . Fall is in full swing in Sleeping Bear Dunes, and our autumn bucket list wouldn't be complete without many, many strolls through the foliage. What's your favorite fall hike? ... See MoreSee Less
been going up to Glen Arbor and the Homestead since 1979 and took our grandkids in 2016, 17 and 18. Alos stayed at LeBear-very nice and small-walk to everything in town Used to go up in the fall for winery visits and purchases. Always beautiful
I remember back in the day eating on the second floor of the Inn and watching the sunset. It sparked my future and cemented my retirement to Glen Arbor. Better known as Heaven.
Love the golf course, Manitou Passage, nearby
What a gorgeous day for golf and beautiful views.
From the Ridge at The Homestead. The fall is a special season to be north in Michigan.
Best time of the year! Beautiful!
Oh my gosh! That path, the walk to the beach. How many times we walked in that exact spot. ❤