Snow, terrain, Moguls (the restaurant)
Slow lifts, over-grooming, still expensive
Rode Lutsen yesterday (1/14). They groomed some of the pow out (lame) but the snow on the runs was bottomless (ok). However, the snow in the trees was knee-deep (awesome). Now they need to speed up the lifts few MPH so you can make laps faster!
Yesterday was hands-down the best day at Lutsen in 7 years of skiing...SNOW can make all the difference. I constantly question Lutsen's unhealthy obsession to groom EVERYTHING, but even when you groom 10" of fresh snow, the corduroy remains soft and bottomless (no hitting the ice underneath). The tree runs is where its at now that. Lutsen has enough snow to fill in most everything. Inexperienced skiers and boarders start to scrape out the snow by the afterblnoon, but we started in the glades early and were able to get several knee-deep laps in before lunch.
I can't say it enough about how slow those old lifts are at Lutsen. They really need to invest in their infrastructure. If people could get on the snow faster, they'd come back more. Instead they are freezing to death on the chairs.
Lastly, I'd like to apologize to Moguls, a newer restaurant in the Caribou Highlands complex. Previous posts had me saying bad things about it without actually being there...that was wrong of me...ESPECIALLY considering Moguls is quite AWESOME now that we went there. You can ski-in, ski-out (look for the cat track to the left of Bridge run after you cross the road), and the bar is very nice looking (although small). The staff is amazing friendly. The food is well-priced (for on-mountain food), and the beer is cheap. All-around, this place beats Papa Charlie's...better food, morefood and beer selection, and best of all...CHEAPER! Go here instead of Papa Charlies.
Given all of Lutsen's faults, I keep going back for the snow. This will probably turn out to be one of the best snow years for Lutsen, so if you can put aside all the bad stuff (over-grooming, slow lifts, expensive lift tickets), then get in the car and drive up the beautiful North Shore right now and get some of the best turns in the Midwest.