I try to to hit the slopes at Chestnut Mountain at least once a year. It's a 3-hour drive, but worth it. The final few miles, along Blackjack Road, are dreamily scenic, especially in a snowstorm.
Service is friendly and knowledgeable, especially the folks who help you choose your gear. You can stow your gear in lockers for 75 cents, although an increasing number of skiers just leave their stuff under benches, which makes the area an obstacle course when you're wearing ski boots.
The vista from the Lodge is always stunning. You're looking straight out across the Mississippi River to Iowa, miles away. You can see hawks and trains in the distance. During my recent outing, the River seemed mostly frozen.
I start my skiing routine on the Old Main, then work my way across to Crazy Horse. On the day I was there (a weekday) there were minimal waits for the lifts. The conditions were a little icy...not much new powder. But it was lots of thrills with only a few spills.
Stop at the Summit restaurant for a bite and a great view.
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