Michigan Backcountry Skiing – My Case

Hogback_Mountain Summit

When most people think about backcountry skiing in Michigan, they always seem to dismiss it. They say, “there isn’t enough snow” or “there isn’t enough vertical” or whatever excuse is easy. But the key is, just get them outside of the normal ski resort and they will understand.



Throughout the winter, I have been eyeing all kinds of new-to-me places to lay a skin track. It’s finally time to make those ski trips throughout northern lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula more about stopping along the road when I see a good line, than getting to another chairlift!

I have had an exceptional time this winter exploring whatever my eyes laid claim to. From the forgotten ski hill turned city park of Avalanche Mountain in Boyne City, to the hills of Munising, the Huron Mountains, and the ever snow-filled peaks of the Keweenaw Peninsula, one thing has remained constant; the backcountry skiing in Michigan is Awesome. Every time I come across a line, it reminds me how blessed I am to live and work in such a beautiful place.

Hogback Mountain Midsection


These adventures that I am fortunate enough to have are ones that I love to share. Slowly but surely I am taking friends into the trees and encouraging them to blaze their own trail. Too often we might say it’s easier to just jump on a chairlift, but there is a lot to be said about earning your turns. Anytime I can convince a friend to join me, they come out smiling.

For the people who say we don’t have the terrain, snow, or it just isn’t worth it; I challenge you. Find a line near your house, stop in our factory and ask for a recommendation, or go trailblazing up a hill; just get outside the chairlift world for a day. Once you make your first turns in the fresh stuff (after you’ve done your climbing) you will understand it.

We may not have the biggest terrain around, but that just means you can make more laps in a day! If you don’t have a touring setup, go somewhere that has a well packed trail. Places like these can be found all over Michigan. Think summer hot-spots, yes the places that might even have a stairway up the hill, they make a climb in boots much easier than post-holing into the deep stuff. If you do have an AT setup, just underutilized, try a new spot. You might have the idea that putting on and taking off your skins will take too long for a short climb, but you just need to get into your groove. I was once one of those people who thought it wasn’t worth it to put on my skins and instead boot-packed… Boy was I wrong, with my alpine touring setup, I can easily lap a spot 3-4 times more than by bootpacking.

Boy was I wrong, with my alpine touring setup, I can easily lap a spot 3-4 times more than by bootpacking.


While a few of these words might come across anti-resort, that in no way reflects my thoughts on skiing in-bounds. I actually love sliding downhill wherever I am. The point I am attempting to get across is that skiing can be so much more than what you may think. It’s about getting back to nature with your friends, about putting in a hard days work to earn your turns, and maybe just to save some cash with the current prices of a day pass. For me, it’s all about doing something new each time I’m skiing.

This is my plea, let’s keep making skiing more and more interesting, and let’s continue to grow the sport for generations to come! Just remember anytime you head out off the beaten path, be careful, be prepared, and always know the risks involved wherever you are.

So next time you are in the area, give me a heads up; maybe we can make a few laps together and I can show you some of my favorite places to ski!

Jeff Thompson


Mount Bohemia Midseason Pow

Mount Bohemia Panorama

Sunday morning came way too early for me. After not enough sleep, the blaring of my alarm at 5:30 was not exactly the most pleasant thing in the world, but I was happy to be awake because at 6:15 I was leaving for Mt. Bohemia. I quickly gathered all of my gear, stumbled out of the dorm, and began the 3 hour drive north to Bohemia in near whiteout conditions. The previous day had been some of the worst weather I have personally seen so far in Marquette with blizzard warnings and40+ degree wind chills. While the temperature had not changed much overnight (one road sign near L’anse read -27!) by the time we reached Baraga the wind had died down and the sun was out. Mt. Bohemia had closed the previous day due to dangerously high winds so there was sure to be lots and lots of untracked fresh snow!

When we finally arrived at the mountain I was not disappointed, it seemed like around 4-6 inches had fallen over the previous day and had not been touched by anyone. The sun was out and although it was still well into the negatives it did not feel cold at all. The view from the summit was incredible, I could easily see the peaks of the Huron Mountains far across Lake Superior and every detail of the rugged, terrain of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Mount Bohemia Panorama

Lac la Belle ft. Seth

Mt. Bohemia really is amazing right now. With over 200” on the season the coverage and snow conditions were unreal. We were able to find untouched glade runs in the outer limits until we left at 3, and probably could still today (Tuesday) find some untouched lines from last week’s storm cycle. The skiing was all time, however I will let the POV footage do the talking there. As for the ride home? I have no idea, I fell asleep around 10 minutes out of Bohemia and didn’t wake up until Marquette. I just hope the lake effect monster keeps rolling into the second half of the season and keeps the snow falling!

November Pow – Marquette, MI

Powder Skiing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

In case you didn’t know, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula got a little bit of snow in the past week. With over 40 inches on the ground in some places, there was no way the lack of running chairlifts was about to stop me from getting after it.

On Thursday morning I hit the hill (Marquette Mountain) at about 10 AM and immediately started hiking. Luckily for me the snowmobiles and snow cats had been out, and had packed out somewhat of a cat track up the mountain which made the hike much easier. I stepped off the trail to check the snow depth, and in a couple spots it was well past my waist. After a short 15 minute climb I made it to the summit, snapped in, and found some of the best snow I have ever skied. The snow drifted itself up and I was slashing pow, dropping baby cliffs, and jumping off of anything I could find. One run didn’t cut it, and I immediately headed back up for two more runs. On my last run of the day, I even managed to find a legit 15 foot cliff drop, not bad for November 13th. After the third run I realized that I only had a half hour to get back to campus for my math class and wound up sitting in class still wearing ski boots, which my professor thought was absolutely hilarious.

This winter has started off amazing and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the season takes me. With nothing but snow and cold in the Forecast, I’m sure it’s going to be a good one.

Lake Superior in November

Fall 2014 Ski Movie Premieres


Winter is here, get stoked for the season at some upcoming ski movie premiers!

We will be all over the state displaying our ski lineup and giving out SWAG at coming ski movie premieres. If you have a premiere you would like us to sponsor, please email shari@sccskis.com or call 231.459.4323.

DAYS OF MY YOUTH – MSP Films & Red Bull Media House

Date: Saturday, November 8th 2014, 7PM

Location: The Park Theatre – Holland, MI  https://www.google.com/maps/place/Park+Theatre/@42.7915281,-86.1086901,13z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xae1add1486da4ccd

More Info: http://www.hollandskimovie.com/

NO TURNING BACK- Warren Miller Entertainment

Date: Friday, December 5th 2014, 8PM | Saturday, December 6th 2014, 6PM, 9PM

Location: Royal Oak Music Theater – 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak, MI 48067

More Info: http://www.skinet.com/warrenmiller/events/royal-oak-music-theatre

NO TURNING BACK- Warren Miller Entertainment

Date: Friday, December 5th 2014, 7PM

Location: Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

More Info:http://www.skinet.com/warrenmiller/events/michigan-theatre

NO TURNING BACK- Warren Miller Entertainment

Date: Sunday, December 8th 2014, 6PM

Location: SVSU, PERFORMING ARTS THEATRE – 7400 Bay Road University Center, Saginaw, MI 48604

More Info: http://www.skinet.com/warrenmiller/events/svsu-perf-arts-theatre

“The Shaggy’s Story” Video

Shaggys Copper Country Skis x Antix Creative

We are excited to release The Shaggy’s Story video telling the story of the origins of the company while crafting skis in our job-shop style factory located in Northern Michigan.

The Shaggy’s Story, created by Marc Moline of Antix Creative, details the touching story of the company and the family behind it, from its creation in 2005 through the present. Viewers will gain a new insight into how and why we choose to create handcrafted skis. The story is presented alongside the creation of a pair of skis from milling wood cores and die-cutting ski bases through pressing and finishing.

The feature also includes filming locations in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula such as Mount Bohemia and Quincy Mine within the Keweenaw National Historical Park.

The video can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/105086004

Thanks to everyone for your continued support!

Press release available here: http://pitch.pe/1u1Vr98

Summer 2014 Ski Crafting


This summer has been an exciting one! We have brought in some new equipment, namely a dual head CNT Motion CNC mill/router that we have have custom tooled for producing ski cores with the highest precision. Another change has been bringing topsheet printing 100% in-house, we have gone about this process in a somewhat slow manner to ensure we are putting out a top-notch product, not just something we are just getting into. The challenges of keeping print heads unclogged, color management (sublimation printing/pressing really skews them), and correct heat and temperatures for different materials have kept us busy for quite a while, but the result was 100% worth it!

Getting bases and edges ready:



Feeding Edges out of the Coil

Tacking edges onto a ski baseGetting materials prepped for layup:


IMG_3393Before pressing into topsheet:

IMG_3417After transferring graphic onto topsheet:

IMG_3439Flood coating backside of clear topsheet:

IMG_3438New CNC machine



IMG_3453Set of finished skis cores with sidewalls and tip spacers



IMG_3478Freshly pressed Betsy’s (check them out here)


IMG_3419And finally our office manager/epoxy layer/seamstress doing her thing:


2014 Summer Ski Presale and Updates

Summer Ski Presale

As you have probably seen on our ski pages, we have launched our 2014 Summer Ski Presale! This is the time of year that we really get into production mode and pumping out product. The new 2014-15 lineup has seen every model updated and better than ever.

Some of our 2014-15 model highlights

  • Completely redesigned Betsy park twintip featuring “Buttercut” sidecut for maximum control
  • Completely redesigned Tubby all mountain jib twintip featuring variable sidecut radii and a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Core
  • All new Fanny Hooe tip geometry for more versatility in all conditions
  • Optimized tip rocker and underfoot camber geometry in the Ahmeek, Bootjack, Brockway, and Fanny Hooe

We’ve also been implementing some new equipment and are excited to show it off in the coming months!

Have to get back to building,

Jeff Thompson
Partner/Product Design Engineer

Winter Production

Colin on the Tubby

As you probably know, it’s been an exceptionally cold winter here in Northern Michigan. The temps have regularly been below zero and the snowpack is the best we’ve seen in quite a while! The ski factory has been busy constantly and we’re seeing more smiling faces come back to tell us they’ve had a blast on the skis than ever.

Some news:

  • In late December we built the absolute widest skis we’ve ever seen with a 190 mm tip for a ski patroller down at Mount Holly (see pictures below).
  • We attended the Craft @ SIA display at the SIA Snowshow in Denver this year and showcased our new 14/15 models.
  • At the beginning of February we sold out of just about every model and started building to order on all new orders coming in. Just a reminder, this process takes about 2 weeks and we will have you on your skis as soon as humanly possible! But don’t be a stranger if you’re looking for something immediately, we may just have something in our showroom we can let go.
  • Shaggy’s hats are now available for sale online.
  • We have started offering custom die-cut letters in your ski bases, prices start at $100 for up to 8 letters (check out some of the pictures).
  • Mount Bohemia in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula has been getting dumped on, now is the time to go get the goods!

But there is the old saying that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, so I’ll let the picture tell the rest of the story!

Ski Movie Premiers

Winter is here, get stoked for the season at some upcoming ski movie premiers

We will be giving away a pair of skis at the Warren Miller “Ticket to Ride” shows in Royal Oak and in Ann Arbor.

Royal Oak: December 6 @ 8Pm, December 7 @ 6PM and 9PM

Location: Royal Oak Music Theater

Tickets and details: http://www.skinet.com/warrenmiller/events/royal-oak-music-theatre

Ann Arbor: December 7 @ 6PM

Location: Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Tickets and details: http://www.skinet.com/warrenmiller/events/michigan-theatre

November Factory Update

Winter is officially in full swing in Northern Michigan! We are continuing to finish building stock for the 13/14 season, setting up happy customers, and finishing (re)designing some products for 14/15. Oh, and now that the ski areas are opening, the itch to slide down that white stuff has never been better.

Some news:

  • We have partnered with Mount Bohemia to produce a co-branded Tubby. This partnership has been dubbed the Mount Bohemia X Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis COLAB (check out the link for more info).
  • Mount Bohemia has made it to the Final Four of Powder Magazine’s “Ski Town Throwdown”!  They are also getting some great early season snow (16″+ in the past week). It’s shaping up to be quite the winter in Michigan and all over the country.  Don’t forget to vote for Mount Bohemia on Powder Magazine’s Facebook page, they need your help.
  • Most of the ski areas in Northern Michigan are open during November.
  • Factory direct pricing has been put in place, see details here.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking, check them out below.