Passing through a quaint set of wooden buildings you arrive at the main office. Grabbing a few tickets from the window you turn around on the deck to overlook the scene. There it is…Tyrol Basin. The “Park-Mecca” of the Midwest. The famous Show-Time booter stands perfectly groomed with not a single track on it. Our eyes slowly scan the rest of the landscape. We drool over the insane amount of jumps, rails, and kickers until we see the largest obstacle at Tyrol… the halfpipe…
It wasn’t until years later that I realized how big of an effect this tiny little resort with only 300 vertical feet had on the snowboard world. How perfect their obstacles truly were. Like dynamite that comes in small packages, Tyrol Basin exploded onto the freestyle scene in the late 80’s.
Before the Dragon or Scorpion there was hand dug…
In the late 80’s and early 90’s before “Dragon” or “Scorpion” groomers, half-pipes were hand-dug and crafted to perfection. During this era, Tyrol Basin’s name was seen in Transworld Snowboarding listed alongside with the behemoths of Breckenridge and Stratton as having one of the best pipes in the nation. Every single square inch of this homey ski area was filled with bumps, rollers, hips, rails, boxes, and even a massive quarter pipe in the spring. They pushed the envelope on what was considered a great park. It makes sense that so many professionals got their start in these humbled quarters. From Tom Gilles to Nate Cole to the Leines brothers, all of the top riders from the Midwest had ridden this resort.
Snow in June in the Midwest?!?!
This hill has always tried to do things a little bit differently than the rest of the country. For example, they put on a June Summer Snowfest. At the end of a particularly cold and brutal winter, Tyrol decided to purchase a Milwaukee Brewers tarp. Why you ask? Instead of closing up for the season permanently they decided to harvest all the snow on the mountain and cover it under a tarp. Months later, in the beginning of June they uncovered the snow and built one of their legendary half-pipes. The neon green trees, temps in the 80’s and pros from all over the country showed up to session this once in a lifetime experience.
Tyrol may not be the largest or newest ski area, but there is something special about it. Take it from Local Freshies…this is a place that everyone should visit at least once.