Special Report: Alpine Valley, WI with Nick Lipton

Lost in a land o’ farms, small towns, massive vacation homes and nutcase skimobile enthusiasts Alpine Valley Ski Resort is lower Wisconsin’s number one shred hill… probably. Either way, it’s special in every meaning of the world. First, it’s special to me, for breaking my Wisconsin cherry. Second, it’s special to rock n’ roll as the amphitheater across the street has hosted the worlds biggest, loudest and best bands like Jimmy “Fucking” Buffet, The Black Crowes, Korn, Phish and Dave Matthews Band and other stuff like Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay and Aerosmith. Lastly, it’s special because it’s literally retarded in an endearing, “Of course we’ll let billy play with us, just make sure his helmet is tied on tight.” kind of way. Anyway, I headed to Alpine Valley at the crack of 2PM to get extreme in the Cheese State.

Jimmy Buffet fans ripped and ready to rock. High-five boobs and all! photo: Stolen from Google

Once at Alpine Valley I took note of two things immediately. We (Olivia the driver and I) were surrounded by some odd Hansel and Gretel town, and fatties who might want to eat us. Think half gingerbread house half awkward Austrian architecture. But we got over that when we found out what a deal this place is. Cheap night passes, super friendly staff and an awkward assortment of giggling girls and total fucking weirdos from Chicago. Amped as all hell we headed up to  meet the loc-dawgs and get ripping.

Main lodge Alpine Valley Resort. photo: Stolen from Yahoo

With an uncanny 388ft of verticale to shred it’s incredible that 20 runs and 12 lifts are all they can fit onto this mountain. With what I’m pretty sure are four high speed quads, or something close to it, the lines didn’t exist and we started taking more laps in a minute than you can get in a weekend at any major resort. Also, with super scary Black Diamonds like “Big Thunder” this place is for everyone from the babies on the magic carpet to the baddest bros on Earth, which we’d soon discover over in the not one, but three terrain parks.

Soak it in, 30 minutes for a full groom. photo: Stolen from Tumblr

With no powder, and pretty heavily groomed runs, this place was basically Breckenridge. That is, until we got to the park. Split into three levels, Big Air, Rail Yard and Watch Out this park was insane. The jumps had fences around the deck forcing riders to nut up and hit the jump or crash straight into blue plastic death. The jump line, two 30ish footers, had 6 foot tall take-offs, no speed and a deck covered in craters. Two guys made it over the jumps all day, which didn’t include the kid with a Target sticker on his helmet, but I’m sure he’ll get there. Seriously though, I watched the KOW-A-BUNGA attitude all day/night long as kid after man hucked themselves straight into the deck, chest first screaming, “Wahoo” and “YAAAAAAA” if they even got close.

I’m not really down to skip an entire mountain to get speed for two jumps, because I’m a wimp. So, the next park was my jam. That’s where I really let loose. With a ride on flat bar, roller to two foot corrugated tube, wu-tang booter to down syndrome rail, some piece of trash thing and a late ’90s section complete with roller coaster and c-box I let loose all the big moves and got tons of cheers from the dudes on the chair. What nice people these Cheeseheads are! Anyway, after crushing that park it was time to jam on the Watch Out park. Here, one rail sat buried in the snow. I did a sweet back 180 off it without ever leaving the ground. Then some chick scorpion over it because, well, it was invisible.

Made from cheese because that’s not gross or anything. photo: Stolen from Cholesterol Hell

What really makes a place like Alpine Valley special? Maybe it’s the fact that it closes for 30 minutes at 5ish o’clock so they can groom the entire mountain. Maybe it’s the fact that I never saw a single park crew dude even after the landings turned to shit and the park became a hazard. Maybe it’s that kids were there trying to get better and being super duper stoked to ride. Seriously, I only saw one too-cool dude all day, and he blew so who cares. Either way, if you’re ever in Lower Wisconsin, give Alpine Valley a shot, or just drive down the highway to the cheese castle and feel your stomach turn over.


26 replies
    THE TRUTH says:

    This is dirtbag territory. The place sucks, dont listen to any of this bullshit. The management is a bunch of dicks and never lets anything legit happen in the park. The set up changes a total of about 2 times a year, and it is over priced beyond belief. On weekends illinois flocks to this shit hole and everything is destroyed and never fixed. They leave all their rails out on the hill all summer and dont give a fuck about anything dealing with the park. Do not even waste your time to head out to alpine, ever.

  2. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Nick, I ran that park for two years. You just described to a T a few of the many reasons why I left. “Intermission Groom” was actually just so my boss could go shoot deer in the back pit behind the main runs. Beer can tree was erected off the far park lift for all the locals to ditch their empties. This was necessary due to the fact management had our nuts in the vice and had us do everything their way, which turned out to be some insane inbred variation of how a terrain park should operate. I got stories that could rack your bar tab up well over $100, and that’s pretty easy with the Alpine bar prices.

  3. Nick Lipton
    Nick Lipton says:

    Dear Fibs,

    Come have a drink pal. I think we both know there is no local scene, and if there is one you should show me and I’ll let you know how it stacks up.

    -nick lipton

  4. FIBS
    FIBS says:

    Nick Lipton, you dont get out of your Chicago apartment enough to realize that there is a growing scene at raging buffalo, and four lakes…

  5. poopdix
    poopdix says:

    that was a lil harsh FIBS, but yea Lipton definitely dont waste your time in wisconsin unless its at tyrol basin. Go to raging buffalo, its not too bad.

  6. Livordie
    Livordie says:

    @NickLipton I remember reading this somewhere “Rule #1 when writing for an internet audience, don’t comment on your own article.”

  7. dig
    dig says:

    Its just too bad this post was written from a fib transplant point of view. So right away you know the views are going to be alil off. I went there last tuesday for my 1st time since i was 6. It was bad to say the best but a “barino” aka superfox at the top shack of the parklift. I proceeded to get off and go up to the window then stare at her. She leaves her post (liability) and comes out and asks me “Can I help you?” I said “Yes. Then i BANG you.” She just says “I dont have time for this” I say back “Well I can duck under in there” Slam! This was 2nd run first time up that chair. The next five laps she would even look at me. Then out of no where 6th ride up she magically turned into a haged out schwag smoker with a beard. Location! She had made the rotation to the lower lift bumper position. I tried to impress her with my high flying ways on bottom jump main park. Of course I got the speed after watching Lonnie hit it all day. Point of the story is that i still punched the bishop that night too.

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