'Humans Of Searchmont'

'Humans Of Searchmont'

Humans Of Searchmont Introduction:

The ‘Humans Of Searchmont’ concept is taken from the blog project created by photographer Brandon Stanton called ‘Humans Of New York. Brandon created a blog with beautiful, moving, and inspiring photographs with stories and captions that would encompass the stories of people living in New York, back in 2010.

This is the same idea 'Humans Of Searchmont' will be about. Capturing the stories (some longer than others), captions, and excerpts of the humans who live and breathe at Searchmont Resort!

What makes Searchmont Resort so special are the people. It is the staff, new comers, season pass holders, advent skiers and boarders, and the people who live in Searchmont and share their love for Searchmont Resort that make this place unique.

Whether you need a good laugh, an inspirational story, or just want to learn something new; these people: 'The Humans Of Searchmont' exude their passion, their stories, and are what make Searchmont tick! These diamonds in the rough, these hidden gems, are ready to shine! Enjoy C.M.W

Humans Of Searchmont

It’s not just a hill, it’s a mountain. It’s not just a ski resort, it’s a place to ride how you choose. It’s not just a tourist attraction, It’s your home away from home.

Whether you cross country ski, snowshoe, ski or snowboard, we invite your passion and want to see you enjoy yourself every season. There is so much history in this mysterious winter wonderland that we should embrace and open our eyes to how lucky we are to have a place like Searchmont just outside our backyard (or a 45min car karaoke away). In between the great Canadian shield, one of the oldest mountains, we have Searchmont Resort.

There isn’t anything like it, when you are on top of a mountain and you look out and see the snow covered peaks in the background, how in the heart of Searchmont, outside Sault Ste. Marie, is your escape.

There is just something beautiful about Searchmont and the people that ride here. Seeing the sun shinning, blue bird days (and some grey days too), and seeing the smiling faces of snowboarders, skiers, cross country skiers, snowshoers, and tele-markers makes Searchmont Resort a hidden gem. There is no place like home and This Is Our House! See you outside!

First Photo- The Founders: Herb Lederer and Ian MacDonald

Searchmont Resort Mountain And Founders: Herb And Ian

"The success and popularity of Ski Searchmont are due to the vision and hard work of the founders, Herb Lederer and Ian MacDonald.

The history of Searchmont Resort is short and sweet, but we should all know the founders and the foundation of how Searchmont Resort came to be and how it got to where it is today:

'Back in 1957 Sault Ste. Marie Alpine Ski Centre was located at the Landslide at Hiawatha Park endorsed by the Sault Ski Club. Led by Karl Martische. By the end of WW2 Alpine skiing started become popular with new Canadians arriving from Scandinavia and Austria. To try and meet up with the demand, The Ski Club built a ski jump at landslide, but it was the growing popularity, the location was getting crowded and needed a larger home.

The Sault Ski Club set up 2 teams to scout suitable hills: the north group and an east group to check out the city. Location is key, since hills were found, but were too far away from the highway and were not suitable for skiers. However, there were 2 energetic leaders from the north team who ventured out of the pack, (Herb Franz Lederer and Ian Frederick MacDonald). The north team, led by Ian and Herb, inspected Searchmont Mountain and were interested in developing this location as a private venture

With no financial capital, from the club, they didn’t have the funds or government grants, which were unheard of at this time, Ian and Herb, along with volunteer labourers had to work hard on their own to develop the mountain into a ski hill. In 1957 a lift and a small chalet were built and Searchmont Ski Centre opened it’s doors for skiing.

The need for development capital allowed for the incorporation, known as Searchmont Valley Ski Resort, to be created by investors and skiers. This means that the two founders, Herb and Ian, were no longer the only sole owners.

"The success and popularity of Ski Searchmont are due to the vision and hard work of the founders, Herb Lederer and Ian MacDonald”.

Miriam Owsley and Andrew Briggs; Traverse City, MI


Andrew Briggs: “Vibe here is humble, down-to-earth, friendly, laid-back, rugged and you get your sense of adventure not far away; don’t know why we haven’t come here’ Great place if you want beer, something to eat, and the people here are the people you want to spend time with. You see people coming off the hill with cheesy smiles being like ‘man that was wild’ that’s what we like to see.” We will be back: easy to get here, cheap to stay and ski. Come out to Canada and have an experience.”

Miriam Owsley: “We are a good team! Skiing together for 2-3 years, been together for 5 years. He pushes me, gentle pushes, to go harder, ski harder, try new Terrain…I teach him self-preservation and not to break any bones. Andrew is into kittens and is a Rockstar! The thing about guitarists is they are totally unreliable, but the nicest one is sitting right next to me."

Skiing together for 2-3 years, ski together a lot, and met 5 years ago.

Andrew: 'So much different then Michigan. The lengths of the trails are longer and make you work harder, which is good! More rugged, compared to a flat easy service….Big difference, it is a positive challenge.'

Miriam: ‘We went past the Quad over to the woods, which was tons of fun and want to go again!”

We are doing the Ski & Stay Package at the Water Tower Inn.

Andrew: We were doing the math from U.S currency to Canadian dollars and it comes to about $100 a person, per day (check my math), to ski all day which nuts! "Come out to Canada and have an experience!"

Everyone is so friendly, we were walking towards the Quad and the guys from the Quad were like “Awe Shaggy’s”, and that’s how we made friends, had some drinks and went to ‘the cave’.

Miriam: Kayaking in the summer, Manistee River, 3 nights and 4 days at the campsite. We spent hours cleaning; had a ‘Kayak full of garbage’, got a bag of oranges as a gift and put their beers in there and kept them cool in the river.'

Andrew- You see locals here and you can tell this is where they grew up, this is their hill. We met a groomer, Chris, he was a jolly dude who could talk...he was a nice guy.


Miriam: Works at a non-profit called ‘The Ground Work Centre'. It helps bring local foods into school."I am an interesting person, I have lot’s to talk about, I love what I do". Took Fresh Water studies, but it’s the interest that I have, makes me the person I am. This is important: relationships with people, connections with people, working together to solve big issues without big money.

Miriam: ‘Andrew is a Rockstar'. He was in a band called ‘Funktion’- they were touring nationally. The thing about guitarists is that they are totally unreliable, the nicest on is sitting right next to me."

HOW THEY MET: Beerfest, Miriam's 19th birthday. “Andrew is into kittens.”

Miriam: This trip is Christmas present, but also a Christmas present for himself. Birthday next weekend, Anniversary is coming up, 5 years together. “He pushes me, gentle pushes; small fights all the time, we are both pretty stubborn.”

How Andrew Benefits Miriam: “Good team, go harder, ski harder, try new Terrain.” How Miriam Benefits Andrew: “Teach him self preservation and not to break any bones.”


Andrew: We will be back, easy to get here, cheap to stay and ski. It’s way less expensive compared to the States and other places. We are just into the sport, we are all here to ski! The vibe here is very humble, down to earth, friendly, adventurous, go across Mackinac Bridge sense of adventure, not far away.

Great place if you want beer, something to eat, and the people you want to spend time with. You see people coming off the hill with cheesy smiles being like ‘man that was epic’ that’s what we like to see.

“Vibe here is humble, down-to-earth, friendly, laid-back, rugged and you get your sense of adventure not far away; don’t know why we haven’t come here!"


OLIVIA BABIC; Sault Ste. Marie, ON

"I'm funny, you just have to get me started, just ask Beau."

Olivia Babic has been skiing since she was 3, started racing when she turned 7, and is now a coach for the Searchmont Ski Runners. How she started getting into skiing: her father used to live in Austria and he has been a skier since he was young, so the whole family, including her older sister Alex, all ski out at Searchmont.

Her family has had a chalet out at Searchmont, since she was 13, and you should "get out here as much as you can!"

Right now she is at St.Marys College and wants to take Social Work at Algoma University. She is always laughing and when asked for her to tell me something about herself, anything, she responded: "I'm funny, you just have to get me started, just ask Beau."
Olivia loves to 'get to know everyone here, everyday, and knows the locals', since she has skied up here basically all her life. She is by no means shy, and her bubbly personality makes it easy for her to get to know everyone here, and I've had the luxury of getting to know her too!

Words To Describe Searchmont: "Comfortable environment, everyone knows each other."

Words for Searchmont: "Just come out!"


Nick And Sean; BC Boys Back In Ontario

Bromance Nick and Sean: Became friends out in Edmonton, lived in BC for about a decade, and argue about which is better, living out west or living out east; mountains vs the sky. BC has mountains,'but there is no sky!'


Pete; Sudbury, ON

This is Pete! He is a Sudburtonian now. He is a middle child of 5 and is the only one out of his family born in Searchmont; family moved back to Sudbury. He has been skiing since he was 10, since his Aunt and Uncle live in Soo and would come visit. First time he ever went skiing was here at Searchmont and comes out to Searchmont Resort a few times a year.

Tyler Epp; Branford to Saultite

"Figured out, I'm not immortal...insert cheesy board related comment here."

Originally from Branford, ON, Tyler moved to Sault Ste. Marie back in 2008. The first 'winter type thing' he did on moving here was come to Searchmont Resort. "I'm from Southern Ontario, all we have is hills". He fell in love with Searchmont and "figured out I'm not immortal" when he had an injury. However he went riding the next week, so he is a pretty tenacious individual. Some fun facts about Tyler: he took the Adventure Rec program at Sault College; where he currently works as a Manager for the Alumni Relations and Events at Sault College, loves the outdoors and has had some great times with friends in White River, loves trying doughnuts, and enjoys both skiing and snowboarding. Tyler is one of the newest Searchmont Ski Association Inc's (SSAI) Board Of Directors Members and he loves how he "gets to be on the board, insert cheesy board related comment here, and make sure the hill is still over here for others to's fantastic!"

Benjamin Button (Date); Born And Raised In Searchmont

 "Free Your Mind"

"I’m bad at ice-breakers… my name is Ben… I work here and I am versatile". Ben lives in Searchmont and has been snowboarding for 10 years. Just snow you know he has mad skills on the rail, but ‘not up to par with the park rats, I’ve seen them do flips’.

"I’m hard to label”. He loves sports, plays and loves football, but is also a huge Star Wars fan; has a star wars belt, and can do a solid batman impersonation. “My hopes, my dreams you ask…. “do you want to see 56 push-ups?” When wearing his superman t-shirt he is Clark, missing Kent. Ben is an avid runner; runs with his dog Kavik who is like a cat, loves playing games on his phone, first job was self-employed at Tour Of Doodie, is in the military, hates toads, is a pretty sick rapper; just ask him to rap alphabet aerobics, and hates math. He got accepted into the Criminology program at Ottawa U and couldn’t be more excited for school in September.

“Me being natural is not talking about myself”

He doesn’t brag about his abilities, he is genuine and transparent and can laugh at himself. He is entertaining and is one of the most empathetic and caring person you will meet. Ben will go out of his way to make sure everyone is helped, comfortable, and taken care of. When he doesn’t know an answer, he will always go the extra mile to find out for you. He is a stand-up guy and there should be more people like Ben.

What he has to say about Searchmont: “I like snowboarding, close to home, I like the natural beauty of the area and being able to see it on top of the slope”.

Most important thing of all: He wants everyone to… “Free your mind”.


Duck (aka The Duck Lady) And Moose; Haslett, MI

"became an on going joke on how they can always find each other".

Meet Moose and The Duck Lady, also known as Lars and Lisa who have a funny story on how they received their nicknames.

Moose and Duck are certified snowboard instructors and use to teach with a ski school, but just teach friends and family how to snowboard. “Lars started snowboarding in 1987 on a Burton Cruiser… I started to learn to board on our teen daughter's snowboard when I was 38 years old”. 

How they got their names: ‘Where is the duck lady?’ started when they were teaching their friend’s kids how to snowboard and added stuffed animals to their helmet as a way to keep the kids happy. What started as a way to keep kids happy turned into a way to “Lars loved how easy it was to find me, so he decided we needed our own helmet decorations”

“Lars had a stuffed moose his mom had left at our house that was perfect for his helmet.  I wanted a toy squirrel (to be "Moose & Squirrel" from Rocky & Bullwinkle), but couldn't find one. It was funny listening to how this story unfolds to having Lars trying to convince his wife to have a stuffed pig on the helmet…”he still doesn't understand why I said no”. They decided to go with a stuffed duck and now their friends know them as 'Moose & Duck'.

Now their helmets always have the Duck and Moose stuffed animals on them and "became an on going joke on how they can always find each other."

“Lars and I have been to Searchmont in the past, but not in a few years. We had and awesome weekend at Searchmont. We were very impressed by the children's race program, they were having so much fun! We loved riding in the woods and we are both fans of bumps in trees.  I took a picture of Lars in front of the 'Moose Difficult' sign-because sometimes he is! We would love to come back."