When the Anderson brothers learned to ski in the late 70s, they so fell in love with the sport that they resolved it wouldn’t do until everyone else loved it too. To the enterprising brothers this meant building their own ski resort, a feat they were able to achieve thanks to the fortuitous placement of an unusually steep slope in nearby Kensington, MN, just 90 minutes southeast of Fargo. They first opened for business in 1980, and have enjoyed inviting people from across the tri-state area to shred the slopes at Andes Tower Hills ever since.

It ought not to come as a shock to learn that alpine sports are incredibly difficult to pull off without snow, and anyone who has ever skied knows all too well the gut-wrenching sound it makes when you go over a rock. Thoroughly aware of snow’s necessity for skiing, the Andersons invested in a state of the art heavy duty snowmaking system a few years back, so good conditions for skiing at Andes Tower Hills are no longer left to the discretion of the heavens.

Andes Tower Hills has three chairlifts to take skiers and snowboarders to the beginnings of their trails, the longest of which spans a quarter mile. For those who’ve not yet learned the sport, or the technique of mounting a moving chairlift for that matter, they’ve got a bunny slope with a magic carpet lift as well. If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, the resort has dedicated instructors who’ll have you turning on dimes in no time.

Andes Tower Hills caters to a far broader audience than the downhill crowd! For those who’d favor a different method of navigating the slopes, the resort offers a tubing hill complete with its own lift. Barriers are installed to separate the lanes there, so that your kids needn’t learn a terrible lesson in physics by colliding with an incoming neighbor.

The resort has 800 acres devoted solely to cross-country skiing, comprising approximately 12 miles of trails. They also accommodate people who favor the fat tire bicycle, with a trail dedicated just for that novel contraption. (Any avid cross-country skier would most certainly not approve of an enormous tire groove cut into their otherwise pristine snow!)

The Anderson brothers are family men, and as such have designed Andes Tower Hills with family outings in mind. The resort has a wholesome atmosphere, like something you’d glean from a Christmas card, with rosy cheeked toddlers wobbly careening down the hillside toward their beaming parents, grandmothers clutching for dear life as they tube back to flat ground, and a general air of chumminess perfectly becoming of the holiday season. There are no bars or booze at Andes Tower Hills, although those who’ve tried to combine skiing and liquor before know that the two go together about as well as cats and clog dancing.

A great ski trip needn’t take a week long excursion to somewhere remote — there’s one practically right in your backyard! To learn more about Andes Tower Hills and the delightful winter fun that they offer, visit andestowerhills.com.


By David Scheller