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Langlade County News

Planning for Kettlebowl Started Six Decades Ago, A Great Success Story

January 26, 2016

For six decades the Kettlebowl Ski Area northeast of Antigo outdoor enthusiasts to its slopes in one of the greatest examples a community effort.

About 62 years ago meetings at the vocational and high school started the seeds of the project just south of Highway 52 in an industrial forest. The geographic description for the slope would be a “kettlehole,” leading to the name, “Kettlebowl.” Between a cadre of volunteers and the Langlade County Highway Department, the ski area was cut from the dense forest, a rudimentary shelter construct and it was time to ski.

Eventually a new and far more comfortable shelter was built and today, in its third generation, the building at the base of the hill can be called a chalet.

In 1966, due to the lack of snow early in the season, activity was limited but since the first week in January and more traditional snowfalls, large numbers of skiers were enjoyed weekend.

Sixty years ago, the tows were in operation each Saturday and Sunday between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. There is also a special “ladies day’’ on alternate Wednesdays and Thursdays, events that faded from the schedule as the hill manager, Ben Mundl retired.

In an Antigo Daily Journal story in January, 1966, Mundl said attendance "has been excellent with approximately 175 skiers at the hill last Saturday and about the same number Sunday, probably larger today."

Today. the hill, Langlade County’s only downhill skiing facility, features six runs and five tows. The longest run is 1,100 feet.

The Langlade County Ski Club continues to operate the facility attracting skiers and families from throughout a wide area.

For six decades Kettlebowl has been a family and community project that continues to thrive.