Beginning at 3:00 PM Wednesday Mont Ripley welcomed the first passengers of the season on its Copper Ski Lift. Elevating along the eastern face of the hill, it services runs like Wipeout, Bonzai, The Plunge, and the backcountry section. Many of those trails are steep, graded expert, or black diamond, and require a snow base of several feet in depth. All runs are now open.
The season was originally expected to start on December 18th, but a four-day stretch of temperatures well above freezing pushed plans back to the following week. At the time skiers only had access to four runs. Ski School picked up in early January and Michigan Tech physical education classes started on the 10th.
Mont Ripley features 440 feet of vertical drop and has a reputation for being a challenging hill.