Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow—that’s the train of thought at Mont Ripley.
The Michigan Tech-owned ski, snowboard, and tubing park is making preparations to open in a little over a week, and the groomers and snow guns are out in full force covering the slopes with a solid snow base for the season open.
Operations Manager Kevin McClellan anticipates a great start to the season.
McClellan said, “So it looks like we’re good to open for December 1st. We’ve got a tentative opening date for that, but we’re gangbusters here. We’ve got 25 guns going, putting out about 800 gallons per minute plus what Mother Nature’s bringing us. Come on out and play!”
Those guns suck in water from the Portage Canal, mix it with compressed air and forced air creating a mist that turns to snow in the frozen temperatures and then accumulates on the slopes, attracting winter sportsmen and women from all around.
“Our plan is to put down, with the snowmaking, about 18 – 24 inches. We will be starting, it looks like, on December 1st. It’s a Friday. So we’ll open up Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then we’ll shut during the mid week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, so we can make more snow. We can concentrate on pumping out as much as we can in the mid-week then try to open more trails for the following weekend and then we’re probably going to do that one more week into the middle of December and then open up every day around the fifteenth of December, somewhere in there,” said General Manager Nick Sirdenis, who says that due to Mont Ripley’s unique location here in the Keweenaw, and the amount of natural snowfall that the area provides, the 440 foot high hill offers some of the most favorable ski conditions in the Midwest.