Mont Ripley Ski Getaways

ski getaways

Mont Ripley is the only ski mountain in the Midwest owned by a university, Michigan Technological University. It is located on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan very close to the cities of Houghton & Hancock. Mont Ripley is one of the oldest ski areas in the country. Skiers have been going down Ripley's slopes since the 30's. It is known for steep runs, long & gentle beginning area, open bowl skiing, abundant natural snowfall and its high tech snowmaking system. In recent years, new runs & glades have been added in areas that once where out of bounds and two terrain parks cater to the freestyle skiers & snowboarders. From the top of Ripley, there is a beautiful view of Houghton, Michigan Tech, and the Huron Mountains. Giant snowflakes frequently drift through the lights that are on seven nights a week.

Stats: Vertical drop 440 feet, 24 runs on 97 acres breaking down as 22% beginner, 30% intermediate, 43% advanced, and 9% expert. Two lifts: a chair lift & a t-bar.

At Ripley they say "We don't have a terrain park, we are a terrain park" because the topography of the hill is so varied. Runs like Wipeout, The Chute, Bonzi, & The Plunge contain many natural jumps, hips, ridges and side hills. Two terrain parks exist. The Rhythm Terrain Park is accessed by taking Center Bowl from the top of the chair lift or That Road from the top of the T-bar. It features a big hip jump called Sweet Spot at its beginning, then two rows of table top jumps with many hits in each row. One row has smaller jumps those learning the skills of freestyle and a second row for accomplished flyers. Take Danny Boy to The Big Air Terrain Park for the most extreme air on the mountain.

Beginning skiers and snowboarders glide down Toots Tumble or Lower Wipeout. They both start at Mid Way on the T-bar. It is a long way to the bottom on a gentle slope. Monster Ridge is on the way down and has painted cut out "monsters" along its path. Deer Track Trail on the East side of the area is the longest green trail and the easiest route from the top.

Ripley's cruising blue runs include Danny Boy, Racer's Ridge, The Ripley Triangle, Fred's landing on the West side of the mountain and Lookout & Powderstash on the East side. All are perfectly groomed daily. If you are ready for black diamonds, deep powder & glades that are not groomed be prepared for Husky Bowl, The Chute, Bonzi & Powderstash Glades.

For the true experts Ripley has true double black diamond runs. Believe it or not, it is true. They are tree runs & so steep they cannot be groomed. Trestle & Buddha Bowl are in Ripley's backcountry and collect more than their share of over 20 feet of natural snow that falls each winter. Another run to test an expert is Certified. Listed as a black diamond, it is so steep & narrow it borders on double black.