Mont Ripley

Ski resorts in USA
Michigan's upper peninsula gets lots of snow, making it a good location for downhill skiing at places like Mont Ripley. The winter venue has been under the guiding hand of Michigan Technological University since 1944, and the decor and amenities reflect that collegiate connection. Access to the mountain is open to the public and the student body, allowing many locals to enjoy skiing and snowboarding on the varied terrain.

Motorists will find the Interstate Highway system is of little use here, as it does not reach into the upper peninsula anywhere near the resort. US Route 41 is the roadway of choice, getting drivers to the Houghton/Hancock area. Houghton's domestic airfield is nearby, with Marquette's Sawyer International Airport located over 100 miles away.

Going to School Alpine Style


Michigan Technological University dominates all aspects of the Mont Ripley ski venue, including the 2006 renovations to reduce congestion at the main chalet's amenities. Those upgrades provide more seating to enjoy the gas fireplace and extra lockers. Ripley's Rentals offers gear for a day or full-season, along with season locker rentals. Ripley's Tune and Supply get visitors' equipment ready for the snow and sells the apparel they need to stay warm (short days and biting cold is usual during the winter months in this part of Michigan).

The Mont Ripley Ski Patrol keeps the winter fun safe at the ski area and welcomes those wanting to train in emergency and safety. Another organization based here is the Ski and Snowboard Club of Michigan Tech that organizes and coordinates alpine activities for students and locals. The school's Alpine Racing Team shares slopes with a junior racing team organized for younger skiers.

The Mont Ripley Ski School provides several lessons and programs ranging from Michigan Tech Physical Education classes to hour-long private lessons. A six-week-long after-school program is available for kids between 8 and 13.

A Steep Reputation Demystified


The Mont Ripley ski resort is positioned for bountiful snowfall amounts each year (The annual average is around 200 inches or more). Lake-effect snowstorms fueled by Lake Superior don't hurt, and weather dropping in from Canada also helps. Michigan Tech generates plenty of snow with the equipment on the slope, letting the season start sooner and end later.

Mont Ripley does not offer cross-country or snowshoeing, but the Keweenaw area has over 100 miles of public trails to explore. There are 200 miles of snowmobile trails if visitors want other non-alpine winter fun, and dogsledding is a popular activity in this part of the upper peninsula.

Mont Ripley has a base elevation of 700 feet and a summit height of 1,140 feet. The 440-foot vertical creates varied terrain, but its reputation of being a difficult place to ski is not entirely justified. Buddha Bowl and the Trestle rate as double diamond, and another 41-percent of the slopes are black diamond ratings for advanced ski bums, but there are areas for more casual play. Roughly 30-percent of the trails are rated blue for skiers and riders with some experience, and the remaining 21-percent of the slopes rate green for newbies to explore.

Mont Ripley maintains a modest four-lift system that also provides access to snow tubing and a terrain park.

Mont Ripley Snow forecast

  • Sunday
    0.4 in rain
    Cloudy
    69°F
    10 mph
  • Monday
    0 ft
    Partly cloudy
    86°F
    12 mph
  • Tuesday
    0 ft
    Cloudy
    84°F
    18 mph
 

Facts about Mont Ripley

Number of slopes:24
Easiest Green slopes:5
Intermediate Blue slopes:7
Advanced Black slopes:10
Expert Only Double black diamond slopes:2

Lifts (Total: 4)
Chair lifts:2
Platter lift:2
Lift capacity:  2400 persons/hour

Vertical drop
Mont Ripley Vertical drop
Highest Point: 1138 ft
Vertical drop: 440 ft
Base Point: 699 ft

Areas
Snowparks:2
Country: USA
Show all ski resorts in Michigan

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Trail map

Trail map Mont Ripley

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