Hitting the slopes at Mont Ripley

HANCOCK — When Hancock was named one of the snowiest cities in the country, it was great news for those who frequent the hills at Mont Ripley.

This year did not bring in as much as snow as last year, but general manager Nick Sirdenis said heavy snowfall in mid-November forced them to open up much earlier.

“It was just a lot quicker start,” he said. “Usually, we are going slowly and we start making snow, and then we stop and then we can get a little bit of work done in between that. But this time, it was snowmaking, snowmaking and we were open.”

Mont Ripley is hosting the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s Regional races this weekend, which will feature some of the best ski racers in the entire Midwest. Most of their special programs and activities will begin in a few weeks.

“We’ll start our P.E. classes,” Sirdenis said. “We’ll have 600, 700 kids taking P.E. classes here, and we also start our after school program and our weekend program and kids program. Those are just teaching people how to do the sports of skiing and snowboarding.”

They keep in touch with the National Weather Service, which is predicting the snow to keep falling at a relatively consistent rate. That’s the kind of weather they need to keep their slopes looking great.

“We’re in really good shape. The hill is 100% open,” Sirdenis said.  “I was skiing through knee-deep powder yesterday and it’s starting to snow again. So far, so good. We’re seem to be in a lake effect cycle right now and that bodes well for Mont Ripley and Mount Bohemia as well.”

All ages and skill levels are welcome. Even those who don’t ski can take a ride up the hill and enjoy the great view of the Copper Country.

More information, including current skiing conditions, can be found on Mont Ripley’s website or Facebook page.