Chairlift rides shows off peak fall colors

HANCOCK — The Copper Country has a great way to view the fall colors, if you aren’t afraid of heights.

With Fall colors reaching their peak for the season, Mont Ripley has opened their chairlifts to those who want a different view of the Houghton-Hancock hillsides. Ripley’s Copper Hoist Chair lift takes spectators on a 7-10 minute ride to it’s eastern peak, where there’s cider and donuts and a spectacular view.

Mont Ripley Operations Manager Kevin McClellan says, “We’ve been running these color tour rides since about 2007, when we built this lift. We had it engineered for downhill loading specifically for that. It’s the little that we can do to help our organizations out there, since they’re all volunteer.”

The fall lift rides serve as a fundraiser for the Ski Patrol and the Mont Ripley Race Team. The turnout this year was great, since the weather has been warmer than usual.

McClellan says, “This is supposed to be an El Niño year, so everything is happening a little later. But it’s gorgeous and right now we’re blessed with great weather. So, it’s been a really really good experience for everybody.”

McClellan says that the warm weather shouldn’t shorten the ski season. In fact, Mont Ripley is introducing a new attraction this year! A tubing park will open on the east side of the mountain, offering a skill-free winter sport option. And at speeds of about 40 miles per hour, it’s a thrilling addition to the Mont Ripley attractions.

The Fall color chairlift rides will be open again October 17th from 10-7.

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