Keweenaw community and visitors enjoy Christmas vacation with snow-filled fun

This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 8:51 PM EST
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Community members and visitors alike are busy taking advantage of the fallen snow from last week’s storm to make the most of their Christmas vacation.

This includes Mont Ripley, which sees some of its highest numbers of customers this week.

“Every day is like a Saturday when it’s Christmas week,” said Mont Ripley General Manager Nick Sirdennis. “It’s busy every day. It’s about 20% of our business, some other places in the midwest even have a higher amount percentage-wise what Christmas week brings to them.”

While the snow did make it difficult to keep the runs groomed, it has allowed for previously unready parts of the hill to open sooner than planned.

“We’re processing that snow and slowly opening up more terrain,” continued Sirdennis. “We’re looking to open up our Copper Lift here in a couple of days. We usually have to wait to get snowmaking on that, but it gave us so much snow, there are several trails that we’ll be able to open over there just with natural snow, so that’s a wonderful gift, and we’ll take it.”

Similarly, some of the trails maintained by the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club (KSC) will also be opening earlier than a typical season.

“Between today and tomorrow, the plan would be to have the entire trail system open, with a couple of exceptions,” said KSC Volunteer Chad VanBennekom. “The Trail 134 Spur out to High Rock, as well as Trail 122 from Gay to Lake Linden.”

With higher traffic than normal and groomers on the trails, however, the club would like to caution snowmobilers to go slow and give the groomers space.

“Follow the general rules of the trail,” continued VanBennekom. “Always ride right. Take it slow around corners, especially with the drifts and things that are out there right now.”

The KSC also asks snowmobilers to be defensive drivers all season long.