After resting from our long drive we set out about noon up here to go and see a few things. I knew that I had to go to Walmart, so my hope was to wind around that way at the end and still be able to see what I wanted to. Well, the plan kind of worked.
We started out by heading to Copper Peak. Now Copper Peak, for those of you that don’t know is the only Ski Flying Hill in the western hemisphere. Ski Flying, from what I understand is where skiers jump really long distances. I know that the jump is tall! It is 1782 feet above sea level. The structure itself is around 241 feet tall and at the top they say you can see over 40 miles. The reason that we wanted to head to this destination on Sunday was that we had the chance to ride the chairlift for free. I know, stingy of me, but hey…
We plugged the directions into the phone and off we went. After an hour of driving we got to Copper Peak and checked in. I guess when I pictured Copper Peak in my head I pictured it differently because as we were pulling up below the ski jump for check in I said, “Holy Cow…Is that it???” It rose off the top of the hill to touch the clouds it looked like. The chair lift looked like it went straight up and I wasn’t sure if this was such a great idea, but we were here. We went inside a chalet and we found out that the ski lift was not working that day, (just my luck), but…we could drive to the top and park. He assured us that the ground was hard up there because he had about 40 cars parked up there. That actually sounded a little worrisome, but we went anyway.
After driving down a muddy one lane dirt road we arrived at the base of the jump. If you remember one thing about any of this please remember this…If you plan to travel to the UP bring insect repellent. There were mosquitoes the size of house cats ready to carry us away! We parked the truck and waded through the mosquitoes to the elevator at the bottom. The elevator takes you up 18 stories to the elevator deck, once there you have to climb 8 more stories to the top of the ski ramp. Let me tell you though, the views are totally worth it! On a clear day they say you can see more than 2500 square miles. I am not sure about that, I am sure someone measured it but what I can tell you is that it was amazing.
We made the climb and took our time at the very top. Looking down the ramp was quite an experience. I don’t know that ski flying will ever be my thing, but more power to those guys and girls. They can reach speeds of up to 70 mph and fly more than 600 feet. That is crazy. What i do know is that the view that I saw was such an amazing sight. It really makes you speechless as you take it all in. You can see Lake Superior on one side and the Black River below and trees for miles. You feel how small we really are. You see first hand the majestic beauty of the world around us. It was amazing.
On a side note, while I was there someone who was afraid of heights took the elevator and made the climb. I don’t know why anyone would do that, but if you are afraid of heights please don’t. First of all, it is tall. I mean it is sitting on a peak and then rises above that. It is pretty tall. Secondly, the last sets of stairs are made of metal grates. You can see all the way through them to the ground below. And finally, the thing sways. As we were standing up there the whole thing was moving in the wind. It is actually designed to do that. I am not sure what about any of that would invite someone who is afraid of heights, but I saw a couple people that were just in the time I was there.
All in all it was a great day. I read that they are going to be doing some refurbishing and that the Grand Prix Summer Series, which is a Ski Flying competition. Can’t wait to see actual Ski Fliers competing at Copper Peak in 2017!!