9 Things that Make Winter Epic at Michigan Tech

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

The calendar tells us that the official start to winter hits on December 21. But here at Michigan Tech, we’re just a little bit more ambitious than that. For the true winter lovers out there—the skiers, the snowboarders, the happy snow-angel makers—December at Tech is absolutely epic. Here are nine things that every true snow-loving Husky celebrates come early-winter time.

1. Snow guns

It’s not that we need more snow—with an average annual snowfall of 250 inches, the Keweenaw is well supplied—but it’s still good to know that Mont Ripley has our backs. The University ski hill starts firing up the powder around the end of November and doesn’t stop until spring. That means a feet-deep base across 25 runs and 112 acres of ski-able terrain. Wax the skis and boards, friends, it’s time to hit the hill. (Photo courtesy of Mont Ripley/www.facebook.com/MontRipley)

2. Hot cocoa

Who doesn’t love hot cocoa? No one, because it’s delicious. The only thing better than toasty-hot cocoa on a chilly winter day is free toasty-hot cocoa. That’s one reason (of many) that we <3 the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI). Students are welcome at their home in the Hamar House anytime to hang, chat, warm up, and enjoy a complimentary mug of cocoa or coffee.

3. Saunas

Step one: endure winter’s bitter cold temperatures and dry air. Step two: take a steamy, cedar-scented sauna—located in all of Tech’s residence halls. Step three: engage in hours-long debate about how to correctly pronounce sauna (SOW-nuh or SAW-nuh). Keweenaw tradition complete.

4. Tech Trails

Wouldn’t it be sweet to be at a university with miles of nationally renowned cross-country trails? Oh wait, we are! And they’re professionally groomed, night lit and scenic as a postcard. Rent what you need from the SDC or Outdoor Adventure Program and head out to enjoy the beauty and quietude of winter.

5. That mysterious yellow orb in the sky

We’re not quite sure what it is, because we don’t see it all that often once December hits—but it sure is pretty! Looks like it might be warm, too.

6. This view from the MEEM

It’s our own little Houghton snow globe, courtesy of the Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics (MEEM) Building. When Mother Nature shakes that globe, head to the eleventh floor and settle in to enjoy the view.

7. Hockey

No matter how cold the MacInnes Student Ice Arena gets, the Hockey Huskies bring the heat. And since home games are free for all students through the Experience Tech initiative, it’s an awesome excuse to head up with a group of friends and “pack the Mac.” Go Huskies!

8. Broomball

We’re not sure which is better: actually playing broomball or trying to explain its awesomeness to non-Tech friends. Better yet, don’t bother with the explanations—grab your broom, direct your friends and family to the webcams and hit the rink to show ‘em how it’s done here at Tech.

9. That indescribable Husky spirit

Whether you’re shredding Ripley, snowmobiling to campus, or owning the latest blizzard with a pair of shorts and a grin (there’re always a few; you know who you are)—you’re a Husky through and through. And we think that’s awesome.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.