Copper Peak

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Copper Peak
Constructor(s)Lauren Larsen
LocationIronwood, Michigan, USA
OperatorGogebic Range Ski Club
Opened28 February 1970, Reopening October 2024
Expanded1980, 1988, 2023
K–point145 m
Hill size469 ft
Longest jump
(unofficial / fall)
159 metres (522 ft)
Austria Werner Schuster
(25 February 1989)
Hill record158 m (518 ft)
Austria Matthias Wallner
Austria Werner Schuster
(22, 23 January 1994)

Copper Peak is a ski flying hill designed by Lauren Larsen and located in Ironwood, Michigan, United States. It was built in 1969 and inaugurated one year later.[1][2] The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973[3] and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1971.[2] The site is currently used as a summer tourist attraction.[4][5]


Copper Mining[edit]

In 1845, the Chippewa Copper Mining Company began mining work here, sinking a tunnel into the granite rock. They produced no copper and eventually closed. Around 1900 the Old Peak Company made further explorations, with no production. The 1845 tunnel is still visible.[2]

1969: Built[edit]

It all started in 1968 when a delegation from Gogebic Range Ski Club from Ironwood, Michigan came to visit civil/structural engineer Lauren Larsen in Duluth, Minnesota.

1970: Inaugurated[edit]

Built in 1970, Copper Peak remains the only ski flying facility in the Western Hemisphere. In 1994 a K-point on Copper Peak was at 145 meters (476 ft), allowing jumps up to 158 meters (518 ft). There have been no flights at Copper Peak since 1994. An exhibition tournament was announced for 2014 but was canceled.[6]

Between 1970 and 1994 there were ten competitions sanctioned by FIS and additional two international events were held.[7] The hill record is 158 meters (518 ft), set by Matthias Wallner and Werner Schuster (both Austria) on 22 and 23 January 1994, respectively. The hill was expanded in the 1980s, but the profile is still outdated compared to current standards.[8]


The Copper Peak, Inc., has established the Copper Peak Organizing Committee for the purposes of raising funds to renovate the ski flying facility for FIS competition.[4] Some improvements to the facilities were made in 2012.[6]

On 14 July 2015 International Ski Federation announced "Copper Peak shall be reactivated" after an inspection of the facility by FIS Race Director Walter Hofer and Hans-Martin Renn who is the chairman of the FIS subcommittee for ski jumping hills. In October 2015, FIS awarded Copper Peak a Grand Prix Summer Series finale event held in September 2017 and a Summer Continental Cup and a Nordic Combined summer event in 2018.[9]

On 30 March 2022, the State of Michigan granted Copper Peak $20 Million for the re-introduction of international ski jumping events at Copper Peak. As of January 2023, construction has begun and is the ski jump is set to reopen in October 2024.[10]


Date Competition Winner Second Third
28 February – 1 March 1970 KOP Czechoslovakia Jiří Raška Czechoslovakia Zbyněk Hubač Czechoslovakia Rudolf Doubek
3–4 February 1973 KOP United States Jerry Martin United States Tom Dargay Japan Minoru Wakasa
2–3 February 1974 KOP United States Ron Steele United States Jerry Martin Norway Petter Kongsli
7–9 February 1975 KOP United States Jerry Martin United States Jim Maki Japan Shunichi Akimoto
29 February 1976 KOP East Germany Hans-Georg Aschenbach Austria Hans Millonig East Germany Bernd Eckstein
2–5 March 1978 KOP East Germany Henry Glaß East Germany Jochen Danneberg Austria Claus Tuchscherer
13 February 1981 WC Austria Alois Lipburger Austria Andreas Felder United States John Broman
14 February 1981 WC Austria Alois Lipburger Austria Andreas Felder Austria Fritz Koch
15 February 1981 WC strong wind
25 February 1989 INT Austria Franz Wiegele Austria Werner Schuster Austria Wolfgang Margreiter
3–4 March 1990 INT Czechoslovakia Stanislav Vasko Austria Stefan Horngacher Austria Franz Wiegele
22 January 1994 COC Norway Terje Nyhus Austria Werner Schuster Austria Matthias Wallner
23 January 1994 COC Austria Matthias Wallner Austria Werner Schuster Norway Frode Håre

Hill records[edit]

Date Length
1 March 1970 Czechoslovakia Zbyněk Hubač 134 m (440 ft)
3–4 February 1973 Japan Akitsugu Konno 136 m (446 ft)
3–4 February 1973 United States Jerry Martin 137 m (449 ft)
3–4 February 1973 Japan Akitsugu Konno 138 m (453 ft)
2–3 February 1974 United States Tom Dargay 144 m (472 ft)
2–3 February 1974 United States Jerry Martin 144 m (472 ft)
Date Length
7–9 February 1975 United States Jerry Martin 147 m (482 ft)
29 February 1976 East Germany Hans-Georg Aschenbach 154 m (505 ft)
13 February 1981 Austria Alois Lipburger 154 m (505 ft)
3–4 February 1990 Czechoslovakia Stanislav Vasko 156 m (512 ft)
22 January 1994 Austria Mathias Wallner 158 m (518 ft)
23 January 1994 Austria Werner Schuster 158 m (518 ft)

Chippewa Hill[edit]

The peak, also known as Chippewa Hill, is a felsite hill about three hundred feet in height. The hill slopes steeply to the north and south, and there is a steep bluff on the east side of the hill. The Copper Peak ski-slide and tower dominates the peak of the hill. The tower sits on concrete footings based in solid rock. An 1845 tunnel and several copper excavation pits are visible on the hill, and are not affected by the construction of the ski-slide.[2]


The hill, also known as Chippewa Hill and Old Peak, was the site of a mine owned by the Chippewa Copper Mining Company. Work began in 1845, but no copper was produced.[12]

See also[edit]

Two other ski jumps located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan:


  1. ^ "Bad postcards: Copper Peak operators promise their ski flying hill is more impressive than card depicts". The Grand Rapids Press. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Staff (2009). "Copper Peak / Chippewa Hill Peak". Historic Sites Online. Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Copper Peak ski jump poised to rejoin world stage". Duluth News Tribune. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Copper Peak Ski Flying Jump". National Geographic Traveler. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Ski Flyers to Soar Again at Copper Peak in 2014". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  7. ^ Baulch, Vivian M. (February 1, 2002). "Michigan's long history of ski jumping". The Detroit News. ISSN 1055-2715. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  8. ^ "Above It All at Copper Peak". Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Copper Peak ski flying set to return in 2017". The Daily Globe. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  10. ^ Miller, Matthew (2023-01-18). "Copper Peak, the largest ski jump in the Western Hemisphere, is set to reopen after decades of disuse". mlive. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  11. ^ "Subaru International Ski Flying event 1989 (clip starts at 52:49)". ESPN. Retrieved 17 May 2019.[dead link]
  12. ^ Ashlee, Laura R. (2005). Traveling Through Time: A Guide to Michigan's Historical Marker. University of Michigan Press. p. 140. ISBN 9780472030668.

External links[edit]