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      Mont Ripley passing the test

      As the ski season is just a few months away, ski hills across the U.P. are doing their best to make sure they're prepared. And for Mont Ripley, they're no different as they tested the ski lift to make sure it's safe to use.

      "We want all the parts to work as if this thing were brand new," said Mont Ripley General Manager Nick Sirdenis.

      It's all because of a Michigan ski safety code requiring ski hills to test their lift equipment every five years.

      "This is just one thing that we're doing to make sure this place is safe so it can operate on a day-to-day basis. This is the kind of stuff that customers shouldn't be concerned about. Of course, it should work, but this is what we do to make sure that it works," Sirdenis added.

      They're filling up garbage cans with water to simulate the weight of two people, making sure the lift can hold 13,000 pounds. An inspector from the Michigan Ski Area Safety Unit was there to make sure all the equipment passed the tests.

      "As a department, we work closely with every ski area in the state to ensure skiers' safety. That's the ultimate goal. We test each brake individually. We make sure it pulls the design load, and we make sure there are not structural failures," said Michigan Ski Area Safety Unit Inspector Chris Williams.

      So far, the Mont Ripley ski hill hasn't seen any problems with the chair lift.