Alpine Ski Jumps

This post is about 2 weeks too late, but its been a hectic couple of weeks with lab and other social engagements so I haven’t really had the time I need to post regularly.  I know that is no excuse, but just know I am welcoming the 30 minute incubation I have at 2am as time to update the site.

After we checked out Whiteface mountain for a good while we decided to head back toward town and take in all the old olympic scenery.  It turns out the area knows that olympic ruins (not really ruins, some of them are definitely still used) are a cash cow and we got pinched for 10 bucks a person basically everywhere we went.  So as a warning to anyone interested in visiting all the old 1980 olympic stuff – bring money.

Anyway I had read online that the alpine ski jumps were absolutely worth checking out so we headed that way, and by that way I mean we had to go out of town a little bit, but you couldn’t really miss them.

This next view is a much closer look at the two towers: the 90m (left) and the one we got to go up 120m (right.)

This next picture shows what I can only hope is original signage at the bottom of the 90m run, and other important parts.  There is a white track that runs down the center of it, I’m assuming its for the summer jumpers to be able to gain speed like its ice.  You can also see the strange rubber grass substance that runs down it that also lines the hill on the bottom.  You can also see what I was most impressed with, that there is no real jump at the end of the ramp there.  Its just pure speed and then you literally try to fly as far as you can.

a close up of the track substance they use.

This was at the top of the 120m platform, hopefully you can read what we read, that the entire jump takes 15-20 seconds to complete, and the takeoff speed is 60mph.  The platform we were on is adjustable to account for all the weather conditions etc.

Here is a quick view of the platform they take off from.

But this is the view that I payed 10 bucks to see.  You get to see what the skier sees before deciding that going down a ramp at 60mph in snow and ice only to free fall with a pair of skis 120m and then try to land and not explode your insides is a good idea.  You can see how far down the landing area is.

I wonder how long it takes to get up the nerve to try something like that out for the first time.  I can’t imagine that its a forgiving fall if you mess up, and I can’t imagine that you can half-ass something like this.  Its go big or go home.  Impressive.

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