Ishpeming, MI –The 128th Annual Ski Jumping Tournament hosted by the Ishpeming Ski Club – this is as close to flying as it gets! Competitors from as far away as Finland plunge down Suicide Hill only to take off and soar for almost 300 feet!
At 6:00pm, I joined the crowd sharing stories around 20 foot bonfires. The tailgate party was just wrapping up at the base of Suicide Hill. But wait – was that a chair made of skis? I just had to check it out.
When the first skier was announced and set up for his run, the spectators lined the fence. I watched the tiny dot that was the first skier push off and hurtle down the slope. He spent several long seconds in the air before landing with ease on the freshly groomed track 83 meters later. These were the practice runs?
The competition just kept getting better! A 13-year-old flew over 260 feet! The champion run, however, traveled 310 feet without touching the ground. At every run, I caught my breath but the skiers knew what they were doing. At each landing, the crowd got a little more excited. Cowbells and car horns hollered to cheer on the competitors.
I didn’t want to miss a run, but the hot dogs and hot chocolate floating around from the concession stand looked too good to pass up…
Thanks to the Ishpeming Ski Club, I had a fantastic time at the 128th Annual Ski Jumping Tournament.