Getting Pine Mountain ready: Third day of ski jumping added

BRENT HIATT OF the Kiwanis Ski Club operates the Snowcat groomer along the landing hill after the winter storm hit Monday. At left, several trees have been removed from the bottom of the landing area for better spectator visibility during the Pine Mountain Continental Cup ski jumping competition set for Feb. 8-10 in Iron Mountain. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Spectators can look forward to a “fantastic turnout of jumpers and more countries represented” at the 2019 Pine Mountain Continental Cup ski jumping competition Feb. 8-10.

Because of cancelled events in Europe, a third Continental Cup tournament will take place at Pine Mountain on Friday, Feb. 8, which will bring in more jumpers needing to acquire Continental Cup points, club correspondent secretary Susie Fox said.

“The world is coming to Iron Mountain to experience ski jumping like no other place on the ski jumping circuit,” Fox said.

The “Holy Saturday” attendance in Iron Mountain exceeds the total of all European and Asian Continental Cup competition crowds put together, according to a spokesperson for the International Ski Federation, or FIS.

“In Europe and Asia, they talk about Iron Mountain because of the great and unique competition site that is provided for them, but mostly because of the huge welcoming crowd anticipating the competition,” Fox said.

Required improvements made over the past few years have helped secure a ski jumping future at the Giant Pine venue. Most recently, the profile of the hill was changed to improve safety and trees were removed for additional visibility for spectators.

“It is an exciting time for ski jumping in Iron Mountain and an exciting time for the possibility of things to come. Over the past few months and continuing in the future, the Kiwanis Ski Club has met with many individuals and corporations discussing the capital campaign to raise funds for the necessary changes to the facility to continue hosting International Ski Jumping as we know it and potentially World Cup Ski jumping,” Fox said.

A common theme in recent conversation is “what else can we do with the facility?” Fox said, adding, “We are addressing that and welcoming all input. The current plan must be to get the ski jump facility up to FIS standards and add the complimentary activities after that. Without a complying ski jump, the other activities are a moot point.”

Recent state legislation to appropriate funds for Pine Mountain ski jumping could be a huge factor in its future; however, the amount has yet to be finalized.

“It is very positive and appreciated,” Fox said, but noted, “The project to comply with FIS Standards still has a great need.”

Those who want to pledge to the capital campaign can go to the website soaringintothefuture.com, she advised.

Booster Buttons for the competition already are on sale at many locations throughout Dickinson County. Cost is $30 for adults and $25 for students age 11 to 17; younger children are admitted for free. Prices will increase by $5 at the gate.

For more information on the event, go to www.kiwanisskiclub.org.


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