Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Brattleboro's Own Harris Hill Ski Jump

While Pipkin's visiting the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube in Beijing, Clover has an opportunity to get in some winter sports action herself at Brattleboro's own Harris Hill Ski Jump. If you can't make it to Sochi, you can do the next best thing, which is to cheer on the future Olympic stars of ski jumping.

This year, Harris Hill, which is FIS (International Ski Federation) standardised and can hold international events, hosted athletes from the USA, Norway, Canada, Italy, Slovenia and Sweden.

At the base of Harris Hill you can take up a spectating spot at the outrun. You get an excellent view of the jumpers taking off and landing.

You can also get much closer to the action by walking past the transition area to the landing zone where the skiers land. The sides are marked with the distance in meters.

Even further up the hill you can stand alongside the knoll to watch the skiers fly past.

Clover's favorite part of the jump is way up at the top. The skiers are ferried up the hill in the back of a pickup truck. They then walk up a lot of stairs (with those looooong skis) to the top of the track, where they'll sit and wait for their turn to jump.

Clover got a spot right by the takeoff, where she could watch the skiers come down the track and launch off the takeoff. The skiers fly past very quickly, and the sound is just incredible - like a jet plane flying by! You'll have to turn your neck a lot to watch from here but it's worth it to see them whoosh by and then disappear. Many seconds go by before you hear the smack of their skis on the landing and you see them reappear at the bottom of the hill. If you ever have the chance to see a ski jumping event in person, you have to see it from all parts of the hill.

Here's a little video clip of one of the Slovenian jumpers. Whoooooo!!!



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