Summertime ski jumping at Suicide Hill

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Ishpeming, MI - When you think of ski jumping the first thing that comes to most peoples mind is winter and snow. But for a group of ski jumpers in Ishpeming, the lack of snow isn't slowing them down. 

Although there is no snow on the ground at Suicide Hill in Ishpeming that's not stopping a group of young ski jumpers from hitting the slopes. 

Gary Rasmussen, the Head Ski Jump Coach at the Ishpeming Ski Club said,"Every week in the summer we train on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We jump on plastic year round and once the snow melts we wait a few weeks and we get the hill ready for summer skiing,"  

The hill has provided skiers with 3 plastic runs for almost a decade. It helps ski jumpers stay sharp during the summer months.  

"The track is stainless steel. We run water down it, it has the little bumps on it that break the friction. It's not quite as fast as glare ice, but not much slower. It's really a nice surface to ski on. Then the landing is plastic bristles. It's kind of like spaghetti before it's cooked. You spray that with water and it provides a real nice surface to ride on," said Rasmussen. 

And although ski jumping has been a long time wintertime activity. The summer can be the best time for skiers to train. 

Jess Taylor, the Assistant Ski Jump Coach said, "It is the same if not better. In the summertime you have constant conditions. Where in the wintertime you can have warm days where the track becomes slushy and slow. There's a lot more variability in the wintertime." 

The ski club holds weekly ski jumping sessions for jumpers of all ages and skill levels. To find out more visit: https://www.facebook.com/Ishskiclub/


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