Friday, June 23, 2006

Copper Peak

Located in Ironwood, my home town, is Copper Peak. It is the only ski flying jump in the Western Hemisphere and the largest in the world. Ski flying is different from ski jumping. Ski Flying is an extreme version of ski jumping with events on big hills with jumps longer then 170 meters. Typical Olympic ski jumping is between 90-120 meters.

Can you see Ira? He is actually standing parallel to the first support, if that can give you a sense of scale.

The jump is approx 23 stories high. You can take a chair lift to the top of the hill, then a 18 story elevator and then climb three flights of stairs to the viewing deck. However, they charge $12 for this. Ira and I, with the help of our adventurous friend Olk,

to climb it on our own and avoid paying. At the top, on a clear day, you can see throughout the U.P, Wisconsin, Minnesota and across Lake Superior to Canada. I have been to the top before, and it was only mildly windy. However up there we were really swaying. It was totally scary.

So we decide to climb up. I think we got 2/3 the way up when Ira decided he had had enough. (I like to blame him, but you can see in the pic, he's had enough-look in the eyes!)

This is still incredibly high. Unfortunately the jump hasn't been used in competition in over 10 years and isn't in the best condition.

The wood is weather beaten, the side guards are made of plywood that are not always secured well, not to mention the large holes. It is also slightly disturbing that you can look down and see holes and slits through the planks 200 ft down!

All I can say is AHHHHH!!! It is always exhilarating.

If you visit, take the elevator!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Andrea, what would your grandmother say? YIKES!