Two years ago it came to our attention that the plastic on our small ski jumps needed to be replaced. The original plastic was installed in 1964 and after 50 plus years of use, it was time to make some improvements.
This project has taken us two summers to complete. In March of 2019 we began by removing over 25 trees to help create a wider landing hill. This will both improve the safety of the facility and allow grooming equipment to access our hills. In the past we were not able to use grooming equipment so all the hills had to be groomed by parents and kids side stepping the hills before and after each practice to maintain the landing hills.
In June of 2019 we began the process of removing all the old plastic from the landing hills. Next, by attaching conveyor belts to the 30-meter landing hill, we were able to staple new plastic mats onto our landing hill.
In April of 2020 we began work on our two smallest hills. We spent a great deal of time excavating our landing hills and getting them ready for the plastic. On Thursday, November 5th the last mat was stapled onto the landing hill.
This week the new steel tower for our 18-meter jump is going to be delivered and welded into place. From there we will implement a new track system. This system (TexSnow), made by the Austrian company Aplina, needs only a small amount of water or snow to make it ready for jumping. It is FIS approved, and we will be the first club in the United States to use this technology. It will reduce the work hours needed to prep the jump because we won't have to cut the man made tracks. Another benefit is that kids will also be able to use alpine or jumping equipment on it year round.
We are also in the process of constructing a new 8-meter jump that will share the same landing hill as the new 18-meter jump.
We are very excited about the new improvements to our 30-, 18-, and 8- meter jumps. Thanks to the many volunteers who have worked tirelessly for the past two years to see this project through to the end. We are hoping these major improvements will help grow the sport of jumping at Blackhawk.
Written by Christine Gessner, ski jumping program director