Keep Oppo Ski Jumping
functionoverfashion last edited by functionoverfashion
Inspired by an earlier post about rolling tires down a ski jump (with a huge kicker ramp added, by the way, which is cool but bothers me deeply)... I'm writing to you today about a ski jump in northern New Hampshire.
Big Nansen is a legendary ski jump located in Berlin, NH (that's "BER-lin" to you), originally built in 1936-37. While it's not as big as the huge ski-flying hills you'll see today with jump distances topping 250 meters, back then this was the largest structural steel jump in the world. Now, wait just a minute that sounds like "best-in-class towing" claims, which, yeah. It is like that. There could have been other jumps that were larger, built on a bigger hill requiring a smaller tower. Still, it's big. But don't take my word for it, watch this great old-timey silent film telling you all about it, set to music.
So back in 2018, a girl whose parents were from NH became a highly successful ski jumper, becoming the first female to jump in the Olympics no less. Between some local interest in restoring the Big Nansen jump and some money from RedBull, Sarah Hendrickson got to jump it for the first time in some years. Good video on that here:
A fellow high school coach went up to watch this event with his son, who was also a good ski jumper, and his son said "Dad, I want to hit that jump and it seems like hmm, tomorrow, might be my only chance.
So his father did what any good father would do, and drove the 3 hours or so the next day to poach Big Nansen while the snow was still there. They worked the hill all day, trying to make a viable landing surface after the snowcat slid down the hill a little following Sarah's jump. They had to build a start point because the one from the day before had been taken down. But no one stopped them, they didn't get arrested or anything, and the kid's friend made a great video about the whole thing.
So now they're trying to raise money and interest in restoring the facility to its former glory, along with some smaller jumps to help build an actual youth program, which is how all of this works in the first place. There's a surprisingly dedicated following of jumpers in the area, and some vibrantly active clubs sprinkled around, some of which produce the occasional Olympic athlete. Having a jump of this size in New Hampshire would really take the local clubs to another level, in addition to providing inspiration for the already-thriving Nansen Ski Club which is all cross-country skiing, for now.
So if you're sitting on a few jillion dollars and want to help, I can point you in the right direction. Or if you just think this is super cool and want to throw in the change you found under your driver's seat, that's great too. But this ISN'T a fundraising speech, I just had to throw it out there.
I hope you enjoyed any or all of these videos, this is a neat piece of NH history that's slowly being brought back to life, and it's all related to something I love. Enjoy!
facw last edited by
@functionoverfashion Had no idea there was such a thing. Very neat!
PowderHound last edited by
@functionoverfashion Ski jumping is wild to me. Those jumps are so big and once you get going there really isn't any stopping. It's crazy how much the ones at the UOP stand out just because they are absolutely massive.