Some are afraid of the dark. Some can't cross the street by themselves. Some are just learning to read. But the children who take part in the Hitchens Brothers' Wednesday Night Jump Series have one thing in common: they aren't afraid to fly.
The thought of strapping on Alpine or Nordic skis and going off ski jumps certainly would startle most adults, but the Wednesday night jump series is a tradition in Steamboat Springs, a town where children do less-than-normal things.
"I wouldn't go off the K-18 hill myself," said Susana Field, co-organizer of the Hitchens Brothers' series. "But my son, at 12, flies off the K-90 hill."
The Wednesday night jump series is open to any child 13 or younger. The child doesn't have to be involved with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and he or she can wear either Nordic or alpine skis.
"This is just for kids," Field said.
Depending on the age of the jumper, he or she will jump on the K-18, the K-25, or the K-38 hills. There is no cost to enter, and registration comes with free pizza, soda, cookies, etc.
The Wednesday night jump series is a four-night series that begins Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. at Howelsen Hill.
Practice jumps are from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. Registration is from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. in Olympian Hall and is required each night of the series. Late registrations are not accepted, and parents must sign a liability waiver for non-Winter Sports Club members.
The pizza party runs from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for competitors and volunteers.
The competition begins at 6 p.m. on the K-18 hill with the youngest competitors. All competitors get two jumps and must be at the start gate at the beginning of each hill's competition.
Awards will be presented for the top three finishers and are presented in Olympian Hall at the conclusion of each night's competition. End-of-series awards will be given out after the final event March 9.
The Hitchens Brothers' Wednesday Night Jump Series is not affiliated with the Winter Sport Club's Little Vikings program. But Winter Sports Club jumpers are invited to take part in the series.