Photo by John F. Russell
Crews recently wrapped up construction on the HS45 at Howelsen Hill. Coaches say the jump allows for year-round training in Steamboat Springs.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club head Nordic combined ability coach Gary Crawford has had reason to celebrate this relatively snowless November.
The new HS45 jump at Howelsen Hill is done.
“It’s finished,” Crawford said. “We’re just waiting to get some man-made snow on it.”
Several weeks ago, the surface was installed, water was put on it and the maiden jumps took place. The HS45 looks similar to the HS75 jump and should provide just as many advantages.
“We’re excited about it,” Crawford said. “The kids that did jump it, loved it.”
The jump will be especially important for competitive U13 jumpers but will be used by a smorgasbord of abilities. It will allow the younger competitive group to jump year-round. Crawford said that group used to have to travel to Park City, Utah, three times each summer for jumping, but now likely will travel to Utah for only one competition.
Crawford also said U.S. Nordic combined jump coach Chris Gilbertson, who works with the World Cup B Team, will bring national-level jumpers to use the jump, as well.
Numbers in the Nordic and jumping programs are up, Crawford said. He said the development team, development plus team and Little Vikings have seen growth.
Whether that is a byproduct of the new jump, Crawford couldn’t say.
“It’s hard to tell if the new jump spurred some excitement,” he said. “It certainly could have, but it’s hard to tell.”
Crews have started making snow on the inruns and the landing hill of the HS100. Crawford said they then would move to the HS75 and the HS45.
“We’ve been working for years to get summer jumping over here,” he said. “This has just shown it's worth its weight in gold. Certainly, to get year-round training is a huge benefit.”
The HS45 project was funded by grants from Great Outdoors Colorado, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Recreation Fund, the Colorado Group Realty Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation and the Kettering Family Foundation as well as matching funds from the city of Steamboat Springs and many private donations.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com