Turns All Year Trip Reports

2017 Backcountry Trip Reports => June 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: Lowell_Skoog on 06/25/17, 10:27 PM



Title: June 24, 2017 - A Midsummer Ski Tournament
Post by: Lowell_Skoog on 06/25/17, 10:27 PM
(http://alpenglow.org/misc/2017/LSkoog-20170624-0067-Lowell-Skoog.jpg)

Jumping in Edith Creek Basin on wood skis, leather climbing boots, and strap bindings.


The idea for this outing was described a few weeks ago in this thread (http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=38579.0).

For 15 years, since I learned about Miss Olga Bolstad and her victory in the first ski tournament on Mt Rainier in 1917, I've been inspired by the thought of reenacting the event on its centennial.

I was daunted a little by the realization that by 2017 I'd be 60 years old, and maybe ski jumping wouldn't be such a great idea.  But reality has proven better than my fears, so I decided to give it a whirl.

(http://alpenglow.org/misc/2017/LSkoog-20170624-0004-Jump-building.jpg)

Eric Lindahl (left) and Gordy Skoog prepare the takeoff.


In the end, my best accomplices were family and a few close friends.

Inspired by our dad, my brother Gordy did Nordic ski jumping as kid.  Later, with his best high school friend Eric Lindahl, he competed nationally in early freestyle skiing competitions.

My son Tom and his best high school friend Lee Swedin were also eager to honor Miss Bolstad, so the five of us headed for Paradise on Saturday morning. 

We were joined by some folks from the Seattle Times, who heard about my plans at NWAC's Evening of Mountain Storytelling in March.

(http://alpenglow.org/misc/2017/JeffSpann-20170624-0002-Lee-Swedin.JPG)

Lee Swedin posts the longest jump of the day, a little over 50 feet, in his alpine ski gear. Much longer and he would have started hitting the flats on this small hill.


We hiked up from Paradise and spent an hour or two building the jump and packing the in-run and out-run.  Eric christened the jump on his alpine touring gear, and the rest of us soon followed.

Tom and Lee were on full alpine gear, and with his recent freestyle experience, Lee showed us all how it's done.

Gordy was using our dad's 50-year-old, triple grooved, Nordic jumping skis.  Turning those skis with Dad's old leather boots was not a possibility, so Gordy would typically fall over and slide to a stop rather than running to the bottom of Edith Creek basin after each jump.  (He actually did make one trip to the bottom of the basin, on foot, after a ski got away from him.)

I was jumping in leather climbing boots, on wood skis with toe irons, but no harness.  I MacGyvered some bindings with Voile straps and neoprene crampon straps.  These gave almost no tortional support, so I carried a bamboo pole I could drag after landing to make a turn.

(http://alpenglow.org/misc/2017/LSkoog-20170624-0078-Gordy-Skoog.jpg)

Gordy demonstrates classic old-school "grab your pants" jumping style.


It was great to also see Robie and Jeff, old friends who I've met through TAY, and Gene, a newer friend met through Facebook.  A few curious hikers paused to watch the proceedings as well.

In the end, we all got in some jumps, nobody was hurt, and we cleaned up our mess before we left.  It was a stunning day on the mountain, and an inspiration to think of the birth of Mt Rainier skiing on a bright day just like it 100 years ago.

(http://alpenglow.org/written-in-the-snows/images/far-country/wshs-olga-bolstad-1917.jpg)

Miss Olga Bolstad at Paradise following her ski jumping victory in 1917. From Written in the Snows (http://alpenglow.org/written-in-the-snows/far-country4.html).




Title: Re: June 24, 2017 - A Midsummer Ski Tournament
Post by: Zap on 06/26/17, 07:54 AM
;)


Title: Re: June 24, 2017 - A Midsummer Ski Tournament
Post by: Robie on 06/26/17, 08:12 AM
Lowell nailed it on his first try and with perfect form! It took him maybe maybe 4 more times to perfect a crash.  Notice the flags ,they were jumping into the wind which surely limited the length of jump.  Fun day! Thanks to Lowell.


Title: Re: June 24, 2017 - A Midsummer Ski Tournament
Post by: Lowell_Skoog on 06/26/17, 09:45 AM
After jumping in floppy boots and bindings, I totally sympathize with Vinko Bogataj of "The Agony of Defeat."

A little sticky snow on the in-run can twist you or make one ski wander and it's almost impossible to recover from it once you're in the air.


Title: Re: June 24, 2017 - A Midsummer Ski Tournament
Post by: Chamois on 06/26/17, 10:15 AM
Aw, heck - why not?  Good show


Title: Re: June 24, 2017 - A Midsummer Ski Tournament
Post by: Stefan on 06/26/17, 10:29 AM
Awesome!  Good show.  Wonder what it will look like in 100 years from now.  People will be trying to emulate you Lowell!


Title: Re: June 24, 2017 - A Midsummer Ski Tournament
Post by: telemack on 06/26/17, 10:54 AM
Very retro-cool.  We skied at Chinook but I was thinking about you off to the west.


Title: Re: June 24, 2017 - A Midsummer Ski Tournament
Post by: ShailCaesar! on 06/26/17, 11:31 AM
Glad it went well! My first trip up to Camp Muir was longer than I anticipated, 8 hours car to car and I didn't get going until 6:30. What a place! I'll be back. Thanks for the motivation!


Title: Re: June 24, 2017 - A Midsummer Ski Tournament
Post by: flowing alpy on 06/27/17, 04:24 PM
LS, I admire your motivation, she looks fun 4 sure!


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