Westby’s ski leaping match to have fun 100 years

Snowflake Ski Membership volunteers are gearing as much as have fun the a centesimal annual ski leaping match, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4.

The celebration begins with a Snowflake reunion open to the general public on the Westby Rod & Gun Membership constructing in Timber Coulee (County Hwy. P, Westby), Thursday, Feb. 2, starting at 5:30 p.m. A chili and soup dinner can be served for donations from 5:30 till 7 p.m. A program can be held from 6 to six:45 p.m. Bob Bland would be the visitor speaker and the membership can be presenting a 2023 JumpMaster award.

Kathy Frydenlund, a volunteer with the Snowflake Ski Membership, mentioned anybody who has been concerned with the ski leap is invited to attend the reunion. “Now we have a Fb occasion going and hope to have present and previous royalty, board members, volunteers and ski jumpers.”

Friday, Feb. 3, includes a kick-off breakfast at Borgen’s Café, 109 S Primary St., Westby, from 8 to 10 a.m. Breakfast is free for ski jumpers and anybody who’s sporting a Gold Button.

Individuals are additionally studying…

Opening ceremonies for the Snowflake Ski Leaping Match US Cup on the 90-meter hill begin at 6:30 p.m., adopted by the competitors at 7 p.m. There can be reside music by Excessive Mileage on the Rod & Gun constructing after the competitors.

The Snowflake Junior Ski Leaping Match on Saturday, Feb. 4, begins with the opening ceremonies at 9:45 a.m. The competitors is about to start out at 10 a.m. The order for the jumps is as follows: the 5-, 10-, 20- and 40-meter hills.

Opening ceremonies for the Huge Hill Match on Saturday are at 12:30 p.m., adopted by the competitors at 1 p.m. The lengthy standing leap can be held after the competitors. Athletes who take part within the lengthy standing leap decide their very own beginning place on the prime of the leap earlier than happening the “inrun.” The athlete who jumps the best distance receives cash collected from spectators by Snowflake Royalty.

Following Saturday’s competitors, there can be reside music by Blue Collar 40 on the Rod & Gun Membership constructing.

The Westby Space Historic Society could have a Historie Hytte (historical past cabin) show on the grounds each days. The show will embody membership and ski leaping match historical past, together with memorabilia. The membership is 100 years previous in 2023; nevertheless, there have been a number of years with no match.

The 2023 Westby Snowflake Royalty are Queen Mackenzie Morey, daughter of Janine and Troy Morey, and Madilynn Sloan, daughter of Jenna and Randy Kuderer. The membership’s ambassadors can be available greeting spectators and ski jumpers throughout the match.

Meals and drinks can be found on the grounds throughout the match.

The Snowflake Ski Leaping Advanced is positioned at E7940 County Street P, Westby.

Admission buttons

This 12 months there are 4 normal admission buttons celebrating 100 years of volunteers. The buttons acknowledge P.T. Bland, Lyle Swenson, Howard Johnson and all volunteers.

Buttons are $15 previous to the match and $20 on the gate. Kids 12 and underneath are free. Group charges can be found. Button sale places are posted on each the membership’s web site, snowflakeskiclub.com and Fb web page, snowflakeskiclub.

There are restricted version collector Gold Buttons this 12 months that price $100 in honor of the a centesimal anniversary. “It is a fundraiser to help the membership and maintain the tools and amenities working, and to advertise and proceed the game of ski leaping,” Frydenlund mentioned. Gold Buttons might be bought on the clubhouse in Timber Coulee or by contacting the membership by Fb message.

There may be free army/veterans admission; extra info might be discovered on the ski membership’s web site.


The membership is inquiring for 100 $100 donations to boost funds to present money prizes to the profitable ski jumpers on the occasion. Frydenlund mentioned the membership is doing this to draw ski jumpers who won’t in any other case take into account coming to the leap, as there are numerous competing ski leaping occasions on the similar time and journey from overseas is dear.

“Now we have heard that at the least three skiers are coming from Norway,” Frydenlund mentioned. “We count on 20 to 30 skiers from throughout the U.S. to return as effectively.”

If individuals wish to donate $100 they’ll achieve this at any time by dropping off the cash at Each day Brew Co. in Westby.

The membership has established the Mates of Snowflake Ski Leaping, Inc. 501© 3 group, a nonprofit which raises funds to advertise and proceed the game of ski leaping within the space. At the moment they’re elevating cash to place plastic on the 10- and 20-meter junior jumps, in order that their younger athletes can prepare 12 months spherical. Greater than 20 younger athletes are studying to ski leap underneath the steering of a number of coaches.

A quick historical past

In line with the e book, “Vernon County Heritage,” in 1922 a handful of Westby businessmen attended a ski leaping match in Chippewa Falls. Most of them had been there to look at an area ski jumper by the title of Carol Gronland.

The e book notes, “Shortly after, N.O. Nelson was knowledgeable that Carl Gronland was invited to ski for the newly-formed membership in La Crosse. After some dialogue it was agreed that Carl ought to ski for the soon-to-be Westby Ski Membership. That very night, seven or eight locals met at Villand’s retailer after enterprise hours to debate how they might construct a ski leaping hill. The chosen website was on the Martin Holte property exterior of Westby. N.O. Nelson was put in control of the work crew, designing the scaffold and performing as foreman throughout development.”

The primary ski leaping match was held Feb. 8, 1923, with greater than 1,800 individuals attending. The membership’s constitution members included: J.T. Hage, Earl Jefson, Martin Oium, O. Villand, H. Nerison, Gunnar Mikkelson, Mangus Mikkelson, Carl Gronvold, Martin Holte and N.O. Nelson.

In line with a Feb. 14, 1923 Vernon County Censor article, 15 “riders” participated in that first match. The article famous, “… Westby’s ski match Thursday afternoon was heralded as an awesome success. All of the riders escaped with out damage. Carl Gronland of Westby positioned fifth within the occasion.”

In line with a Westby Occasions article dated Feb. 3, 2011, Oscar Villand was the president in 1923. From 1930-1939 no tournaments had been held. In 1946 Howard Johnson reactivated the ski membership and in 1947 Howard Johnson served as president. The present ski membership president is Tom Ellefson.

In line with “Vernon County Heritage,” six tournaments had been held efficiently till 1930, when the membership disbanded because of the Despair. In 1939, the match was resurrected with extra 2,000 spectators taking within the occasion. The following match was held in 1946, and the membership was reactivated underneath the route of Howard Johnson.

A Broadcaster-Censor article dated Jan. 24, 1957, famous that the 1947 ski leaping match was held at Seas Department. The article additionally notes, “A 50-foot scaffold, the ‘finest on this part of the Mid-West’ was inbuilt Timber Coulee for the 1948 match…”

In line with an article within the Jan. 31, 2022 The Nation Right this moment, “After internet hosting tournaments on three completely different hills, every progressively bigger, the most important and extra fashionable leap in use at present was constructed in 1960 with the primary match held in late January 1961.” The article additionally notes that the membership was renamed the Snowflake Ski Membership in 1925.

Within the fall of 1993 and winter of 1994, three new hills – 10K, 20K and 40K – had been constructed in Timber Coulee. In line with a Dec. 16, 1993 Vernon County Broadcaster article, Dr. P.T. Bland, who on the time was chair of america Ski Affiliation Engineering Committee, designed the three hills and served as development supervisor for the undertaking.

Junior and senior membership members labored on the hills clearing brush, surveying and transferring dust. The article famous, “The brand new hills mirror the up to date design of European slides, plus some improvements Dr. Bland has been growing within the final 5 years.

“These three hills, along with the 65K and 115K hills will give the Snowflake Ski Membership a set of 5 hills that would be the equal of any hills on the earth.”

The article identified that the brand new hills are pure, that means they don’t have any scaffold and all the things is constructed into the hill. “Younger riders will be capable of transfer as much as bigger hills at their very own tempo with out having to drive to websites all through the Midwest.”

Since about 2010 the membership has been holding a Friday night competitors underneath the lights, together with the Saturday occasion. Beforehand, the match was held Saturday and Sunday.

A nine-hole, par-three golf course was constructed on the base of its 5 hills in 1989.

In line with the membership’s web site, it’s one of many two remaining “all volunteer” massive hill ski leaping golf equipment within the Western hemisphere.

Base leaping is harmful sufficient, so why not do it on the sting of a glacier which might collapse at any second? Buzz60’s Tony Spitz has the main points.

Angela Cina might be reached at [email protected].

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