Pine Mountain

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The Pine Mountain Ski Jump is one of the highest artificially created ski jumps in the world, located in Iron Mountain, Michigan, Dickinson County. It is part of the Kiwanis Ski Club and hosts annual FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cup competitions. “Pine Mountain Slide is known throughout the world as one of the better jumping hills.” Annually in February, it “hosts jumpers from around the world at the best tournament in the United States.” Top-rated foreign jumpers compete. Currently (excluding ski flying hills) Pine Mountain holds the U.S. records for the longest jump in World Cup competition at 140m (459 feet), as well as the overall distance record at 143.5m (471 feet). The facility also includes two smaller ski jumping hills that are built into the hill northwest of the large hill. Attendance is about 20,000.

Specifications

  • Scaffold height: 176 feet (54 m)
  • Scaffold length: 117m
  • Length of underhill (end of take-off to outrun): 632 feet (193 m)
  • Length of underhill (end of scaffold to end of outrun): 1,032 feet (315 m)
  • Critical point (K-point) of landing hill: 394 feet (120 m)
  • Hill Size (HS): 133m
  • Pitch of landing hill: 39°
  • Estimated speed of skiers at takeoff (variable depending on wind and other factors): 55–65 mph (89–105 km/h)

History

Construction of the jump began in 1937 and was completed in 1938. At the time it was 156 feet (48 m) high. It hosted its first competition in 1939. In 1948, the outrun was dug out, and in 1977 the inrun tower was made larger (to the current 176 feet (54 m)) after a fire. There have been numerous other renovations over the years. In 1996 and 2000 the hill hosted the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, bringing in 20,000 spectators. However, it has not hosted one since, and now hosts annual FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cup competitions.

Locally known as “Giant Pine Mountain,” it is reputed worldwide to be one of the best ski jumping facilities. The ski jumping fans are said to be friendly. It is also considered by most jumpers as the most challenging jump on the Continental Cup circuit and in the world. This partly is due to the fact that the top of the jump is nearly 600 feet above all of the surrounding landscape giving the jumpers the same view that they would have if they were standing on top of a 60 story skyscraper. Also, because of the jump and hill’s high rise above the surrounding landscape there is a significant wind factor for jumpers making it more challenging.

Excluding ski flying hills, the Pine Mountain Ski Jump is the largest ski jump in the United States and it is between the 3rd and 8th tallest man-made ski jump in the world (depending on how height is measured). There are two other ski jumps in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: Copper Peak is the only Ski flying venue in the western hemisphere, located near Ironwood, Michigan (and has been called “Suicide hill”), as well as the pre-existing Suicide Hill Ski Jump located at Ishpeming, Michigan, which is near the National Ski Hall of Fame.

Jump Records

Below is the list of past and current record holders:

Year Distance (m) Distance (ft) Name Country
1939 78 256 Bob Rocker United States USA
1941 81.5 267 Alf Engen Norway NOR
1942 88 289 Torger Tokle Norway NOR
1949 89 292 Joe Perrault United States USA
1949 89.5 294 Matti Pietikäinen Finland FIN
1949 90.5 297 Joe Perrault United States USA
1955 91.5 300 Rudy Maki United States USA
1961 96 315 Jim Brennan United States USA
1962 96.5 317 Pekka Tirkkinen Finland FIN
1965 99 325 John Balfanz United States USA
1968 102 335 Adrian Watt United States USA
1971 105 344 Jerry Martin United States USA
1978 113 371 Gebhart Aberer Austria AUT
1980 121.5 399 Armin Kogler Austria AUT
1991 122 400 Werner Schuster Austria AUT
1996-02-18 131.5 431 Masahiko Harada Japan JPN
1996-02-18 131.5 431 Jens Weißflog Germany GER
1996-02-18 140 460 Masahiko Harada Japan JPN
2002-02-23 142 466 Kalle Keituri Finland FIN
2004-02-21 142 466 Olav Magne Dønnem Norway NOR
2006-02-18 142.5 468 Stefan Kaiser Austria AUT
2009-02-15 142.5 468 Lukas Müller Austria AUT
2009-02-15 143.5 471 Stefan Thurnbichler Austria AUT

Getting there

From US Highway 2 in town (Iron Mountain), turn west onto Kent Street just south of the Chapin Pit, and follow the signs. In about 34 mile (1.2 km), look for Upper Pine Mountain Road which winds up to the hilltop. There is no charge. The view from the observation deck at the top of the jump is about 30 miles (48 km).

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References and More Info

  • Trail Location
  • Compass Latitude
    45°50'21.5"N
  • Compass Longitude
    88°05'18.1"W
  • Numeric Latitude
    45.839302
  • Numeric Longitude
    -88.088375
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