Flying High at Pine Mountain

Ski Jumping 2010

Ski Jumping 2010, photo by Greg Kretovic

Once again, the Kiwanis Ski Club will host the FIS Continental Cup at the 120 meter ski jump at Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain. This annual event takes place in mid to late February every year – that’s Feb 20-22, 2015 this year.

The Ski Jumping Hill Archive tells the history of Pine Mountain:

The first artificial ski jumping hill at Iron Mountain was set up at Hemlock Street in 1929. In 1933 the first iron-made jump called Devils’s Hill was constructed at Crystal Lake and inaugurated on January 5, 1934, at the mean time the founding of Kiwanis Ski Club was celebrated.

In 1937 the construction of the ski jumping hill at Pine Mountain was started, 1938 the 156 feet high inrun tower and works on the landing hill were finished. Then in 1939 the first competition was hosted and Bob Roecker from Duluth won over Alf Engen with 257 feet and set up a new American record with this distance.

Since these early days Pine Mountain Jump has been renovated and renewed several time, just as the out-digging of the outrun in 1948 and the renovation and enlargement of the in-run tower after a fire in 1977.

In 1996 and 2000 World Cup competitions attended by up to 20,000 spectators were hosted on USA’s largest large hill jump at Iron Mountain, since 2001 a yearly COC competition has taken place on the wind-risky jump.

If you can’t make it up to Iron Mountain, the event will be broadcast online by and you can also check out this incredible helicopter drone video from 2012. While you’re watching videos, here’s a classic newsreel from 1949 featuring the voice of Mel Allen and some junior jumpers including future Olympian ski jumper Willie Erickson.

View Greg’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

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