Post by Cindy

Skihopp (pronounced “shee-hop,” and also known as ski jumping) is a unique Norwegian past time. Kids mess around with it by building jumps in their back yards.  Folks in Morgedal, the Cradle of Skiing, ski off the roofs of their houses.  On Friday, Niels showed me an old ski jump trail in the woods south of Porsgrunn. We actually hiked up this thing, and it wasn’t an easy stroll. Locals used this ski jump between the 1870s and 1930s, and an old-timer had told Niels that they called it “Once in a Lifetime.”  Either you did it once and never tried it again, or tried it once and didn’t survive!  I suppose the survivors of all these various homegrown skihopp adventures might eventually end up at Holmenkollen in Oslo – the real deal.

We’ve seen film footage of skihoppers, and I am always struck by the beauty and grace with which they fly through the air.  They begin to set up their landing while they are still airborne, and (at least in the movies they’ve been showing us) land in a perfect “Telemark” position, with knees bent, one foot ahead of the other, and the back heel up. Now that’s what I call free heel skiing! The Sande Rotary Club treated us to a ride in the ski simulator at Holmenkollen, and the feeling of flying effortlessly through the air and gliding to a perfect finish was pretty great.  I would like to try it…  I think I might be able to build a skihopp in my backyard….

Back yard skihopp, in the woods behind Arne and Ranveig's.

Hiking up the "Once in a Lifetime" skihopp near Porsgrunn.

Skihopper, in the Morgedal style.

Holmenkollen Skihopp in Oslo. They will be hosting the 2011 World Championships.

post by Cindy Mom


1 Comment»

  Cindy wrote @

Hello Cindy,
Kjell Ivar Brynsrud tells me that the name of the skijump in Norwegian was “siste reis” which means “the last trip” as used when you follow someone at the funeral..

Niels Jørgen Andersen

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