Youth ski jumpers take flight at Satre Hill
Skiers launched from SWSA’s 20-meter jump ramp.
Photo by Patrick L. Suliivan

Youth ski jumpers take flight at Satre Hill

SALISBURY — Some 28 youngsters turned out Saturday, Jan. 6 and Sunday, Jan. 7 for the Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s ski jump camp.

The camp was originally scheduled for the last weekend in December but warmish rainy weather caused a postponement.

This worked out just fine on Saturday, with clear skies, no wind to speak of and the thermometer in the low 30s, which was quite chilly enough for onlookers and warm enough for the young skiers to break a sweat and maybe shed a layer.

The younger skiers disembarked from the bottom of the 20-meter jump ramp, taking turns with the more advanced children who took on the entire thing.

One girl of about six was having trouble getting up the stairs in her ski boots. A reporter was behind her, and observed that the boots, while admirable for their stated purpose, were not very useful on stairs.

The young skier paused to consider this, and said, “What I really need is someone to carry my skis.” She flashed a shy smile, revealing several recently-lost teeth.

The reporter obliged, and she scampered happily up the remaining steps. Moments later, she was whizzing down the hill.

Of the 28 campers, 20 of had never ski jumped before.

Photo by Patrick L. Suliivan

On Sunday the camp participants continued, with the added bonus of a few inches of real snow.

Just before the Christmas break, SWSA members came to Salisbury Central School as part of an ongoing effort to get more children involved in the sport.

Larry Stone, a Salisbury native and long-time coach at Lake Placid, told the students about the 98-year history of Salisbury ski jumping, and reassured anyone wondering about safety. “We don’t let kids go on the big hill until they come up on the smaller hills and learn the skills and tools.”

That philosophy was evident at the camp, as SWSA volunteers, including Ella Rydingsword, Caleb Gilbert and Seth Gardner, supervised, corralled, instructed and encouraged throughout the day’s activities.

SWSA’s Scott Fitch reported a total of 28 campers over the two days, 20 of whom had never ski jumped before. Fitch also reported 18 pizzas consumed.

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