Suicide Hill to host 127th annual Ski Jumping Tournament

ISHPEMING – Some of the best ski jumpers in the world will head to Suicide Hill Wednesday for the 127th annual Ski Jumping Tournament, part of the U.S. Cup Ski Jumping Series.

Included will be some of the best ski jumpers in the U.S. – as well as jumpers from Canada and as far away as Finland, Norway and Slovenia – who will kick off the tournament at 6 p.m. with trial rounds, followed by competitive jumping.

Spectators can keep warm around the bonfire and treat themselves to concessions and merchandise from a heated building as the athletes fly down the 140-foot, 89-year-old jump scaffold and launch themselves into the air.

“The hill’s pretty much ready to go,” said Bob Hendrickson, president of the Ishpeming Ski Club, which is hosting the event. “We’ll start having practice tomorrow, and it looks like we’ll have 20, 25 jumpers signed up for Wednesday.”

Turnout for the jump varies, Hendrickson said, but is usually somewhere between 500 and 1,000 spectators.

“It’s weather-dependent. And it looks like we’re going to have a break in the weather this week,” he said. “It’s not going to be that real nasty cold, and the wind will be very calm, which is good.”

A full fireworks show, put on by the Negaunee Irontown Association, will take place after the jumping is finished, which Hendrickson said is usually by about 8:30 or 9 p.m.

“We try to keep it family-friendly so kids can come to it and get home before it’s too late,” he said.

Tournament buttons for admission can be purchased for $10 each in advance and $15 each at the gate, and buttons are available at the following locations: the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce, Wilderness Sports, U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame, Elaine’s Place, Jasper Ridge Brewery, Jubilee Foods, Congress Pizza and Buck’s Restaurant, all in Ishpeming; at Super One Foods and Midtown Bakery in Negaunee; and at Down Wind Sports and Sports Rack in Marquette.

Admission is free for kids 12 years old and younger.

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.