Summer skiing: Yukon freestyle jumpers build all-weather ramp
Futuristic ski surface, giant airbag landing pad the first of its kind in Canada
Yukon's freestyle ski and snowboard jumpers will soon be able to practice under the midnight sun.
Workers at Mount Sima are hammering Rebar and assembling pressure-treated 2x6 boards to create a freestyle jumping ramp that could be ready by the end of July.
"It's the first one in Canada so it's pretty exciting," says Yukon Freestyle Ski Association President Lynda Harlow.
The ramp is also unique in that jumpers will land on a giant airbag, similar to what's used in Hollywood stunts. Other summer ski ramps in Canada have athletes land in water.
"It will be really neat to see the rest of Canada come up and check this out," Harlow says.
'A big challenge' to build
He says he looked to Alberta for inspiration on how to arrange the lumber.
"I used a similar design of what's being used in the oil fields," he says, citing panels uses to build temporary roads in muskeg or swamps. "We adapted the system and make it a little bit lighter to get a slope," he says.
Vetterlein says professional surveyors reviewed the site, and an excavator was used to get the right angle.
Vetterlein says he'll be testing the ramp with weights before the first jumper takes the leap.
"I am hoping that a lot of generations of athletes are going to have the opportunity to train... freestyle jumping on this facility."
The project is worth about $157,000, with most funding provided by Yukon Government's Community Development Fund and Lotteries Yukon. The Yukon Freestyle Ski Association will own the ramp which will also be used in winter.
About 40 to 50 people are involved in the association.
Freestyle acrobatic skiing has been a Winter Olympic sport since 1992.