I traveled to the Northwest corner of the state yesterday with a friend that shoots for the local paper so I could put a little more experience under my belt. I don’t know when I’ll ever do it again but if I do I know the routine now. We went up to shoot at the 86th Annual Salisbury Invitational Ski Jump hosted by the Salisbury Winter Sports Association (yes the Salisbury made famous by Rip Torn.) Despite the fact we’ve had no snow to speak of the jump and landing zone were coated with a good inch or two of the white stuff. They trucked in man-made snow and spread it over the hill from what I understand. The weather was cold, especially bitter after we climbed the hill to get a better vantage point on the skiers. I should have followed my friend when he first climbed just under the very end of the jump ramp but I missed a lot of good images because I had another shot envisioned, which unfortunately just didn’t work out. There was a smaller than expected field of competitors and onlookers, which race officials attributed to the lack of snowfall in the region. They estimated a crowd of 2,00o the previous year and there were less than two hundred this year. The ski jump itself was brand new this year, the old jump from what I was told was a little wobbly and they took it down in a controlled burn (you can see photos of it and read more general information about the events of the weekend at the Jumpfest event page.)
I give the jumpers much respect, just climbing that hill to the halfway point and then back down had me exhausted (I really need to start using the stair stepper), I can’t imagine going all the way to the top multiple times after throwing yourself down it at high speeds. There’s a full gallery of the photos here, a few sample images below and as always I appreciate any feedback through the comments or the contact page, check out the rest of the site and if you’re interested in anything most of the images are available as prints in various sizes.