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World Class Ski Jumping Comes To Michigan's UP Feb. 20-21

Mich ski jumpIt’s one of the more unusual ski weekends in the Midwest. Pine Mountain, Michigan’s UP, hosts an FIS sanctioned Continental Cup jumping event Feb. 20-21, which is often dubbed the “Midwest’s biggest winter tailgate party.”

The Pine Mountain Ski Jump is known throughout the jumping world as one of the best jumping hills in the sport. Every February, top jumpers from around the world will flock to Iron Mountain to test their skills against each other.

Thirteen countries are expected to have jumpers present for the competition. The U.S. record jump of 140 meters/459 feet was set here and still stands. The Kiwanis Ski Club has been hosting the event since 1939. Two World Cup jumping competitions have been held here.

I’ve been there and it is a spectacle in more ways than one. More than 20,000 spectators crowd around the bottom of the jump to watch the competition. Live bands will be playing and tail gating parties take place across the parking lot. You won’t see anything else like it in the Heartland, or the rest of the country for that matter. Training day is Friday, Feb. 19, which is a good time to catch the action without the huge crowd. This is almost like attending a Green Bay Packer’s game.    

The jump is located next to Pine Mountain Resort, which offers ski and stay packages. Midweek starts from $89 per night and includes a night’s stay with two adult lift tickets. Weekend’s start from $389 and include a two-night stay, two lift tickets for Saturday and Sunday and a $50 gift card. Family Escape packages start from $549 and include Friday and Saturday night lodging for a family of four, lift tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a $100 gift card.

Located on the same ridge overlooking the city as the ski jump, the ski terrain includes a 500-foot vertical drop with 27 trails and slopes, two terrain parks, three chairlifts, and two surface tows. Scenic views from the top of the ridge stretch as far as the eye can see. Catch some of the jumping and hit the slopes the same day. It's a short walk over to the bottom of the ski jump. Gate prices are $25 for adults and $20 for students.

Photos: Pine Mountain ski jumping event is among the best in the country (Pine Mountain/Facebook)

Pine Mountain ski jump 

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