Pine Mountain Contintental Cup ready to soar in 2022

Sports

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) — The FIS Continental Cup returns to the Pine Mountain Ski Jump in Iron Mountain in February.

The tournament was canceled in 2021, the first time since 1939 it was canceled.

When competitors and fans return Feb. 4 through Feb. 6, they’ll have a new experience waiting for them.

“For us, this year, it’s a big deal. We have about a $3.8 million tower. The previous tower stood for more than 75 years,” Kiwanis Ski Club President Nick Blagec said.

This is the view skiers get before soaring off the end of the jump.

“We had to have a warming building on top of the tower for skiers to stay warm in between. If the wind is blowing and they can’t jump, they need somewhere to keep warm. The old tower would not support that, so the whole thing was rebuilt,” Blagec said.

Renovations started in May of 2020 and were completed later that year, but because of COVID-19, the tournament was canceled for 2021.

To help pay for the new warming building and ramp, the Pine Mountain Kiwanis has continued its tradition of booster buttons. Blagec said so far this year, it has raised between $14,000 15,000.

Booster buttons through the years.

“It’s a booster button, people have to remember that. They aren’t like a ticket at a concert or something like that. This is something, we have to have this to put this on,” Blagec said.

Volunteers are always needed.

“During the tournament for sure, you know you have to have blowers on the hill to keep the track clean, packing the hill in between. There are certain things that have to be done. The more people we can get to help. It’s not all just cold weather stuff too,” Blagec added.

If you’re trying to pick your spot to watch, Blagec said his favorite is to watch from the side instead of directly at the bottom.

“My idea of the best place to watch is on the side angle, not straight on myself. If you come here on a Saturday or a Sunday,” he said.

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