The Alberta Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Association has found a new home at Canyon Ski Resort near Red Deer.
This winter, the jumps originally built for the 1988 Alberta Winter Games will be redeveloped and used by the club, which has been looking for a new venue after being forced out of Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
“As a ski resort, we’re interested in all things skiing and snowboarding,” said resort co-owner Robyn Martel.
“We have an alpine ski racing club. We have a freestyle club out here, a snowboard club. So for us, this was just a good, natural fit to have the ski jumping and nordic combined out here.
“Especially because the nordic jumps already exist on the northern most part of the ski resort by the double chair.”
Martel said the association has worked “quite tirelessly” since late August on the trail work.
“It’s been great to see a club so passionate about the sport,” she said.
Guy Bolton, association vice-chair, said a lot of work has gone into the jump.
“We’ve put in about 300 to 400 man hours so far, and we’ve probably got about 70 man hours left,” said Bolton.
“We’ve got a fairly substantial team of volunteers that have been working to get this thing built. With another couple days of it, we’ll be finished and ready for the snow.”
The club has been redeveloping the 45-metre hill, which is aimed toward intermediate athletes between 10 and 13 years old.
There will also be an eight- to 10-metre “hopper jump” children from five to 10 can use until they’re confident enough for the bigger hill, he added.
Canyon Ski Resort’s goal is to open its ski hills Nov. 11.
“It all depends on Mother Nature and when it allows us to start making snow. Once we can turn on the snow-making guns, we do. Usually, you need -3 C or below to get going on that,” said Martel.
Martel said the hill has been busy with projects over the past two years, with construction work for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. But this past summer was mostly about maintenance, she said.
“It was about taking care of the lifts and infrastructure we already have. A lot of work has been done to make sure the hills are in tip-top shape and to be sure the machinery infrastructure is working well for the season,” said Martel.