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Long before Copper Peak was even a dream, jumpers were soaring in Ironwood. The Gogebic Range Club constructed the Wolverine hill in 1936, or at least that is what skiprungschanzen.com says. I learned to jump on these hills, which included a 5 meter, 10 meter, 20 meter, 30 meter, and 50 meter by old measuring standards. I guess the biggest one would be considered a 60 meter now or about an HS65. It rode huge, though! When winds came out the north it rode like a 70m. Steve Sydow of Duluth still holds the record…not sure what it was though. My longest on that was 58 meters. It could be a terrifying hill.
I loved these hills and especially the 60 meter when I was a teenager. High school was great. There were about seven of us J I skiers, or what today we would call U20’s. One day we decided after receiving about 16 inches of new fluff to spend the night out at Wolverine, doing an all night hill prep session. Lights had been installed on the 40 and 60 meter hills the previous summer. I think it was around 1988 or so. We were really excited about being able to extend our time at the hill with the lights because the UP winter days are pretty darn short as darkness falls early. We focused on the big hill that night and prep was quick by those days standards, though not easy. Side step down from knoll to R2 then back up and do it again. Rake the in-run smooth so we could set a good track, and we were set to go. Once finished, I decided to take a run, though nothing had been profiled and the snow hadn’t “set up” yet. Each of us took a jump before retiring to the chalet to stoke the wood stove up and settle in. It was extremely calm and cold that night. Temps probably hovered around zero F but to us it felt great! Someone (one of the older jumpers who shall not be named) even brought a little Rumpelminz to make our night in sleeping bags even a little more enjoyable.
The Wolverine hills were last jumped around 1994. However, if Copper Peak ever gets back up and running, it would be great to get Wolverine going again. How cool would it be to have home-grown kids ski flying again someday!
Curator’s note- photos poached from Max Doman’s fb page (Russians have nothing on this curator):
Curator’s note no. 2- Charles Supercynski left the following message regarding the Wolverine Hill on http://www.skisprungschanzen.com: Wolverine Hill was built in 1935 and blew down in 1963. Torger Tokle set the record at 216 feet in 1942. Wolverine Hill was rebuilt in 1975 and Steve Sydow of Duluth,MN set a record of 223 ft. in 1983. Ragnar Omtvedt did not ski Wolverine. He set a world record on Curry Hill in 1913.