By Clare Ogilvie
The ski jumps for the 2010 Olympic Nordic venue were moved into the Callaghan Valley this week after a long journey by barge up Howe Sound and by truck from Squamish to Whistler.
“Delivery of the actual ski jumps, especially through these unique transport modes, marks a significant milestone in the early completion of this sport venue for the 2010 Winter Games,” said Doug Ewing, project manager for the Nordic venues for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games.
There are two jumps, the K-125 and the K-95. The concrete towers that will support the jumps are already in place at the $115.7 million Nordic centre in the Callaghan Valley.
The superstructure for the jumps is made of massive tubular steel trusses and was built by a Port Coquitlam based business.
The structures were moved by barge down the Fraser River and up Howe Sound on Tuesday. After they were offloaded in Squamish Tuesday evening they were trucked to the Callaghan Valley in the early morning hours Wednesday, while the highway was closed to traffic.
“These really are part of a state of the art facility,” said John Heilig VANOC’s manager of ski jumping and Nordic Combined.
“It has a refrigeration system in the in-run, it has a really top of the line in-run grooming apparatus, and it has a covering system, so this is as good if not better than any ski jump in the system right now.”
The jumps, which are built to last for decades and were constructed by a company which makes roller coasters, are seasonal and can only be used in the winter.
When jumpers take off from the large hill jump they can reach speeds of 94 kilometres per hour and travel about 140 metres.
On the smaller hill ski jumpers can fly about 104 metres and speeds can reach about 87 kilometres per hour at take -off.