Jumpers in Alpine ski gear will soar Friday and Saturday at Utah Olympic Park in the 49th annual Alta Cup competition.
The competition, known as a gelande, was a big deal in Utah skiing in the decade after its 1963 debut at Alta Ski Area. It waned after that but has been resuscitated by the Alpine Ski Jumping Association, which moved it this year to the K64 and K90 jumps at the Olympic Park outside of Park City.
Training jumps begin at 11 a.m. Friday, with the first round of competition from 5:30-7 p.m. on the K64 jump. The action moves Saturday to the K90 jump, with the Alta Cup competition at 1 p.m.
Unlike the Nordic ski jumping that usually occurs at the Olympic Park, gelande jumpers wear regular Alpine skis and boots with fixed bindings and carry poles.
"They really just like going off the jumps to see how far they can go with air time," said event promoter Paul Lodi, quoting an association mantra: "With a pair of skis and a little adrenaline, you become one with the wind."
Tim Magill, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., is the Alta Cup favorite, holding first place after four stops on this season's gelande tour.
Top challengers are Marsh Gooding, Burlington, Vt.; Pat Arnone, Steamboat Springs; Lynn Wenzel, Boulder, Colo.; and defending champion Rolf Wilson, Bozeman, Mont.
Additional information is at http://www.alpineskijumping.com.