Tuesday, March 10, 2009

That was one ski jump!

The local newspaper had a picture from half a century ago, when on the UAF campus there was a ski jump. Online the photo can be found here, though the pictures are only thumbnails so are not as impressive as the big print in the newspaper. In the caption, it states that the top of the ski jump was on the ridge, i.e. I must imagine right near where the natural sciences building is now. Must have been one crazy jump! These days, the university lawyers would have be all over it.

I tried to find that picture in the Alaska's Digital Archives historical photographs collection online at http://vilda.alaska.edu, but couldn't find it (may be one of the ones not digitized yet?). There is, however, a 52-second black and white silent movie from mid-1930s of skiing at Birch Hill (right here in town). In the movie, a person jumps on a downhill slipe, but fails to land nicely, and, legs and arms spread wide, slides towards the bottom. That would be me if I ever dared to do that. And the next person does exactly the same! The movie is here (click on "Access this item" to view it from the summary page).

From the same location: Photos of Fairbanks a hundred years ago.
Fairbanks in 1904
Fairbanks in 1905
Fairbanks in 1907

1 comment:

Matt Heavner said...

I love crazy Alaskans--wahoo!

And I love the photo archives. They are fun (and infuriating at the same time!) to search through...

Here are a few Mendenhall archive images to put our photos in perspective. The lake didn't exist until about 1909. Here's an older photo just around when the lake was forming. and then when the "older half" of the lake was formed but none of the big rock bench was showing yet. Here's another archive of ice gathering and the rock bench is just starting to appear.

Compare those with our most recent picture--the big rock outcrop is a major feature, and the lake goes ~2 km back past the rock outcrop now.