Luis on Tour: Seefeld and Innsbruck
We are bridging the (almost) ski jumping free period with a new episode of "Luis on Tour" from the Toni-Seelos-Schanzen at Seefeld and Bergisel in Innsbruck.
Luis on tour: A ski jumping hill fan on the roadBy Ski Jumping Hill Archive author and photographer Luis Holuch
In this part of the column „Luis on Tour“, we have a special feature: Ski jumping hill archive-author and photographer Luis Holuch reports about two hill visits: Seefeld in Tirol and Bergisel in Innsbruck. If you did not read the last part of the column about Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you should read it here, because this part and the last are connected with each other! So, now have fun in reading!
Toni-Seelos-Sprunganlage (K99, K70) in Seefeld in Tirol
From Garmisch-Partenkirchen, it is not a long way to the Boarder between Germany and Austria. To cross it, you need to drive on B2. It crosses the boarder beside the Westliche Karwendelspitze at Mittenwald. In Tyrol, this road is called B177. She is a parallel to Fernpassstraße and ends in the A12, Inntalautobahn. This highway directs one to Innsbruck (eastern side) and Vorarlberg (western side).
We listen to Austrian radio Ö3’s traffic service. There is said, that there is an 8 kilometers-long jam at Brenner. We need to cross it, to reach our journey-aim at South Tyrol. So, we decide to take a different kind of tactic, and leave the road at Seefeld. We need 45 minutes from Garmisch, to arrive in Seefeld. At our arrival, we are really surprised, because of the heavy traffic at the 3161-inhabitants-village. The most surprising thing is that the participants of the traffic are from Italy and Russia. But it seems to be usual, that Italians are in holidays here, because some welcome plates are in Italian language.
Our aim now, is Gschwandtkopf, where the hills are placed. In this area, some ski lifts are placed, and also one 4-person-charilift is running. There are not many hikers, because it is too hot today, and the possibilities to hike are not very versatile. Skiing in winter can also not be very nice, because the top of this ski are is on a sea level of 1.500 metres.
We leave our car at the parking area at the Valley Station. It is only a short walk to Casino-Arena. Cross-country-slopes (also in summer), a small shooting stand with six lanes and the two hills belong to Casino-Arena. We can not see the hills from our point of view, so we walk around the hotel.
Because of the heat, I take the walk together with my father upon the hills. The jumper’s lift is out of order, so we have to walk. As we arrive at the take-off, we take some pictures downhill. We can not walk on the inrun-tower, so we have to look up from the slope. The two hills look like a copy of each other. It takes 30 metres to reach the Normal Hill. But it is the same case as at the smaller hill: We can not climb up the inrun-tower. There is only a small platform at the take-off, where I can take some pictures downhill and also uphill.
But there is nothing spectacular anymore, so we walk downhill. As many of you may know, the hill does not play an important role in ski jumping, only in Nordic combined. This might be the reason, for the architecture of the hills. They should last long and have not the permission to be an art in architecture in the Alps. By walking down, you have a nice overview about the Olympic Area Seefeld.
On the subject of Olympia: The first Winter YOG took place in Innsbruck at the beginning of 2012. The alpine ski competitions took place at Nordkette, a small, but very nice and attractive ski area. The competitions in bobsleigh took place at the Olympic Area of Igls am Patscherkofel, 15 minutes away from Innsbruck. But the ski jumping and Nordic combined competitions took place at these hills, which we visited now. There is some publicity concerning YOG on a small-dimensioned pattern beside the hills.
Now it is already 12 a.m. and the sun burns down the valley. Because, we walked some steps in the temperature, we are lucky by making a pause. We walk to a near-by hotel, called “Sportleralm”. We order some ice cream and also some bottles of water. But as we get the bill, we are quite shocked, because some 0,33l-bottles of water cost 4,80 € and the ice dream only 6,50 €. So I said: “This can not be true! Are they kidding me?”. So I looked up for a plate and saw that we sat in a 5-stars-hotel. After telling this my parents and my brother, we run to our car and escape from here.
Bergisel-Olympiaschanze in Innsbruck (K120)
After shopping a dozen of drinking and eating, we drive to a near-by petrol station at the Bundesstraße. We buy some petrol and also a 10-days-Vignette – which is much cheaper than our break at Seefeld.
The traffic is quite low, so we arrive really quickly at Innsbruck. After a short stop-and-go-time before Brennerautobahn, we arrive at Bergisel-stadium. We buy a family-ticket, which costs 15,00 €. This includes driving with the elevator and the lift. From our point of view, we only see the inrun-tower and the lift. After we passed hub, we see some water on the plastic matting, which means, that the hill is in order now. And shortly after seeing that, we see two guys with skis, who walk in the same direction as we do. We let them pass and I am very curious, so I ask the some questions. They are telling me, that they are youth-jumpers and try to reach the Austrian C-team next season.
So I say: “I am sure: I would probably be a good jumper as well with my body, but I am too old now, I think.” The blonde guy asks: “How old are you? You look quite big and lathy.” I answer: “I am 1,88 m high by a weight of 62 kilograms - in the age of 16.” (Now, I am 17 years old and have still the same body). So the black-haired guy says: “Well, I am sorry. You’re too old to become a good jumper. But you would have the conditions to be a ski jumper. Your BMI is smaller than ours.” “Well, I think, that’s why I am a littler bigger than you.”
After this sentence, the drive time is over and we leave the lift. I tell them, that I hope they will make some nice jumps. The elevator we have to use now stops at three floors: 1. Den (only for jumpers) 2. Inrun-tower (only for jumpers) 3. Panorama-platform and restaurant
We push the third button and the elevator drives up. After leaving it, we have to walk up some stairs to enter the restaurant. Then, a couple of steps around the bar and we stay on the platform. The 360-degrees-view is absolutely amazing. There is now angle, in which something is not interesting. But now, I know how it is to look on a graveyard at the start. We watch the two jumps and also the irrigation scheme from here.
But then, nothing further happends, so we drive back to the “fishbelly” at floor 0. This small construction under the inrun tower shall care about stability. From here, we walk only a few steps to the take-off. There is a small screen, on which you can look up for the jumpers’ speed. The last speed was 100.5 km/h. This speed is usual on a flying hill, but not on a large hill. But the guys are not prepared for jumps with a smaller speed. And also the equipment of them is not new; that’s why they are not yet professional jumpers.
The jumps went above the K-point, which is a nice afford. In contrast to Seefeld, the wind is a bit stronger, but the wind nets stop it. The two guys walk to a car near to the tower. So, we decide to drive back, too. We drive downhill with the lift. From this point of view, I can see, what is placed under the slope: some small offices. Very impressive is also the TV- and judges’-tower. “I would like to work here in a few days”, I say.
As we arrive at the Valley Station, a small fitness training starts, steps jumping. If you want to look up the hill, you have to stand beside the Olympic Fire. There, you can also look at the winners of all medals of the Olympic Winter Games 1974. I don’t know about many names, like my father. I take some pictures, but I am very tired and sit down on the stairs. It is a little bit hotter as in Seefeld. The sun burns down, also on the majesty hill.
We stay nearly two hours here, which is a lot more than we wanted actually, but it was very nice. Our plan did not work, but about that, you will read in the next episode. Therein, I will talk about my visit of the hills at Dobbicao/Toblach and also about my holidays at South Tyrol.
Thank you for reading and see you soon!
Your Luis Holuch
Ski Jumps:Seefeld (Casino Arena)