Luis on Ski Jumping Hill Tournament: Ramsau
Within the fourth epsiode of our column "Luis on Ski Jumping Hill Tournament" Luis Holuch visits the ski jumping facility of Ramsau am Dachstein, which was hosting the Nordic WSC in 1998.
Luis on Ski Jumping Hill TournamentBy Ski Jumping Hill Archive author and photographer Luis Holuch
Directly connected with the last episode of „Luis on Ski Jumping Hill Tournament“, Luis Holuch is taking us this time to the border of Styria and Salzburger Land: he is visiting the plastic matting hills at Ramsau, next to Dachstein glacier. Have fun with reading the fourth episode of season two and feel free to comment!
Ramsau am Dachstein – Mattensprunganlage (K90, K30, K15)
Just before the short showers began, we made it back into the car and continued on our day trip. The sign for the ride to the Dachstein are thus not particularly exhilarating. But it is once again a ¾ hour drive and there is still the hope that the weather might turn. We return to the A10 towards Villach to reach the next destination.
After about 20 minutes we again leave the highway and turn towards east. The weather has not change much, it is cloudy and relatively uncomfortable. We go practical with the rain. There are still ahead about 20 miles to Ramsau on the Dachstein road. We pass some small towns with ski resorts, which I know in contrast to the others. And that is because I sometimes watch the „Wetter-Panorama“ on 3sat and the channels of ORF (Austrian TV). In this brodcast, the TV stations use webcams of Feratel to transport impressions of we ski resorts of Middle Europe.
The street has a minimum slope, so we are on 1000 metres above sea level as whe are close to Ramsau. We are passing unspoiled landscape with tiny lanes (probably cross-country slopes in winter); it is a beautiful place here. Despite the average weather. But the clouds thin out very slowly and the sun gets space. Just in time for the entrance, we have to put our sunglasses to not have too much to squint. On the left side, there is a huge fog bank which makes it not possible to see the Dachstein. We hardly detect the valley station oft he cabin car.
Some shops appear on the right side, not much is going on there. And just behind the tourist information center, the cross-country stadium and some steps left, the World Championship ski jump of 1999 appear. We stop in the parking lot of the tourist information and undress of our jackets; it is definitely too warm fort hem now. My mother goes with my brother to the main building of the stadium, while me and Dad (who is finally on fire for ski jumps) make our way to the hill. We take the two small on the right side oft he normal hill right on our way.
They are not extraordinary and not different from other small jumps. However, it is surprising that there are almost two equal children hills and right next to them such a big hill as the K90. This leads to the assumption that athletes drive in the meantime to Bischofshofen to train there. No child in the age of 12 is jumping one day on the K30 and on another day on a K90. We take a small path from the both children jumps across the mountain hill to reach the stairs up to the K90.
The most interesting thing about this hill ist he plastic matting: the higher you walk, the more less mattings are laying on the slope. Normally, this hill is frequently used for training. Even foreign athletes, especially ladies‘-teams, drive here. Since the existance oft he Ladies World Cup, Ramsau am Dachstein is host of at least one competition a winter. But today, there is no training; the ski lift is out of order.
There are just two small kids who are at the venue. Those boys are having fun at sliding down the matting inrun track with plastic cups. We have not reached the take-off as the guys are coming down the track. Their mother is calling them and the family leaves the hill. So, Dad and me have all freedoms here.
The high take-off (compared with other normal hills) which becomes very flat is directly eye-catching. Not only this part of the inrun, but also small the glass-fibre walls at both sides oft he inrun track are reminding me tot he old Letalnica in Planica (P.S.: I have not seen that hill in this moment). It is not possible to walk up the inrun on the side, where we climed up the stairs to the take-off. So, we balance on the take-off angle to get on the other side. There are small metallic steps who make the walk up very comfortable.
We enjoy a beautiful view on the Dachstein valley already at the take-off. It is just a little sad that we cannot look on the glacier, caused by the fog. It would have been great, but the weather god was not that generous. Something, that is kind of a trademark for this hill, ist he official logo of the World Championships 1999, a snowflake or a frost pattern – depends on your definition.
You can not only find it at the beginning oft he lading zone but also as a timber model beside the take-off, painted on concrete at the inrun and – of course – in the valley. But I think I have not seen it at the top of the inrun. This is the first normal hill, I am visiting in my life and I also want to know the feeling to be a jumper on this kind of ski jumping hills. So, I sit down on the bar. The beautiful view arround takes away some fear and the inrun does not seem very steep. I feel comfortable, in general. But like on every hill, there is the conclusion: with 18 years, I am definitely too old to start a ski jumping career; very sad.
I still enjoy just the views that comes my way and then slide back from the bar. My father is waiting on top of the highest point close to the door of the warm-up room and says: "Come over here, here it is even better." And he is right. It now looks even on all tracks and the small ski lift together at the bottom of Dachstein. Ramsau is not a big place with a sub-center. Here you can have peace and quiet, even in winter. Most travelers prefer to go skiing in the area, the four- mountains ski area around the Planai in Schladming. But Ramsau is the Nordic center, very popular at cross-country skiers.
Apart from Ski Jumping women, the Nordic combined athletes are annually guests here and provide something like event atmosphere. We do not feel much from that during our visit here, but the holiday is recovery. We are not able to walk in the warm-up room and so we go down a forest path. Very slowly, even if it is quite steep. We need about five minutes down to the valley where we first miss our other family half. We go to suspicion towards the car, when suddenly my mother waving from a terrace and shows us the way.
So, we finish this beautiful trip to Salzburger Land with a yummy piece of cake. And we also discover the shopping-street of Ramsau. I buy a soft-shell jacket at Willy’s Sport2000 shop and it should be in order on the following days – but not during a ski jumping hill visit.
This is it for this episode. You can now be excited fort he last two missing parts of season two. I hope, I was able to shorten the ski jumping-free time.
Ski Jumps:Ramsau (Mattensprunganlage)