The Harris Hill thrills annually each year as jumpers from the US and abroad compete in the annual Harris Hill Ski Jumping competition in Brattleboro.
The 90-meter Harris Hill Ski Jump was re-built in 2008 to International Ski Federation (FIS) specs. It is the site of 18 national championships over its colorful history. Enjoy two heart-stopping fun-filled jumping days of music, tailgating, a climb to the takeoff for an up-close look at the jumpers as they fly by. This year, we will also be a stop on the United States American Ski Jumping tour in addition to the traditional Pepsi Challenge and Fred Harris Memorial Tournament.
The Harris Hill Ski Jump is a festive atmosphere with food, music, a beer tent and visits from Jumper the mascot. No grandstands. Some chairs and tables set up outside of the beer tent if the weather is nice. As cars drive into the parking lot you can buy a ticket at the gate and then you are directed where to park.
We LOVE dogs. Most of us have at least one. But we keep them home. At events of this size, with lots of people and noise, it’s the safest place for our four-legged friends. We don’t like to see them in cars either. We won’t necessarily turn you away if you have a leashed dog, but we ask you to strongly consider leaving your dog(s) at home.
At this time, we have filled all our existing food vendor spaces for the 2016 event. There is still availability for sponsor vendors. Thank you for your interest.
The Harris Hill Ski Jump is a great opportunity to see an Olympic-sized ski jumping competition “close to home.” And just like at the actual Winter Olympics dress warm, wear boots and be prepared to be amazed. We recommend dressing in layers, warm boots, hat, gloves as Vermont offers up unpredictable winter weather.
Free Parking at the Hill, or at the Brattleboro Retreat (with shuttle). Gates opens at 10 am both days.
How to Get Here
Brattleboro, Vermont – Exits 1, 2, 3 off I91,
Exit 2 to Cedar Street and follow signs.
Drive Times & Directions
New York City, NY, 3 1/2 hours
Boston, MA, 2 hours
Hartford, CT, 1 1/2 hours
Springfield, MA, 1 hour
Albany, NY, 2 hours
White River Junction, VT, 1 hour
From Points North and South
From I-91, take Exit 2 (Rt 9) and turn left at the end of the ramp (east) onto Western Avenue, take a left at Cedar Street and follow signs. The travel distance is approximately one mile from the interstate.
From Points East (in Eastern Massachusetts)
Take Rte. 2 West, To I 91 North in Greenfield. Continue on 91 North to Exit 2 (Rt 9) in VT. Turn left at the end of the ramp (east) onto Western Avenue (Rt 9), take left at Cedar Street. Follow signs.
From Points West (around Albany, NY)
Take the I-787 North ramp towards Troy, Merge onto I-787 North. Take the Rte. 7 East exit towards Troy/Bennington. Merge onto Rte. 7 East, Rte. 7 East becomes Rte. 9 East, Follow Rte. 9 East to Brattleboro. Rte. 9 becomes Western Avenue, take left at Cedar Street. Follow signs.
Closest is Bradley Airport in Connecticut
Others: Manchester, Albany, Burlington
Brattleboro – The One and Only
Please contact the Brattleboro Chamber of commerce at 802-254-4565 / 877-254-4565 or visit their website for more about Brattleboro.
Nestled between the West and Connecticut Rivers, Brattleboro offers visitors an exceptional variety of recreational activities, arts, entertainment, shopping and dining. As Polo Magazine points out, Brattleboro’s historic downtown “is crammed with bookstores, galleries, and cafes, and a quaintly lingering counterculture image is more than balanced by some very well-laid tables.”Passengers can still arrive in our town by train, with Amtrak’s Vermonter providing regular service. The view from the window has not changed, and is glorious during any season. But whether you arrive by rail or car, our corner of the state offers you everything that you want in a Vermont experience. If you are just thinking of resting here a little while or you are considering a longer stay, we offer anything that a visitor needs.
Please contact the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce for lodging ideas at 802-254-4565 / 877-254-4565.
Join our team – volunteer at the event.
About Ski Jumping and the World Cup
The first known ski jumper was Norwegian Olaf Rye, who jumped 9.5 meters in 1809 before an audience of other soldiers. By 1862, ski jumpers were tackling much larger jumps, and competing in official ski jumping contests. Ski jumping has been part of the Olympic Winter Games since the first Games in Chamonix, in 1924.
A little terminology: Starting at the top of the jump, the skier puts on his/her skis and gets into the start. In the early days, there was just one start, a platform at the top. Later, several platforms were used at different heights as a way to regulate takeoff speed. Current practice is to use bar starts with platforms on the side where the skiers put on their skis. The bar start has a wooden beam or metal pipe spanning the track and supported on both sides of the track. The skier sits down on the bar and slides sideways until he is at the center of the track. The skier gathers speed as he zips down the inrun to the takeoff. The track is one half to one inch deep in hard snow. The Inrun (that part of the jump from the starting point to the jump) has a pitch at the start of about 28 – 36 degrees and gradually gets less the closer you get to the jump. The last 20 or 30 feet is actually hanging about 10 degrees from level. It does not go up at the end. The Takeoff is the very end of the jump where the jumper leaves the ground and soars into the air. The Knoll is that part of the jump from the end of the takeoff to the steep part of the landing hill. The Transition is where the landing hill starts to flatten out and the Outrun is from the end of the transition to the where the skier stops.
If you let cartoon illustrations be your guide, you might think that the takeoff shoots the ski jumper up into the air – not so. Takeoffs actually angle downward at 7 – 12 degrees. And the track is not curved all the way to the end of the takeoff. The last section is straight. The rules for ski jump design prescribe that the length of the straight part of the takeoff (the table) be chosen so that the skier traverses it in one quarter of a second.
How can I start ski jumping?
Finding a local ski club is the best way to search. Ski Jump East has some great information here.
Harris Hill Legacy
The Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition is a celebrated Brattleboro tradition that dates back to 1922, before it was even an Olympic sport. It was the vision of Fred Harris of Brattleboro who founded the Brattleboro Outing Club and the Dartmouth Outing Club. The two-day ski jumping tournament brings world-class jumpers from around the world to compete. Over the years, Harris Hill has been the site of 18 national and regional championships, with the most recent in 1992 when it hosted the National Championships.
Crowds of thousands would come from near and far in their best furs (now replaced with Gore-Tex and down) and regalia to witness the event. Over the years, it has become a tradition with the people of western New England and has continued its reputation for attracting an enthusiastic crowd of spectators.
Only an occasional snow drought and World War II have interrupted this annual tradition, until recently when the jump fell into disrepair. After the 2005 event, the organizers of the jump determined a complete overhaul of the hill was necessary.
Ski jumping is a sport that truly needs to be seen up close to be appreciated and spectators can do that at Harris Hill.