C31 Genesee Ski Jump

The automobile made recreational skiing possible in Colorado. No longer tethered to street car lines, the people of Denver could do more than gaze longingly at the mountain front.

Skiers looked to the nearby foothills for ski jump sites. Genesee Mountain and Homewood Park were the two locations near Denver where jumps were built in the 1920’s. Ski jumpers from the Denver-Rocky Mountain Skiing Club, based out of Denver and Jefferson County, competed against ski jumpers from Homewood Park (southwest Jefferson County), Hot Sulphur Springs and Steamboat Springs throughout the 1920’s. There was no Interstate highway to whisk skiers to Genesee Mountain in the 1920’s, nor was there a U.S. Highway 40 clinging to the side of Mount Vernon Canyon. Only a disused wagon road. Weekend skiers had to navigate the harrowing Lookout Mountain Road out of Golden, to get to the site. Spectators took the streetcar from Denver to Golden, the funicular railway up the side of Lookout Mountain, then hiked through snow for 2 miles. Nonetheless, some competitions had as many as 10,000 in attendance.

Situated on the north-facing slopes of Genesee Mountain, the Genesee Park ski jumping area was the site of national ski jumping competitions from 1921 to 1927. As many as four jumps are reported to have been built on the mountain. The longest jump was reported to be 2,000 feet long with a vertical drop of 700 feet. Often, snow was trucked in from higher elevations for the competitions, forming a thin white ribbon for the jumpers to land upon.

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