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Saturday, April 6, 2002 -- Champion, PA
WPSC Pond Jump (iPO Event Id#: 4736)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]

Pond Jump Pic
Just plain SICK!
I wasn't sure quite what to expect heading to my first ever WPSC Pond Jump, now in its 17th year. What I found was the the Woodstock of spring ski slope festivals, 7 Springs simply went insane! From the non-stop booming tunes and DJ Brandee's constant calls for a "social", to butt-naked big-air, it had it all.

We arrived just after 10:00am and parking was already a commodity on the North Face. Party-central was staged around the pond at the bottom of the Gunner Lift and for those that didn't get there early, shuttle buses ran from the main lodge all day.

The Crowd
Come and join the party
The scene looked and felt something like a cross between Mardi Gras and the tailgate before a college football game. Music blaring, grills smoking, and food and drinks everywhere. There was even a hot tub created in the back of a pickup truck. Complete with an elaborate heating system built out of a wood stove erected right on the slopes.

From the moment we arrived a steady stream of revelers where making there way down the road to join the fun. Many of them bringing lawn chairs, coolers, more food, and those hearty few with snowboards or skis ready to take the plunge.

The jumping was scheduled to start at noon, but in vain hopes that the clouds would clear, and the sun would warm things up, never materialized. By a little after 1:00pm, the show was ready to go and about 40 maniacs started making their way up Gunner slope. Helmets aren't required, but a life preserver is.

Going big
Yikes! This is gonna hurt...
The jump is just plain sick. This is no pond skimming, this is a bona fide jump. We're talking about a solid 15 feet from the top of the takeoff to the water, and that's before launching off at ridiculous speeds.

Call it brave, or crazy, or just plain idiotic, it sure is fun to watch. The crowd cheered as one after another they came down the slope, hit the ramp, sailed through the air, and splashed into the frigid water. The one reward was the hot tub that waited, and it was only open to those that jumped in the pond.

DJ Brandee
Okay Brandee, tell 'em what they've won
All the while beads were being thrown to the crowd along with t-shirts, skiing videos, hats, and plenty of other freebies. By the time 4:00pm rolled around it was time to come in out of the water for the last time. While the jumping came to a halt, the beer and food was still not in short supply. As a matter of fact, this was just the prelude to the indoor party.

As the crowds headed away from the pond, it became a pilgrimage back to 7 Springs' main lodge and the Foggy Goggle. Here the party would rage on well into the night. If saying good-bye to another winter on the slopes consists of a wicked hangover (for example...), it is certain that many of these folks bid it a fine farewell.