Frequently Asked Questions
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’s event is a stop on the United States American Ski Jumping tour in addition to the traditional Pepsi Challenge and Fred Harris Memorial Tournaments.
The Harris Hill Ski Jump is a festive atmosphere with food, music, souvenirs, a beer tent and visits by Jumper the mascot. Chairs and tables are set up outside of the beer tent, weather permitting. Drive into the parking lot, buy a ticket at the gate and be directed where to park.
Free Parking at the Hill, or at the Brattleboro Retreat (with shuttle). The gate opens at 10 am both days.
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 Vermont Exit 2 (Rt 9) and turn left at the end of the ramp (east) onto Western Avenue. Turn left onto 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. Take I-91 North to Vermont Exit 2 (Rt 9). Turn left at the end of the ramp (east) onto Western Avenue (Rt 9). Turn left onto Cedar Street. and follow the signs.
From Points West (around Albany, NY)
Take the I-787 North ramp toward Troy and merge onto I-787 North. Take the Rte. 7 East exit toward Troy/Bennington. Merge onto Rte. 7 East, Rte. 7 East, which becomes Rte. 9 East in Vermont. Follow Rte. 9 East to Brattleboro where is it locally known as Western Avenue. Turn left onto Cedar Street and follow the signs.
The closest airport is Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks, CT.
Other airports are in Manchester, NH; Albany, NY; Burlington, VT.
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.
In the early years, a skier donned skis and set off from a platform at the top of the jump. As the sport evolved, several platforms at different heights on the in-run were built to regulate the takeoff speed. Today, a skier puts on skis using a platform on the side and then slides sideways in a sitting position onto a bar spanning the track.
A little terminology: The in-run is the part of the jump from there staring point to the take-off. It has a 32-35 degree pitch and gradually lessens to 10 degrees for the last 20-30 feet from the takeoff 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 portion of the landing hill. The transition is the point where the landing hill begins to flatten out. The outrun area runs from the end of the transition to the where the skier stops.
The size of a hill is referred to as hill size. This is the distance from the takeoff to a point on the landing hill (after the steep portion and in the transition) where the slope has flattened to a point beyond which it may be dangerous for a skier to land safely. Many people think that the size of the hill has to do with the size of the tower. A hill size used to be determined by its P point, the distance from the takeoff to the point where the knoll ends and the steepest part of the landing hill begins.
Brattleboro is a 98-meter hill size. In the Olympics there are two ski jumping events. One event is on a hill size similar to Brattleboro. The second is on a hill size of 120-130 meters.
Although it might appear that the takeoff propels the ski jumper up into the air, it actually angles downward 9.5-11 degrees.
The track is not curved all the way to the end of the takeoff. The last section is flat or straight. The rules for ski jump design prescribe that the length of the straight part of the takeoff or table, be built so that the skier traverses it in one quarter of a second.
Today’s specifications call for the track to be ice. Hard-packed snow was the old standard. The depth of the track is at least 1.5 inches. Modern skis do not track well since the front part is flexed upward and doesn’t have contact with the track. Today’s deeper tracks are necessary to keep the skiers in the track.
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.