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Skiers Take Flight at Snowbird Gelande

Snowbird, Utah - After a successful return to Little Cottonwood Canyon last year, the National Gelande Championships will take place at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort April 15-17, 2005. The contest will feature professional and amateur ski jumpers soaring hundreds of feet using alpine and telemark ski equipment.

"Gelande is a fantastic event for both competitors and spectators," said Snowbird President Bob Bonar. "Watching skiers soar over 200 feet on alpine equipment is not something you get to see every day."

Practice begins Friday, April 15, for all competitors. The competition gets under way Saturday, April 16, at 10 a.m. with the pro-seeding round and two rounds of amateur jumping. The final round of the amateur contest and the pro competition take place Sunday, April 17, beginning at 10 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow the conclusion of Sunday's events.

Amateurs will have the opportunity to practice jumping for free Thursday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants must sign up at the Activity Center on the Snowbird Center Plaza Deck before jumping.

The gelande will be held on Lower Willows run in Peruvian Gulch, which is visible from the Cliff Lodge, the Alta Bypass Road and trails within Snowbird. There will be food, drink and music in the spectator area. Admission is free.

Natural hills and specialized jumping hills play host to gelande competitions throughout the winter. Speed skiers, ski instructors, ski patrollers, professional racers and other experienced alpine skiers make up the ranks of gelande jumpers.

The National Gelande Championships are part of a month-long series of weekend events taking place throughout April at Snowbird. Other events include the InSpring Slopestyle & Big Air Amateur Competition (April 23), as well as the InSpring Superpipe Amateur Competition (April 24), which are both open to the public. Snowbird will host the First Annual InSpring Snowshoe Scamper race from the Snowbird Center to Hidden Peak, Saturday, April 30, at 8 a.m.

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