Pond Jump Special
Pond Jump 2001 has come and gone! If you missed it, or don't know what Pond Jump is, this is your chance to catch up. We have photos from Pond Jump 2001, and photos from Pond Jump 2000, and you can read about the history of Pond Jump below!
A HISTORY OF POND JUMP
- Courtesy of DJ Brandee
Every year in the mountains during early spring the tradition returns. Recently named Lake Sophie at 7 Springs once again becomes known as Pond Jump Landing.
While skiing Great North Face on a moonlit Friday evening (before they had light on the backside) in 1986 Rick Cellich and Carl Skylling discussed the possibility of jumping into "that one pond at the bottom of Giant Steps/Gunnar". Since it was such a clear and warm evening the idea of the next day being warm and sunny confirmed the idea of jumping into the pond.
The next morning, Rick and Carl, with the help of some willing locals, built a monster jump, six bales of hay high and two bales wide. The first "Pond Jump Bash" took place, with one keg of Rolling Rock, 25 or so people, and a gorgeous and sunny 75 degree day.
Note: Pond Jumping should not be confused with Pond Skimming. Pond Skimming simply requires a shallow often temporary body of water, and a small launch pad (typically one bale high). Goal in Skimming is to "Skim" as far as one can go across the shallow body of water. Pond Jumping in it's truest form is the art of gaining as much altitude and distance possible after launching from the jump. Skimming in a Pond Jump is optional, but not required.
1st Annual Pond Jump....."the beginning"
The first pond jump was remembered for the incredible weather we received temperatures climbing over 75 and the sun pounding all whom attended. It was also known for some close calls. Rick Cellich's second jump landed him 5 feet from the other side of the pond and he had to be pulled out of the sand. It was the first and only year lifejackets were not required. After two close calls (people dropping to the bottom) Lifejackets became a tradition and a MUST!
2nd Annual Pond Jump....."the annualizer"
The second Pond Jump brought more people and 2 kegs! The weather was slightly cooler, yet it was still a nice day. One of the locals, Dave Polutnik, had a $3000.00 auto stereo system providing the tunes. Wetsuits were not yet used, but lifejackets introduced. Matt Ross became the "Official Lifeguard of the Pond" Saving quite a few from the bottom.
3rd Annual....."keep it going"
After a horrible ski season, the third annual jump was held in March due to lack of snow. With a small patch of snow to work with a 200 yard long and 1 yard wide path was laid out. This jump required a good deal of skill in order to maintain speed, and yet to stay on the path for the Jump. This was accidently proved by Carl Skylling, when he failed to stay on the path and became the first victim of the Jump. Covered in mud, but in true form, Car re-climed the hill and made his traditional second Jump. Which also proved to be the last Jump of the day! Very few attended this Jump, yet the tradition lived!
4th Annual Pond Jump Bash.....".....delayed"
Delayed from the original scheduled date, the fourth annual Pond Jump is the first time the weather was too cold! With snow as hard as tank armor, buildig the Jump was almost an impossible feat, and certainly not feasible at that date. But, with plenty of food and beer on hand, all had fun tubing lower Giant Steps. After a few tube runs and beers, the gang even took out the "Giant Steps Express" (a sled created to haul logs to the warming hut) for a short and fast run down Giant Steps. The following week, the temperatures climbed allowing the tradition to continue. Tailgating was a popular sight!
5th Annual Pond Jump Bash....."T-shirts"
Up to this point Rick and Carl put up their own funds to buy food and beer for those that attended and participated in the Pond Jump. T-Shirts were sold during the 5th annual in order to defray the cost of the ever-increasing monies needed to be contributed to provide beer and food...The simple yet "fashionable" design was printed the evening before the Jump. They were White and Blue with a skier on the back, the words "Pond Jump Bash" and "33" on the front. Thanks to Rob Pettrich who helped Rick create the design while in a Chem Engineering class at PSU. Nick Nicolette provided the post Jump entertainment, at the Steps Deck. A great video set to Tom Petty tunes was produced by Perry Contini.
6th Annual....."Red shirts and fresh powder"
Since the T-shirts were a success more were created with red instead of blue. The night before, Mother Nature dumped 6 inches of fresh snow on the mountain, creating a picturesque setting for the sixth annual Pond Jump. This year, it was readily apparent that "Pond Jump" was no longer a local tradition. People from all over began to make the annual pilgrimage to see and / or participate in the Jump.
Probably due to the terrific artistic talents of Jeff Metzler, the seventh annual Pond Jump, marked the first year that funding for the Jump actually was met by sales of the shirts. A nice 60 degree day, there were more participants in the Jump than ever.....10 kegs and over a hundred hamburgers and hotdogs & chicken cooked by Yak Yak provided the perfect compliment to the entertainment. Once again, Nicky' band provided post Jump entertainment. Brandee emceed and played music out of her van beginning this year and a few years later Bob Storer began contributing an awesome sound system.....what a long way we came from a car stereo......
8th Annual....."Wet and Wild"
Definitely at this point the Pond Jump was now a tradition that was not to be missed by many of the regular skiers at Seven Springs. The eighth annual boasted over 300 people, 13 kegs, and a growing number of participants. Now the Jump had little traditions sprouting as well. Scuba divers showed up eager to retrieve skis lost on the bottom of the pond by Jumpers. People that never even thought about skiing came to see the "crazy nuts" that Jumped into a freezing cold pond. Snow boarders were also making the Jump now. This years T-shirts had "wet and wild" statement across the back....
9th annual....."Changing of the Guard"
Bobby Weston offered to help out with this Jump by co-sponsoring the annual event with Rick Cellich. The tradition continued. Nick's Band once again rocked the deck some members even using pots and pans for instruments ...and the post event became as much fun as the actual Jump itself. This was the year Bubba did some amazing fancy work off the Jump! Patty Weston designed new T-shirts with a skier flying off the Jump. Cold water and wet weather produced many little blue.......
10th annual......"Platinum Edition"
Since Rick moved to Maine, to start his career with Nalco. Bob Weston sponsored the Jump. Bob eager to do a great job, he and his helpers created a monster Jump that was almost too big! Rick made a trek back to 7 Springs to continue the tradition of First Jumper with Bob going second. Videos of the Jump had been done before, but now with the prevalence of smaller video cameras, a video from many more angles was produced. Later Scott Rodgers of Mountain Memories becomes our regular video and still photographer... About 350 people and 15 kegs were on hand.
11th annual...."Pond NO JUMP Bash"
Over - commercialization took it's toll this year and a move to prevent any possible accidents from occurring, the 11th annual Pond Jump was cancelled! Instead, partying purists and locals at nearby Buck RIdge kept the "BASH" in "Pond Jump Bash" alive, with a humongous party in the parking lot with "DJ" Brandee spinning the tunes! Plenty of food was on hand, supplied as was for quite some time by Patrick Gallagher. We could see the slopes from there and we had a little Buck Ridge puddle that we pretended was the pond!
12th annual...."A New Beginning......."
West Penn Ski Council became the official sponsor of the Annual Pond Jump. This also marked the first year that Pond Jump was officially recognized by Seven Springs. The beer continued to flow, and the shirts continued to sell...All monies from Pond Jump (by this point, it was making money) were contributed to Charity thru WPSC.
13th Annual....."Get your Ass in the Pond"
Seven Springs introduced Shuttle service, & the Foggy Goggle as the post party place where you could watch the days events on a big screen TV, thanks again to Scott Rodgers.... and so the event continued to thrive into it's thirteenth year. Brandee was performing double duty playing and emceeing at the Jump and performing afterwards at the "Goggle"...... Approximately 80 people jumped this year, totalling the most ever n the history of the Jump!
14th Annual......."Hot tub anyone?...."
A beautiful sunny day, drying up the rain from the night before. Mom and Dad Cellich are missing their first Pond Jump (Barcelona beckons...) This also marked the third year that WPSC donated the proceeds to the American Cancer Society (and Dan-O's bike trip around the world) Over 800 people attended and were treated to a day of over 70 jumpers. The Truck hot tub brought in by Kevin Gallagher and Brian Dudukovich added a new twist to the traditional after Jump warm up. Pond temperature was 35 degrees, Hot tub temperature-- 100 degrees...with purple hooter shots out of a gas can! The after party rocked until the wee hours as once again DJ Brandee pulled what has become the annual double duty (and she jumped in the pond too! ) Special note: This marks the first year that some close friends were not able to attend the Jump with us....Please take time to say a prayer and remember Jennifer McClure, George, Scott, Morley Frank and "Champagne " John Goodman! ALL of Whom are and will continue to be Greatly missed.
15th Annual Pond Jump Bash, Y2K...."A decade and a half tradition" 1986-2000
Hard to believe 15 years has gone by, since the first Jump...but the weather this day reminded all of the first jump attendees of the 1st annual PJ Bash weather. 70 degrees and beautiful sun. The kick-ass T-shirt design was once again done by Jeff Metzler, (first time since the 8th annual) Thanks to Tom and Rick Walsh at T-Graphics as well. This year brought the Biggest crowd ever to a Pond Jump. Well over 1,000 attended and around 100 Jumped! The jump is now built totally by the 7 Springs Groomers (no more hay bails) What a long way we've come! This year's crowd and weather combined to make it a most memorable Pond Jump Bash! Special note: this years Pond Jump was dedicated in memory of Denny Coffman..he will also be greatly missed! The after Bash proved once again to be FUN,FUN,FUN!
16th Annual....The Tradition continues...
To ALL....This is Our recollection of the Past Annual Pond Jumps. If you have anything that you can contribute to this please contact Rick or Rob Cellich or Brandee Bowen. (Anyone have anything to say about the grammar, be careful, we might throw you into the Pond!...just kidding!) Special Thanks to everyone who helps to keep the Tradition Alive!
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