On February 8, Seven Hills Skydivers of Madison, WI, which is located in York Center, hosted its third annual Ice Jumps event. During the chilly mid-winter event, the jumpers land on frozen Lake Mendota in the state capitol of Madison. This year, more than 20 new and returning jumpers attended, including those from Seven Hills and neighboring DZs Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois; Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois; Skydive Iowa; Skydive Milwaukee in East Troy, Wisconsin; Skydive Wissota in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; and Wisconsin Skydiving Center in Jefferson.
The action started at 10 a.m., and jumping operations continued all the way through sunset. Weather conditions were ideal, and three Cessna 182s (one from Skydive Milwaukee and two from Wisconsin Skydiving Center) helped the skydivers make 70 jumps in multiple disciplines, including formation skydiving, tracking and wingsuiting. Jera Beckwith, Grant Bowen, Carl Francis, Hailee Giusti, Elijah Romer, Galen Stielstra, Eric Sweet and Andy VanHandel volunteered as ground crew and made the event both possible and remarkable.
For the first time, Seven Hills held the event in conjunction with the Frozen Assets Festival hosted by the Clean Lake Alliance, which raises funds to preserve and restore the water quality of the lakes and streams in the Yahara Watershed of southern Wisconsin. The concurrent event consisted of a 5K run/walk on the ice, ornate kites, sleigh rides to an ice boat on the lake and many other activities. The event attracted thousands of spectators, and the ice jumpers received lots of high fives and smiles.
Seven Hills is planning to share the fun again next year during the second weekend of February. Jumpers can learn more about attending at sevenhillsskydivers.org.
Payar Pasha | D-38861
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