On February 10, Seven Hills Skydivers of Madison, WI, located in York Center, Wisconsin, revived a tradition when it hosted ice jumps onto Lake Mendota, just five blocks from the Wisconsin State Capitol. Seven Hills has not hosted the event for a few years, but the wait was worth it! With calm winds and eight inches of fresh, light snow covering the frozen lake, landings were extra fun, safe and soft. Jumpers Griffin Davis, Jeff Dawson, Bob Felt, Alex Harding, Bill Kunz, Payar Pasha and Tim Smith made a variety of hop-and-pops, tracking jumps, formation skydives, wingsuit jumps and flag and streamer jumps from seven Cessna 182 loads during the demonstration event.
The skydivers exited over the center of the lake and flew downwind toward the lakeshore near the Edgewater Hotel, which provided the jumpers a room for packing. One jumper mentioned that the ride to altitude seemed colder than the jump, perhaps because his adrenaline kicked in after exiting. Volunteers shuttled jumpers from the Edgewater to nearby Wisconsin Aviation for takeoff. They also kept the landing area clear of curious onlookers.
Pasha, a first-time demo jumper, organized the event with Greg Porter and Sam Wright. Dawson, who jumped at the event and is a very experienced demo organizer, gave the group kudos by remarking, “It isn’t often you see that many people watching a demo, especially in the cold.” He added, “I thought you did a great job and put on a great demo! Not once did I find myself thinking that you should have done something different.”
Seven Hills Skydivers is planning to host the event again next year. It invites any jumpers who meet the requirements for open-field demos to contact the club about participating.
Alex Harding | C-45592