EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- With the sun shining and unseasonably warm temps, many here in the Chippewa Valley are taking advantage of what a Wisconsin winter has to offer.
Area families made their way to Mt. Washington today for the annual Learn to Ski Day.
Flying Eagles Ski Club of Eau Claire puts on the event every year, continuing to the tradition of ski jumping unique to our area for more than a century.
“This club has been in existence for most of those years,” said Flying Eagles Ski Club Head coach Bill Dowling.
For a decade now the Flying Eagles Ski Club has been hosting annual Learn to Ski Day for kids, all free of charge.
“We hope to get them excited about the sport and keep the legacy of ski jumping alive.
Mick Sarauer brought his 7-yaer-old daughter Jaidynn, who says her favorite thing was- “going down the hills."
The ski club provided all the gear and equipment; and all the family had to do, is just to show up.
“We just wanted to expose her (Jaidynn) to the sport, and see if she had any interest,” said Sarauer.
Flying Eagles Ski Club members were helping first-timers to catch onto the basics of the sport.
“You get to teach them how it feels to go on the bigger jumps, how it feels to even go on the smaller jumps,” said Landon Lee.
11-yearr-old Lee was one of the little trainers. He got his start with the Flying Eagles at the free Learn to Ski Day, five years ago.
“My favorite part would have to be me flying through the air; the speed, the air, 20 feel looking down right when you’re jumping, explained Lee.
Dowling says the club is now working on adding a summer jumping program.
“We put plastic on the landing hills and that allows the kids to come out in the summer; no need for snow, we just wet down the plastic and they ca n jump year-round,” added Dowling.
Some members of the Flying Eagles Ski Club participate in the Silver Mine Invitational January 18 and 19.