Nansen Ski Jump

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Nansen Ski Jump State Historic Site
Nansen Ski Jump, Berlin, N.H.jpg
The fully restored Nansen Ski Jump, early 2017
Location83 Milan Road, Milan,
Coos County, New Hampshire
Coordinates44°31′59″N 71°10′12″W / 44.53306°N 71.17000°W / 44.53306; -71.17000Coordinates: 44°31′59″N 71°10′12″W / 44.53306°N 71.17000°W / 44.53306; -71.17000
Operated byNew Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation
WebsiteNansen Ski Jump State Historic Site

Nansen Ski Jump, also known as The Big Nansen and The Sleeping Giant,[1][2] is a ski jump located along Route 16 in Milan, New Hampshire. Built in 1936, it was the largest ski jump of its time. It is now within the Nansen Ski Jump State Historic Site, a New Hampshire state park, which also features a picnic area and boat launch on the Androscoggin River.


abandoned ski jump
Nansen Ski Jump before the restoration, 2011

The Nansen Ski Jump is just north of the Berlin city line. It was constructed in 1936 by the city of Berlin and the National Youth Administration and was once the largest of its time. The ski jump has a 175.3-foot (53.4 m) steel frame and is 260 ft (79 m) in length. It has a 171.5-foot (52.3 m) tower, a 225-foot (69 m) vertical drop, and a descent angle of approximately 37.5 degrees. The jump is approximately a K-80 jump. However, the trestle and outrun hill do not conform to modern specifications.


For almost fifty years this was the largest ski jump in the eastern United States and the foremost jump in the country. The architect of the ski jump was John Barnard Nichol, a resident of neighboring Berlin. The Nansen Ski Jump was the site of major championship ski jumping competitions. In 1938, the first Olympic trials were held at the Nansen Ski Jump.

The jump was closed in 1988. In November 2011, a historical marker was placed to commemorate this ski jump.[3] Over time the ski jump evolved into a state of disrepair. In 2015, brush clearing work was started as Phase 1 torward a goal of restoring the site so visitors can view it as it once was.[4] The state of New Hampshire owns and manages the jumping facility as a state park.[5] As of January 2019, the state has agreed to allow the Friends of Big Nansen to continue renovations of the jump and to hold ski jumping and other events at the site.

In 2016 and 2017, repairs to the ski jump's decking were made by Knollstone Contracting of Bow, New Hampshire, in preparation for a celebratory jump by Olympian Sarah Hendrickson,[6] which occurred early in the morning of March 4, 2017.

In February 2019 it was announced that plans were underway to return competition ski jumping to the jump, hopefully in 2020.[7]


  1. ^ Paul "Poof" Tardiff. Once Upon a Berlin Time: The Big Nansen, Author House, 2010.
  2. ^ Union Leader. "Nansen Ski Jump Re-awakens after 32 years as women take historic 'flight'". Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Berlin Daily Sun" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 2, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  4. ^ "The Washington Times". Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "Nansen Ski Jump State Historic Site". NH State Parks. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  6. ^ Reid, Nick (February 1, 2017). "Rebuilt by Bow contractor, N.H.'s famed Nansen Ski Jump to host a daring last hurrah". Concord Monitor. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  7. ^ McCarthy McPhaul, Meghan (February 13, 2019). "Berlin's Nansen Ski Jump looks to 2020 competition". Manchester Union-Leader. Retrieved February 13, 2019.

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