The competitions that took place in Grenschenberg in Solothurn attracted many athletes and spectators. There were big expansion plans.
At 73 years old, Rudi Feller no longer jumps from a ski jump. In the 1960s and 1970s, he regularly did this on Grinchner Ski Day. Ski jumping was part of the Ski Club Grenchen (SO) Championships, along with slalom and cross-country skiing.
I flew blindly over the road into the ditch.
“I started at the top of the paddock and then got to the take-off table. Then I flew blindly over the road into the ditch. The landing was almost at the bottom, and then it went up again on the other side,” Feller recalls.
The ski jump was built in the 1920s on the Greenschenberg area above the city. The newspaper “Der Bund” wrote in 1927: “In Ober-Grinchenberg, at an altitude of 1,350 metres, the ski section of the T.-V. Grenchen performed a publicity jump last Sunday at the temporary ski jumping facility. The first event of its kind in Grenchen succeeded in attracting Between 400 and 500 people to the ski jump area, two and a half hours from the village. Through this publicity event, skiing in the watchmaking village of Grenchen once again gained many new friends.
Preparing with shoes
The Grenchen ski jump is prepared before the ski days in February or March. Rudi Feller says the preparations were complicated.
The preparation of the landing ramp was also strict: “It took 20 to 30 people to prepare the jump. They shook hands and ran downstairs. Most of the time, there were several layers of snow that you had to break through. We went up and down 20 times and then skied over it.”
Luxury watches attracted people to Grenchen
Grenschner's ski jump was not the only one outside the Alps or the foothills of the Alps. There were several facilities nearby, for example in Weissenstein, in Olten, Mumleswil or in neighboring Langenbrück in the canton of Baslund. The existing facilities in Langenbrück were dismantled only in 2010 – due to a lack of young talent.
The ski jump at Grenchenberg was not as large as the facility at Langenbruck. However, many athletes from all over Switzerland participated in the Grinchner Ski Day. From “Bieler Tagblatt” from 1961: “After the slalom, the convoy proceeded to the ski jump, where at 3:15 p.m. the first jumper raced over the Bakken. The beautiful flights were rewarded with great applause.
Rudi Feller says a ski day at Grinchner was popular because of the prices. Because local watch companies donated valuable watches, the Swiss champions also traveled to the local Grenchen Mountain.
Gondola Lift and North Centre
In the 1980s, residents of Grenchen managed to seize an old diving tower from Langenbrück. This made the jumpers faster and they jumped more. The facility in snowy Grenchenberg continues to be popular for training.
Rudi Feller tells us that there were big plans at the time: “They wanted to build a gondola. Nordic athletes came from Langenbrück and Olten to train with us. But the way up was very bad.” Next to the mountain station in Berggasthof Obergrenchenberg, a training center for nordic skiing was to be built – for ski jumping and cross-country skiing. “But this idea did not come about because the gondola was not allowed to be built.”
Then it was off to ski jumping at Grenchenberg. There was less and less snow on the mountain, and the effort required to prepare it was becoming too much. The ski jumping facility was dismantled in the mid-1990s.
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