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Kjosen Hill

1938 to Early 1940s

Name of Ski Area: Kjosen Hill (Ski Jump)
Location: Anchorage, north side of Chester Creek directly south of the end of I Street (as it connects to the Minnesota By-Pass), next to the current covered walkway that leads down to the Chester Creek Greenbelt.
Type of Area: Ski Jump
Dates of Operation: 1938 to Early 1940s
Who Built It?: Edvardt Kjosen, Ralph Soberg, George Rengard, John Hyland, John Bagoy
Jump Size:

20 meters (approx.)

Facilities: None
Miscellaneous: Edvardt Kjosen spearheaded the building of this jump.  The jump in-run was built from black spruce logs and planks cut by a local homesteader's Model T engine - powered whipsaw.

A previous jump was built on the south side of Chester Creek in 1937.  This skiing location was called Richmond Hill.  This south-side jump was abandoned because the jumpers were soon out-jumping the landing hill.  So it was decided in 1938 to make a this new jump on the north side of Chester Creek.

This jump was likely the second nordic-style ski jump built in Anchorage.  The first being the South Chester Creek ski jump on Richmond Hill.

Sources of Information:

John Bagoy, Jim Reekie, Abert Bailey, Karl Eid archive collection at UAA Cosortium Library.

~  PHOTOS  ~

These 1937/38 photos show the Kjosen Hill ski jump.  The outrun heads down to Chester Creek.  What is interesting is the number of spectators that trecked to the edge of town to watch.  The jumper in both of these pictures is George Rengard.

(click on either images to expand them)

[Photo Credit:  Karl F. Eid collection, UAA Consortium Library Archives]

Eide_Kjosen_1937_takeoff.jpg (214384 bytes)

Eide_Kjosen_1937_landing.jpg (169346 bytes)


This 2002 aerial view of Anchorage shows the estimated location Kjosen Hill and Richmond Hill jump sites.

(click on this view to expand it)

terra_chester.jpg (174642 bytes)

A zoomed in view shows the estimated location of the Kjosen Hill Ski Jump.  The jump outrun would have been across the present day Chester Creek Trail and over to the bank of Chester Creek.

(click on this view to expand it)

terra_zoom_northchester.jpg (147756 bytes)

Research Correspondence 
[Site visit on 09 December 2004 by Jim Reekie, Albert Bailey and Tim Kelley]

Jim Reekie and Albert Bailey, who went to Anchorage High School together in the late 30's and early 40's, took me down to the Chester Creek area to see if they could remember where the jump was.  Albert pointed out that back in the 1930s the Minnesota Bypass had not been made [it was made in 1968].  So to get to downtown Anchorage you had to take Spenard down across Chester Creek and go northwest around and up into Anchorage.  Albert said that from the Chester Creek area on Spenard Road you could look up on the hill to the north of Chester Creek and see the jump.  Jim pointed out areas he though the jump may have existed.  Between Jim, Albert and John Bagoy' memories (see below) - the location of the jump was determined to be to the south of the end of I Street (if it were extended into the Chester Creek Greenbelt).

[John Bagoy - 11 December 2004 phone conversation with Tim Kelley]

Jump on the south side of Chester Creek was the first jump built.  It was built in 1937 by Edvardt Kjosen (died in Anchorage, buried in Anchorage cemetary), Ralph Solberg (died in California), George Rengard (died in Norway), John Hyland and John Bagoy.

John Bagoy and his family lived in the late 1930s on 4th and A.  Norwegian Edvardt Kjosen lived in a cabin over the hill.  Edvard would come by and visit the Bagoys frequently.  Edvardt would tell John's parents, in broken English: "I'm gonna make a Yumper out of Yohn!"

Black spruce from the Chester Creek area was used to build the jump scaffolding.  Planks for the in run were cut from spruce in the area with the help of a fellow that had a whipsaw powered by and old Model T engine.

These jumpers soon "out-jumped" the jump on the south side of Chester Creek.  They were jumping 60-70 feet.  Because they were now landing on the flats out past the bottom of the jump hill, this group decided to build a similar, but slightly bigger jump on the north side of Chester Creek in 1938.

"Who's land were these jumps built on?"  Oh, back then no one much cared about that stuff.  Some homesteader's land I guess.

The jump on the north side of Chester Creek would have been off the end of I street (next to where the covered stairway down to the Chester Creek Greenbelt is).  The jump on the south side of Chester Creek would have been directly to the south, on the north slope of the hill to the east of Spenard Road.



Do you have further information, stories or pictures that you would like to contribute about this ski area?