The inclined lift at the Schattenberg Oberstdorf ski-jump can be used by competitors and visitors alike. Since it is designed for unsupervised operation it has been built to operate as a regular passenger lift. Truth is there's almost nothing regular about it. The 200m journey up the hill from the arena to the main ski-jump tower covers a vertical travel of 66m. The gradient changes in the slope means that the car’s inclination has to be adjusted dynamically during the trip. The car’s control system is linked by radio-telemetry to the motor-room.
On this fine late summers day, when I took this panorama, the last thing I expected was to see skiers practising. Sounding like an approaching high speed train they glide down at speeds of over 90kmh with their skis riding in nylon channels in the 140m jump, landing on artificial grass matting. I naturally wanted to capture one of these brave men in full flight in the pano, but by the time I got the shot set up and the car stopped mid-track, they'd stopped jumping for a period of track maintenance. You can’t control everything.
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