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Snowmobile hill climb Saturday
RUMFORD -- This Saturday from 4-11:30 p.m., snowmobilers from all over New England will gather at Black Mountain of Maine for the mountain’s biggest hill climb to date.
Jim Carter, general manager, noted that "Snowmaking to cover the expert trails used for the hill climb began on Nov. 20, the earliest date ever for the manmade material. It went for a few days, stopped due to warmer temperatures, then got underway again.
Registered racers will have four opportunities to race up the mountain. New to this year’s event is the Hill Climb Elimination and Grudge Matches. During the Hill Climb Elimination the day’s top eight racers will have a chance to go head to head up the mountain, with the first racer who crosses the finish line moving on to the next round. Following the Hill Climb Elimination, there will be Grudge Matches in which snowmobilers will be able to challenge each other in a head to head race up the mountain. You do not have to be a registered racer to enter the Grudge Matches, but it is required that you fill out a waiver before participating.
Carter said this is the fourth year for the hill climbs, although it was popular previously when the mountain hosted them back in the '90's.
Like last year, three hill climbs are slated, although the third one last year was cancelled because temperatures reached the 60s.
Registration fees for Hill Climb Racers are $25 per class the day of the race or $20 per class if you pre-register and pre-pay. There will be a $5 fee for each sled to enter the Grudge Matches. Admission at the gate is free to those under age 5, $3 for those ages 6-12, and $5 for those over age 13.
Immediately following Hill Climb Elimination Grudge match awards, free music and dancing by Stereotype (8 p.m.-midnight) will take place in the lodge.
For more information or to pre-register, call 364-8977 or visit www.skiblackmountain.org.
Meanwhile, Black Mountain is slated to open for skiing on Thursday, Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Christmas eve, hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
After being closed for Christmas, the mountain will reopen on Dec. 26 and will be open all week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discounted tickets will be available.
Big news is that the t-bar has been reopened this year after renovations and an approved inspection.
"We're excited. This services our terrain park and our alpine race hill. This should be a fun time," noted Carter.
For New Year's eve, don't forget to buy tickets so you don't miss Monsta and the Hooligans in the Battle of the Bands.
Tickets available at Davis Florists, Adley's Auto, Community Energy and at the mountain.
And beginning on Jan. 2, Carter said free lessons and passes will be given for the first time to kindergarten to second graders statewide. "We're getting a good response with this."
Last year, the mountain offered the same program but only to RSU 10 youngsters.