Snowmobiles and snow bikes took over from skiers and snowboarders at Mount Sima for Yukon Yamaha’s Uphill Challenge on April 13 and 14.
Held seven of the last 10 years at the ski hill, the event was expanded this year to include a second day and an entirely new event.
Day one consisted of the usual uphill event, where snowmobiles and snow bikes race up a course from the bottom of the chairlift to the top of Dan’s Descent, while day two was the new sled and shred, where snowmobiles and snow bikes pulled skiers or snowboarders up a simplified course before the skiers or snowboarders raced back to the bottom.
Jason Adams, owner of Yukon Yamaha, said this year went smoothly and that the new event was a hit.
“It went the best it has ever gone, logistics-wise and operations-wise,” said Adams. “I really think that we all had our eyes opened Sunday — both communities — as far as motorized and non-motorized. I think everyone had their eyes opened on what could be done there.”
Adams said there is already some talk of trying to start up a small series of races next year — a triple crown of sorts, he explained — since the day two format left the hill largely undisturbed.
“I think what you’ll see come out of this is the word of mouth and the stories that will be told from this point forward are going to create a bigger event next year,” said Adams. “It’s the type of event you can hold there without having to tear up Dan’s Descent like we do with the snow cross. … Within a few hours it’s like we were never there.”
This year’s snow cross course was a change from years past — namely the big air landing usually turned into a tabletop was bypassed entirely this year — and Adams said the change made the course safer and accessible for the more casual participants.
“That was always great for certain guys that have the skill set to do that stuff in the back country or have raced in the past, but for just regular guys with their mountain sleds or just recreational guys to show up, they want to have fun on the ski hill one day,” said Adams. “It was a little too much and a little too technical.”
In its pace, the course featured a high-speed banked corner similar to those found in oval track auto racing.
“We introduced a whole new feature, a NASCAR-style high-speed corner,” said Adams. “It had banked turns and separate lanes and it turned out awesome.”
On the snow, riders were split into four classes for the Uphill Challenge — 600, 800, snow bike and open.
Top spot in the 600 class went to Gary Lammers with Richard Law finishing second and Darryl Tait finishing third.
In the 800 class, Jake Jacobs was first followed by Joey Chretien in second and Ben Sternberg in third.
The winner of the snow bike class was Dewan Houde. Second place went to Chretien and third place went to Lammers.
Lastly in the open class, Jake Jacobs was first, Justin Jamieson was second and Marc Dubeau was third.
The King of the Hill on day one was Chretien.
The classes were slightly different on day two for the sled and shred.
In the women’s class, the duo of John Lindsey and Katrina Couch beat the pairing of Daryl Tait and Corrie Firth.
In the snowboard class, Jarrid Davy and Ethan Davy were first, followed by Joe Reynolds and Dan Boyle in second, and Will Fellers and Tyler Nichol in third.
In the ski class, Nick Dobush and Miguell Rodden finished first, Gerard Din and Charlie Haus finished second, and Jarrid and Sam Reimer finished third.
King of the Hill honours on day two went to Dobush and Rodden.
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