Getting up at 6 a.m. only to stand at the bottom of a hill looking through binoculars for nine-tenths of the day is a definition of fun only understood by hillclimb racers. Same goes for the guys who spend half of their annual salary on a machine that will beat them to a bloody, bruised pulp after one weekend on the snocross track. Or the guys who slam their sleds for a quarter-mile 100 mph run across the ice.
That's why racing is best described as an obsession.
What makes it worth all the hassle? When does all the investment pay off? When do the late nights tuning or the long Fridays testing become worth it?
For hillclimbers, it comes when the throttle, suspension and timing come together for the fast time of the day. For snocrossers, it comes when a motor full of power and a rider full of heart come from behind and take the lead on the last lap. For hillcrossers, it happens when the throttle never leaves contact with the handlebar, and every jump, bump and mogul is timed perfectly.
The Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Association (RMSHA) is the premier snowmobile climbing circuit. With 10 scheduled races, the men who win on RMSHA's tour are the best of the best. But winning isn't always the tough part. With the growth RMSHA has seen in recent years, firing off your entry form fast enough to get into a race is where the competition is fierce. But with new events like this year's Widowmaker Hillclimb in Croydon, UT, who wouldn't expect interest to boom?
As for western snocross racing, the Rocky Mountain Cross Country Racing Circuit (RMXCRC) is where the action is. RMXCRC has the best venues, the roughest tracks and the largest number of entries. The tracks along RMXCRC's tour are epic. Men win trophies and the boys get carried off by their pit crew. To win at RMXCRC, you have to have the endurance of Lance Armstrong, the skill of Kevin Windham and the guts it would take for Howard Dean to fund-raise in Texas. Well, it's almost that tough. Just ask 2003 Pro points champion Brian Call.
The big news in World Snowmobile Association (WSA) snocross racing this year is the expected return of Tucker Hibbert. Hibbert announced late last fall that he would compete in the Winter X Games at Aspen, CO, January 24-27. Hibbert retired last spring to race motocross on the national level. He injured his knee after earning one point on the AMA 125 National circuit. Hibbert returns to Aspen after taking third place at the 2003 X Games snocross event. The X Games, run by WSA but not a national points race, feature snocross and hillcross competition.
There's plenty more action throughout the West, from circuits like Mountain State Snowmobile Hillclimb Association, BC Snowmobile Federation Racing, Colorado Snowmobile Racing Association and more. Read on.