In March, local Amy Zollinger was named Queen of Kings at the Jackson Hole Snowmobile Hillclimb, and April 6 and 7 she will race her Arctic Cat 8CR 800 in the Beaver Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb. Zollinger has been riding snowmobiles for about a decade and started racing 7 years ago. “I love to get out in the hills and go ride on a really sunny day,” she said. “I like the adrenaline rush of racing and the competitiveness.” The public is invited to attend the hillclimb at Beaver Mountain in Logan Canyon. The hillclimb costs $5 per person to watch the race, with kids 12 years old and under getting in free. Races both days begin at 8 a.m. On Friday, racers will compete in a qualifier. Those who finish the climb in the allotted time will make it to the finals on Saturday. In the case that the hill is too steep, those that make the highest marks will qualify. The actual race takes place Saturday. Races are divided by gender and then into three categories: stock, improved and modified class. Stock class riders have made no changes to their snowmobile, improved have made a few changes and modified class riders can “pretty much change anything to make the sled faster,” Zollinger said. Zollinger will be participating in all three classes at the Beaver Mountain Hillclimb Friday. For snowmobile racers, this has been a slow season. The weather caused the season to start a full month late, and several races have been rescheduled or canceled. On a normal year, a season consists of about eight races at locations throughout the region. At each event, racers are given points depending on how well they do and an overall winner is recognized at the season’s end. This year, Powder Mountain was to host the final event, but the venue was changed to Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint, Idaho. The Jackson Hole Hillclimb, where Zollinger earned the Queen of Kings title in the stock division, gives out its own titles instead of points. Safety is not a big issue at snowmobile races, Zollinger said, because event coordinators and racers take precautions. Racers wear helmets and learn to be avalanche smart and safety conscious, although every once in a while someone will get injured. “There’s always that risk of wrecking or hitting something or flying over the handlebars. Some of the more steep ones, if you stop your sled will roll. These other ones are not as dangerous,” she said. – firstname.lastname@example.org
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