Snowmobile Hillclimb Sat. in S. Range
SOUTH RANGE — Whealkate Bluff will be the site of the Ojibwa Casino Winternationals Snowmobile Hillclimb on Saturday hosted by the Mid-America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS) Racing Circuit.
The event is expected to draw hillclimbers from throughout the Midwest. The racers navigate through a series of gates as they try to crest the top of this steep hill.
“Due to the limited amount of parking, we will open the gates at 8 a.m. We expect people to start lining up to get in earlier than that,” said Jason Kleinschmidt, MASTERS Director of Race Operations. “We will have a limited amount of parking where the fans can watch the hillclimb from their vehicle.”
The large amount of snow hampered event organizers from having a larger parking area. The recent warm weather also prevented the use of a separate exit road from the hill.
“With the help of the Baraga County Repeaters Association (BCRA), we will have one way in and one way out. They will go with what Highway officials use to control traffic,” Kleinschmidt said.
MASTERS has focused this past week in securing Dean’s Horse Logging to provide horse-drawn wagon rides to and from the hill. Fans wanting to use this shuttle service can park and get in the wagon at the South Range Elementary School. The $10 admission fee includes the wagon ride to and from the event.
“Since the forecast is for warm temps, people can bring their lawn chair and watch,” Kleinschmidt said.
Snowmobilers will also be able to ride in and out of the event by going through the main gate, which will be at the end of Whealkate Avenue.
Snowmobiles that do not make it over the top will get help on the hill from the MTU Sled-Heads and other volunteers. Adams Township First Responders will be on the scene.
“In the 20-plus years of the MASTERS sanctioning snowmobile events, never have we had so many people that have already volunteered and other groups willing to help out. It is the Christian Motorcyclists Association that will be handing the parking,” said race official Sandy Schulz.