Snowmobile Hillclimb Cancelled this Weekend

January 28, 2024

The popular Snowmobile and Snow Bike Hillclimb that was scheduled for this coming Weekend is another casualty to the low snow winter the area has been under.  Not only does the hill already showing signs of ‘dirt,’ the forecast is not conducive to a major snow storm.

One of the Pat’s Motorsports Professional Snowmobile Hillclimbers Tyler Robinson will now focus on the Feb 24th-25th Snowmobile Hillclimbs in South Range, with the cancellation of the Feb 3-4th Hillclimb, that was cancelled due to lack of snow.

“After talking to 2 of our past King of the Hill Professional Hillclimbers, Jimmy Marietta and Jordan Stank, the MASTERS had no choice but to cancel this weekend’s Pat’s Motorsports-Wildlife Refuge Cabins Hillclimb,” commented Sandy Schulz of the MASTERS.  “When you have 2 of the most ‘hard-core, die-hard Hillclimbers, say they prefer not to compete without snow, we had no choice.

The MASTERS, which stands for Mid America Snow & Terrain Expert Racers, first concern is racer, officials, and fan safety.  With little to no snow, it would be difficult for the hillclimbers to control their sleds around the gates.  “We would have had to run straight up the hill, and turn the hillclimb into a drag race.  Other snowmobile race circuits may do drag races up a hill and call them ‘hillclimbs,’ the MASTERS will not do that,” explained Jordan Stank.

Stank is one of only 2 MASTERS Racers that have advanced to the Finals at the World Championship Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming.  “My father (Layne), Mike (Fraki), Wyatt (McIntyre) and others worked hard this past summer to widen the hill.  This will give us more room to make a very challenging course.  That is what we will now focus on for the February 24th and 25th Hillclimb,” Stank states.

Marietta was also concerned about racers doing a lot of damage to their sleds on Whealkate Bluff with little snow.  “One has to remember, not everyone has a lot of money to repair a sled that may not make the hill and end up rolling on dirt.  Once that happens to many riders, you can rest assured they will not be coming back to compete on February 24th.”

The February 24th and 25th MASTERS Hillclimb will be the Pat’s Motorsports – Wildlife Refuge Cabins Mid America Championships.  It will be at that Hillclimb that the MASTERS will qualify riders for the World Championship.  “I’m confident that by the end of February South Range will get dumped on with snow.  They better get dumped on!”  Marietta has won more money through the MASTERS than anyone else in the 30+ years the staff and/or Circuit has been running Snowmobile Hillclimbs.

Ontonagon’s Addison Dishaw was looking to retain her Kids King of the Hill title at the Feb 3-4 Hillclimb/Terra-X in South Range, however that MASTERS event was cancelled. She will be competing at the North Country Snowmobile Club Terra-X in Ontonagon, on Feb 17th.

The MASTERS originally had a Terra-X & V5 Enduro scheduled for January 13th in Ontonagon.  That race has been rescheduled for Feb 17th.  That is the North Country Snowmobile Club race behind their Clubhouse.  The club will also host a Terra-X & V5 Enduro on March 2nd.

“I live outside of Milwaukee, and I know a lot of fans that come from all over to the Hillclimbs.  This includes a lot of racers from Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Having my Dad and I being with the MASTERS for over a Decade, we have seen how the MASTERS brings a lot of people and dollars to an area.  Just too bad what this winters has done to the Copper Country’s economy,” concludes Stank.

Stank is a Michigan Tech Mechanical Engineer alumnus.  Marietta works for MTU’s Snow Research Department.  “We have had cancellations from major Corporations that need snow to do their testing and research!  Plus my Dad (Neil) has seen the loss of business at his Keweenaw Motorsports business.”

At the time of this story, the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club was forced to stop grooming on many of their trails this is not the only club that has had to stop grooming in the Copper Country.  Many fans and racers that go to the Hllclimb also go snowmobiling.  “They wouldn’t be able to go riding on groomed trails, like usual,” concluded Larry Madgewick, MASTERS Official.

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