Snowmobile enthusiasts are anxiously awaiting the return of Rock Maple Racing to Black Mountain, December 13-14. After last winter’s races proved to be a success, RMR will return with its high octane racing entertainment.

While most of the focus is on the Pro Stocks in the Snowcross event, many local youngsters have become hooked on the races. Competitors at the higher levels are often seen hurtling through the air over jumps and flying through hairpin turns side-by-side.

“To see it live is something,” Brad Adley, a member of the Black Mountain board of directors said. “It’s exciting racing, a lot of air time, big air time.”

Competitors run through a course designed to test their abilities and skills at various levels. Similar to QuadX and PitX racing, which takes place in the summer, points are awarded throughout the season with winners gaining national recognition.

At Black Mountain, a 15-foot jump, by the old lodge, offered serious air time followed by a quick turn that took racers under the bridge and through a challenging course of twists and turns, during last year’s event.

“We are the only site where racers go under the spectators,” Adley said. “It is really something to watch and very exciting.”

Even though much of the attention goes to the Pro Stock racers and their 600 cc machines, the younger competitors enjoy the racing, also. A specially designed course in the Stadium Area at Black Mountain presents consistent challenges for those on smaller sleds.

Tucker and Katelyn Olsen, ages seven and 10 respectively, from Canton, and Kenrick and Kassie Thibodeau, ages eight and 10, of Rumford, joined the circuit a year ago, gaining their inaugural experience at Black Mountain. Currently, they are all in training and excited about the upcoming event.

“It is really fun and it rocks,” Tucker said. “I like passing people and going over the jumps.”

The youngsters wear all the latest and up-to-date safety equipment while competing and are looking forward to the season, along with their parents, Jason and Bobbie Olsen and Kenrick and Sonia Thibodeau. This season, the families plan on making trips to races in Barton, VT and Enfield, NH to continue what they started last winter.

“For us, it’s a family thing,” Jason said. “The kids have a good time and enjoy the racing and we have fun doing it as a family.”

During the months leading up to the Black Mountain event, the four youngsters take part in vigorous training programs that include physical conditioning exercises to meet the rugged demands of the races.

“It’s pretty challenging,” Kassie said. “When we have snow, we ride almost every day after school, so we can practice what we do in races.”

All four youngsters enjoying the racing at Black Mountain, and are looking forward to the first snow fall, something that Adley is hoping comes soon.

“We can make snow for the event,” Adley said. “It would be great to have plenty of snow before and then a couple of nice days so fans can enjoy the racing.”

Adley and others on the Black Mountain board of directors were pleased with the results last season. A heavy snowfall on the second day of competition limited the number of fans that showed up for the event, which was otherwise termed a successful weekend.

“I saw the enormous economic impact it could have,” Adley said. “We have the perfect situation for snowcross racing. We have a great track, outstanding places for spectators to watch, along with quality competition.”

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