Erika Roy, Sales, Wedding & Event Manager at Saddleback was stunned by the response of Saddleback’s first ever King of the Mountain Hill Climb on Saturday, April 23rd. Originally, the idea to have the first ever snowmobile hill climb competition at Saddleback was proposed by Director of Mountain Operations Manager Jared Emerson in the beginning of year, only a few months ago. Roy, an avid snowmobiler was immediately all in.

“Me and Jared wanted 150 entries, which was our goal. We didn’t know how it would be received with a lot of people starting motocross season already. Supercross was down in Foxborough. We got word from insurance like 30 days before that we could even pull this off. So, we thought we’ll at least do it. Get it out there. It is what it is. And then when I finished pre-registration on Wednesday (4/20) with 294 entries, I was like ‘Oh my God’. And then, the day of, we got another three hundred and had to shut registration down 15 minutes early because they had never seen anything like this- (the company that we were working with for promotion). And yea, it’s been absolutely insane. I get Facebook messages literally every hour from riders and people emailing from Minnesota trying to get their race team out here for next year. So, it has spread like wildfire. We’re really grateful and appreciative for everyone that came, and the feedback has been amazing. Our team absolutely crushed it that day. So, it’s going to be huge in the future. We’re really excited for next year.”

Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

I had heard from various people throughout the day that it was truly an incredible course. Roy concurred. “Jared, and my husband Andrew, the other groomer, built a really technical course, which a lot of these riders aren’t’ used to. They’re used to just straight wide-open throttle up the mountain. So, we made them work for it, which they really liked.”

Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Roy put her passion for both Saddleback and snowmobiling into the project from the get-go and it deservedly paid off. “I grew up snowmobiling in Rangeley- been coming up here since I was three before I moved here full-time. So, I knew a lot of the people that entered and the community that we would get. So, I was very excited to kind of capitalize on that opportunity to bring everyone up to Saddleback.”

Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Of course, there is always going to be some hesitation with anything new. Perhaps especially with such a reputedly traditional ski resort, but Saddleback is always going above and beyond to ensure the integrity is still in tack. The undoubted success of this first event is only the beginning. Roy agreed and added the community would feel more confident for next year, “Now that we’ve done this event and we can show that there were no incidents and it really livened up the community of Rangeley during such a dead season.”

These folks bring the party vibe, (and apparently the party bar) with them wherever they go.

While there had been stunts and jumping in the past like with Ravex in the past, there had never been a hill climb.


I mentioned how amazed I was by how smooth the event went and how the staff was really in good spirits even with the tons of crowds.

Oh these troublemakers are definitely “trash talkin”.

“There’s always going to be things that come up as a first-year event, especially when it’s three times the size of what you expected. So, I’d say, that alone kind of shows how well we work together. We had an end goal in mind and on Saturday, it was, ‘We need to finish these races before dark’, and we were doing everything to make that happen. I remember calling Jared on the radio and I was like ‘Alright Jared, peddle to the medal’, like ‘we’re all killin’ it’, ‘we got to get it done’, and ‘we’re gonna beat nighttime’, which is amazing. I can’t believe we did it.”

These kids certainly look comfortable at home at Saddleback.

With over six hundred registrants and probably over twice as many spectators, Roy was tickled pink. As a snowboarder she was happy to bring some people up to Saddleback who had never been, and as a snowmobiler, she was happy to see the fun everyone was having among the spectacular setting.

“I have an equal love for both which is really awesome and that’s why I was so devoted when Jared presented the idea of a hill climb to me earlier in January or February. I was like you know, let me work on this and I’ll make it happen. So, it was great that we were able to do it. It was definitely a way to go out our second operational season with a bang.”

Roy’s enthusiasm is contagious and so I too am looking forward to what is usually a not very exciting month come April next year.

Roy, “We are just so excited to see where this event can go and the ideas that Jared and I are talking about for next year- being a weekend long event. People are definitely not going to want to miss it. We have some really fun ideas that I am very positive we are going to be able to execute. So, it’s going to be pretty epic.”

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