SUNNYSIDE — Another Northwest Nitro Nationals Pro Hillclimb competition is in the books.
There was plenty of high-fueled action once again Friday through Saturday at Dry Creek Recreation Area, north of Sunnyside.
As usual, the hill proved challenging for many riders.
Tyler Zahn of Oakley, Calif. said it was his first time traveling to local hill.
“I have been up this hill at least four times and still haven’t been able to make it to the top,” he said.
Having been among the Top 30 at the first competition of the season, Carnegie in Tracy, Calif., and having traveled to other competitions in Montana, Zahn was surprised at the challenge the local course presents.
“I want to make it to the top,” he said during the 700cc finals.
That is the overwhelming thrill for many of the riders, knowing they have conquered what is a difficult hill.
Veterans of the hill like Travis Whitlock of Springville, Utah have lauded the experience on the hill at Dry Creek.
Jokes about celebrating his 50th birthday in style were traded as he claimed second on the 450cc with time of 24.788.
The hill, Whitlock said, is more challenging than others because of how often the terrain changes.
At the top, the dirt is soft and the bikes sink into it, sometimes coming to a complete halt because they sink deep.
In the middle of the hill is loose rock hidden in the dirt, and that presents its own challenge, riders said.
Among the champions this past weekend was Grandview’s Mollee Weddle. She won the Women’s NAHA Points race in 22.516, and the Women’s (any bike) race, going a distance of 535 feet on the more than 900 feet tall hill.
She also claimed second in the 91-125, 2-stroke race with a distance of 542 feet.