Temperatures in the 60s and 70s this week have most Northland residents thinking of spring and beyond. But several hundred snowmobile racers will flock to the North Shore this weekend as Lutsen Mountains ski resort hosts its first snowmobile race.
More than 300 snowmobilers had registered as of Tuesday for the inaugural Midwest Extreme Snowmobile Challenge to be held Saturday and Sunday at Moose Mountain, organized by Cor PowerSports.
Cross-country racing is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The hill-climb qualifier is scheduled for 1-6 p.m. Saturday with the finals taking place from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday. The hill-cross qualifier and finals are scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
“It’s looking to be an awesome weekend,” said Jim Vick, Lutsen’s director of sales and marketing.
Hundreds of spectators are also expected to descend on Lutsen to watch the races, Vick said. Spectator tickets can be purchased on Lutsen’s website and cost $18 per day or $28 for a two-day pass.
After a previous location fell through, Cor PowerSports approached Lutsen to host the races, Vick said. The organizer wanted a late spring event and Lutsen traditionally has snow late into the season, he said.
Skiing at Lutsen will continue this weekend on Eagle Mountain, but skiing ended on Moose Mountain last weekend.
Ski hill staff began stockpiling snow in February for the spring ski season and the snowmobile races. Crews are working to prepare the race course on Moose Mountain and - because of the warm weather this week - they’ll need to move the snow around to fill in some thin spots, Vick said.
They’re keeping this year’s event small to learn from it ahead of a bigger race event next year, he said.
To learn more
Find more information at lutsen.com/midwestExtreme.