A Maine nonprofit will host an enduro-style ski and snowboard event at Sunday River on March 14.
The Master of the Mountain event combines the excitement of downhill skiing with the precision of a timed road rally. It’s being held for the River Fund Maine, a nonprofit that supports youth education and recreation programs.
During the Master of the Mountain, participants with advanced to expert skills are asked to ski or ride to a series of checkpoints on Sunday River’s slopes. This timed event aims for competitors to ski certain trails at a controlled, yet aggressive pace. The goal is to come as close to the pre-determined target time without going faster. Target times will be posted on the top of each run to help participants gauge their pace.
There will be three categories: elite, advanced, and under 15. Each category will consist of eight trails spread out over eight peaks. Checkpoints will be positioned at the start of the designated trail, and at the lift at the base of that trail. There will be no timing between segments or the lift rides.
The challenge starts at 9 a.m., but there is no set course for completing the checkpoints. Each participant will be chipped so that their timing can be tracked, and they will have four hours to reach and complete each checkpoint. The strategy of how to approach the course is part of the race.
Registration is currently open for the event. Race entry is $75, and each adult participant must raise at least $250 for the River Fund. Lift tickets for participants are discounted to $50.
The winners will be selected by tallying how close each participant came to the ideal time without going under, plus the fastest race result from the Giant Slalom course. As in enduro racing, there is a greater penalty for being faster than the ideal time than slower. The goal is to reward precision and skill, as well as speed. There will be one overall winner crowned Master of the Mountain, plus awards for the top finishers in each class. Prizes will also be given for reaching different fundraising thresholds: $500, $1,000, and the top fundraiser.