Silverstar Hillclimb Through the Eyes of a Young Racer
If not for his slightly cherub-like facial features, you might have a hard time believing that Colton Olstad is still just a teenager. The 17-year-old carries himself with a quiet yet confident demeanour that is rare in person of his young age. He’s thoughtful, funny and is clearly dedicated to pursuing his dreams at an age when most young men are content with a bowl of Cap’n Crunch and a couch.
We met the 17-year-old this winter out at Carl Kuster Mountain Park. Why was he there, not plugging away at his final year of high school like everyone else you ask? Well, Colton took it upon himself to graduate early so that he could dedicate his entire winter to riding and racing sleds.
He’s got his eyes set on post-secondary education next fall, but in the meantime he’s been logging seat time and training for events both at RMSHA, south of the border, and at the Hillclimb at SilverStar Mountain Resort this past weekend. And his commitment is paying dividends with good results across the board, including two wins and a second place finish in the Semi-Pro division at SilverStar.
Keep a lookout for Colton Olstad 803, as we’re certain this won’t be the last time you see his name.
Here’s a look at the 2017 Hillclimb at SilverStar through the eyes of the young racer.
Nestled atop the mountains of Vernon, British Columbia is SilverStar Mountain Resort.
This year, from Friday April 14th to Sunday April 16, SilverStar Mountain Resort was the host to their annual Snowmobile Hillclimb. Racers of all ages and abilities gathered to compete for the fastest time up the course.
Friday night kicked off with some head-to-head racing in the dark, under the lights. As the racers “dashed for cash”, spectators were treated to adrenaline-pumping excitement as the competitors kept their machines pinned up the course. The sleds were put to the test and took some radical abuse as they cased jumps going for broke.
On Saturday, the racers battled it out in their respective qualifying races. Juniors, Women, Semi-Pro, Pro and Pro Masters took to the stage. But they were not to be out done by the 120 class, which also included snow bikes and and snow scoots. The classes were large, indicative of sport that is growing in popularity.
I competed in Semi-Pro Stock, Improved and Mod. The thrill of racing was escalated by the atmosphere there: the sound of the announcer and the excitement in his voice, the music from the beer gardens and the smells from the food vendors. It was great to see the spectators enjoying themselves on the sidelines, on the chairlift and even up above, enjoying the view from a helicopter.
Easter Sunday marked the last day of the competition. It was quite the experience for all the young ones to see the Easter Bunny, as he flew over the village in a helicopter, dropping treats. When the race finals were complete, an awards ceremony followed. Family and friends gathered to show appreciation for the dedication and accomplishment of the winning racers.
For myself, it was incredible to have the support of CKMP, my family and friends. They all helped—in and out of the pits—and for that I am grateful. I would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who worked the hillclimb; it was an awesome event. No matter if you were with a team or just showed up to race your first race, we are all one big team that supports each other and that is the best part of being part of the sledding family.