Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kings of the Hill

9,000 expected at NITRO National Hillclimb

It’s something you must see at least once to fully understand and appreciate.
The top riders in the world navigate their way up a steep hill just outside Columbus on a nitro-fed dirt bike, gaining as much as 1,000 vertical feet. The goal is to stay upright the entire way and reach the top.
Serious skill in a serious professional competition known as the NITRO National Hillclimb. This weekend marks the 10th year the event has come to Columbus as a stop on the touring series of the North American Hillclimbers Association (NAHA).
One of the sports very best in the world is Columbus’s own Dusty Beer. Nicknamed the Ironman, Beer has 32 years of professional hillclimbing under his belt and boasts five national championships, five world championships, 12 California championships and being on the USA team twice.
His son Nick Beer, or Nitro Nick, is following in those tire tracks, with nine years of professional hillclimbing experiencing. Nick Beer was the 2009 NAHA Rookie of the Year, the 2013 Glen Helen King of the Hill and NAHA Open Exhibition runner-up and the 2014 Pro X-climb champion.
Columbus will be represented by approximately eight riders.
Another 15 riders from the Billings area, with the remainder coming from around the country.
More than 120 riders were registered as of Tuesday and organizers are expecting a crowd of between 9,000 and 10,000.
New this year a 50-foot instant replay screen. Returning will be the 1,200-foot zip line, fireworks and vendors.
Tickets are available at the gate for $20. Camp passes are $35.
North American Hillclimbers Association (NAHA) is an organization of professional hillclimb competitors primarily in the western U.S.

10 a.m.: 1 p.m. Trophy Class Sign Up

2 p.m.: 450 Pro Qualifying

5 p.m.: X-Climb #16-32 from Qualifying

6 p.m.: Freestyle
7 p.m.: Open Qualifying (round 1)

9 p.m.: Freestyle

9:30 p.m.: National Anthem
10 p.m.: Open Qualifying (round 2)

8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: Trophy Class Sign Up

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Trophy Class Race

4:30 p.m.: Pro Main Event
6 p.m.: Freestyle
7 p.m.: Open Pro Main Event (round 1)

8 p.m.: X-Climb #1-16

9 p.m.: Freestyle

9:30 p.m.: National Anthem
9:50 p.m.: Pyrotechnic show

10 p.m.: Open Pro Main Event (round 2)

11:30 p.m.: Fireworks

12:30 a.m.: Awards Ceremony