A coordinated team effort of regional businesses has helped Black Mountain in Rumford prepare for next week's U.S. Cross Country Championships. (Black Mountain)
RUMFORD, ME (Dec. 26) – Crews at Maine's Black Mountain have taken on Mother Nature and are winning! With an array of 14 snow guns, trails are nearing readiness for the Jan. 2-8 U.S. Cross Country Championships thanks to a dramatic effort by regional businesses to ensure the success of the event. Officials anticipate having sprint courses groomed in and skiing on Tuesday, with more trails well underway for next Monday's opening sprints.
Black Mountain has supplemented its fleet of six snow guns with eight new, high capacity guns from Techno Alpine, SMI, Lanko and Johnson Control.
Portable generators have been provided by Pineland Farms, Milton-Cat, PC Construction and Cianbro.
Black Mountain and the Chisholm Ski Club are hosting the U.S. Cross Country Championships for the second consecutive year and faced extreme weather challenges last year as well.
QUOTES Andy Shepard, President, Main Winter Sports Center (owner of Black Mountain) The extraordinarily warm weather has created challenges for every New England business that depends on snow. But the U.S. Cross Country Championships is a an important opportunity for the town of Rumford, the Chisholm Ski Club, Black Mountain and the whole State of Maine to put its best foot forward. Not being ready was not an option. These companies recognized the importance of this event to the State, understood there was a role for them to play and have stepped up in inspiring ways.
Carlie Casey, Chief of Competition By Tuesday we expect to have all snow made on all the courses we will be using for the U.S. Championships. With weather forecasts indicating it is safe to do so, most, if not all our stockpiles on the sprint courses, will be pushed and distributed. In addition, we expect to have a groomed skate lane on part of the sprint loops by late Tuesday or early Wednesday for testing by the local school teams.
We had snow early last year, lost it a few weeks before the races and never really got good snowmaking temperatures leading up to the event. This year we wanted to make sure that through technology and planning, we were giving ourselves every possible chance to put on good races. Thanks to some really great volunteers and some very generous corporate sponsors, we have that this year.