Climbing ever higher

(Photo Courtesy RLT Photography) Crystal Cooper makes a run up the hill during the Afton Hillclimb.

 

By Sarah Pridgeon

Tune in live this week to see local hope Crystal Cooper compete in the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb in Jackson Hole. Enjoying a successful season so far, Cooper hopes to improve on the record she has been building over the last few years that saw her qualify first during last year’s contest.

So far this season, she says, she has raced in Bellevue, Idaho in January, at the Afton hill climb and in the Lost Trail Hill Climb in Montana last week.

“I feel like I’ve been doing better on my qualifying days than in my finals, but I’m bringing home second, third and fourth places so far,” she says.

After that last race, Cooper began gearing up for the World Championship in Jackson Hole.

“I feel good about my chances. Last year, I got first place in the qualifiers in one of my qualifying runs so I feel like, if I can just keep up what I’ve been doing and use the correct skills, that I can take a couple of first places in them,” she says.

“The final day is a lot steeper and harder, it’s all about technique.”

Training for the season, Cooper put 340 miles on her new snow machine above Buffalo, largely over Christmas break.

“I’ve been working on the hand-and-eye coordination of how to brake and keep your speed up all at the same time so you don’t lose time,” she says.

“That’s what I focused on last year, my dad really helped me work hard on that. I do feel it’s helped and there is always room for improvement.”

Cooper will be competing in the Pro Women’s 800 Stock, 800 Improved and 800 Modified categories. To tune in this Thursday for the qualifying round and Friday for the finals, visit SnowDevils.org to locate the live stream.

Cooper is sponsored locally by Sundance State Bank, Hughes Law Firm, Hoby Hughes, Matt and Denise Ebzery, Hall Widdoss Company and her family.