Snowmobiling has always been a part of Goel Rauch’s life.
Growing up with the family business at Gordo’s Rent-All in Williams Lake his dad, Gordo, had him on a snowmobile by the age of three.
“By nine I was riding in the mountains by myself,” Goel said. “Growing up in the dealership, it was always there.”
This weekend, Goel, 21, is competing at the Silverstar Hillclimb where hundreds of sledders will compete in various classes.
“It’s basically an uphill race through gates,” Goel said. “You race the clock, you’re the only guy on the course at the time and what you’re trying to do is lay down the fastest time.
“You do two runs throughout the weekend. The first is qualifying and if you don’t make the cut you’re out. If you qualify, you’re going to race again and that’s when you’re going for the prize.”
Goel will be competing in the semi-pro stock 800, the semi-pro improved 800 and the modified 800 classes and said he hopes to qualify for the final run in each of the categories.
In preparation for the event he’s been doing some practicing at Yank’s Peak with friends.
“A couple buddies and I went up last weekend and set up a course,” he said. “We did a little bit of practicing and went up [Wednesday] and did a little more just doing some sledding and getting to where it feels good for this kind of competition.”
For Goel, this will be his first time taking park in a competitive race, despite being completely comfortable on a snowmobile.
“I’ve always been a backcountry rider so a competition is going to be new for me but I’m ready for it,” he said.
Qualifying runs for the Silverstar Hillclimb start at 8 a.m. on Saturday with racing beginning at 8 a.m. the following day on Sunday.