Up North: Racers Charge Down Mont du Lac in Ice Cross Downhill

Updated: February 20, 2019 11:28 PM

The sport of ice cross downhill is a merge of hockey and downhill skiing only fit for the extreme.

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"It's crazy fast action," said Mont du Lac Project Manager Mike O'Hara. "We've got about a 350 meter course where guys are coming down in about 29 to 30 seconds."

It's intimidating, exhilarating, and over in a matter of seconds. It's a sport built for those who know how to skate, including former University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) women's hockey player Myriam Trepanier.

"It's not easy the first time, but you got to keep trying and not be afraid of falling," said Trepanier.

Trepanier raced to a second place finish at the All Terrain Skate Cross 500 hosted at Mont du Lac in Superior, Wis. She's been competing in the sport for five years and says that growing up in Canada, she learned at a young age how to both skate and ski, which helped her build up the courage to take her first ride.

"The more you do it, the better you get accustomed to the track and the atmosphere of the big events," she added.

The same can be said for Lakeville, Minn. native Cameron Naasz who took first in the men's division. He grew up playing hockey and watching the X-games. Since then, he's become a force on the ice.

"This is my fourth win of the season and I'm in contention to win the world championship for my third time," said Naasz. "I hope I can put it together for the final race of the season and take home another world championship."

These competitors hit up to 50 miles per hour down hill, which is border-line crazy. For naasz, he happens to be one of the masterminds behind the crazy having helped design the course in Superior.

"You need to have some difficult features up top that will not be able to make people skate on flat ice. We put a few rollers, couple small turns. Then, when you're descending down the hill, you need to make sure you kind of switch back," he added about the design.

It was the first time the race returned to Mont du Lac since 2016. Besides Fenway Park in Boston, Mass., it was the only location in the U.S. spectators could get a close up to this extreme sport.

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