After a two-year pit stop, the Knox Mountain Hill Climb is back.
The hill climb takes place from Saturday, May 21 to Sunday, May 22, which to the general public means access to Knox Mountain Park will be limited to ticket holders only on these dates.
To those who attend, it means taking part in a tradition that’s more than six decades old.
The hill climb is the longest annually running paved hill climb in North America and has seen a variety of vehicles and drivers race up the windy track in its decades of being a mainstay event.
“The event attracts top drivers from throughout the Pacific Northwest, looking for the challenge and thrill of being fastest,” according to organizers.
Racers pilot their way through turns and 244 vertical metres in just 3.5 kilometres, all hoping to get the elusive new record time.
The current hill record is one minute and 37.065 seconds, held by John Haftner of Vancouver.
Times under two minutes are considered exceptionally fast, with few drivers achieving that and even fewer sedans having ever achieved that. Most times fall between two minutes and two minutes and 30 seconds, according to the hill climb website.
To achieve top times, speeds in excess of 160 kilometres per hour must be reached on the short straights.
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It’s a lot of history, cars and speed, which means it takes a lot of preparation.
As such, Knox Mountain Drive will be closed for setup on Thursday, May 19 starting at noon.
The park will remain open to visitors until the event begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, though the main parking area will be closed from Friday, May 20 through Monday, May 23. The Poplar Point Drive parking area will be closed from 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 19 until noon on Monday, May 23.
The Knox Mountain Disc Golf Course will also be closed to the public on Thursday as event campers arrive. Organizers anticipate that the park will be accessible to visitors by approximately 3 p.m. on Monday, May 23, though event teardown may still be ongoing in the park.
Those who visit the Knox Mountain Park area during these times are asked to be aware that parking restrictions will be in effect along the north side of Broadway Avenue on Friday, May 20 from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.