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March 10, 2014 AT 5:00 pm

Uphill Racer

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Bored of the skiing down mountains? Maybe you should try skiing up them with the Uphill Racer. via Popular Mechanics

A lifelong downhill skier and industrial mechanic/­millwright, Jim Maidment was frustrated by the fact that he could pursue his favorite pastime only near a chair lift. “When you’re on a slope, all that energy is free–as long as you’re going in that one direction,” he says. So Maidment hacked together a 6.5-hp generator engine (bought from Costco for $125) with a small, off-the-shelf snowmobile track from Bombardier, inventing a machine he calls the Skizee. He then headed for the mountains to refine his creation, moving from Ontario to Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada’s second-loftiest city. So far, he’s decreased the size and added a variable torque converter to change the power ratio and climb hills. His latest Skizee can go 12 mph uphill and can reach 25 mph in flat powder. Maidment continues to test his invention in the snowy woods around his home, and he’s making final tweaks to the design now. One day he hopes to see the Skizee in pro shops everywhere.

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