"We drag race a lot," he said, "but this blows that away. I can't wait to do this again."
Among those racing in Saturday's hour-long ProRace event was Jacob Roberts of nearby Thomas, one of a handful of West Virginia riders taking part in the competition.
"After a while, your forearms and your grip start to go," said Roberts, who finished fifth in the event. "But it was a lot of fun. I'd do it again in a minute ... I saw [the speedometer] hit 70 a couple of times going up the hill. Going down, I was too busy braking to look."
Maryland racers Chad Tasker and Zeke Sisler ran neck-and-neck for much of the six-lap event, trading the lead several times, but it was Tasker who took the checkered flag at 51:55, which was 47 seconds ahead of Sisler.
Shaffer said the idea for holding a snowmobile race at Timberline came up late in the ski season, giving him and his associates only a few weeks to promote the event.
"The people here at Timberline have been great to work with," he said. "We'd like to be able to do this again, and maybe even start a three-race cross-country series in the area," using the Timberline slopes after the resort's ski season ends for one of the events.
In promoting the next West Virginia snowmobile race, sponsors may have to overcome some regional prejudices.
"A lot of people didn't believe we had snow down here," said one member of this year's race organization crew. "A guy from Youngstown, Ohio, called here every day this week to make sure there was snow. We finally sent him some pictures and he showed up for the race."
The 2012-2013 snow season was a good one for West Virginia's ski resorts, according to West Virginia Ski Areas Association spokesman Joe Stevens. "Everybody was reporting higher than average numbers in February and March," he said. "It looks like we'll easily pass the 800,000-skier visit mark that indicates an average season."
Superstorm Sandy helped jumpstart this year's season by putting an earlier than normal layer of snow on the ground, and more importantly, "by getting people thinking about skiing and snowboarding," Stevens said. "Then we were able to open at Thanksgiving and stay open through Easter and beyond."
There is still enough snow on the ground to ski and snowboard at Snowshoe Mountain and Timberline, Stevens said. "But when people in places like Charleston are cutting their grass and thinking about other things, the season's over."
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.