Polaris Hillclimbers Dominate 2021 Jackson Hole World Championship
As much as the culture of competitive hillclimb racing events is far removed from the joy of freedom and isolation that draws many mountain sledders (including ourselves) into the backcountry, there is certainly something to be said for the riding ability on display at these events. In hillclimb racing, both human and machine are truly tested, and no place is this more true than in the ruts, bumps and steeps of the Jackson Hole World Championships.
So while competitive racing events and pure, backcountry exploration lie at polar ends of a spectrum, they’re both just different ways of enjoying mountain sledding. There’s an argument that watching athletes battle tooth-and-nail against gravity can be just as awe-inspiring as standing next to a 10,000 year old glacier.
Will Keith Curtis’ record of hillclimb dominance stand in 10,000 years? Maybe!
See the Polaris news release of the 2021 Jackson Hole World Championship results below.
Minneapolis, MN (March 30, 2021) – Polaris snowmobile hillclimbers turned Snow King Mountain into their personal playground during the Jackson Hole World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb as six Polaris racers combined to win 11 of 12 Pro classes and Keith Curtis won all four King of the Hill titles at the event held March 25-28 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
It was a total team effort as, along with the six Polaris class winners, five more Polaris racers earned spots on the podium with top-3 finishes. They combined to claim 25 of the 36 available podium spots in the Pro classes (not including Pro Masters classes).
Polaris racers won every Pro Stock and Pro Improved Stock class as well as three of four Pro Modified classes. In combined results from the season’s first three RMSHA events and the Jackson Hole championship, Polaris Pro-class racers have won all 16 Stock classes, 11 Modified Stock classes, and 11 Modified classes. Polaris racers have also won every King of the Hill crown awarded so far this season.
With wins in all four Stock classes, Polaris AXYS RMK sleds remained undefeated in the top RMSHA and Jackson Hole Pro Stock classes dating back to 2016.
Ketih Curtis Continues Domination of RMSHA
Keith Curtis won the 900 class in all three categories – 900 Stock, 900 Improved, and 900 Modified – and took second in Open Modified. He then went on to sweep the Stock, Improved Stock, and Modified King of the Hill crowns. By doing so, the 33-year-old earned the record-tying six Jackson Hole King of Kings title of his career.
Luke Rainey won three Pro classes at Jackson Hole, and claimed two additional podium finishes. He won the 700 Stock, 1000 Stock, and 1000 Improved Stock classes, and finished second in 900 Stock and 900 Improved.
Justin Thomas won the Open Modified class, the premier Mod class, and took third in 1000 Stock.
Cole Thomas won both 600 Stock and 600 Improved, and Colby Crapo earned three podium finishes with a win in 700 Modified and thirds in both 700 Stock and 600 Modified. Sam Peterson won the 700 Improved class and was second in 600 Improved
Polaris racers who earned top-3 podium finishes were:
- Les Keller, age 36, who capped off his racing career with a second in 700 Improved and third in 600 Improved. He announced he is retiring from competition after Jackson Hole.
- Andy Thomas took second in 600 Modified and third in 900 Stock
- Toby Shepherd, second in 700 Modified
- Riley Sprunger, second in 600 Stock, and
- Kyle Heap, second in 700 Stock.
Polaris racer Dylan Hart won the Semi-Pro Stock class and took second in Semi-Pro Mod.
The Jackson Hole World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb
The Jackson Hole World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb is staged each year by the Jackson Hole Snow Devils, the local snowmobile club. This volunteer-staffed group went to extraordinary lengths to get approval to hold this year’s event, and followed numerous guidelines to host it successfully. The 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The RMSHA schedule resumes with the Mogul Madness Hillclimb in Pocatello-Inkom, Idaho, on April 2-3.