Keith Curtis Sweeps King Titles At Jackson Hill Climb

COVID conditions may have cancelled last year’s World Championship of hill climb racing, and it may have limited the crowd at this year’s event. It didn’t, however, change the results.

Once more, Keith Curtis of Dillon, Montana, put together a dominating performance on March 25-28, earning all three available “King” titles and thus locking up the coveted “King of Kings” prize without even going up the hill again — because he would have only been racing himself!

Hosted by the Snow Devils snowmobile club in downtown Jackson, Wyoming, the Jackson Hole World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb is one of snowmobiling’s most highly storied events. Its history dates back to 1975, and for hill climb racers there is no higher title than being the best on Snow King Mountain every spring.

Competitors take on the highly challenging, 1,500 foot climb through a gated course, trying to set the best time on the hill in a variety of Stock, Improved Stock and Mod classes.

This year in the Stock classes, Luke Rainey claimed two titles (Stock 1000 and 700) and Keith Curtis (Stock 900) and Cole Thomas (Stock 600) took the remaining classes, all aboard Polaris sleds. Thomas, Curtis and Rainey then claimed those same exact classes in Improved Stock, while Sam Peterson, also on a Polaris, took Improved Stock 700.

When the highly anticipated Mod sleds took over the hill, Curtis once again took the 900 class, while Justin Thomas claimed Open Mod and Colby Crapo notched a victory in 700 Mod – also aboard Polaris sleds. The Polaris Pro domination was dented, though, by Garth Kaufman, who took the top spot in 600 Mod on an Arctic Cat.

At the end of the four-day event, the individual Pro class champions plus the Pro Masters winner in each division then take to the hill again to see which one of them is the baddest of the bunch, and this is where Curtis asserted his complete dominance like he did in 2019. In Stock, he ran the rutted course in 1 minute, 23.38 seconds, which was 3.5 seconds faster than Luke Rainey’s best run (Luke got two runs at the hill since he won two Stock classes). In Improved, Curtis set a fast time of 1.25.69 and Rainey again finished in the bridesmaid position, 4 seconds back. Justin Thomas stayed a little closer to Curtis in the Mod King competition, but his time of 1.23.69 was still 2.5 seconds slower than Curtis.

“It’s definitely a team effort to make this happen, and in the end I’m on cloud nine,” Curtis told the Jackson Hole News & Guide, which had a good story about the event. “I couldn’t be happier with today’s results … A triple crown, which is amazing.”

Meanwhile, Sammie McKeachnie cleaned up in the Women’s classes on her Ski-Doo and Riley Kincaid – son of hillclimb legend Rob Kincaid who was killed in an avalanche last year – earned a very popular Semi Pro King victory. See full results below.

600 Stock: 1. Cole Thomas (Pol); 2. Riley Sprunger (Pol); 3. Wes Selby (Cat).
700 Stock: 1. Luke Rainey (Pol); 2. Kyle Heap (Pol); 3. Colby Crapo (Pol).
900 Stock: 1. Keith Curtis (Pol); 2. Luke Rainey (Pol); 3. Andy Thomas (Pol).
1000 Stock: 1. Luke Rainey (Pol); 2. Blaine Matthews (Doo); 3. Justin Thomas (Pol).
Stock King: 1. Keith Curtis (Pol); 2. Luke Rainey (1000 stock Pol); 3. Luke Rainey (700 stock Pol).

Improved Stock 600: 1. Cole Thomas (Pol); 2. Sam Peterson (Pol); 3. Les Keller (Pol).
Improved Stock 700: 1. Sam Peterson (Pol); 2. Les Keller (Pol); 3. Jeremy Archibald (Cat).
Improved Stock 900: 1. Keith Curtis (Pol); 2. Luke Rainey (Pol); 3. Blaine Matthews (Doo).
Improved Stock 1000: 1. Luke Rainey (Pol); 2. Kyle Tapio (Cat); 3. Trent Handsaker (Doo).
Improved Stock King: 1. Keith Curtis (Pol); 2. Luke Rainey (Pol); 3. Kyle Tapio (Cat)

600 Mod: 1. Garth Kaufman (Cat); 2. Andy Thomas (Pol); 3. Colby Crapo (Pol).
700 Mod: 1. Colby Crapo (Pol); 2. Toby Shepherd (Pol); 3. Russ Tapio (Cat)
900 Mod: 1. Keith Curtis (Pol); 2. Blaine Matthews (Doo); 3. Brock Sharp (Doo).
Open Mod: 1. Justin Thomas (Pol); 2. Keith Curtis (Pol); 3. Kyle Tapio (Cat).
Mod King: 1. Keith Curtis (Pol); 2. Justin Thomas (Pol); 3. Kyle Tapio (Cat).

King Of Kings: Keith Curtis (Pol).

Pro Masters Stock: 1. Trent Handsaker (Doo); 2. Carl Kuster (Doo); 3. Dolan Phelps (Pol).
Pro Masters Improved Stock: 1. Kyle Tapio (Cat); 2. Fraon Gilbert (Doo); 3. Trent Handsaker (Doo).
Pro Masters Mod: 1. Kyle Tapio (Cat); 2. Tony Zollinger (Cat); 3. Tom Roby (Doo).

Semi Pro Stock: 1. Dylan Hart (Pol); 2. Jackson Rogers (Doo); 3. Cameron Conger (Doo).
Semi Pro Improved Stock: 1. Jackson Rogers (Doo); 2. Riley Kincaid (Cat); 3. Tanner Thomas (Pol).
Semi Pro Mod: 1. Riley Kincaid (Cat); 2. Dylan Hart (Pol); 3. Cameron Conger (Doo).
Semi Pro King: 1. Riley Kincaid (Cat); 2. Dylan Hart (Pol); 3. Jackson Rogers (Doo).

Women’s Stock: 1. Sammi McKeachnie (Doo); 2. Tayler Meyers (Pol); 3. Tayler Peck (Pol).
Women’s Improved Stock: 1. Sammi McKeachnie (Doo); 2. Tiffany McWilliams (Cat); 3. Tayler Peck (Pol).
Women’s Mod: 1. Sammi McKeachnie (Doo); 2. Tayler Peck (Pol); 3. Tayler Meyers (Pol).
Semi Pro Queen: 1. Sammi McKeachnie (Doo)

Non-Pro Masters: 1. Dustin Pancheri (Pol); 2. Skinner Bell (Cat); 3. Marshall Holtom (Cat).
Amateurs: 1. Joe Anderson (Doo); 2. Scott Rhodes (Pol); 3. Cody Olson (Pol).
Vintage: 1. Nate Hansen (Pol/Doo); 2. Landon Archibald (Pol); 3. Kenny Thompson (Doo).
RMSHA Juniors: 1. Harper Handsaker (Doo); 2. Lucas Conger (Doo); 3. Carson Boulerice (Doo).


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