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- Arctic Cat
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It was a victorious weekend at the Afton Challenge Hillclimb last weekend. The hill was rough and the sleds worked amazingly well. Qualifying was Friday and Saturday and coming with that meant 2 courses set in between a 150 yard wide hill. As for Sunday, as you can all imagine... the course was full of soft & compact snow, as well as deep ruts, 5 foot headwalls, stumps, & rocks. It was an extremely technical hillclimb, reminded me a lot of technical backcountry dirt biking and the Jackson Hole Hillclimb. Qualifying & Finals - Over the two days of qualifying everything went in my favor and I qualified in 5 out of my 5 classes. Modified 800 was the first classup for finals Sunday morning.
I walked the course early in the morning before the drivers meeting and it was one of the most technical courses I have seen for finals. Russ Tapio and myself were the only two to make it over. My run didn't feel that smooth but the time I ran was 9 seconds faster than Tapio's on the minute long hill. Stock 600 was my next class so I walked the hill again. As I was walking down I had my route picked out but sometimes it doesn't go as planned. The run was quite rough but still resulted in a 1st place finish! Stock 700 was my roughest run out of them all, ended up hitting a 3 foot headwall that I had planned to go around. I tried to pull the sled back around but ended up right in front of a gate. After this unfortunate mistake, I made sure I was ready for the Stock 800 class. I always feel at home when I hop on my 2011 RMK Assault. Everything feels right and I was ready to rip! I had a nice, clean, fast run up the rutted mountain resulting in another 1st place finish! Next was my 1000 stock class which is the next stacked class behind 800 Stock. I had a minor mistake in the bottom coming around the first corner and ended up playing in the powder for a second or so but after that it was game on. Kept the sled wide open through the rough sections and finished with another 1st! King Runs - This is always a fun part of the day. The best of the best riders of the weekend are in the pits and ready to hit the hill for the last time. Since I had won 3 stock classes I had 3 chances to win Stock King of the Hill. Two chances were on my 2011 RMK Assault 800 and the other was on my 2011 RMK 600. I was first up and took my 800. I threw down a 40 second run and ended up winning stock King by a 9 second margin. Next, was my Modified King run on my turbo'd 2011 RMK Assault... it was a miracle I won Modified King. The run felt super rough but I knew I was making headway up the mountain. As I was coming off the mountain I thought to myself, either way it was a great weekend! When I reached the bottom Cole Willford gave me a thumbs up so I knew I had won, beating Kyle Tapio out by a mere 2 tenths of a second!
Afton Hillclimb final Results Stock 600- 1st Stock 800- 1st Stock 1000- 1st Modified 800- 1st Double Crown- Stock and Modified King of the Hill
Overall, it was a great weekend and sleds performed well. I am ready to kick some more butt at the Lost Trail Hillclimb March 12 & 13th and start getting prepared for Jackson! Thanks for everything all of you have done for me! Keith Curtis #711 [nggallery id=54]