Kurtis Friede wins second place
Kurt Friede in action shots taken during his competition meets in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where in 1997 he finished in second place in the King of the Hill World Championship, only 1.5 seconds behind the leader. (Photos furnished by Kurt's Polaris)
by Gary Noland
For the Pathfinder
April 3, 1997
Seeley Lake's Kurt Friede moaned about Kirk Williamson, a champion hill climber from Logan, Utah.
"If I could have just beat him...now, I have to keep on going."
But, chasing after the leader gave Friede his best performances to date-a first and second place finish in modified classes and a second place, behind Kirk Williamson, in the King of the Hill race in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, two weeks ago.
Tagged the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climbing event, the Jackson Hole competition drew 426 entries from around the country to try the hill Mar. 20-23.
The challenging hill at the Snow King Ski Resort was conquered only seven times by men and machines trying to get over the top on one day of the races. Friede and Williamson accounted for four of those over-the-top runs-two each.
When it was all tallied up, Williamson had nudged Friede out of the King of the Hill title by a mere 1.5 seconds. That's over a steep, uphill course of 1.2 miles with a vertical rise of 1,750 feet and machines averaging 60-65 miles-per-hour speeds.
Friede covered the run once in 57 seconds and another time in 1 minute, 3 seconds. His modified machine sports a 700 cc engine by Polaris that develops 155 horsepower. It was assembled by Starting Line Products, Inc. in Idaho. Friede is owner of the Polaris dealership, Kurt's Polaris, in Seeley Lake, and has been competing at hill climbing for several years.
In addition to second in King of the Hill competition, Friede placed first in the Mod 4 division and second in the Mod 3 division.
At one of the first hill climbs in Montana held at Missoula's Marshall Ski Resort a few weeks ago, Friede finished first in the Mod 3 division and second in the Stock A class.