Yamaha has had a resurgence in cross-country snowmobile racing this season and the effect seems to be rubbing off on the hillclimb racers as well. Kody Malmborg, Jr. did what many doubters thought was impossible on Sat., Mar. 24 – top the Snow King on a four-stroke snowmobile at the Jackson Hole World Championship Hillclimb put on by the Jackson Hole Snow Devils.
Malmborg piloted his Yamaha FX Nytro MTX to the top of the steep course as the first four-stroke to do so in the 37 years the event has been held – while also becoming the first Yamaha to qualify for the Pro finals since 2001.
The Jackson Hole World Championships are, as one observer put it, the Daytona of snowmobile events, and the mountain course practically defies description. It presents itself as a nearly vertical face of about a half-mile in length, with 28 gates that the machines and drivers have to negotiate on the way up. Favoring immense horsepower, traction, responsive handling and of course major riding talent, the course quickly weeds out all but the best. “It’s basically like driving up a skyscraper,” says Yamaha snowmobile marketing manager Wade West.