By: randosteve|Posted on: November 2, 2008|Posted in: Broken Link to Photo/Video, Gear, Humor | 6 comments
I’ve been thinking about buying a snowmobile lately. (I know…don’t say it!!) Not a big mountain beast…but a little ripper type that can jet me up some access roads in the surrounding mountain ranges. Maybe a four-stroke. (Any suggestions? Remember this one?) Anyway…I found this little video and thought about just moding the KLR!!! 😉
Hell...maybe even ride it to work through out the winter!!!
Wait...I am loosing my mind. PLEASE SNOW!!!!
Are you turning into Lou Dawson?
Ah Man Steve – DON’T do it!! Lou has a reason what with all his old injuries and age related deterioration (no offense Lou – I’m only a year younger than you) and so forth.
Keep EARNING the Turns – Quality OVER Quantity!!
Oh I knew I’d get some heat for this. I think if you knew and saw some of the terrain and objectives I was thinking of…you might change your tune. It’s only about increasing quality…not increasing quantity.
Go easy on Lou…eh!
Steve – welcome to the world of ski sledding! We’ve kept our interest in this on the down-low as some of our backcountry brothers and sisters just don’t understand. I first started doing this with my brothers back in Vermont 30 years ago. We’d take our old beater 2-stroke Arctic Cats out into the hills and ski endless laps. We recently got back into it as a result of all the unbelievable terrain that’s practically inaccesible around here(JH) in the winter due to road closures. On long summer mtn bike rides and fall hunting trips we were in awe of some of the terrain that we’d encounter that ends up being 20-40 miles from the road head in the winter. I’ve been climbing/skinning/bootpacking the Tetons for the past 20 years and still do that most of the time. Our ski sledding doesn’t replace that but it adds significantly to the terrain we want to access. The sled options these days are overwhelming. The best for deep pow have long tracks and wide skis. I dig 4-stroke as they burn a lot less fuel, pollute less, are quieter, and much less maintenance intensive. The downside to 4-stroke is they are a bit heavier and the most reliable ones will be newer which means expensive. 2-stroke or 4-stroke, reliability is key as it really sucks to be broken down 40 miles from the truck at 4:30 in the afternoon and the temp is O and dropping. We always carry full on bivy gear, spare parts & tools, tow strap, sometimes extra fuel, all the other std backcountry & avy gear. A water ski tow rope is key(and fun) as sometimes it’s better to tow another skier rather than weighting the back of the sled. Like lots of backcountry users out there, some sledders are very avy aware and others aren’t. All the steep terrain issues are obvious but the most common mistake I see is some heavy sled crossing directly below a steep slope on the flats…it seems safe. This immediately breaks the compression/tension in the snow layers at the base and the slope above comes sliding down. These things are heavy and readily trigger stuff that a skier might not. I know you know all this stuff but throw it out there for others. If you check JH Cycle And Saw, Racin Station in Driggs, and JH News classifieds you’ll probably have 20 to choose from. Unfortunately there’s a redneck backcountry abuse stigma attached to these things. In the right hands they’re an awesome tool. The only other folks that can access this same terrain have to arrive by helo and that’s one hell of a carbon footprint compared to one of these! Go for it…see you out there!
I’m not dissin on Lou Dawson. I wish I had one to get into the Med Bow area when the road is closed. I hear it’s the only realistic way to get into the Wind River Range in winter.
At least to the summer trailheads and wilderness boundaries.
Maybe we’ll see you out there 22AT sledhead!!