VOL. 1 ISS. 2 WINTER 2013
BEG BORROW STEEL
BEYOND ‘YOU BREAK IT, YOU BUY IT’
AK ROOKIE VS. HAINES REVELSTOKE BC
BORED PLAY OUR GAME
INSIDE STEPHANIE SWEEZEY // TECH THEORY // 2012 FILM REVIEWS // ULTIMATE MOD // GALLERY // JUMPING 101 // BRET RASMUSSEN
Summit. Summit. the themoSt moStSpecial Special ®®
nEW REV-xM REV-xMplatFoRM platFoRM 1 1nEW Side Side panels panels that that slide slide through through ™ ™
powder powder forfor easier easier roll-up. roll-up. AnAn ultraultrarigid rigid running running board board with with 87% 87% larger larger holes holes forfor better better snow snow evacuation, evacuation, allowing allowing forfor solid solid footing. footing.
ScanScan to See to See what what people people are are Saying! Saying!
SpECializEd ERgonoMiCS ERgonoMiCS 2 2SpECializEd
Eight Eight more more inches inches of forward of forward footfoot room room forfor deep deep powder powder maneuvering. maneuvering. Redesigned Redesigned cockpit cockpit with with flat-mounted flat-mounted gauge, gauge, new new rigid rigid grab grab handle handle andand ™ ™ improved improved RER RER /start /start button. button.
©2012 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved ®, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. Always ride safely and responsibly. *Based on independent third-party dyno test.
ized mountain Sled. ever. ™ 3 tMotion REaR SuSpEnSion ™
and 16-inCH FlExEdgE tRaCk The first rear skid and track that flex. So initiating boondocking and sidehilling moves become totally effortless.
® ® 4 Rotax E-tEC 800R EnginE
Class-leading 163.9* hp and razor-sharp throttle response. It’s the most advanced 2-stroke engine technology available.
Visit Ski-Doo.com for the latest promotion.
pulse.co Distribu m ted by M ountain 1-888-9 Sports D 87-SLED istributio n
S ’ T D N A R BU E C I CHO
“I TRUST MY SNOWPULSE EVERYDAY OUT IN THE BACKCOUNTRY”
COVER PHOTO Blake Jorgenson – Dan Treadway, Pemberton, BC. CONTENTS PHOTO Bryn Hughes – Chugach Range, Alaska. CONTENT MANAGEMENT, LAYOUT AND DESIGN Publisher: Tim Grey Content Manager: Patrick Garbutt Graphic Design: Nick Marks www.summitcommunications.ca
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Steve Crowe, Patrick Garbutt, Tim Grey. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dave Basterrechea, Aaron Bernasconi, Chris Brown, Kertis Broza, Fabrice Carrara, Julie-Ann Chapman, Joel Forbes, Patrick Garbutt, Chuck Gorton, Chris Granter, Tim Grey, Matthew Mallory, Patrick Orton, Curtis Pawliuk, Bret Rasmussen, Nadia Samer, Tobin Seagel, Daryl Treadway, Dave Treadway. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Rob Alford, Mark Aubry, Dave Best, Dave Basterrechea, Chris Bridge, Kertis Broza, Greg Byman, Julie-Ann Chapman, Stephen W. Clark, Dave Duncan, Patrick Garbutt, Tim Grey, Mark Gribbon, Jeremy Hanke, Bryn Hughes, Blake Jorgenson, Jarrid Juse, Shane Lewis, Steven Lloyd, Chris Messervey, Dave Micku, Patrick Orton, Curtis Pawliuk, Brandon Peterson, Thierry Provencher, R. Maser, Nadia Samer, Daryl Treadway, Dave Treadway. DISTRIBUTION Mountain Sports Distribution 250.344.5060 CONTACT // ADVERTISING // EDITORIAL email@example.com – 1.855.SLED.MAG FIND US ON THE WEB www.SledderMag.com www.facebook.com/mountainsledder www.twitter.com/mountainsledder www.youtube.com/user/mountainsleddermag www.issuu.com/mountainsledder
Copyright ©2013 Summit Communications All Rights Reserved. Printed in Canada.
Photo: Bryn Hughes
THE OF MOUNTAIN SLEDDING
SAHEN SKINNER Back Country Pro
REBEL WITH A CAUSE
FXR SWEEPSTAKES - VISIT:
ENTER TO WIN
Super Lite Helmet
Elevation Lite Glove
IN THIS ISSUE DEPARTMENTS
16 FIRST TRAX Catamount Glacier Proposed Opening Smithers Management Agreement Golden's West Bench Trail Crystal Ridge Sled Ski Update
20 RAD ZONES: BOULDER MOUNTAIN A legendary sledding hotspot, Revelstokeâ€™s Boulder Mountain has been satisfying the deep powder addict for over 40 years.
26 RIDING TIPS: JUMPING 101 Chris Brown teaches you how to huck your meat.
30 GEAR REVIEWS
509 Carbon Fiber Helmet FXR Elevation Jacket Motorfist Stomper Boot Pieps Globalfinder Iridium
36 ULTIMATE MOD
Dave and Brandon Micku of Top Secret Shop in Salmon Arm have an impressive turbo E-Tec.
24 INTERVIEW: BRET RASMUSSEN
13 OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY
We caught up with Bret to learn more about how he got to be where he is today, and what his thoughts are on the current state of sledding. By Matthew Mallory
34 BEG, BORROW, STEEL
Isn’t that what we all want? To be gone. To explore. To discover.
Nine pages of epic photos by the best in the business.
We suggest moving beyond the customary open-ended “you break it, you bought it” agreement. By Patrick Garbutt
63 BEER GOGGLES
Stephanie redefines ‘good for a girl.’ By Nadia Samer
66 MOUNTAIN SLEDDER BORED GAME
38 ATHLETE PROFILE: STEPHANIE SWEEZEY 41 FILM REVIEWS
Thunderstruck 11, Slednecks 15, 2SCM 15, Boondockers 9, Fourcast 2, Volume 7. Mountain Sledder Video AWARDS
44 TECH THEORY: TOP END
Blowing your sled's engine is kind of like catching your wife cheating on you. It's gonna suck. Here's what can go wrong, and how best to avoid it.
48 INTO THE UNKNOWN
"My eyes had been opened to the most beautiful, insane place I had ever been. This trip changed my life forever." By Patrick Orton
"Ya gotta get yer beer goggles on man! Ya know what I mean, yer beer goggles." By Daryl Treadway
Bored? Grab a few brewskis and play!
Tumbler Ridge The best open mountain sledding in BC
With over 300kms of trails, you can really get into our untouched deep powder and long snow season. Our heart-pounding slopes offer endless riding possibilities â€“ sled it this winter.
www.visitTumblerRidge.ca | 1.877.SAW.DINO
OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY
Hey Lady, you got the love I need, maybe, more than enough. Over the hills and far away. Isn’t that what we all want? To be gone. To explore. To discover. These situations are the holy houses for a mountain sledder and spring is the time we make it happen. Many have I loved, and many times been bitten. Of course it’s kind of scary out there. In the field. Where shit gets real, really fast. Yet it’s so beautiful that we can’t stop ourselves from returning to dangerous places and doing dangerously fun things. Many times I’ve wondered how much there is to know. Finding a new zone is the best part about mountain sledding. Our journey is the destinations we seek and find. Mellow is the man who knows what he’s been missin’, many many men can’t see MY open road. This life doesn’t exactly make sense. But when your sled is fueled and your only mission for the day is to have fun and not get killed, things are simple. Not everyone understands what we do, but we can live with that. Our open road is a wide open throttle on the way to a freshly reset zone. – Tim Grey PS We invite you to crank Led Zepplin during the reading of this issue, we certainly played it loud while making it.
Photo: Nadia Samer
ISSUE 02 MOUNTAIN SLEDDER MAG
A LIFESAVING BREAKTHROUGH IN TWO-WAY
If attendance had been a major component of his university grades, Pat would have flunked outright. Instead he managed to graduate on the strength of his ability to write well enough about subjects that he, in truth, had not cared to learn the first thing about—a natural born bullshit artist. Now a part of the Mountain Sledder editorial staff, he has finally found a subject that he can embrace… if only we could get him to show up at the office from time to time. - Tap Winslow
Photo: Dave Best
Photo: Chris Bridge
Matthew Mallory Matt is just the guy this sled industry needs—talented with his words, photography and professionalism. He is also very passionate. Not the wine, cheese and ladies kind of passionate, but passionate about the sport and its growth. His website www.joydigger.com, is dedicated to the lifestyle and culture of the snowmobile industry. Go sledding with the guy one day if you can, he is one of the most enjoyable people to ride with! - Julie-Ann Chapman
Bryn Hughes must have over thirty different nicknames. This can only mean one thing: that he is well-liked. Bryn Diesel, Oprah Brynfry, and Bryndiana Jones are just a few of my favorites. Always humble and fun to hang out with, Bryn is also a deadly sniper of sports action, especially on snow. His photography has earned many awards including a People’s Choice selection at the Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival Pro Photographer Showdown. His rock climbing skills, however, will not win awards anytime soon. - Tim Grey View more of Bryn’s work at: www.brynhughes.photoshelter.com
Photo: Bryn Hughes
SLEDDER SEEN We’re starting to turn up everywhere...
TWO-WAY SOS EMERGENCY RESPONSE
FOLLOW ME/FIND ME TRACKING & LOCATION
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Photo: Patrick Garbutt
inReach™ pairs with iPhone,® iPad,® iPod touch® and Android™ devices for two-way satellite messaging via the Iridium® network for truly global coverage.
Photo: Dave Best
TWO-WAY TEXT MESSAGING
ISSUE 02 MOUNTAIN SLEDDER MAG
visitvalemount.ca 250-566-9905 | firstname.lastname@example.org
valemountrecdevelopment.com 250-566-4817 | email@example.com
RADIUM CATAMOUNT GLACIER pROpOsED OpENING It seems more common these days to hear of snowmobiling area closures than openings. However, just such an opening has been proposed for the Catamount Glacier near Radium, BC. The Provincial Section 58 order amendment is intended to address long-standing conflict between user groups of the upper Forster Creek drainage. At issue is the non-compliance of snowmobilers who have been using the closed glacier area for years, despite the closure order. Various stakeholder groups in the area, including the Windermere Valley Snowmobile Society (WVSS), Columbia Valley Hut Society, non-motorized recreationalists, a commercial snowmobile operation, environmental group Wildsight, RK Heli Ski, and BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations officers have met to help form and support the order amendment in hopes that a compromise can be met. The proposal would open the Catamount Glacier for snowmobile use between February 15th and June 1st, annually. Regarding the mid-season opening date, WVSS President Barry Lightfoot says, “A lot of times you can’t get up there until February because the rocks on the toe of that glacier are half the size of a home and the size of pickup trucks, so they take about 8-10 feet of snow to fill before you can even think about going up there. For some reason they’d like to have a date on it, and we’re happy with that.”
Dave White Cabin
Area 1 Forster Creek Meadows Bridge
50°40'0"N Forster Creek cabin
R.K. HELI CABIN
Area 2 Catamount Glacier
Area 3 North Star Glacier Olive Hut
www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca Catamount / North Star Section 58 Closure Proposed Boundary Amendments – September 2012 Area 1 Forster Creek Meadows
Area 2 Catamount Glacier Area 3 North Star Glacier REC5186 REC6072 REC6879 Recreation Lines - Active
Structures and Bridge Feature
The adjacent North Star Glacier would remain closed year round for the use of the other vested groups. The entire agreement hinges on the idea that by opening Catamount Glacier for snowmobile use, those sledders will enjoy the increased area and terrain, and respect the adjacent closures. In an effort to discourage sledders from entering the North Star Glacier closure, the WVSS intends to gate off and sign the 6ft wide stretch that has been used illegally to access the glacier in the past. In addition, Lightfoot says, “we’re going to educate people at the bottom, you know, because it’s only a one-year agreement. If we do ruin this agreement, they might come up with another way to keep sledders off that glacier, so that’s another thing that hopefully everybody can agree with. We’re very fortunate if we can pull this off. Hopefully everybody stays on our side.”
Bridge Dave White Cabin Forster Creek cabin Olive Hut R.K. HELI CABIN
Although the proposal has yet to be officially approved, there is hope that it will be in place for this winter season. MFLNR officer, Brennan
Clarke, had the following to say: “While stakeholders have agreed to the new rule for snowmobile use and skiing on and around Catamount Glacier, there are several steps that need to be completed before the changes take effect. Ministry staff are compiling all the public comments received so far and plan to address any outstanding issues that may come to their attention. There are also details such as engineering, enforcement, and stakeholder commitment that remain to be finalized. It’s hoped the new regime will be in place this winter; however, at this time the ministry is unable to confirm a date when the agreement will be signed and implemented.” “We’re encouraged that the parties came together and agreed to these changes and we hope to have this agreement implemented as soon as possible,” says Aina Cernenoks, Rocky Mountain District recreation officer. “We’re trying to get along too. We’re trying to give and take,” says Lightfoot. “It’s a one-time agreement, and [we] won’t get a second chance at this. It’s taken us 15 years, probably around anywhere from 25 to 30 meetings of people sitting around for hours, and it took us 11 meetings just to come to a head in the last 2 years. It’s been a lot of work. Everybody has to respect [the agreement].” The glacier opening would be a major draw for sledders, as it would significantly increase the amount of rideable terrain in the Forster drainage, as well as make for one of the largest and most easily accessible glaciers open to sledding in the region. - PG
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
sMITHERs sNOWMOBILE AssOCIATION MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT The Smithers Snowmobile Association (SSA) has recently partnered up with Recreation Sites and Trails BC to lay ink to a management agreement that will secure the Association’s sledding areas for motorized winter use, in perpetuity. The agreement application, which formalizes stewardship, was approved this summer and officially signed in late October, in time for the 2012/2013 riding season. It is the culmination of a year’s worth of assessment, planning and discussion with the province. The agreement encompasses 4 of the area’s 5 distinct riding zones: Dome Mountain, Microwave Plateau, the Sinclair Range, and Harold Price, which together cover a full spectrum of sledding options ranging from family friendly to “hang on to your nutsack” riding, according to SSA President Ron Fowler. The agreement also provides inclusions for 7 designated emergency shelters, and over 120km of groomed access trails. Reaching this agreement has been a major step forward for the SSA, and will bring the group up to par with other clubs and associations throughout the Province. In addition to securing an official nod from the government for motorized use, the agreement also allows for the collection of day use fees, as is done by nearly every other snowmobile association/club in Western Canada. The much-needed revenue will go a long way to improving the area’s grooming, infrastructure and public safety measures. Without exception, the largest expense of any snowmobile association is trail grooming, and with the implementation of day use trail passes, the
SSA will be able to increase its grooming capacity and adhere to a more regular schedule. Until now, the non-profit club has relied on limited income from membership sales, corporate sponsors and community fund-raisers. In meeting the terms of the agreement, the Association is moving forward in cooperation with the Province to improve signage at trailheads and emergency shelters, as part of a plan to improve public safety. In addition, a consistent emergency plan has been developed that will be available at each shelter. Also new for this winter will be trailhead transceiver checkers installed at three of the riding areas. After 20 years of dealing with land use issues as a sledder, Fowler says that he found the Province to be very helpful in reaching this agreement. “Working with the government people that make these policies and enforce them is the way to go, rather than butting heads. They have a wealth of information. It is better to be part of the solution than part of the problem.” Smithers Snowmobile Association 2012/2013 adult memberships are available for $140, which includes a season-long trail pass. Day use trail passes are $20 per person. - PG
Banff National Park
GOLDEN WEsT BENCH TRAIL
The trail infrastructure will consist primarily of existing Forest Service Roads, including deactivated roads, but will also be composed to a lesser degree of cutblocks and a small amount of freshly cut swath. Two bridges will need to be installed to connect the trail over Wiseman Creek and another smaller drainage closer to Quartz. One bridge that formerly spanned the Sullivan drainage along the nearby Bush River Forest Service Road will be recommissioned for this purpose. The new trail represents a dramatic increase in the amount of groomed, non-mountainous riding available, which is something that the Golden area has had previously in short supply. Mountain sledders will now have a destination in Golden that they can share with their families, and which can be safely enjoyed by less experienced riders. For the hardcore sledder, the Society has hope that eventually the trail will be used as part of a network to access the Lang and Cirque snowmobile areas directly from the valley, as an alternate to using the high passes during whiteout conditions.
West Bench Trail Gorman Lake Upper Parking lot (8 km)
Golf Course Road
Gorman Lake Access Road
West Bench Trail
Gorman Lake Parking lot
Bush Harbor to Golden
West Bench Trail If your not a mountain snowmobiler this is the trail for you! An 8Okm return trip with several play areas for beginners along the way and even a few old logging roads to explore make this trail ride a must do. Connecting Gorman Lake Trail to Quartz Creek gives riders the ability to access several areas all from one trail head located only minutes from the town of Golden. Distance: Approx. 80km round trip – Elevation: 1100m – Difficulty: Beginner Locations: Gorman Lake Trail Quartz Creek Trail – Trail Fee: YES
The trail will also be of great benefit to mountain sledders wanting to ride Quartz Creek at times when the highway is closed to westbound traffic, which is not an uncommon circumstance during the winter season, by providing an alternate route to the popular zone. Although budgeting and a schedule are yet to be finalized, the GSTS expects the trail to be open and at least semi-regularly groomed throughout the 2012/13 riding season. Check out the Tourism Golden Snowmobile Trails Guide for more information, available at local sled shops, accommodators and online. - PG
VALEMOUNT CRYsTAL RIDGE UpDATE The final hurdle in the Crystal Ridge Sled Ski area construction has been crossed, and the area will be open for the 2012/2013 season. The costly building and installation of a 4m x 30m long aluminum bridge over the Canoe River has been completed with the help of countless hours of volunteer and staff time. It took two weeks of work to assemble the bridge on site, which was then lifted into place by a 90 tonne crane. In addition to finishing the new bridge, Valemount Recreation Development Association (VARDA) worked with a local company to clear all non-merchantable timber from three additional runs, which took a team of two individuals over a month and a half to complete. This brings the total number of runs to four, all of which offer roughly 600m vertical descents. The trail system starts from the large Westridge parking area located 2km south of Valemount. For the first season, VARDA, a non-profit group, will try to maintain the uptrack as best it can, although regular grooming is not set to take place until the 2013/14 season. The area will not have any fees for the first season, although a donation box will be attached to the kiosk in the staging area from which the funds will go toward sporadic grooming of the access trail. From the staging area, the facility is accessed via a 14km long trail based on old Forest Service roads. The uptrack, which is similar to any
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
base layer © 2012 Google, © 2012 Province of British Columbia
Three years after the initial bid, and many more in the planning, the Province of BC has recently approved the Golden Snowmobile Trail Society’s (GSTS) proposal for the West Bench Trail. The winter-use motorized access trail will stretch for 39 kilometres along the west side of the Columbia Valley, resulting in a continuous link between the Gorman Lake and Quartz Creek trailheads.
to R Quartz Creek Parking lot (32.3 km)
groomed snowmobile trail, has more than enough width for safety and two-way traffic. Once riders crest the ridge, there will be signed drop-offs at the beginning of each of the runs, along with corresponding signage below for easy pickups. The number of runs any person can do in a day is simply limited by their endurance and skill level. Take note, as the area is still in the very early stages of growth, there are currently no outhouses, nor warm-up facilities located on site. For more information, contact VARDA at 1.250.566.4817, varda@ valemount.ca or browse valemountrecdevelopment.com - Curtis Pawliuk
WesT BenCh TraiL p.28
Photo: Dave Best
NEw Gorman, Quartz, Silent Pass, West Bench Trail and much more...
TourismGolden.com | 1.800.622.GOLD
Dave Best Photo
Snowmobile Trail Guide Visit Golden BC @TourismGolden Tourism Golden
NEW West Bench Trail connecting Gorman and Quartz Creek areas
● ● ●
Rider Choice Award for Best Mountain Sledding area in BC Beginner and Advanced Terrain Average 10 metres plus snowfall
MOUNTAIN MOTORSPORTS Renowned for our customer service and sought after showroom full of apparel, parts, accessories, and mods, we service all brands. Your mountain Arctic Cat and Yamaha Dealership 250-344-6100 | www.mountainmotorsports.ca
GOLDEN PARK INN Your Comfort is our priority! Clean and Affordable Accommodations, Onsite Restaurant and Lounge, Extra Large Hot Tub and Sauna, Free Wi-Fi. Central Location to Cold Beer and Wine store. Large parking areas well lit for sleds. Rates From $59.99 double occupancy 1-877-735-5475 | www.selkirkinn.com
SPORTSMAN LODGE - NOW TRAVELODGE Where Sledders stay in Golden! White Gold Sponsors! Biggest parking lot in town, CCTV secured parking lot. Best Sled Rate in Golden! Flat Screen T.V’s, Hot Tub, Sauna, Salt Water Pool.
1-888-989-5566 | www.sportsmanlodge.ca
MOUNT 7 LODGES Luxurious 2, 3 and 4 bedroom log built lodges with private large hot tubs, gas grills, fireplace, satellite HDTV, DVD & WIFI. All lodges have fully equipped kitchens and spacious living areas. Beds can be kings or twins. Perfect for groups, families or couples. Large secure parking areas for sled trailers. Centrally located for Gorman, Silent Pass and Quartz trailheads. Rates from $45 per person per night sharing 8 person lodge. 250-344-8973 | www.mount7lodges.com
Scan the code to view the snowmobile trail map at Tourismgolden.com /VisitGoldenBC
REVELSTOKE, BC BOULDER MTN
legendary sledding hotspot, Revelstoke’s Boulder Mountain has been satisfying the deep powder addict for over 40 years. its ease of access, well-maintained facilities, and extremely rare combination of plentiful beginner terrain alongside expert-crushing deep snow and climbs make Boulder one of the most talked about riding areas in Western Canada, and therefore…the world. Starting out from scenic downtown Revelstoke, the parking area is only 4 kilometres west of town. Your coffee may still be a bit too hot for that first sip as you turn left off of Westside Road into the roomy double lot facility, which makes unloading a frustrating blend of wanting that sled off the deck asap and not wanting to leave the rest of your drink to cool for the day on your dash. There is a mandatory $20 trail fee (collected at the bottom) that contributes to the 50+ kilometres of trail grooming which occurs six days a week throughout most of the winter. Frequent visitors can purchase a yearly membership at $130 for a single, or $180 for any two in a family. Venturing up the main trail gives you a few options to get to the goods. Stay right at the junction to cruise the long and straight Kirkup Trail, following the Kirkup Valley up to the cabin and giving access to the ‘experts-only’ Turtle Mountain area. Staying left takes you to the Bezanson and the ultra-scenic Veideman Trails, with great views of Revelstoke nestled between the Selkirk and Monashee mountain
ranges. This is especially nice on the way home if it is getting dark as the Revelstoke dam and the sweet vistas over the lights of town are showcased. The Bezanson is the most popular trail, as it is the shortest, though all three end up at the new Boulder Cabin. At 5400ft (1650m) in elevation, sledders are welcomed to the riding area by a one year-old cabin with ample space for drying wet gear, hooks for hanging clothes out of the way, and lighting on a timer system so that it will come on for the next person with the flip of a switch. A large covered deck area keeps the snow off of you while you enjoy some hot grub served fresh off the BBQ through the majority of the season. No Interac here people, bring cash! The outside area is fantastic, because as we all know, you don’t always go to the cabin to warm up—most are trying to sit down and cool off from that last tree well session. A guestbook helps keep track of who’s visiting from where, and is also a vital part of saving your bacon when you don’t sign out because you’re lost or stuck or broke down somewhere for the night! Setting off across the meadow leads to the Summit Trail, the one and only trail to the top. If you are more into slaying trees than rolling single file, there are routes to push yourself that do head a similar direction, but be warned: above the cabin and to the right too far will guarantee an overnight stay in the famed Toilet Bowl. Luckily, Search and Rescue is quite familiar with this funnel. Unluckily, they know not to go near it, so you’re walking out! It beckons you in with nicely spaced trees and untouched stashes of deep snow. As it gets steeper and steeper, you will probably notice that the locals’ tracks have now turned off for safer terrain, while you scream with joy inside your helmet wondering what kind of idiot would pass up these turns!? As it gets too steep to stop and the snow beneath you is now unable to cling to this frozen waterfall you’re skipping down, you remember right where you should have bailed a few hundred metres back. Anyways, you get the point. A few minutes above the cabin and you’re cruising up Alberta Hill, apparently named for all the Albertans planted in the middle of it in deep snow back in the day of short tracks and paddles. Above that and you’re in the zone! Trees are now opened up, giving way to open bowls or skinny tree lines. Look for the infamous “Waldy World” sign and you know this is where it all begins. It’s named after the fearless explorer who pioneered these parts on old Everests and Formula Pluses; and, if you ask around, you may see the guy still hammering tree lines that aren’t recommended, usually solo as well.
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
Photo: Kertis Broza
Cabin GPS Lat and Long
N 51° 00’ 47.26” W 118° 19’ 35.32” Cabin Elevation
1644 m 5394 ft
Distance to Revelstoke Photos: Kertis Broza
5 km Annual Snowfall
14 m – 20 m 46 ft – 65 ft
Avg Winter Temperature KIRKUP LAKES
THE AIRPORT ALBERTA HILL SUGAR BOWL
SUPER BOWL BULLPEN & LOWER
-5 C° CABIN
24 km Grooming Season
7 months Terrain Rating
Map data ©2012 Google - Map for promotional purposes only. Colours on map do not indicate terrain ratings.
Photos: Kertis Broza
zones Up over the top and you glide down into Super Bowl, the first large bowl where many people meet, stash their fuel or pull some uphill drag races. Hang a left at the bottom, up over the ridge, and you’re heading back towards Alberta Hill through the meadows. It’s a lower, safer way to go back in the fog. The second most mentioned place on the mountain is Sugar Bowl, just a little further along and around the corner from Super Bowl. This spot ups the ante with longer, steeper climbs, more potential avalanche danger in suspect conditions, and a few sweet cornices that usually show some traces of people launching off of them. The nice thing about the mountain up to here is that almost anyone can ride to these spots with minimal body english, and get to be a part of the big show. There are real-deal climbs right from the base of beginner terrain, and you can bet that on a holiday weekend with good weather, you are guaranteed to see the baddest sleds ever to roam the earth, with some of the best riders out there doing what they do best— guzzling back race fuel and unleashing ungodly horsepower, all for that everlasting wonder drug: adrenaline! If you still have enough ‘go’ in you, the mountain has plenty to give back at this point, since you are only about a third of the way along it! The Bull Pen is a ravine that heads south towards the Trans-Canada Highway, housing some fantastic tree riding on one side, and some famous, turbo-only chutes up the other side. Drop over the north side of the mountain, and down below you will find the Lower Lakes area with a few small lakes, benches and perfectly spaced trees throughout. Keep pushing west along the top and you encounter a lot of natural booters of every shape and size. Many people cruise right by without sampling the air these offer, but it’s worth at least a sniff ! Dropping down again heading further west, you will be staring up at the famed Turbo Hill. It was named this back when a turbo was the only thing going anywhere near the top, even in the
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
spring. It’s still ominous, and it has belts smoking and clutches scalding just thinking about it. There is terrain past Turbo, but you’re nearing the end of more than 100 square kilometres by now. If there has to be a downside to all of this (it can’t all be fluffy can it?), it could be the weather. Let’s be serious for a moment and realize that record snowfalls don’t happen in Revelstoke because of excessive sun. Luckily, it’s hard to find a gap in the trees that you can’t get out of, making the tree riding on Boulder second to none. A cloudy day means head for the trees and pin it! Boulder Mountain really does have it all covered; there is concrete evidence behind all the hype. It allows beginners to get out and enjoy a serious rider’s mountain—safely. On a deep day, it will leave the best of the best gasping for air in the perfectly spaced trees. Imagine all that this mountain has to offer, and yet some days there are truckloads of people that run out out of fuel, mechanically and physically, without even making it to Alberta Hill. You can ride Boulder from November to June with every month bringing something different, but worthy! There is cell service at a few different points on the mountain to call for help, or to let your other half know that you might be just a little bit late. Selkirk Helicopters is literally across from the parking lot, if needed. There are spectacular views in every direction. Did I mention hot food at the cabin? There are sled rental companies, parts and accessory shops, gas and food—all within 5 minutes of the parking lot. Speaking of parking lots, you can ride the neighbouring mountain, Frisby, as well as Turtle Mountain, from the same parking lot. Yeah! Just show up, you will not be disappointed! – Kertis Broza
GLACIER HOUSE RESORT
GLACIER HOUSE RESORT
GLACIER HOUSE RESORT
Interview by Matthew Mallory // Photos by Stephen W. Clark
Bret Rasmussen has long established himself at the forefront of a growing movement in the progression of technical riding. He is passionate about sharing his technique and style, and has helped countless riders improve their own riding ability. We caught up with him to learn more about how he got to be where he is today, and what his thoughts are on the current state of sledding. - PG MM: How long have you been snowmobiling?
BR: Too many! Since 1968 when I was 10 years old. I basically grew up
with it, lived on a farm in southeastern Idaho and had ready access to sledding almost daily each winter. Dad had an Arctic Cat dealership that was operated out of an old building on the farm. I learned at an early age how to completely disassemble a two-stroke engine and put it back together.
MM: You are one of the pioneers of technical tree riding. How did you develop your riding style?
BR: I think the right way to answer that question would be to talk
about sled control versus sled power. Going back to the ‘70s, when 50 horsepower was a lot, we had to get every last fraction of power out of those sleds, and with the competitive nature of sledders, we had to learn to hang it out and ride on the edge of control to navigate the terrain in an effort to make the mountain pass that may have been our destination. We didn’t go to the peak of any mountain until the snow firmed up in the spring. Hitting the same trail over and over just to make it another sled length was the way we broke trail. It would have been a little later, maybe into the ‘80s when the “wrong foot forward” was born, even though the terminology came much later. It was during the development of the Arctic Cat M Series chassis when I was able to start to refine the technique. It was this sled that allowed
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
improved control while riding in the “wrong foot forward” position, it was easy to ride and maintain control at faster speeds. In my mind this was a break-through period in mountain backcountry riding. This was the period in time when the challenge become traversing the terrain rather than simply climbing to the top of whatever mountain you came upon. It was my friend Chris Burandt, who at the time was known to me as a freestyle punk who I had no idea could actually ride in the backcountry, who pushed me in this ride technique. You see, he had been contracted by Arctic Cat to promote the M Series sleds via a demo program born by him. I had booked him to conduct a demo ride for my dealership where I invited a few of my customers to try the new M7s. This however, was my first ride with the “punk”. Guess what? We had an awesome time chasing each other around the mountain. I have no idea what happened to my customers, but this was the first of many rides together with Chris where together we evolved the technique that individually we developed. Now this is not to say that there weren’t others who were riding like us, but we were able to popularize the ride technique through our exposure to riders during the Arctic Cat demo ride program and later through our individual backcountry ride clinics as well as the SCHOOLED video series. I am still a student of this style of backcountry riding technique, I believe I refined and defined the technique as it progressed to the point it is today. I hope that everyone who rides in the mountain backcountry benefits in some way from this ride style.
MM: What are the factors that contributed to the progression of your techniques up until now?
BR: It was a combined evolution of the sled and the rider. As the sleds
improved, the rider had to be able to maintain that precision control at faster speeds in more rugged and technical terrain. It also has to do with energy conservation. If a sledder wears himself out in the first hour of the ride because of poor form, he will not be a happy camper by the end of
the day. The other ingredient in all of this is the closed course competition element that hill climb racers subject themselves to. Having run the RMSHA circuit for roughly 15 years, I learned that there would be no room for error. Everything became a calculated risk and we as racers pushed ourselves to extreme speeds throughout the length of the course. When riding with nonracers I was often referred to as out of control, when the reality was I had more control at twice the speed as they. Everything is relative. You will only be as good as the sledders you ride with, if you are not challenged you will not improve your riding skills.
MM: There are a lot of different riding styles in the mountain sledding world from technical tree riding to big mountain descents and massive airs. Who are the sledders in the game that impress you right now?
BR: Kyle Tapio and Keith Curtis. They are professional racers that have
a reputation for winning competition hill climb races. They have earned my respect by knowing how to win races. It takes much more than just showing up at the event and jumping on a race sled. It takes total dedication to being an athlete, to becoming one with your sled, to having a complete understanding of the mechanics of the sled. Dedicated practice allows the rider to learn how his sled might react in many situations found on the racecourse. It allows the rider to know what to expect out of his sled and how close to the edge of disaster he can push himself without making a mistake. Winning athletes are at the top level of their sport because they give everything they have to the challenge. Kyle Tapio and Keith Curtis are two great examples of this endeavour. I wish them both a great career.
MM: From the first time you swung a leg over a snowmobile until now there have been incredible advances in sled technology. What have been the big changes that you have seen and where do you think the sport of mountain sledding is going in the next few years?
BR: First let me say that I don’t think it is fair for the younger generation
to not have to ride ’70 model sleds, just kidding. Mountain/backcountry sleds are going to get lighter and easier to ride. How this will come about I’ll leave to your imagination, but I will say that this segment of the industry is driving the rest of it. You, as mountain sledders, are funding the development of the next generation of sleds and I can’t wait to see what they are all about. For now I will be tweaking my new Summit XM, getting it ready for the deep Rocky Mountain powder snow, so watch out, I’ll be busting through the trees setting a line for some unsuspecting flatlander to innocently follow. Well at least for ten feet!
MM: How have you stayed at the top of your game for so long?
BR: Easy, it doesn’t matter what you do, if you do it every day and accept it as a challenge to become better, you get really good at it.
MM: What is it about backcountry riding that keeps you passionate and stoked about getting on your sled as much as you can every year?
MM: You are one of the first to really focus on technical, backcountry riding with your Ride Rasmussen Style clinics. With all of this coaching experience under your belt is there one universal tip you can offer someone who is trying to improve their technical riding?
BR: Simple, I like to help people. I feel like I have accomplished something
BR: Slow down and be in control of your sled at all times. Learn the
whenever I can spend a few hours with someone and completely change the way they play the game. Then it will be their turn to school their sledding buddies.
technique that will allow you to accomplish this. Get a copy of SCHOOLED and watch it over and over, you will become a better sledder for this.
issue 02 Mountain Sledder Mag
Photo: Rob Alford Rider: KJ
I get a lot of people asking me about jumping—how I started, what’s the biggest jump I’ve hit on my sled, and how to do it. I started the same way most of you did, only it was 18 years ago. I found some smaller jumps with safe landings and started to work my way up. The biggest jump I’ve hit was 247’ and the biggest gap I’ve cleared was 150’ over a moving train.
Be PRePaRed: You have to protect your body. I wear EVS shin and knee guards, a Tekvest and my trusty 509 Carbon helmet. Kneepads are crucial when jumping. At some point you will bash your knees against the chassis, and I guarantee you’ll be glad you had them on. The Tekvest really gives your ribs and internal organs some extra protection and should always be worn. Choose a quality, good-fitting helmet and make sure the strap is done up properly. I’ve seen a lot of guys lose their helmets on a hard landing or crash from not having that strap tight enough.
ChooSIng The RIghT JUMP: Start by finding a small jump with a smooth take-off and a steep landing. The face of the jump should be a smooth transition. If it is abrupt it will collapse the suspension when you hit it and you might not fly straight. The steeper the landing, the better. You don’t want to land flat as it can break your back (trust me). Start with a tabletop
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
jump where you will be fine if you come up short, but try not to overshoot it either. Always look at the landing to make sure it is clear of obstacles (and your buddies). Use a spotter if you can’t see the landing. Start small, have fun and work your way up.
The aPPRoaCh: As you are approaching the face of the jump you want your body to be neutral. That means equal weight on each foot and centred on the sled. Your knees and arms should be bent and ready to absorb anything. You should be looking ahead of your sled. The distance you look ahead depends on how fast you are going but you should always be looking out ahead of your skis. Make sure you’re not sitting on the seat, as this will hurt when it comes to landing time. If you’ve found a nice tabletop jump, then you can start by hitting it slow, and incrementally increase your speed as you feel comfortable flying further each time.
Take-oFF: It’s all about timing. When my skis are leaving the face of the jump I let off the throttle. This makes the sled fly parallel to the landing. If you let off the throttle before the skis hit the jump, your nose will drop quickly in the air. On the flipside, if you stay on the throttle too long, your nose will come up. You want to be smooth on the take-off and let off the throttle in that precise moment when you start to leave the face.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR JUMPING
Photos: Shane Lewis Rider: Chris Brown
In The aIR
Photo: Jeremy Hanke Rider: Rob Alford
Photo: Thierry Provencher Rider: Rob Alford
In The aIR: If your nose drops because you let off the gas too soon, hit the throttle and it should come back up (depending on how severe your nose dive is!). If you stay on the throttle too long and your skis come up, tap the brake and lean forward a bit. Once you master the art of flight, you may not ever have to use the brake or throttle in the air—you will just fly level. Again, make sure you are always looking ahead. When I’m in the air, I am spotting my landing. You want your sled to fly at the same angle as the slope so that your skis and track touch down at almost the same time. If it’s windy out, wait for another day. Wind can really throw you and your sled around in the air.
LandIng: Spot your landing and right before you hit the ground hit your throttle a bit to get your track spinning—this will lessen the impact. Brace yourself and have a firm grip on the bars. Continue looking ahead, you might get whiplash if you are looking down when your skis hit the snow. Use your legs and arms to absorb some of the impact, but your shocks should take most of it. Try not to land heavy on the track, it can be rough and you might get sent over the bars (scorpion!). At the same time, try not to land too heavy on the skis, as you may endo. Little adjustments to the brake or throttle can help adjust your sled’s attitude if necessary. If your landing is steep enough and you land equally on the skis and track you won’t really feel the impact at all.
RIde away: Try to ride through the landing. The more you drive through the jump and landing by keeping your momentum going, the smoother it will be. Don’t forget to keep looking ahead! Please try this with good judgment and at your own risk. The feeling of flying through the air can be super rewarding, but it can also go wrong quickly when mistakes are made. Progress at your own pace. Don’t ever feel pressured to hit a jump that you’re not comfortable with. Your gut instinct is always right!
Photo: Jeremy Hanke Rider: Rob Alford
We’ll get into whips in the next issue, so stay tuned or sign up for one of my riding clinics!
Scan this code to access riding tip tutorials with Chris Brown or visit www.ridewithchrisbrown.com
LandIng issue 02 Mountain Sledder Mag
MADE IN SWITZERLAND
Avalanches Are Fast. Now Rescuers Are Too. quite simply, the best recreational beacon on the market. simple use thanks to one-button operation. effective and fast performance thanks to signal analysis and marking function for multiple victims.
ELEMENT B a r r y v o x
issue 02 Mountain Sledder Mag
FXR ELEVATION JACKET
509 CARBON FIBER HELMET
$379 CND 509 has created a huge following over the last couple of years, evidenced by a quick look at its Facebook page which shows over 534,000 likes. They have built it making quality, stylish products specifically for snowmobilers at a reasonable price. So when the new Carbon Fiber Helmet showed up at my door I was expecting the same and it didn’t disappoint. At first touch, it feels significantly lighter than other helmets. At a starting weight of only 1240 grams, it is very light! The second thing I noticed is the shiny carbon-weave, which looks wicked, adding some serious style. On top of that, it has all of the standard 509 helmet features including ventilation, removable cheekpads and breath box, a washable liner and DOT certification. But unlike other 509 helmets, this one is handmade which means that there may be very subtle differences in every helmet. Although not cheap, it is considerably less expensive than other carbon helmets on the market, which generally retail above the $500 mark. The decision to throw down for a carbon helmet probably depends on how much you ride, how strong your neck is, and how much cash is in your pocket. This is one of those products that can make everyday riding a lot more enjoyable and I ride enough that for me, I am willing to spend the extra cash. At the time of writing I have only had one day out with the new helmet but it felt noticeably lighter and my neck was not at all sore at the end of the day. I give it two thumbs up and am looking forward to wearing it this winter. – Chuck Gorton
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
This is one of my favourite riding jackets. I really like the superior venting system and the overall nonrestrictive feel of the product. The result is that I stay comfortable as I ride by building less heat and using less effort when moving around on my sled because the jacket moves with me rather than restricting my movement in any way. However, the best part is that it keeps me dry all day, every day. FXR uses a hi-tech waterproof breathable laminate product called HydrX Pro and a construction process referred to as the Two Stage Dry System. This system keeps my jacket and pants dry from the inside out and the outside in. With it, I get less condensation forming on the inside of my jacket, while also keeping unwanted snow and water from creeping in. It really works! Designed for a functional fit, this is a perfect jacket for those riders who choose to wear a ballistic jersey or technical protective vest underneath. I also really like the exclusive radial arm vent system with waterproof zippers and body wrapped lateral design. They can be opened or closed for thermostat body core temp control, while at the same time the design prevents snow ingestion. Little details like the lyrca snow cuffs make it easy for me to wear a low-cuff glove with less restriction of wrist movement. Combine this jacket with the new Elevation Waist Pant for a perfect match of performance. – Bret Rasmussen
Epic mountain sledding that only the goats know about!
Photo by Mark Read
Find Your Peace www.tourismradium.com
PIEPS GLOBALFINDER IRIDIUM
MOTORFIST STOMPER BOOT
$265 CND One of my favourite days in the Stompers last season came in mid-March. Revelstoke had just received a bunch of new snow and Boulder Mountain was prime for the picking. Everywhere we went was over-the-hood deep. Each time I hopped off my sled, I was up to my waist. We rode hard that day and put on a ton of miles. The boots performed amazingly all day and when we arrived back at the truck, well after dark, my feet were still dry! The Stomper boasts 600g of Thinsulate insulation—enough to keep your feet warm and cozy. The only time my feet became even remotely cold was after standing still in the snow for about six hours while teaching an avalanche course. The eVent membrane gives the Stomper the waterproofing needed for long days of riding in any weather conditions without sacrificing breathability. The boots are also remarkably durable. Leather construction stands up to regular battles with rail cleats and makes light work of clearing packed snow and ice. After a season of riding, mine still look like new! Motorfist uses a sole that is supportive and provides incredible grip whether you are hopping from rail to rail or contending with regular snow buildup on deep snow days. The boot’s low profile design allows for great mobility and dexterity through any terrain or snow conditions. I’ve already got over a half dozen days in mine this season and they still feel great! – Chris Granter
Recently, satellite communications giant, Iridium, has begun licensing its technologies and collaborating with innovative companies, which has led to a host of new products that will greatly benefit backcountry users. One such product is the Pieps Globalfinder Iridium. This device works on two distinct satellite systems in order to provide both GPS navigation and 2-way communication, via the Iridium network, which does not rely on mobile phone coverage. The device allows users to send and receive messages anywhere on the planet with 100% reliability, according to the company, and without the need to bring along your smartphone. The Globalfinder offers four main functions: GPS Navigation – including compass, altimeter, waypoints and tracks. Emergency Locator and Transmitter - send an emergency SOS call from anywhere in the world to the International Emergency Response Coordination Centre. Communicator – send and receive SMS messages, emails and postings up to 256 characters. Tracking Device – uploads real-time positioning information on maps and Google Earth, showing your route and waypoints. In the case of an emergency, pressing the SOS button will send your call and position information to the Emergency Response Centre, which will initiate activation of the local mountain rescue service, send a short message answer to your Globalfinder, and establish contact with your declared person. In the case of a necessary rescue, it is reassuring to know that users are provided with worldwide Search and Rescue insurance of up to $100,000. The unit is available at select sledding shops. Monthly subscriptions costs are around $25/month, depending on usage. – PG
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
WE’RE ALL GUILTY. WE’VE ALL DONE IT. BORROWED SOMETHING AND FORGOT ABOUT IT. BROKE IT. LOANED IT TO SOMEONE ELSE. LOST IT. A TOOL. THERE IS TOO LITTLE RESPECT OUT THERE FOR THE BORROWED ITEM, AND FOR THE WRETCHEDLY INNOCENT STOOGE THAT WE BORROWED IT FROM. A BOOK. IF WE HAD ENOUGH APPRECIATION FOR THESE THINGS, THEN WE WOULD PROBABLY OWN OUR OWN AND KEEP THEM NEAT. TIDY. IN GOOD, WORKING ORDER. A DVD. BUT WE DON’T. SO WE BORROW. AND WE RETURN THESE THINGS AT OUR LEISURE, AND IN SLIGHTLY WORSE CONDITION THAN WE FOUND THEM, IF AT ALL, AND ONLY WHEN ASKED. MONEY. Unfortunately, borrowing a sled is not like borrowing your buddy’s Rocky DVD Box Set. Snowmobiles are dear to heart, damn expensive, and sadly, too easily damaged. As awesome as that scene is when Rocky is tuning up those carcasses in the freezer, the fact remains that it can’t compare. From time-to-time, however, situations crop up when it would be really nice to have an extra sled on hand. Say a friend rolls into town for a couple of days, who you’d love to show a good time in the mountains. Or you felt like taking your family out for an enjoyable trail ride. Most likely though, you’re on a multi-day road trip with some pals, and one of you has a breakdown. It’s great to have an extra sled with you so your trip isn’t ruined waiting for repairs. On the flipside, there may come a time when we are asked for a loan of our most precious, our most treasured. Our sled. Guilty of our own borrowing transgressions, we must ask ourselves the question: can my friend be trusted in a way, that I myself, cannot? The answer is no, but you’re a bleeding heart and you’re probably going to do it anyway. Rather than face the unpleasantness that would surely be the result of an unsatisfactory lending experience, we suggest moving beyond the customary, open-ended “you break it, you bought it” agreement, into something with a little more detailed accountability. It feels weird to enter into a more formal agreement with our friends, but if we want to keep those friends, it’s a necessity. Treat it like a business arrangement. It’s nothing personal. It’s just dollars and common sense. The whole arrangement begins with a thorough once-over of the sled while you give your borrower friend a stern talking to. Use big words like respectfulness, moral obligation, and consequence. Ask “are we clear?” after each. Walk around the machine with your friend, pointing out how each and every part of the machine is in mint condition, taking photos as necessary to really drive the point home. This will establish that you know your sweet baby inside and out, and even the smallest new scratch will not go unnoticed. Then take the time to fill out the form on the next page. It’s not legally binding, but your friend doesn’t know that. Shake hands on it at least twice, and be sure to stare into their eyes for an uncomfortable amount of time while doing it. Now cross your fingers and hope for the best! Good luck! - Patrick Garbutt
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
by Tim Grey
o find the right sled for this issue’s Ultimate Mod, we decided to travel in October to the Alberta Snowmobile and Power Sports Show in Edmonton to investigate several worthy builds. Our favourite was this 2011 Ski-Doo E-Tec turbo build by Dave and Brandon Micku of the Top Secret Shot (TSS) in Salmon Arm. This sled has all the big mods, but it goes the extra mile with a proprietary water-to-air intercooled turbo system that is the first that we’re aware of. On top of this, the sled feels very refined, and every inch of it has been thought through for weight-savings. Dave usually builds these sleds for his customers, but he’s keeping this one as his personal steed. “I wanted to build the lightest, baddest sled on earth, and to show our customers what we can do and how far we can take a sled build,” says the grizzly owner of TSS. “I’ve been sledding at Eagle Pass for 20 years, and this is the weapon of choice for that area.” The sled’s platform is a C3 Carbon Fiber Chassis with 2 integrated fuel tanks, which hold approximately 15 gallons for those heavy throttle days. A 174” Camoplast Challenger Extreme track with 3” paddles puts
the power to the snow, and an EZ-Ryde skid and suspension soften the whoops and keep the skis on the snow when climbing. The track is pushed by the C3 SychroDrive, which significantly lowers rotational mass in the system. TSS has also installed its own in-house custom components, including clutch kit, turbo pipe, aluminum a-arms and pipe boards. Including shop time, the cost of this build is over $35,000, which does not reflect all the time and effort spent in research and development required to achieve this level of refinement. Ski-Doo XP E-Tec Donor Sled $11000 C3 Carbon Fiber Chassis $9000 TSS proprietary water-to-air Turbo Kit $7000 Camoplast Challenger Track $1500 EZ-Ryde 174 Skid $2700 C3 SynchroDrive $1100 TSS A-Arms $500 TSS Turbo Pipe $550 Shop Time 30 hours (min) $3000 BOOST-IT FUEL CONTROLLER
1 TSS WATER-TO-AIR INTERCOOLER C3 CARBON FIBER CHASSIS
TSS EXHAUST PIPE
174" X 3" CAMOPLAST CHALLENGER EXTREME TRACK
174" EZ-RYDE SUSPENSION
TSS ALUMINUM A ARMS
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
DEDICATED U-COOLER FOR INTERCOOLER
OWNER: Dave Micku SLED: Custom 2011 ski-Doo XP e-Tec MOD BY:
Top secret shop salmon Arm, BC 250.833.7501 www.topsecretshop.ca Dave and Brandon Micku with their pride and joy: a water-to-air inter-cooler.
TSS WATER-TO-AIR INTERCOOLER According to Dave, the water-to-air intercooler has a significant advantage over its air-to-air cousin. It retains its ability to cool when there is little to no movement of air under the hood, which results in the reduced ability of a traditional intercooler to work effectively. There are a couple of common circumstances when this advantage plays out. One of these scenarios is the when the sled is moving slowly, such as when riding through tight, technical trees. Similarly, when the sled is hill climbing, although the track may be spinning at 160kph, the sled may only be crawling up the slope, which causes reduced air flow. Another circumstance that can hinder the air-to-air intercooler’s ability to perform is when deep snow blocks the hood vents, effectively shutting down under-hood air movement. Being able to provide consistent cooling is a huge advantage for the effectiveness of the fuel control system. TSS uses the Boost-It fuel controller on this build, and keeping the intake air cool is vital to staying within the effective working range of the controller. Air that is not consistently cooled can cause the controller to work at the extremes of its range, which can result in sluggish throttle response. The water-to-air intercooler allows the fuel controller to work within its zone of comfort, producing crisp throttle response when you need it most.
TSS ALUMINUM A-ARMS It might seem that you’d want the strength that steel can provide in the front end of your sled, but this is not the case as Dave describes. Despite being 7lbs lighter, the TSS Aluminum A-Arms are strong enough to handle the abuse of aggressive riding, but in the case of a big impact, they work as a shear point to protect the more expensive chassis from damage. This safeguard is especially desirable when your build is based around a single-piece carbon fiber chassis with a hefty price tag. But even a regular front end is expensive to replace, and Dave says he has a lot of customers buying TSS A-Arms to protect their stock sleds as well.
CHOICES, MORE OPTIONS, MORE TECHNOLOGY. MORE
• • • •
Interactive custom turbo building website New all in one controller, fuel and boost control box. Redesigned wiring harnesses with water proof connectors and ECU plug and play technology. Most complete turbo kit available
TURBO KITS FOR
Polaris Ski-Doo Arctic Cat
Visit www.boondockers.com/ and build your turbo kit today.
WORDS BY NADIA SAMER
Stephanie Sweezey flies below the sled industry radar for the most part, but that doesn't mean her name isn't worth knowing. She is a woman of few words, with a subtle presence. Unlike many female snowmobilers, who wear their gender on their sleeve, you won’t find any pink on her sled or gear. In fact, when she’s riding around, the only things that give her away as being female are the ponytail poking out of her helmet and her petite stature. And although Stephanie had a breakthrough performance in this year’s film Fourcast II, in which she can be seen hucking cliffs and sending step-down booters without an ounce of hesitation, she has no designs on fame or exposure. This is a woman who pushes her limits for the love of her sport. Stephanie was born and raised outside of Vancouver, BC. A boy she had a crush on first introduced her to snowboarding in high school. But she ended up falling in love with snowboarding instead of the boy and would spend every weekend riding the local Coast Mountains. Post-graduation, she moved up to Whistler and started working night jobs so she could get on snow as
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02 Photo: Julie-Ann Chapman, Rider: Stephanie Sweezey, Coast Mountains, BC.
Although sledding has become Stephanie's raison d'etre, she still has other passions. She gets her motorized fix in the summer taking part in the Pemberton 4x4 Rally, putting her old Toyota nicknamed the 'Pussy Wagon' through a series of courses and obstacles. And like sledding, she fares quite well in the predominantly male scene. Wrenching on her toys eventually led Steph to a new career path, and she is now in her second year of a heavy-duty mechanic's apprenticeship. Her work schedule consists of two weeks on at camps in northern Alberta, followed by a week off at home. Sometimes it means missing some of the best riding conditions, but Stephanie loves the job and the opportunities the schedule affords her. This summer she had the chance to attend her first NASCAR race, in Texas. Stephanie is a devout Jimmie Johnson fan and lucked out big time. Jimmie won that race, and she got the chance to meet him in person and bring home a signed piece of his car, which now adorns a space on the wall above her bed.
Stephanie at a Glance • • • • • • • • •
Age: 28 Hometown: VAncouVer Profession: HeAVy Duty mecHAnic current town: Pemberton yeArs snowmobiling: 8 truck: 2003 forD f350 turbo Diesel 6.0l rAlly truck: “tHe PussywAgon” 1988 toyotA V6 snowmobile: “leo” 2013 Arctic cAt 153” Proclimb 800 limiteD sPonsors: scott, route 99 motorsPorts
Photo: Nadia Samer
Photo: Julie-Ann Chapman
When it comes to sledding, Stephanie is a girl who will always be pushing her limits, always wanting to go bigger than last time. She will never settle for anything less than being outside her comfort zone and on the edge. She’s not after fame or glory, just a girl who wants to constantly better herself and her abilities. So while she may (currently) fly below the radar, you can bet Stephanie is soaring high somewhere.
issue 02 Mountain Sledder Mag
Photo: Nadia Samer
In 2008, Stephanie put money down for a brand new Ski-Doo XP. She painted black and white stripes all over the sled, and it became affectionately known as 'The Zebra’ around Whistler. On it, she logged a massive 15,000km in a mere 3 seasons. During that time, she met Kalle “KJ” Johansson—the Swedish freeriding phenomenon—whom she would befriend and who taught her how to line up drops and hucks safely. After meeting “Coach KJ”, as she would call him, she says that everything changed; she felt a world had opened up for her. The sensation of zero gravity, her stomach floating up to her throat, followed by her heart racing a mile a minute after landing, had her hooked, and she wanted more—in a BIG way. Stephanie's skills and abilities progressed rapidly to the point where she was sending cliffs as big or bigger than most of the boys.
Photo: Nadia Samer
much as possible during the day. After being introduced to snowmobiling by a friend, she went out shortly after and bought a '98 Yamaha Mountain Max. While the original plan was to use the sled for snowboarding access, it wasn’t long before she would forgot her snowboard in the alpine and end up just doing laps on her snowmobile.
OpEN ApRIL 6th -18th Reserve your spot today.
www.chattercreeksnowmobiling.com 1.877.311.7199 Golden BC, Canada
THERE ARE A LOT OF SNOWMOBILE FILMS OUT THERE, BUT MOST SLEDDERS DON’T TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH THEM ALL. YOU MAY MAKE THE EFFORT TO SEE ONE OR TWO THIS YEAR, BUT IN THEIR OWN WAY THEY ARE ALL WORTH A VIEW. WE’VE WATCHED AS MANY AS WE COULD GET OUR HANDS ON, IN AN EFFORT TO HELP YOU SORT THROUGH THE MIX AND DECIDE WHAT WILL MAKE IT INTO YOUR MEDIA COLLECTION THIS YEAR. SO GRAB A SIX-PACK, POP SOME CORN, AND GET COMFY ON THE COUCH… LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! THUNDERSTRUCK 11
The fact that this is the 11 film in the franchise is evidence enough that there is a sizeable following for big Jim Phelan’s productions. If there’s one thing to say about the latest iteration is that it just feels fun, plain and simple. You can tell the Thunderstruck crew doesn’t take themselves too seriously, although you might question why after the first 50 seconds of intro, which contains more heart-stopping carnage than in all the other films we watched combined. This film is all about riding pow and hang-on-for-dear-life hill climbing. It doesn’t have the biggest pros, Phelan doesn’t seem to own a tripod, and the soundtrack consists of a never-ending string of Nickleback imposters, but Team Thunderstruck doesn’t seem to care about any of that. They just keep on doing what they love, and having a helluva good time in the process. – PG th
Produced and Directed by: Jim Phelan Running Time: 84 min www.thunderstruckfilms.com
Produced by: 509 Directed by: Phil Yribar Running Time: 60 min www.ride509.com
This film scored highly on our list as a solid all-rounder. The overall production value is probably the best of the group, with a multitude of jib-crane, dolly and helicopter shots. It did feel somewhat inconsistent at times however, as some segments were clearly better produced than others. Super slowmotion footage shot on the RED camera is outstanding, especially during a sick helibooter session, but does feel a little overdone by the end. In terms of the riding, there are loads of exciting freeriding and amazing deep pow sequences, with only some hill-climbing that the film would not have suffered from cutting. The soundtrack is a decent mix of indie rock and dub-step that is thankfully shy on excessive engine noises, like are prevalent in some other films. Overall, with the exception of a few questionable cinematic choices, the film looks great and I’m already looking forward to seeing what Yribar can produce for Volume 8 with another season under his belt. – PG
Produced and Directed by: Jorli Ricker Executive Producer: Bryan Watts Running Time: 46 min www.highmarkfilms.com
Fourcast II is an awesome, well-rounded movie showcasing a high level of almost every aspect of mountain sledding. Those who want a good gauge of the level of riding these days would be well served by buying this movie. There is sweet footage of hill climbing, boondocking, booters, cliffs, step-ups and natural airs in the flick and the editing is solid. Unlike many other movies, which assault a viewer with genre overkill, Fourcast II keeps the variety flowing. Each genre often only gets a single segment. Troy Lakusta’s hill climbing section may be the best of the year in that category and Keith Curtis’s segment is just plain impressive, as he rips the snot out of everything he touches; we only wish he had shredded pow too. The movie, unfortunately, doesn’t have a lot of deep, deep powder, and some of the voice-over comes across a flat, if not strange, but it’s still a must-see movie this year. – TG
Boondockers 9 is a fun film full of air, pow, trees and good times. The crew lives up to their namesake and the giv’r levels in this movie stay high throughout. There’s a lot of below alpine footage in this movie and a lot of deep powder. Be prepared to watch a lot of wrong foot forward side-hilling through the trees. There’s also some gnarly, low-tide take-off cliff airs that are huge. Hill climbing aficionados may not get their fix from this one and the production level is not as high as some other movie houses’. There’s also very little female representation. Rider ‘Phattie’ owns it in several disciplines and stands out Produced by: Dan Gardiner, amongst a solid pack of shredders. The movie Andrew McCarthy and Geoff Dyer has some interesting POV angles that keep Executive Producer: Dave Napier things fresh but the production wanders a bit, Running Time: 44 min especially in their ‘river’ section, which comes off melodramatic and out of place. Overall www.boondockersmovie.com it’s a good watch but probably not the best purchase if you’re only buying one movie this year. Some of the best footage in this movie is also in Volume 7. – TG issue 02 Mountain Sledder Mag
2 STROKE COLD SMOKE 15
Produced by: Aaron Von Hessinger and Andy Baugh Running Time: 42 min www.frontierfilms.com
2SCS15 hits viewers hard for 37 minutes with a formula of pumpy music and hundreds of quality shots. This is the movie for air and powder freaks and bar owners who want a good flick playing on their screens. The movie is jam-packed with footage from Western Canada and Alaska. Hill climbers and boondockers will be mostly left wanting but those who like powder won’t be. 2SCS15 has the best selection of alpine freeriding this year, brought to you by a onslaught of rippers like Dan Treadway, Rob Alford and Chris Brown just to name a few. Beyond the mountain ripping, there is a heavy dose of booter airs that are big and tricky. Heath Frisby, and Cory Davis (whip master) send it as usual and Ashley Chaﬃn’s segment is probably the best female one of the year. The freeriding and the jumping come off as distinctively different segments, and the overall movie suffers from this gap. If you’re a big mountain fiend, the barrage of jumps at the end of the flick will take away from how much you liked the beginning. It ends with a fun crash reel. – TG
Produced by: Jason Moriarty and John Keegan Directed by: Jason Moriarty Running Time: 54 min www.slednecks.com
The latest from the premiere crew in sled films is another outstanding effort across the board. A myriad of high quality shots including helicopter, sled dolly, and super smooth pan/ tilts are expertly cut for a fast paced, highenergy experience. There are also some nice scenic shots, but the film proceeds quickly into the action without getting bogged down. With the exception of an overused filmburning effect in the Carly Davis segment, the film looks top notch. The soundtrack, kicked off with a custom title track, is a healthy mix of hard rock and bass-heavy electronica including big names like Bad Religion and KMFDM. And with a slew of the biggest names in sledding, the diverse riding that is a mix of monster airs, extremely tight technical tree riding, and insane freeriding will blow your mind. Powder hounds will get their fix, but like most other films this year, hill climbers may be left wanting. However, it’s pretty unlikely anyone will walk away from this one feeling unsatisfied. – PG
Contact ororcome inlearn to more learn more Contact come in to about the Mountain Sled ofsled the Year about 2013 the 2013 mountain of the at Riderzin in Edson, Alberta year at Riderz Edson, Alberta
Ph: 780-723-5775 Fax:780-723-5003 780-723-5003 Fax: www.riderz.ca www.riderz.ca
Its’ about the the ride... ride... It’s all about
A , T M a n d th e B R P l o g o a r e tr a d e m a r k s o f B o m b a r d ie r ® A R e c r e a ti o n a l P r o d u c t s In c . o r i ts a ff il i a t e s .AA
® TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. or its affiliates.
5016 - 4th Ave. Edson, Edson,Alberta Alberta T7E T7E 3B6 3B6
KALLE ‘KJ’ JOHANSSON
Jorli Ricker exudes his mastery of the ‘invisible art’ in this ﬁlm and it just ﬂows. Honourable mention: Slednecks 15.
A familiar face in several movies, you can tell KJ was on top of his game last year. KJ can carve, launch big cliﬀs, hit big booters and just generally owns any terrain he rides. Honourable mentions: Keith Curtis and Chris Brown.
GRANT CLARKE FOURCAST II
In the ﬁrst shot of his segment in Slednecks 15, Brett sends a monster over a cliﬀ and protruding rocks for a POV shot that makes you feel like Superman.
Grant Clarke does it all in this segment in Fourcast II : deep pow, tight trees, massive booters, cliﬀ drops and even a reentry whip or two. He leaves you wanting to see more.
Photo: Bryn Hughes
The movie just gets it done and they left all the mediocre shots on a diﬀerent hard drive. No one else had the quality and quantity that the Slednecks did this year.
by Patrick Garbutt
Blowing your sled’s engine is kind of like catching your wife cheating on you. Right away you’re going to experience a whole range of emotions: confusion, disbelief, anger and depression. It’s gonna suck. But what’s done is done, and it’s time to move on. Getting that engine repaired can likewise be compared to going through a divorce. You don’t know much about the process, but a bunch of your buddies have probably done it, and you know it ain’t gonna be cheap. Your expert local mechanic is your lawyer, and will be the one to hand you tissues and talk you through the process. Or maybe your relationship with your engine is still pretty good, but you want to know more so you can keep it healthy. Here’s a look at what happens inside your two-stroke engine, including: a) What can go wrong! Common top-end failures b) How to prevent them from happening c) How much it’ll cost to ensure you get to see your kids… err, sledding buddies, in the future.
cont. issue 02 Mountain Sledder Mag
ike a marriage, the better care you take of your engine early on, the better it will stand the test of time. Most new sleds do pretty well up to around the 3500km mark (the honeymoon period), but paying close attention to your girl’s needs and treating her right will go a long way to increasing her faithfulness. Here is a list of things to pay attention to:
Fuel – Old, wet or low octane gas can lead to detonation due to the fuel’s inability to resist pre-ignition. If you’re storing your sled, be sure to add fuel stabilizer to the tank, and use at least the manufacturer’s minimum recommended octane-rated fuel. Using higher octane fuel will not add power, but it will make your engine less likely to detonate, which will allow you to run the sled more aggressively. Oil – Always use a two-stroke oil that meets or exceeds your manufacturer’s recommendations. Don’t use Wal-Mart brand mineral oil. Check for cracks in your oil line, and make sure the tank is filled every ride. For carbureted engines, adding a small amount of oil, say 100:1, to your fuel tank can help lubricate your carburetor, which can prevent
lean failures. This is not recommended for fuelinjected engines.
Spark plugS – Replace these each season, they don’t cost much. Just make sure they are the correct plug for your model and year. COOlant – This should be of the correct strength, and it should be replaced every 2-4 years. Be sure it is compatible with your engine (typically aluminum), and keep it at the right level. temperature – Your sled, like your wife, needs to be adequately warmed up before taking it for a ride Fire it up and let it run for a bit before unloading, then when you’re both good and ready, go ahead and pound it up and down through the whoops. Be sure that your heat exchanger under the tunnel is clear of mud and dirt in order for adequate cooling to take place. If the trail is frozen or icy, use scratchers to kick snow up onto your exchanger. This article was written with the expert knowledge of Aaron and Fabrice at Mountain Motorsports, Golden BC. The view down a cylinder looking at the bottom-end.
An example of the kind of damage that can happen when a ring fails. Photos: Patrick Garbutt
Eventually, despite all your best care-taking eﬀorts, your top-end will need work. Be it preventative maintenance or a repair job, both will cost you (therapy ain’t cheap either!). But the benefit of a preventative top-end replacement is that you might avoid a “blown engine” situation where damaged parts from the top-end find their way down into the moving parts of the crankcase. In this case, you can risk causing additional damage that will cost significantly more. For interest sake, we’ve outlined the cost for a simple ring failure repair. Bear in mind that the cost of these parts varies wildly amongst the OEM manufactures and the numerous aftermarket manufacturers. Also, it is very possible and common for additional damage to occur in a ring failure that could lead to additional expense. This is the minimum you could expect to pay for a top end repair.
Mt Sledder Mag ad Nov12:tee-off full pg ad aug.30/06
Video Surveillance Full Service Restaurant & Lounge Pool & Hot Tub
Rates starting from
Rates starting from
PRESTIGE INN GOLDEN
250-344-7990 Does not include taxes. Based on double occupancy.
PRESTIGE INN RADIUM HOT SPRINGS
Does not include taxes. Based on double occupancy.
INTO THE UNKNOWN Words and photography by Patrick Orton
he time spent preparing to live out of a pop-up camper for a month in Alaska with two snowmobiles and a non-existent budget is exciting and nerve wracking. The anticipation of the unknown made my head and heart pound, knowing that every skill I had ever learned would likely be needed to make my way and stay alive in AK. My previous 17 years on snow had all been stepping stones towards this epic Alaskan pilgrimage. To make Alaska happen, my best friend Elliot and I set out a tight budget of only the most essential items for living. Cheap beer, gas and oil were the first priorities, followed by $430 for food that mostly consisted of oatmeal, pasta, 10lbs of cheese, and enough trail mix to live on for 30 days. We had an old Ford F-150 with a sketchy camper in the bed, towing two Skidoo XPâ€™s worth more than the truck, trailer and camper combined. This was the biggest mission either of us had ever embarked upon. With a deep desire to explore and find adventure, we were both nervous, excited, and more than anything, curious. A million unanswered questions flowed through my mind on what the experience would be like. We left Bozeman, MT at a lazy 11am on April 4 and headed north. The drive from Bozeman to Haines is 1,958.9 miles, but it wasnâ€™t long before we hit Canada. The border patrol let us in with no search, even though we looked like two grungy drugsmuggling hippies coming out from a couple of months in the deep woods. From there, we took shifts at the wheel as the roads blurred from countless hours driving through desolate parts of Canada. Stopping only for gas and to make a sandwich in the camper, we drove 40 hours straight, and as we arrived off the ferry at the end of the road, we could see the jagged snow-covered peaks that were our destination, jetting 5,000ft straight out of the ocean. We had made it to Haines, a place that words cannot describe.
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
Shortly after arriving, we were greeted by our long time friend and heli-guide Jesse. As the beers were cracked, I sat mesmerized listening to the stories of the place with massive mountains where you can sled right to the top and ride endless pillows back down. Where the peaks go on forever and the women are harder to find than gold. When Jesse talked about this mysterious place, a twinkle lit in his eye. He knew that tomorrow would change our lives forever. Waking up the next morning, I was beyond excited to start our mission. This was the moment I had been dreaming about for years. We met up with three Juneau sledders, unloaded our sleds and started out towards the glaciers. Less than a quarter mile from where we left the trucks, our path was crossed by a 40ft wide, swift flowing river. Without any hesitation, the Juneau boys skipped across the water and looked back at us with shit-eating grins. Elliot looked over and smiled at me, knowing I had $10,000 of camera gear in my pack and that it would be a first legit river crossing for the both of us. I pinned it, hit the water, skipped, and I was across. My adrenaline was pumping full bore and we had barely left the parking lot. For the next 6 miles we sledded along the edge of the glacial river, crossing over multiple sketchy snow bridges. As we turned up one of the endless valleys, we saw the massive peaks and spines that give Alaska its reputation. One of our unoﬃcial guides, Craig, told us that we had made it back into Canada. We sat at the edge of an incredible valley that can be accessed only by snowmobile.
It is diﬃcult to describe what it felt like to look out over this rugged landscape of jagged peaks, hanging blue ice and endless powder fields. There is a raw energy you can feel. The mountains are alive here with daunting peaks towering a mile above you for as far as the eye can see. In every valley in every direction is endless opportunity. Looking up, I gazed in wonder as I imagined myself high-marking mountains that dwarfed anything I had ever seen before. This terrain is the ultimate playground! The view of these spectacular untracked mountains was like looking at a half-painted image. We just needed to fill in the tracks to finish the masterpiece. As we ascended the glacier, we proceeded single file, slowly navigating across snow bridges and around bottomless crevasses. Blind roll overs and mandatory side-hilling kept me on my toes but I still found it hard to keep my eyes from constantly scanning the miles of endless powder fields and faces littered with pillows and cliffs. As we killed our sleds we lifted our heads in wonder. These mountains were the most beautiful and stunning peaks I had ever seen. We immediately began to discuss what peaks we wanted to climb and ski. I watched from the bottom as the Juneau boys, Craig and Owen, doubled up a large face. They both wanted to ski on the way down, so Craig decided to ghost-ride his sled back down. The face was pretty much a straight shot except for a few crevasses on the rider’s-left side. I watched as his sled slowly picked up speed and wound its way back and forth down the face. Everything was going smoothly until the sled slowly started banking to the left and then, suddenly, the sled was gone.
issue 02 Mountain Sledder Mag
A deep, unsettled feeling went through me as I realized his snowmobile had fallen out of sight into a crevasse.
Over the radio I heard the crackle of Craig’s voice asking how bad the situation was. My immediate response was, “your sled is gone!” The radio went silent. A deep, unsettled feeling went through me as I realized his snowmobile had fallen out of sight into a crevasse. I hopped on my sled to go investigate further. As I carefully crept up to the edge fearing the worst, I saw that the track from his sled had perfectly toilet bowled into the chasm. The sled was 20ft down, sandwiched against a wall of blue ice, and precariously hanging on a platform of snow. I radioed back, describing the situation. “Your sled is deep, and realistically I think it is staying there.” As we regrouped at the bottom of the face, the excitement and energy of the group quickly faded as the reality of the situation sank in. Approaching the edge of the chasm, Craig saw a small ramp that climbed steeply up the right side of the crevasse. It looked like a sketchy way out, but doable if his sled would start and run. I pulled my sled up to the edge to use as an anchor, which Elliot used to slowly lower me on a 7mm rope into the dark abyss. At the bottom, I lightly tested the strength of the platform. It seemed solid, but to the left of the sled I could see a black hole that was big enough for a person to fall into. The hole went on forever and confirmed my fears that I was standing on a hanging snow bridge that could potentially collapse at any time. After a few tense moments, I had stomped around and felt comfortable
Mountain Sledder Mag issue 02
enough to have Craig join me on the snow platform. We spent the next 30 minutes digging the sled out, all the while roped in. We slowly unwedged the sled from the blue ice. The hood was smashed and headlight broken, but miraculously nothing else. Back at the top, I untied from the rope and watched as Craig attempted to fire up his sled. There would be only one shot to get the sled up the ramp while avoiding the gaping holes on either side. He was still tied in when on the third pull his sled fired, and he immediately pinned it, counter-steering and rallying up the ramp. The silence of the valley was shattered with the sound of a two-stoke that was almost lost forever and the hoots and hollers of five ecstatic men as he barely made it out of the chasm. With big smiles and a re-found stoke, we laughed the close call off and headed back to the camper for some cold beer. The next two days went relatively smoothly as we explored one endless valley after another, limited only by the fuel in our tanks. Each day we went a little further and I quickly realized that there is a lifetime of terrain to explore just around Haines. As we worked our way up the valleys, we stopped to explore the peaks around us. I put my sled and myself to the test on a 4,000ft hill climb that wound up a massive face. Rallying up, I worked my way around massive wet avalanche debris and up steep gullies before finally topping out on a bench sitting high above the valley below. Sitting alone at the top, looking out over these jawdropping peaks, I felt inspired. I had never seen terrain like this before. It is big, unforgiving, and demands ultimate respect. Each day, returning to the trucks, I felt lucky to be alive.
INTO THE UNKNOWN
INTO THE UNKNOWN
On our fourth day out the temperatures were hot and rising quickly. The sledding became sketchy as many of the snow bridges had collapsed and the mountains began to speak. We watched on southern aspects as snowballs would hit the slope and start point-releases of snow. The initial small release would rapidly grow in size before roaring down the valley in a massive wet slide that would crush you in a second. We watched slide after slide, mesmerized by the power and beauty of the moving snow. The sound of the avalanches was intense as they ripped down the face with insane power. After an hour of watching, we pulled the plug on the day and started back. On the way out of the mountains and along the river, we started racing full speed back to the trucks where cold beer and bacon cinnamon rolls awaited our return. It was a couple miles yet from the trucks when suddenly my sled sputtered and died. Confused, I assumed that I had run out of gas. As I tried to restart my sled, the cord was extremely hard to pull. I recalled that earlier in the season, a coolant hose had blown off when I was pulling a climb, and my engine seized. Immediately my heart sank with the fear that I had blown a second engine in one year. Craig headed back to the truck to get more gas as I sat for 30 minutes praying that it was only out of gas. When he returned, we put a couple of gallons in and tried to fire it up. Pulling the cord was like playing tug-of-war with the sled. The pull start would barely come out with all my force. Finally the sled fired and I slowly limped the last two miles back to the trucks. I felt in shock as I realized this could very well bring my long awaited AK trip to a grinding halt after only four days.
MOUNTAIN SLEDDER MAG ISSUE 02
Back at the trucks, we pulled the plugs to do a compression test. The left cylinder fired perfectly and I was slightly relieved. Then we tested the right and there was literally no compression. We tested it again to make to sure we had done it right and, still, nothing. My fear was confirmed. I had just blown my second engine for the season. My dream of spending a month sledding in AK was shattered in an instant. Driving home to Bozeman with Elliot, I had a lot of time to ponder our trip. We had crossed glacial rivers, put a sled into a crevasse, sent 4,000ft high-marks, skied amazing lines, and blown an engine. I had experienced emotions ranging from pure joy to raging anger, and everything in between. Thinking back about what had just happened felt like a dream. But the stunning peaks and ruggedness of the area will be forever engrained in my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about them and about all the areas I didn’t even get the chance to see. It didn’t take more than few hours of driving before we had hammered out plans to spend next February, March and April back in AK. My eyes had been opened to the most beautiful, insane place I had ever been. This trip changed my life forever.
Get i t n ow movie s Experience the back country with the Micku boys.
Contact us for custom sled builds,carbon fibre chasis, TSS turbo kits & installs, Bikeman performance Parts, stingers and after market specialty parts. To see our full line of products Go to:
Anywhere you want to go! OS SEE VIDEE! ONLIN
Designed for mountain riding Designed to resemble the layout of a snowmobile Kit bolts onto bike with no modicaƟons Available for all popular brands of dirt bikes
Fully coupled or non coupled design with instant ngerƟp adjustability Super smooth ride quality Extremely boƩom-out resistant Saves a respectable amount of weight on all models Mounts into factory tunnel holes
FOX or EXIT shock packages available Several price point opƟons to t your budget Complete skids available Available for all brands of mountain sleds www.timbersled.com
208 255--5644 208--255
586-786-9851 RUSH-RMK AMBUSH
Photo: Rod Alford Rider: Kalle “KJ” Johansson Location: Seagram Lakes, Whistler, BC
Photo: Blake Jorgenson Rider: Dan Treadway Location: Squamish, BC
Photo: Blake Jorgenson Rider: Dan Treadway Location: Eagle Pass, BC
ISSUE 02 MOUNTAIN SLEDDER MAG
MOUNTAIN SLEDDER MAG ISSUE 02
Photo: Blake Jorgenson Rider: Dan TreadwaySLEDDER Location: Coast Range, ISSUE 02 MOUNTAIN MAG 57BC
Photo: Rob Alford Rider: Dan Treadway Location: Brandywine, Whistler, BC
Photo: Rob Alford Rider: Geoff Kyle Location: Keystone, Revelstoke, BC
Photo: Nadia Samer Rider: Brad Gilmore Location: Whistler Backcountry, BC
ISSUE 02 MOUNTAIN SLEDDER MAG
Photo: Dave Best Rider: Paul Poohkay Location: Hobo Creek, Golden, BC
Photo: Rob Alford Rider: Curt Tilbury Location: Mt. McRae, Revelstoke, BC
Photo: Dave Best Rider: Riley Suhan Location: Gorman Lake, Golden, BC
ISSUE 02 MOUNTAIN SLEDDER MAG
Photo: Bryn Hughes (SFSTV) Rider: Dane Tudor Location: Rossland, BC
gotta get yer beer goggles on man! Ya know what I mean, yer beer goggles,” he said to me in a croaky voice as he slapped my shoulder with a thick hand. I nodded and smiled, thinking I knew what he was talking about.
The difference this time was where we met. It wasn’t on one of the popular glaciers, but rather along an infrequently used trail through a tight creek-bed that accesses a maze of glaciers. I was breaking trail up and had just cracked the alpine when he descended the glacier ahead. It was noon and I had just opened my lunch when old Fubar Joey pulled up solo in the middle of nowhere, handed me a cold Lucky Lager, and expressed his enjoyment of wasted snowmobiling. Another classic character that I assumed had survived this long on dumb luck. So there we sat, getting our beer goggles on, exchanging small talk of how we had come to that crossroad, assuring one another that others had followed and would arrive shortly. And as he spoke of the area it became clear he wasn’t the Wacky Joey I’d presumed. And he may not have been as beer-goggled as I’d thought, although it was just high noon and he was telling me to get mine on. “About how many beers would you say it takes to get your beer goggles on?” I asked, expecting something in the double digits. “Two,” he said with a smile. “Ya see it takes two to get them there goggles on. Ya leave a couple at the truck in the morning, and ya pack one in your bag.” My math of one plus a couple didn’t add up considering he had just pulled two from his pack, but people count differently in different places, and that wasn’t the point. “The first one is for noon, and all morning you rip around and have your fun, but always staying focused on making it to that noon beer. The second beer in the beer goggles points to your beer at the truck, which acts as a magnet, pulling you on home. And when you crack that second beer...ahhh, now that’s the shit. All cold and delicious, mmm...mm. It’s a celebration of another day in the mountains, knowing you did things right that day because you made it back to that glorious beer. Those are the beer goggles ya gotta put on.” And with that, he crushed his beer, pocketed the can, and fired up his sled as his partner appeared along the trail. I’ve always liked beer as much as the next, but at that moment I saw things clearer with my new beer goggles on, and I gained a new appreciation for the taste of that frosty pint at the end of the day. - Daryl Treadway
ISSUE 02 MOUNTAIN SLEDDER MAG
MT MACKENZIE LOG CHALET
Your Custom Snowmobile Specialists
Leading the Industry with Exceptional Customer Service.
STAY WITH US WHEN YOU RIDE AT REVY.
» » » » »
Custom Suspension Components XP 860 Big Bore Kits Custom Clutching & Tuning Custom Chassis Parts Turbo Kits
Absolute Power & Performance
7 Riel Drive, St. Albert Alberta, Canada
THE OF MOUNTAIN SLEDDING
WE ARE SLEDDERS CAT MASTER
...and we understand your business
GOLD CERTIFIED SHOP
Snowmobiles ATVS Clothing Accessories
NOW available to read online.
Parts & Service
ISSUU.COM/MountainSledder 5.1875" Look for issue 3 coming September 2013
5610-48 Ave, Camrose, AB www.camrosearcticcat.com
780.608.2413 WE RIDE WHAT WE SELL
Specializing in commercial insurance for the Tourism and Power-Sports industries across Western Canada Call Clayton Prince Toll-Free
1 (888) 818-5821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.capri.ca/snow
WE HAVE YOU COVERED!
Photo: Blake Jorgenson UnRider: Dan Treadway Location: 10' above Pemberton, BC
MOUNTAIN SLEDDER MAGAZINE ISSUE 03 COMING SEPTEMBER 2013
Choose 1 player (your riding buddy) to go back 3 spaces. Hellllooo! Can anybody hear me???
LaME EXCuSE Wife told you to be home before dark. Go back to the CABIN.
InSTaLL nITRO and BOOST IT! Move ahead 1 space!
Make your friends jealous with your hot steamy stroganoff. All players but you must move back 1 space.
YOuR SLEd IS RunnInG HOT!
You spend more time wrenching than riding! Move back 1 space.
Next turn, roll twice and add it up before moving.
Castlegar, B.C. – 250-304-7920
SLEd WOn’T STaRT Screw it. Go back to bed. Your next roll is automatically a 1.
LaME EXCuSE ‘Something came up.’
Game Over! OR Fetch everyone a fresh beverage and go back to START.
Conditions report says it’s deeeeeeeeep!
14 Run Off ROad
Dodged a logging truck and got stuck in a snow drift. Move back 1 space.
GaS STaTIOn Out of pepperoni and Red Bull. No front flips today. Go back 2 spaces.
40 finish 39
TuRBO BOOST TO WIn! Move ahead 1 space and start drinking!
Sicamous, BC www.powderlites.com
OuT Of GaS!
Start walking! Go back 3 spaces. Stay there until another player passes you or your piece is moved by another player. OR you can choose to go back to START immediately.
Valemount, BC â€“ 250-566-9774 www.alpinecountryrentals.com
You hit a boulder and ripped off a ski! Divide all of your rolls in half for the rest of the game. 1 or 2 = 1 3 or 4 = 2 5 or 6 = 3
fORGOT YOuR LunCH
Go back to the Cabin.
Ouch! Return to the Dealership for a new crate engine.
12 First to the trailhead. Move ahead 4 spaces!
nEW SLEd BREaK-In Divide your next roll in half. 1 or 2 = 1 3 or 4 = 2 5 or 6 = 3
You need a tow! Take one player with you back to the Parking Lot
STuddEd WInTER TIRES
Every player who rode with you in a truck today (including you) must move back 2 spaces, while you install the spare!
Good on ya. Roll again immediately.
PRE-SEaSOn InSPECTIOn New plugs, carbides and sliders! Jump ahead 3 spaces.
Choose any sled
As exciting as a multi-day sled trip in the mountains can be, often you’ll find yourself overnighting in some quiet little town. There’s probably not that much more to do after the sun sets than to sit around your hotel room pounding brewskis. But chances are that suits you juuuuussst fine. The Mountain Sledder gang has been there, and it sure has been fun, but we’re of the mindset that we can always do better. That’s why we’ve created this bored game, to help you and your crew get a little more out of your time off the snow. So grab a couple of cold ones and get ready! GAMe requireMenTS
1. This magazine. 2. each player must have a unique piece to move around the board. We recommend using beer caps. Otherwise any small token will do. 3. One 6-sided die, or a dice app for your smartphone. 4. Plenty of beverages.
ruleS Of The GAMe: To determine which player goes first, see the list below:
Get the free mobile app at
http:/ / gettag.mobi 1st Game – Owner of the Oldest Truck nd 2 Game – Stuck The Most Scan this code to download the Dice app 3rd Game – Biggest Gut for iOS only. 4th Game – Arm Wrestling Competition 5th Game – We’re usually embroiled in a full blown fist fight at this point, but if you’re still going, then just make something up! GAMePlAy: 1. The first player rolls the die and moves their token ahead as many spaces as are showing on the die. 2. if anything is written on the player’s final resting space, it must be read aloud and the instructions followed. 3. if you land on a space that is currently occupied by another player, you must share a “cheers” with that player. 4. The play proceeds in a clockwise direction. 5. if another player’s turn causes your piece to move, you must still follow the instructions (if any) on your final resting space. The “cheers” rule also applies in this situation. 6. The first player to reach the finish is the winner. All other players must present the winner with a fresh delicious frosty beverage from their own supply.
y sled from the dealer!
Gibbons, AB – 780-923-3796 Salmon Arm, BC – 250-833-0058 www.gibbonsmotortoys.com
Keep playing until either you’re sick of the game, can’t see straight*, or you just plain want to punch someone in the face! * Seriously though folks, Mountain Sledder encourages you to have fun, but to drink responsibly and refrain from impaired driving/riding!
When legendary free rider Chris Brown went looking for a snowmobile to work and play on, he chose the Yamaha FX Nytro MTX. Why? Because in the back country, thereâ€™s no room for error. Whether launching a booter, floating in the trees, or leading a group of students, Chris relies on the brute power and rocksolid reliability the Nytro provides, for him and you. To see what the Nytro MTX is capable of, visit ridewithchrisbrown.com for your personal adventure with Chris. The reliability to match your adrenaline. Thatâ€™s the Yamaha advantage. Chris Brown, Whistler, BC
Yamaha and the Canadian Avalanche Centre want you to stay safe. Check avalanche conditions. www.avalanche.ca
yamaha-motor.ca main image: Julie-Ann Chapman
Winter 2012 issue of Mountain Sledder Snowmobile Magazine