Mountain Sledder Magazine Issue 7 Winter 2015
252 7 4 8063 2
GEAR GIRL // CHRISTIAN GAGNON // NEW GUY CHECKLIST // GIFTED // STOLEN
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Mountain Sledder 3
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Mountain Sledder 7
Meat 27/ Broken
Yard sale, eat shit, whatever else you wanna call it. It's not fun.
42/ 160 Hours
Last spring, Brett Turcotte had one of the most productive weeks in his professional career. But it didn't come easy.
60/ New Guy Checklist
You never know who will show up in the parking lot.
Potatoes 12/ Gifted
38/ Ultimate Mod
16/ First Trax
40/ Christian Gagnon
16/ Roadtrip Playlist
52/ Capture Rad
22/ Dead Horse
32/ Gear Girl
66/ Last Call
This Page: Eero Niammela, Whistler BC. photo: Dominic Gauthier Cover: Brett Turcotte, Whistler BC. photo: Blake Jorgenson / Monster Energy
RIDER | Jon Jean PHOTOGRAPHER | Wilson Prewitt
GET HERE. FIND OUT HOW
with the Mountain Sledder Ride Guidebook – the first and only guide on where to ride in Western Canada.
Volume 1 features Revelstoke, Sicamous & Area and includes all the information you’ll need to both plan a trip and make it a memorable one. Guide Includes:
• Detailed Descriptions of How to Access 20+ Different Riding Areas • Info on Sled-Friendly Accomodators, Restaurants and Services
• • •
Information on Fees, Grooming Aerial and Terrain Photos Topographic Area Maps
Available at the best snowmobile dealerships in the world & on-line at
MISSION LITE SERIES
WHEN NOTHING LESS THEN THE BEST WILL DO
Bret Rasmussen PC: SnoWest
FXRâ€™s ACMT Dual-Layer Technology is the only Waterproof/ Breathable system specifically engineered to provide Breathability and Protection against condensation in SubFreezing temperatures. Works like a double lens goggle to reduce condensation and frosting inside your gear. Would you trust a single lens goggle in cold conditions? Trust FXR ACMT. Advanced Climate Management Technology
Mountain Sledder 11
OVER THE HILLS
First day Chris Brown of winter in Whistler (October BC. 13, photo: 2013) Blake withJorgenson Chris Brown in Whistler BC. photo: Blake Jorgenson
Gifted Giving thanks is a liberating and cleansing process. And it’s something we need to do constantly because, really, we’re given so much to be thankful for in our lives: snow, loved ones, second chances. We’re so lucky to have the freedom to enjoy the untapped beauty of snow-laden peaks. And we have to be thankful for every minute that our bodies are healthy enough to let us do what we love. We are blessed just to exist in this time and place where the potential to selfishly play and explore the far reaches of this frozen world is endless, especially with the current technology that powers us mach-chicken through the snow. There are other kinds of gifts as well, like when we receive a guided tour from a stranger in unfamiliar territory. And since we have been given the courage to live passionately and the expertise to travel through the mountains, we can follow. We can learn. There are also times when we’re blown away by the kindness of our friends. Have you ever had a friend lend you their truck and sled so that you can go out for a day in the mountains? So that you can do what you love best? It is tempting to react with pride and try to deny the gifts that are offered to us. But the humble are able to honour the giver by appreciating the gift for its intended purpose and treating the generosity with respect. There are some blessings that we can never really pay back, but we may have the opportunity to pay them forward. As time goes on, we all have the responsibility to bless others with gifts that we can offer as well. So with winter knocking, let’s respectfully, responsibly, and thankfully accept the blessings that we have been gifted. by Daryl Treadway
Mountain Sledder 13
The Voice of Mountain Sledding Issue Seven
Mountain Sports Distribution
Editor in chief Tim Grey
Media sales Jessica Joy
graphic design Shane Gault Tim Grey
Contributing designers Alex Salazar Angela Carson
Justin Befu, Dave Best, Russell Dalby, Patrick Garbutt, Dominic Gauthier, Tim Grey, Cameron Hunter, Jon Jean, Blake Jorgenson, Stevin Tuchiwsky, VARDA, Jim Zuccone
Darcy Biggins, Pat Garbutt, Shane Gault, Tim Grey, Jamie Iwaschuk, Cody Mcnolty, Mike Nixon, Jessica Joy, Daryl Treadway, Brandon Wiesener, Jim Zuccone
Steve Crowe, Mike Nixon, Jessica Joy, Brandon Wiesener
View past issues of Mountain Sledder at: www.issuu.com/mountainsledder
Mountain Sledder Snowmobile Magazine is available at select dealerships and on newsstands across Canada.
Mountain Sledder accepts unsolicited submissions, but is not responsible if such materials are lost or damaged. Submissions sent via letter mail must include a self addressed stamped envelope for return sending. For further submission inquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For retailer inquiries in regards to carrying Mountain Sledder, please contact email@example.com
Content Management, Layout and Design firstname.lastname@example.org www.summitcommunications.ca 250-344-5586
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Stop by today or visit us at Riderz.ca for more!
It’s all about the ride... Hwy 16, Range Road 170 • Yellowhead County, AB T7E 3A6 • 780.723.5775
Job #: 1066593-6
Element: Mountain Sledder Winter Ad
Creative Director: SP
Trim or Flat: 8" x 7"
Finished Size: 8" x 7"
# of pages: 1
Darcy Biggins is a broken man with a heart a’ gold. Sometimes you’ll see the poor bastard sittin’ at the end a’ the bar just starin’ at the wall like he’s tryin’a bore a hole in it with his whisky-soaked eyes. But you start talkin’ avalanche safety with him and the guy lights up like a Goddamn firecracker. The Jack starts flowin’ and the next thing you know, Ol’ Darcy’s preaching about new transceivers for everyone. Nobody knows what made’m that way. –Mike Nixon
Date: 3 November 2014 9:01 AM
Notes: Image is client-supplied.
©2014 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, ™ and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates.
Brandon "The Kid" Weisner can write, shoot and sled at a level that makes him an invaluble resource around the Mountain Sledder office. That and because he's willing to sleep on the floor, lift heavy things and keep us supplied with energy drinks. Get used to seeing his byline, this kid's playing it right. –Tim Grey
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Introducing Avalanche Canada In an effort to create a more recognizable identity for their organization, the Canadian Avalanche Centre recently adopted a new logo and changed their name to Avalanche Canada. “As we look forward to our next ten years, we wanted to create a brand identity that is separate from the Canadian Avalanche Association, the organization that serves and supports professional avalanche workers in Canada,” says Executive Director Gilles Valade. So why is this important to the snowmobile community? Well, Avalanche Canada is responsible for the public avalanche bulletins and providing education for non-professional winter recreationists, amongst other things. In other words, they’re the organization that arms you with the information you need to stay safe in the backcountry. And perhaps the most important fact for riders to note is that all of Avalanche Canada’s information is still accessed through www.avalanche.ca The website will have a new look this season as well. “The first thing you’ll notice is that the home page starts with a map of western Canada with all the forecast regions on it,” says Avalanche Canada’s Mary Clayton. “Each region will have an icon that communicates simply the current danger rating for the three elevation zones. Clicking on a region brings up the current forecast, giving you all the information you need for your backcountry travels. Make sure to check out the Avalanche Canada mobile as well that will soon have a new user interface allowing you to share a whole lot of information, including riding quality,” adds Clayton. Avalanche Canada’s vision is “to eliminate avalanche fatalities and injuries in Canada”. So check out www.avalanche.ca to see the bulletins for your area, sign up for courses and help them fulfil that vision. -Mike Nixon
RoadTrip Playlist: We were struggling around the office to come up with a few worthy albums for this edition of Roadtrip Playlist. So we did what any self-respecting publication would do and posed the question on Facebook so you guys could do it for us. There were all sorts of great suggestions from Godsmack to Randy Hauser to Megadeath to Hoopsnake. But in the end we narrowed it down to the selections below. *Apologies to all of you who requested Theory of A Deadman. We just couldn’t do it. -Ed Alt-J – This Is All Yours (2014) This eccentric crew of Englishmen may not be the first band that comes to mind when you load up your rig and ride out for the territories. But if the roads get slick and the weather gets shitty, these hipsters will keep your heart rate down. That being said, the track “Left Hand Free” has a bit more jam to it and that’s actually Miley Cyrus singing ‘I’m a Female Rebel’ on “Hunger of the Pine”. So yeah it’s defin…………………..Whoah, sorry, just trailed off thinking of Miley there. Hilltop Hoods – Walking Under Stars (2014) Holy Shit. Who knew that a few Australian white guys could make such quality Hip Hop? The Hilltop Hoods totally crush it with a melodic sound that sends you looking for more of their music. And the track “Cosby Sweater” off Walking Under Stars is a great way to start your day, bluebird or otherwise. Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power (1992) Wanna be the guy in the parking lot that nobody wants to borrow tools from? Well, blasting this album at full volume could be your ticket. When Pantera started writing Vulgar Display of Power (which is actually a line spoken by the demon in the film The Exorcist), they set out with the goal of writing the heaviest album of all time. So hopefully your friends like Pantera too. Otherwise you might be on your own.
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STRONGER THAN EVER There isn’t a stronger, more durable or higher-performing snowmobiling jacket anywhere in the world. KLIM’s all-new VALDEZ takes GORE-TEX® PRO SHELL waterproof construction, fuses it with genuine CORDURA® overlays and includes intense ventilation and comfort-enhancing materials to ensure your most comfortable ride ever isn’t afraid to take a beating. See the world’s toughest riding gear at your KLIM® dealer today.
WWW.KLIM.COM Mountain Sledder 17
KITIMAT’S NEW ROBINSON RIDGE CABIN READY On the first weekend of November, the Kitimat Snowmobile and Hiker’s Club raced the early season storms into the sub-alpine of Robinson Ridge and put the finishing touches on a brand new cabin. And it’s not just any cabin. The structure, which was premanufactured by Prince George’s BC Log Cabins, is a palace compared to the dilapidated old one-room hut that it’s replacing. The new cabin is 16 x 20 feet with a 16 x 8 foot covered deck. And the best part? There’s a 10 x 16 foot loft, which means that yes indeed you can spend the night there. This all means it’s that much easier to access one of BC’s best zones for uber-deep boondocking. Kitimat is known for its legendary snowfall. The town itself, which is only 128 metres above sea level, receives about 5 metres of snowfall every year. “It’s not unusual to get two or three feet in town in a day, which always equates to more up top,” says Darren Hedberg, local rider and one of the main volunteers behind the cabin’s build. The cabin wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for over 900 hours of volunteer labour. But it was also made possible by $62,000 in grants from the District of Kitimat’s Capital Project Grant program ($32,000) and the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program ($30,000). The KSHC made up the difference with fundraising efforts and membership dues. “The whole reason that we were able to build a cabin like that in the spot where it is is because we have an active user maintainer agreement with Recreation Sites and Trails BC,” says Chad Fournier,
Photos supplied by Kitimat Snowmobile Club
Club President of KSHC. “We’re actually contractually obligated to maintain warming huts and trails in that area.” In regards to the cabin’s price tag, Fournier says that “the forecasted cost at completion is going to be around $82,000. Not included in that amount is about $10,000 of “in kind” labour from the Snowmobile Club. All said and done, if you consider that volunteer labour and project management, you’re probably looking at about a $90,000 endeavour.” “Speaking to people from the region who have been to Kitimat and have seen our very similar cabin on Claque Mountain and have seen the pictures of this new one, basically people have said that we have the two nicest snowmobile cabins in the province,” says Fournier. “Being a 16x20 dovetailed log cabin with an 8x16 completely overhanged covered deck with wood heat, solar-powered lighting, propane cook facilities…(the new cabin) is pretty well outfitted.” That being said, the trail through the woods into the Robinson Ridge Cabin is no gimme. And you need to be on your game just to get up to the hut, let alone put tracks through the deep Northern BC powder. But every sledder needs to put Kitimat on their bucket list. And with two new cabins built in the last three years out there, it’s never been easier to sample the kind of riding that’s been putting this area on the map. The KSHC and everyone else involved would like to thank Quantum Helicopters, Emporium Building Supplies, D.C.H. Industries, Nufloors, Bravo's Welding, The District of Kitimat, The NDIT and BC Log Cabins Inc. -Mike Nixon
VALEMOUNT BUILDS NEW HUT IN CLEMINA When we reached Curtis Pawliuk on the phone and asked him about the new hut in Valemount’s Clemina Creek, his tone was one of overwhelming gratitude. The hut, which riders can look forward to enjoying this winter, is an ultimate expression of community. “I’d really like to highlight the public support,” says Pawliuk. “People were coming from out of nowhere, mailing cheques and dropping off cheques at the Snow Shows…It’s been amazing.” Pawliuk is the General Manager of the Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA) and he was part of a fundraising effort that started in September, 2013. “This Cabin is upwards of $130,000 all said and done and it’s been strictly paid for by snowmobilers and VARDA coffers. Not one grant or anything,” states Pawliuk proudly. “As a non-profit organization we didn’t have all this money, so we thought we were going to have to take out a line of credit, which we did, but the light at the end of the tunnel is that the public donated over $30,000 cash to this project.” There’s a commemorative plaque in the cabin to thank all the donors that made the project possible. It doesn’t matter if you were an “Alpine” supporter (over $1000) or a “Treeline” supporter (as low as $20), everyone gets their name on the plaque. The public support saved VARDA from having to take out a massive loan, so they want to be sure to acknowledge everyone that helped out along the way. The staging area for Clemina Creek is 36 kms south of Valemount and
Photos supplied by VARDA
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there’s a groomed trail that goes straight to the door of the newly built cabin. “It’s a simple rated trail as far as the avalanche terrain exposure scale goes,” says Pawliuk. “But any groomed trail leading into the backcountry has hazards, that’s for sure.” The new structure’s about 2.5 kms further up the valley from an older, dated cabin that’s being removed. It’s 20 x 32 feet, with a 10-foot covered patio. There’s a brand new woodstove and a three-stage drying rack that was donated by one of the VARDA members. As a day-use cabin, people aren’t meant to overnight there. But it’s always unlocked and can be used in emergency situations. “Clemina is a really cool area,” says Pawliuk. “It’s a great place to get your feet wet in the Valemount area. The terrain doesn’t force you to move through more advanced terrain to get to simpler terrain. And it’s got a bit of terrain for everyone…lots of great boondocking and lots of great tree riding. It’s got the open bowls as well.” After the donations came in and the line of credit went through, the project was put to tender and they chose to work with Woolsey Woodworking, a local company from Valemount. And now, thanks to everyone’s efforts and support, there is a brand new cabin in some of BC’s biggest and snowiest mountains. “We’re super excited to be able to provide something that reflects our being one of the premiere destinations in Western Canada,” says Pawliuk. -Mike Nixon
youâ€™ll be impressed Mountain Sledder 21
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Dead horse Alright, so I got your attention with that poor old horse. Sorry about that. But I can assure that the dead and beaten beast serves a purpose. At the beginning of every season, I like to drink a little whiskey and spit hot fire about just how goddamn dangerous avalanches are. If you even opened this magazine, this shouldn’t be news to you. And I hope that this message is simply a pesky reminder to be vigilant in the face of backcountry hazards. Maybe it’ll even prompt you to take a refresher avalanche course, practice crevasse rescue and/or recertify your first aid. But the reason I’m writing this is because, in spite of all the information out there and a growing sense of awareness within the community, there are still a few people slipping through the cracks and throttling their way into Tiger Country without the slightest fucking idea what they’re doing. That’s why there are signs on the road throughout the BC Interior that say “SNOWMOBILERS, HAVE YOU CHECKED THE AVALANCHE CONDITIONS?” Really, for some people, they might as well say “HEY IDIOTS, GRAB A CLUE ALREADY”. A few of you might try to make a case for survival of the fittest and to let evolution bury a few duds at the bottom of the gene pool. But those duds have families and so do the people that have to come rescue them. So if your buddy thinks that all you need for a day in the mountains is a case of beer, a pack of darts and pound of bacon, it’s time for you to beat that poor old horse again. Beat it good. -Darcy Biggins
Illustration: Alex Salazar
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7/25/13 3:19 PM
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Purchase from your Local Club, On-Line or by Phone:
780-427-2695 WWW. ALTASNOWMOBILE.AB.CA
X-DECK SNOWMOBILE/ATV TRUCK DECK HIGHLIGHTS:
• Available in 7’ or 8’ models to fit short box or long box trucks • Available in aluminum, powder sled black or powder coated white • Tig welded T6061 aluminum construction • Antislip resin & steel mesh surface on waterproofed plywood decking • Viper LED clearance lights • Industry leading track lock construction • Industry leading ramp tri-fold design with pre-installed grip slides • Under deck dome light • 2” bent tube headache rack • 1/2” threaded tiedown holes to accept ski clamps • Heavy duty winch eyelets • Slotted slide rail holes for flexible tiedown • Extendable/retractable side extends to a full 100” width • Bolt through installation kit with bottom plates • Double coated wiring • Side loader tubes • Turnbuckle eyelets for no-drill installation • Tri-leg design for increased strength and stability—eliminates cracked welds due to deck sway
VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO FIND YOUR NEAREST DEALER:
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Brok en by Jamie Iwaschuk
Yard sale, eat shit, whatever else you wanna call it. It's not fun. It really doesn't matter what kind of machine you’re on. You're always going to try and ride it little bit harder, go a little faster, jump a bit farther. It doesn’t make a difference if it’s a sled, a dirtbike or a tractor…you’re gonna have as much fun as you can on the thing. But it doesn't always work out as planned. You never really know when you’re gonna crash or how bad it's gonna be. But that’s life…you just have to push through it. I recently broke both my legs at the same time: my tib/fib on my right leg and my femur on the left. Yes, I was on a dirt bike. And no, I’m not gonna sell the thing. Right after I crashed, I sat up on the dirt and looked at my legs. When I saw how broken they were, I realized I couldn't walk this one off. So I flipped out for about three minutes.Finally I realized that freaking out was getting me nowhere and I was able to calm down and ask for my cell phone. My friends called 911 and I called my mom and told her that she might want to start driving to the Kamloops hospital. She didn't believe me when I told her what happened. She said I was too calm and that there was no way I’d broken both my legs. So I passed the phone to Brett Turcotte and he told her that it was the real deal.
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It really didn't click how bad it was until we unbuckled my right boot and saw the blood from the bone sticking out inside my boot. That was when I realized that I was about to have a lot of free time on my hands for the next few months. Once I got to the hospital, they told me I was getting surgery on both legs. They put a rod from my hip to my knee in my left leg, and a rod from my knee to my ankle in the right. I was in the hospital for almost two weeks, which sucked. I was next to a 95 year-old man who insisted he couldn't make it to the bathroom to take a deuce, even though he walked past the thing every day. I don't know what he was eating, but it wasn't good. If my legs didn’t kill me, the smell of that hospital would. Once I got home, we realized that we had to move my bed downstairs to the living room, which was awesome. I always had visitors and I never had to get out of bed to get food or anything. But when everyone would go to work, my life would kinda stop and things would get really boring. It doesn’t take
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long to get sick of Jerry Springer, Judge Judy and all the other awesome daytime shows. So I moved on to Netflix and watched Trailer Park Boys about 36 times before I dropped into the video games. Next thing I knew I had nine new games and I couldn’t take my eyes off that screen. I beat them all after five days, mostly because I was playing them about 24 hours a day. Then all I had left was "Youtube", which kept me going for a few weeks. There’s some neat stuff on there! First you start off with Neature Walks with Lenny Pepperbottom and Rodney. Then you creep yourself out with Old Gregg, which I don’t recommend doing at night. Then there’s the classics, like Fat Kids Falling and all the action sport Fails. After all that, you’re ready to get out of the house and do something away from the TV. Besides, If you sit there and expect people to feel bad for you, then they’re probably not gonna want to hang out with you anymore. Once I started moving around again, my TV got the delete kit. All I wanted to do was recover from my injury. And after I got good at doing wheelies in my wheelchair, I knew I was on my way back.
Time Wasters Got some time to kill? Here are 12 suggestions to help you laugh your life away. Check these out at Sleddermag.com/broken or scan that thingy down there.
Neature Walk - You can tell how neat it is by the way it is. It's pretty neat.
Old Gregg - Pour yourself a shoe of creamy Baileys and prepare yourself. Dont watch this one at night.
Fat Kids Falling - It's funny because they're fat.
Don't Do It in the Park - Getting kicked out of a spot has never been so entertaining.
Wind Knocked Out Moaning - We love the slam to 5 seconds of silence. They also sound like they're about to turn into the Incredible Hulk.
Just Passing Through - If these guys actually made it to Alberta, we wouldn't have this multi episode gem. Think Trailer Park Boys stranded in the big T Dot.
P.E.I. Encyclopedia - Got yer shoes on? Not for long.
Grape Stomp Fail - Ladies and Gentlemen...a true internet classic with well over 15 million views! There isn't a moment when this one becomes not funny.
Letterkenny Problems - There is a small town in Ontario called Letterkenny. These are their problems.
Guy Laughs at Kids Falling on Ice - Just admit it, if you were to find yourself in his position you would have done the same thing.
Epic Rap Battles of History - If you've ever wondered what a rap battle between Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali would be like, you've come to the right place.
Grapefruit Blowjob - Annie Angel lets you know what you coulda been doing this whole time.
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5503-2ND AVENUE EDSON, AB T7E 1L5 (780) 723-4533 www.freedompowersports.ca Professional rider on a closed course. Polaris recommends that all snowmobile riders take a training course. Do not attempt maneuvers beyond your capability. Always wear a helmet and other safety apparel. Never drink and Ride. ©2015 Polaris Industries Inc.
New name, same services— The Canadian Avalanche Centre is now
Canada’s source for public avalanche safety
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Is Gear Girl real? Is there a girl out there who cruises sled shows looking for the latest and greatest all the while looking like the girl next door? Perhaps. If you live in the right neighbourhood. Just as there's a perfect girl out there (she's beautiful and knows her turbochargers), there's a perfect piece of gear out there that's going to put your rig in another class. We hit up the Alberta Snowmobile & Powersports Show in Edmonton this October with said perfect girl to see what's new on the market and gauge just what things we can't live without for the coming winter. Gear Girl got the low-down from Chris Brown, Rob Kincaid, Brandon Micku and lots of other sledheads over the three-day show. Here's a couple of our favourite toys for the coming year.
TRITON Low Boy Heavy Duty 28â€™ Aluminum Enclosed TRAILER Your wife called. She'd like you to bring home a 28' 3300lbs trailer for the family's sled fleet. Time to be the man of the family you were born to be. www.tritontrailers.com
WORDS: JESSICA JOY PHOTOS: TGFG MODEL: KEELLIE STACHNIAK
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SKINZ PROTECTIVE GEAR FREERIDE X-Low Seat Kit - $499 A good way to encourage yourself to move more on your sled is to shame yourself into it. At 8" shorter than stock, 2.5" lower, and 3.3 lbs lighter, the X-Low Seat will shake its head at you until you're hopping over it every turn. www.skinzprotectivegear.com
SKINZ PROTECTIVE GEAR ARC KIT - $1399 Inevitably, someone is going to ask you about the necessity of being able to remotely uncouple and re-couple your rear suspension. These are the same people who question the awesomeness of driving stick shifts, universal remotes and the "ignore" function on phones. Master your own domain. www.skinzprotectivegear.com
SLYDOG SKIS POWDERHOUND - $329-$419 Available in 7" or 8", the Powderhound ski serves two distinct purposes: looking and getting rad. www.slydogskis.com
CFR BOONDOCKER HANDLEBAR - $95 If the only time your ass comes in contact with your seat is when you're eating lunch, you're ready for CFR's 30" bars. www.cheetahfactoryracing.com
SPEEDWERX PRO CHARGER SUPERCHARGER KIT - $7500 Thereâ€™s nothing funny about a Speedwerx Procharger that delivers 215 horsepower at 8 lbs of boost on pump gas. But listening to the way Rob Kincaid talks about it might make you think it will cause world peace. It's that good. www.speedwerxstore.com
SKINZ PROTECTIVE GEAR NEXT LEVEL REAR BUMPER - $220 All Skinz rear bumpers come standard issue with a mounting kit. An able-bodied buddy to lift while you gas it out is not included. www.skinzprotectivegear.com
YAMAHA YZ450F - $9,299 The amazing YZ450F is your ticket to switch hitting both dirt and snow. Ride snow by attaching a Timbersled Mountain kit. www.yamaha-motor.ca www.timbersled.com
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TSS Turbo Charger Kit- $7000 See that? That's a TSS Turbo on a Polaris. We've never done that before. Untill now. Add some extra horsepower to your flicking. www.topsecretshop.ca
MOUNTAIN CARIBOU - Priceless You know when you're at your local gas station and all the pumps are full because everyone's inside getting big gulps? So you wait, wait, wait and eventually give up and just fill up your tank with that rank jerry can in your garage? Stay out of the Mountain Caribous' gas station when you're sledding. www.snowmobile.gov.bc.ca
XDECK X-RAMP - $899 If you risk YouTube infamy every time you load up, it's time for a new ramp. The X-Ramp has a tri-fold construction that allows for a lower angle top section - allowing you to flip off your buddies and park that shiz. www.truckdeck.ca
36 Mountain Sledder
SKINZ PROTECTIVE GEAR AIRFRAME RUNNING BOARDS - $899 Gear Girl's high heels might be ideal for chipping snow and ice out of your OEM running boards, but we've seen your ankles and you just can't pull it off. Invest in some aftermarket boards. www.skinzprotectivegear.com
TRUCK BOSS SMART BOXX - $$749-$849 (short-long box) There's something strangely beautiful about a fully-grown man crawling and shimmying under his truck deck to retrieve a stray tie-down. No - wait, not beautiful - super hilarious. The Smart Boxx is a rolling cargo box that fits under your deck or tonneau cover and you need one. www.truckbossdecks.com
TETH AIR CORDLESS TETHER - $300 Here you are - still tied to your sled like it's 2013. The Teth Air uses an RFID signal between you and your sled immediately shutting off your engine if you're not on it. Perfect for those who might "forget" to tether up and for deterring theft.
Mountain Sledder 37
Words and PHotos By Jim Zuccone When Yamaha and Arctic Cat announced their new Viper/7000, 100LL Avgas, or modest boost on straight pump gas. This goal was which was to be based upon the Arctic Cat Pro Chassis with a Yamaha engine, the crew at Evolution Powersports immediately saw the potential for this marriage. Arctic Cat’s excellent handling chassis combined with Yamaha’s lightweight, torquey and sweet-sounding triple would be a home run…with BOOST.
accomplished with the EVO Advanced Piggyback Controller (EAPC). The EAPC allows EVO to retard the ignition timing to create a more boost-friendly timing curve, which makes the cylinder pressures safe for stock compression at the higher boost pressures than the kit is capable of.
The Evolution Powersports “Special Ops” division was tasked with creating a “no compromise” turbo kit for this family of vehicles from Arctic Cat and Yamaha. It was important to the owners of EVO to strike out in a new direction with respect to electronics and turbocharger and intercooling design. A brand new Yamaha Viper was purchased from Century Powersports in Stillwater, MN and shipped to the EVO facility. R&D began immediately to source the correct hardware and electronics to achieve the no compromise goal.
The EAPC also controls injector sizing. This means that rather than use auxiliary injectors, the stock injectors are replaced with larger ones that can supply enough fuel at the rated 275 hp. The magic in this is to not only supply enough fuel for top end power, but also have the part throttle drivability be crisp and responsive. The EAPC accomplishes this.
The sled had to have liquid-to-air intercooler technology. The reasons are simple; on a snowmobile, the airflow that a typical air-to-air intercooler receives is virtually nil, so the intake temperatures vary over a huge 150+ degree range. This makes it difficult to properly tune an engine management system that does not have the sophistication to handle these huge temperature swings.
The sled was immediately loaded onto a trailer and brought to the mountains in Steamboat Springs, CO for on-snow testing. The sled proved to be an animal. Throttle response was absolutely stunning. This was no doubt due to the decision EVO made to not lower the compression ratio and instead deal with cylinder pressures through timing changes with the EVO APC.
EVO’s liquid-to-air system is unique; it takes coolant from the tunnel heat exchanger, routes it through an EVO-designed secondary heat exchanger (mounted on the belly pan), then through the liquid-to-air intercooler and back to the engine. The system provides the engine with intake air that is always within a 20 degree range. The result is a turbo system that is virtually flawless in its running quality.
The EVO crew brought the sled to many locations throughout the US and Canada in order to test and refine the calibrations for all elevations and conditions. After polishing this kit for an entire season and putting the kit through its paces, the EVO crew believes the Big Chute Viper/7000 is the next “Evolution” of four stroke technology for mountains. It handles almost as easily as an 800 class sled, but with the torque and horsepower to put you over the top of just about any climb you can find.
The last hurdle was making this system easy to install. Since the EVO APC needed feedback from many of the factory sensors, it would EVO’s technology partner TiAL Sport was consulted for the have been a wiring nightmare to try to have customers cut and turbocharger, which needed to provide immediate turbo response splice the various required inputs. All of the correct male and female at high elevation and still make big horsepower. The turbocharger connectors were added to make the system 100% plug and play. selected is a custom Garrett GT28 series with a proprietary, divorced- The kit was fabricated at the Special Ops division of Evolution flow exhaust housing and 90 degree discharge compressor cover. Powersports/Motorsports facility in Tempe, Arizona and codenamed The turbocharger is capable of supplying enough flow for 350+ the “BIG CHUTE VIPER”. Initial dyno testing was completed and the horsepower at altitude, yet spool instantly. results were very promising: 275 horsepower at 14 lbs of boost!
The other big technological hurdle was to create an engine management system sophisticated enough to provide timing control, altitude-compensated boost control, injector scaling capability along with the correct fueling as altitudes and temperatures change, yet still be cost-effective and easy to install. The other crucial requirement was to have multi-map capability so customers could have the choice of running high boost with
38 Mountain Sledder
Your first impression of Christian might be that he’s a super quiet and soft-spoken fellow. But make no mistake, behind his humble smile is a highly experienced athlete with fire and passion towards mountain snowmobiling. Translation: he likes to SEND IT! Christian is one of the most kind-hearted people in the industry. He’s the type of person who’s just as excited about other people’s successes as he is his own, a quality that can be hard to find in today’s world. His career in motor sports stems all the way back to 1999 in Quebec as a professional freestyle quad rider. In fact, Christian just started ripping around on a sled a few years ago and he didn’t move out west until 2012. He’s not one to talk about himself, so I decided to catch up with this French Canadian mountain rider who’s been turning heads in the BC backcountry. - Cody Mcnolty
McNolty: What is your favourite manoeuver? Gagnon: I like to make big whips like KJ and Turcotte. I’ve been practising them a lot! Also I love to
point towards a big take off, natural or manmade, and put the throttle wide open. Flying through the air is the best feeling.
M Tell us about your career in the Bomb Squad? G: I started riding quads in 1999 and fell in love. And in 2002 I started my own freestyle company,
Quadairshow, and was performing shows all around Quebec. My motivation to excel on a quad came from watching American Jon Guettler in the Bomb Squad movie, Huevos 7. He pulled the first backflip on a quad in 2005. I decided to make a tape of my riding and send it to the Bomb Squad. Months later BC Vaught, the team manager, contacted me and we began talks of me learning a backflip and flipping for the Bomb Squad. This was a dream come true, riding with the best quad riders in the world. My answer was “yes for sure I will try this flip”. On March 26th, 2006 I landed my first quad flip to dirt…I can’t describe the feeling, it will stay with me for the rest of my life. From that day until 2008 I made many freestyle shows around the world. After two big crashes, one in England (2006) and the other in Indianapolis (2007), I decided to take a break from freestyle quad life.
M: When did you decide to move to BC? G: 2010 I bought my first snowmobile in Quebec. I came out west to Whistler for a 10-day trip in 2011
and fell in love with this new sport. In 2012 I sold my house in Quebec, along with all my stuff. In fact the only thing I kept was my girl and we travelled 60 hours west to our new life in BC.
Installed Boondocker Turbo
photo: Jon Jean
40 Mountain Sledder
M: Is it true you have a manager? G: Haha…yes and no. BC Vaught was my manager when
I rode quad, he has stayed a good friend and has always supported and helped me with my new focus on mountain snowmobiling.
M: How important are your sponsors? G: Mountain snowmobiling is very different than other
motorsports in regards to exposure. You can’t fill a stadium with fans and put mountains inside, so sponsors are very important. As long as we all continue to grow the sport, maybe one day we can live our dreams and make mountain riding our careers.
M: What can we expect to see from you this winter? G: This will be my third winter mountain riding in BC…This is my year, I can feel it! I’m building a freestyle ramp to get back into practising freestyle and I will be shooting for Braaap 15 as well as working on a segment for 509, Volume 10. I want to accomplish on my sled what I have on quad! You can see my winter by following me on Instagram: @quadairshow and on Facebook: Chris Gagnon, Athlete Page.
Hometown: Stoneham, QC (just north of Quebec City) Nickname: Tête de Chien (Long story) Current residence: Whistler, BC Whip: 2012 Polaris RMK 800 Pro 155 with 860 Big Bore Kit First Language: Quebecois Sponsors: Strikt Gear Company |509 | Revolution
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One Hundred & Sixty Hours with Brett Turcotte
Hard Work Pays Off Last spring, Brett Turcotte had one of the most productive weeks in his professional career. But it didn't come easy. Coordinating film shoots with both Slednecks and 509, in two different locations and within the same week off, was a major juggling act. Throw his daughter's fifth birthday party in to the mix and you start to understand how hard Brett worked to keep it all going. This is a photo essay about 168 hours (7 days) in Brett's life that saw him start and end the trip of his life at his job site in Fort McMurray. The combination of Brett's work ethic and sheer talent on a snowmobile make him the guy to watch in Canadian mountain sledding and pretty much worldwide. After seeing how his segments turned out, it's easy to say that his hard work paid off. Brett's determination is inspiring. -Tim Grey Dan cranking a turn on the glacier.
1:36 pm Whistler, BC May 1
Flying high over Slednecks filmer Pascal Galant while shooting Slednecks17 on 2 hours of sleep.
Flying high on two hours of sleep over filmer Pascal Gallant, while shooting Slednecks 17.
photo: Stevin Tuchiwsky
Mountain Sledder 43
6:02 am Seton, BC May 1
"Leave the Mac â€“ arrive in Calgary at 9pm. Photographer Stevin Tuchwisky picks me up and we pin it to Kamloops to pick up my gear and sled. We drive till we can't stay awake and then pull over in a parking lot in Seton (near Lillooet). We wake up a couple hours later and make it to Whistler by 7 am to meet Slednecks filmer Pascal Gallant in the parking lot." photo: Brett Turcotte
3:15 pm Whistler, BC May 1
Second backflip of the trip gets the cover of Slednecks 17. Completion of the closing segment in the movie comes out of the Whistler trip.
6:00 pm Fort McMurray, AB
Quitting time in Fort Mac. Time to hop on a plane for Calgary.
3:08 pm Whistler, BC May 1
First backflip of the trip
5:48 pm Savona, BC
photo: Brett Turcotte
44 Mountain Sledder
photo: Stevin Tuchiwsky
photo: Stevin Tuchiwsky
"After shooting a day and half with Slednecks we travelled to Sicamous to meet the 509 crew, where an autograph signing was taking place. We got there just in time."
One Hundred & Sixty Hours
8:21 pm Whistler, BC May 1
"We shovelled and shot 6 different jumps that day. I threw 2 flips late in the afternoon [first one is pictured to the left, the second one makes the cover of the DVD]. We shot sunset on the Mt. Cayley step down at 9pm."
photo: Stevin Tuchiwsky
Stevin Tuchiwsky takes a nap on the way to Sicamous.
Weather day with 509 crew.
6:31 pm Highway 1, BC
photo: Brett Turcotte
photo: Stevin Tuchiwsky
Mountain Sledder 45
"We expected another weather day on the 509 shoot so I got to head back to Kamloops to celebrate my daughter Tessa's 5 year old birthday." photo: Niki Taylor
Back to Sicamous on the 5th for the first day of shooting with 509. Wrenching in the parking lot of the Best Western to make sure the sleds make it through the day. photo: Stevin Tuchiwsky
3:12 pm Sicamous, BC
Helicopter in the air, all cameras rolling. Backcountry backflip gets thrown.
46 Mountain Sledder
4:11 pm Sicamous, BC
Tricking in low light with Mable Lake in the background.
Eagles Pass, BC
A 5am start to the heli-shoot day had the crew building jumps by 10 am. This is Brett instructing helpers on the backflip jump. photo: TGFG
May 6 Lunch flown in.
One Hundred & Sixty Hours Relief. Biggest trick of the day thrown. Best trick in the bag captured for both film crews' cameras. Now it's time to have fun with the pressure off. photo: TGFG
7:45 pm Sicamous, BC
Turkey Reindhardt, Brett's alter ego shows up and gets a segment too.
Still playing, long after the video cameras have been put away. These turns are personal.
Mountain Sledder 47
2:53 pm Sicamous, BC
24 hours from this moment Brett was back on a plane bound for Fort Mac. photo: Stevin Tuchiwsky
Mountain Sledder 49
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Riley Suhan, Golden BC. photo: Dave Best
Kalle Johansson, Pemberton BC. photo: Dominic Gauthier
CAPTURE GALLERY RAD
< Wiley Tesso, Pemberton BC. photo: Cameron Hunter
Tyler Blair, Whistler BC. photo: Russell Dalby
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Dan Treadway, Whistler BC. photo: Blake Jorgenson
Chris Brown, Whistler BC. photo: Blake Jorgenson
CAPTURE GALLERY RAD
Jay Mentaberry, Eagle Pass, Sicamous BC. photo: TGFG
Derek Wood, Frisby Ridge, Revelstoke BC. photo: Tim Grey
You never know who might show up in the parking lot. words and photos by: Pat Garbutt
Most sledders are part of a crew — a group that rides together on a regular basis —
for good reason. Everyone knows each other, trusts each other, and knows who not to follow into the tight trees when the sun’s going down. Crew members get along well, help each other out when needed, and work together to play safe and have fun. But sometimes you’ll get a wildcard show up that no one knows very well. Be it a friend of a friend, a guy someone met at the bar, or a relative from out east. Maybe it’s some dude from the forums who goes by the handle, “Smoking_gunnz69”. Or the biggest question mark of all: a stranger that just strolls up and asks to ride with your group for the day. This situation can raise some eyebrows and some serious considerations beside. First of all, who is this clown? What’s his deal? Will this guy be able to keep up? Does he bring a positive attitude to the table? Will he be a burden on the group? Does he have the experience and mentality to not endanger himself and the rest of the crew? One thing for certain is that by throwing a wildcard into the mix, your group’s well-refined dynamics are put at risk. So what do you do? Spurn the new guy and stick to the crew that you know and trust, or give them the benefit of the doubt and welcome a new sledder to your group with enthusiasm? To help you make that difficult decision, here is a handy questionnaire that you can use. Have your group stand in a circle around the new rider, while you grill them with pen and clipboard in hand. Be sure to put them off their stride by doing things like making fake notes in the margins, and muttering things like “tsk tsk” and “Hmm, that won’t do at all” under your breath from time to time.
Questionnaire Vehicle 1) Half-ton with steel deck and airbags. +1pt. Overloaded yes, but getting the job done nonetheless. He's a no-nonsense sledder who’s not afraid to bend the rules a little. +1pt. 2) Flat-deck crew cab. +3pts. This is the ultimate sledding rig. It’s probably some trades professional that knows how to get the job done right and doesn’t mess around. 3) It’s the middle of winter, and buddy still has mud tires on his lifted F-350 dually. He clearly cares more about looking cool than keepin’ it between the mustard and the mayo. -2pts. 4) 4-cylinder Quebec-plated coupe with antlers zip-tied to the grill, towing a trailer. Huh?? +2pts for effort, He can’t afford it, but this guy still loves sledding!
Sled deck 1) A well used but in good working order sled deck. Boring but functional. +1pt. 2) A wooden sled deck. -1pt. But it works awesome and only cost $40 in materials at Home Depot! +4pts. 3) No deck or ramp. Guy will spend half the morning trying to find just the right snowbank to load on. Either that or you’ll be breaking your back helping lift it back in at the end of the day. -3pts. 4) 72ft enclosed trailer with 17000 watt stereo system, mini-bar, hot tub and stripper pole. Cool, but good luck parking it within 5 miles of any trailhead. +2pts.
Outerwear 1) All black. A classic sledder look, doesn’t tell you much about them, but you probably can’t go wrong. +1pt. 2) One or two solid colours. They are probably some modern freerider, and might be able to teach you a trick or two. +2pts. 3) A onesie. You won’t smell this guy’s chili farts once all day. Perfect. +4pts 4) A big-four brand jacket featuring a) flames b) checkered flag or c) purple or pink, or any combination thereof. -2pts. 5) A Carhartt jacket and jeans. This guy can tear down and fully rebuild your sled using baling wire, flint and ear wax in under 10 minutes. Immediate life-time crew membership. +10 pts. 6) Flame-retardant coveralls and Dunlops. Don’t worry this guy will have to leave at noon any way to get back to his 62-day straight shift up north. And if you have a clean container on hand he’ll probably pay you $60 for some of your piss too. +1pt. 7) Mohawk helmet. Don’t say anything, just stare until he shamefully removes it or walks away. Problem solved.
Sled 1) Turbo 4-stroke. He’ll probably be your man for punching fresh trail, but make yourself scarce when he gets stuck! +2 pts. 2) Polaris RMK-Pro. Ask if he has a tow-strap. If not, instant disqualification. 3) Early 2000s ZX model Ski-Doo Summit with powder coated A-arms, polished tunnel, and a pocket full of spare carburetor parts. He’ll probably out-highmark you. +1pt for entertainment value if nothing else. 4) A stock M7 with 12,000kms on the original engine and a hood held together with no less than 70 zip-ties. Rock on, bro. +4pts
Beacon, Probe & Shovel 1) “Huh?” -10pts. Politely ask the respondent to calmly climb back into their vehicle, start it up, and drive east until they cross at least two time zones. 2) Shovel attached to sled -2pt. “Sorry Linda, I couldn’t dig out your husband because my shovel was buried along with my sled. My bad.” 3) Has them. Knows how to use them, and has an airbag besides. +3pts 4) Yeah, it’s here somewhere… +1pts. Well at least they have the stuff, but don’t expect much help if it’s needed. Mountain Sledder 61
Interview Been riding much this year? 1) “This is my first time ever.” -2 pts for inevitably slowing down the group. +3 pts for what will inevitably be spectacular carnage. 2) The respondent has an exact count of the number of days. They clearly care too much, and you will probably be subject to incessant one-uppery and outlandishly exaggerated feats of sledding accomplishment. -3pts. 3) “As often as possible.” Fantastic. Indicative of a solid handle on life’s priorities. +2 pts.
Whoa, are you drinking beer? 1) “Yes, I’m wasted and plan on making bad decisions all day.” –2pts 2) “Yes, and I brought enough for everyone!” +3pts 3) “Yes, because my wife left me and I plan on burdening at length anyone who will listen to my incredibly sad sob story.”– 5pts 4) “No.” This is an unusual response (probably a lie), but this responsible person’s alleged sobriety may come in handy at some point during the day. +2pts
(points awarded to be based on merit of answers) • What have you got for tools? You’ve got a spare belt right? • How many pepperoni sticks are you packing? • How often would you say you get stuck in a day on a scale from 1 to “I need a backiotomy”? • Can I bum a smoke? • What time do you have to be back?
• Which band do you prefer, Boston or Chicago? • What kind of mods does that thing have?
Points totals 20+ This dude should definitely join your group. Listen up grasshopper, and you might even learn a thing or two. This guy’s been sledding since before there were mountains.
Most of your bros are probably somewhere in this range (and some below), so why not give this guy a shot? Just don’t get all pissed off when your friends like him more than you and you stop getting called for rides.
6-13 This is the middle of the pack, and your average Joe
Blow scores in this category. These characters may not seem to cut mustard, but look for the odd quality that makes a 6-13er a viable tagalong, despite a lower score. This special something could be a muffpot full of tasty treats, enough extra fuel to share around, or a strong back and a cheerful attitude.
1-6 These sledders are tricky to have around, because you
never can be sure what they are going to do next. Eighty percent of the time it’s something dangerous or super annoying. But the other twenty percent of the time, their antics are so darn entertaining that it nearly makes up for all the rest of their crap that you’ll certainly have to deal with.
0 or less This ticking time bomb of a person is a disaster
waiting to happen. Setup your sleds to blockade the trail, arm yourselves, and make sure that this person doesn’t get within 10 miles of the zone, as if your very lives depend on it.
Mountain Mountain Sledder Sledder 63 63
Rider: Christian Gagnon
Photo: Jon Jean
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...AND FAR AWAY
STOLEN The Sting The reality takes a while to set in. Initially you treat the situation like any other lost object. Like when you lose your keys or wallet, you think where you last saw them and check all the typical places: the kitchen counter, the console of the truck, etc. But no matter how many times you rip your now-empty garage apart, you can’t change the fact that a snowmobile isn’t something you simply misplace. There’s no denying it. Your ride has been stolen. The Poison The venom sinks in and the toxin is pure anger. Sledding is your outlet of escape from the daily grind. Stress dissipates as soon as you punch that throttle. But now these dirtbags have taken your ultimate high, your access to feeling alive. Dark thoughts run rampant. Riding is your life and they just took it away from you. They took yours, so isn’t it fair to take theirs? One-punching thieves and other wrathful thoughts of street justice keep you up at night, yet when it all comes down to it, the thirst for revenge won’t bring your sled back. The Antidote You’ve been kicked to the ground. Now the time has come to stand back up. Reporting the theft to the police is a start, but you can’t wait around and expect your sled to suddenly reappear. As hard as it is, the only way to move forward is to see the whole situation as a chance to begin fresh. You have to start thinking about getting another sled, getting back on the snow and throwing the hell down. You’re not one to get robbed and give up. Start doing whatever it takes to come back stronger: plan a creative build for your next sled, nail down trip plans, hit the gym. Sure, you’ll still keep a vigilant eye out for any sign of your stolen ride, but taking the initiative to get back on the snow is the only way to get past this injustice. -Brandon Wiesener
Mountain Sledder 65
u yo d . n a es ry ur to as i r e r l te s p n w rou o kn de un on o yw t in an ep m de ver te o ra c et l dis n l Pe wi
photo: Justin Befu
Worth Every Mile.
Abundant annual snowfall, generally mild temperatures and terrain to please all levels of riders are some of the main reasons that Valemount is your premier mountain snowmobiling destination in Western Canada. Whether you are a hard core adventure seeker or just wanting to get out for a nice recreational tour, you need to ride Valemount. It truly is worth every mile!
ridevalemount.com For more information on Valemount and its spectacular sledding, contact VARDA at 250.566.4817 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Dec 31, 2014
160 Hours with Brett Turcotte, Dealing with Injuries, New Guy Checklist, Stolen, Gear Girl, Avalanche Canada, Christian Gagnon and more.