Page 1

Graphic Productions 140 Wilson Ave. • Blackfoot, ID 83221

PRSRT STD U.S. Postage


WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

President Jim Kinghman • (509) 698-3658


pretty busy. He did manage to sneak out for a ride with friends in mid January. (It should be noted he left the ride early so he could go and groom on White Pass.)

President Jim Kingman apologizes for not having an article this month. Between his work at Aubrey’s RV, grooming for R & R Grooming, and dealing with family matters, he’s been

District Reports............................................................ 4 Club News................................................................... 5 Upcoming Meetings & Events.......................................... 6 WSSA Legal Action Fund Raffle....................................... 6 Winter Rendezvous Info................................................. 8 Membership Matters..................................................... 8 Sweetgrass Hut – WSSA Trail Grant................................. 9 Vintage Racing at Priest Lake........................................ 10 Have Enough Help? – ACSA.......................................... 10 State Parks Update..................................................... 11 WSSA Scholarship Info................................................ 11 Safety with Jon Ferrian................................................ 12 Matt’s Misc. ............................................................... 13 WSSA Online Elections................................................. 13 Associate Members..................................................... 14 Contacts & Clubs........................................................ 16

PLEASE SUPPORT THE FOLLOWING ADVERTISERS Polaris........................................................................ 3 SK Northwest • 503-872-0000........................................ 7 I-90 Motorsports • 425-391-4490................................... 9 Pierre’s Polaris • 425-488-8600.................................... 11

Vice President Dean Meakin • (509) 220-1001

208-782-0000 SnoFlyer is published monthly from Oct. - March Special Online Summer Issue (July)

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION Call Kathy at 208-782-0000 or email The WSSA Snoflyer is published by Graphic Productions under exclusive written agreement with the Washington State Snowmobile Association. Permission to reprint by other state snowmobile associations is given if the article is run in its entirety and full credit is given. Contents of the WSSA Snoflyer are not necessarily the viewpoint of Graphic Productions. 140 Wilson Ave. Blackfoot, ID 83221

2 • February 2018

On behalf of the WSSA Board, I want to extend our condolences to our President, Jim Kingman, for the loss of his mother. I know from experience how great a loss it is. All of us on the Board are ready and able to help you with anything you might need. Please let us know how we can ease the load so you can spend more time with your family and loved ones. Winter Rendezvous 2018 is rapidly approaching and it is possible it is here already. That said, please sign up for this annual event. Don’t wait for good snow or bad, just come out for the great fellowship and food! Ok all of you sled owners, snow or no snow, please register your snowmobile, so we have grooming dollars for next year. If you see the registrations numbers with State Parks’ report, then you know the numbers are down. Again as a reminder, this year’s registration dollars are next year’s grooming dollars. So, if we get 12 feet of snow in 2019 and the coffers are empty, we will have to stay home and just look out the window. Pay this year to play next year. Thanks in advance for all of you that support this program. Reminder number five: International Snowmobile Congress (ISC), Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 2018. This is a 50th anniversary event. Continuing on with lesson four concerning growth and stability in our organization and your clubs:

Lesson 4: ‘Appreciation’ is the most vital component of any organization; without it, people just move on. Keep in mind that we are all volunteers and the only paycheck we may receive could be "THANK YOU”. Appreciation is an action word that requires first recognition and then response. We start by recognizing a quality, value or a significance that a person has contributed to the organization and then respond to it. Pay attention or you will miss thousands of opportunities to thank someone for something. If someone missed thanking you for your efforts, then you know how someone else feels when you forget to thank them. Contrary to the popular statement, "Constructive Criticism is good", it is one of the most destructive methods of telling someone they did something right or was that wrong. This method may work fine in a work environment where there is a payroll involved, however most volunteers react totally different. There are better ways to educate your volunteers. Your appreciation you show towards another has to be clear and sincere. People never forget when they are appreciated or when they are not. You are in full control of the outcome. What will it be today? Next time we will focus on ‘mending fences’ and how that relates to club growth.

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

February 2018 • 3

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

District Reports District 1 North

District 2 South

By Aaron Doran

By Matt “Kustom” Kensrud (360) 914-0808 (509) 433-2100

Snow conditions at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest snoparks can best be described as ‘spring snow’. Day-time temperature inversions coupled with recent spring-like warm weather have been laying a two-punch combo to the snowpack. In spite of the less-than-stellar snow, backcountry sledders continue to hit the hills in solid numbers. The Whatcom County Snowmobile Association, under the leadership of Kassie Leeper, hosted its second annual Avalanche Training at Glacier Creek Sno-Park. Northwest Avalanche Center's Jeff Hambelton and Jason Speer led the training in proper beacon operation, probing, and efficient digging for avalanche recovery. The group ran multiple search scenarios throughout the morning. After the training wrapped up, the barbecuing began! The Whatcom Snowmobile Association provided a hot lunch for the avy training participants. Upcoming rides and events sponsored by the Northwest Glacier Cruisers and Whatcom County Snowmobile Association are in the works. Keep updated on these events by visiting both clubs’ Facebook pages.

District 2 North By Mike Potratz (253) 304-3303 Greetings fellow sledders from District 1 South! This will be my first stab at a news clip as your District Representative. I was officially voted in following the close of the January 10th meeting for the Cascade Drift Skippers Club. Thanks for all of your support! The recent snowfall has sure brought a renewed zeal to the west side sledding community. Even with the rain event that followed, we are starting to see the snow stack up at a good clip. Hopefully by the time you read this, we will be in throes of an epic February snowfall. Grooming has been underway on most if not all of our major trail systems. The thin and sloppy conditions have created an extra challenge to the groomer operators but overall the trails I have ridden on have been in good shape. As I write this, my wife and I rode to Cooper Pass today and we were the first tracks on fresh corduroy! What a difference from last month when the same route was filled with vehicle ruts. The Cascade Drift Skippers Club has really stepped up its game in promoting avalanche awareness, equipment training and rescue techniques. This emphasis is a good opportunity to re-familiarize yourself with the equipment you carry with you. Regular practice with your transceiver, probe and shovel will pay big dividends if you are ever called upon to participate in a rescue effort. Fumbling around with your equipment or trying to remember the steps to take to facilitate an effective rescue is the last place you want to find yourself in that adrenaline-packed moment when your sledding partner is buried. The Drift Skippers have multiple club rides that have already taken place and there are still a few more on the calendar. The recent Ladies Ride headed up by Steph Santeford was a great success with 19 ladies participating. The ladies took advantage of the time to build new friendships, learn new skills and most importantly, just get out on the snow! The Ferrian Family Fun Rides have been a great success thus far with lots of participation from riders of all skill levels. These group rides give everyone the opportunity to hone their skills and both through practice and practical instruction from the more skilled riders. I highly encourage your participation. We have a few sledders from District 1N, myself included, who are planning to attend the ‘All Trails to Olympia Day’ on January 22nd. This is a great opportunity for us to make our voice heard at the legislative level regarding the sport we are so passionate about. Remember: “History belongs to those who show up”. If you weren’t able to attend this year, make plans to be there in 2019!

4 • February 2018

Well, Mother Nature isn't playing nice these days; lots of rain, not much snow, but we’re making the best out of it. On to club news: Wenatchee’s Apple Country met January 9th with topics including when to start grooming. There is also an issue at the Lilly Lake Sno-Park along with a section of trail system near there; contact the club for details. The Chelan club will be hosting the Wally Peterson Memorial Drag Races at the Mill Bay Casino on January 20th. They have started grooming and I was happy to see more sledders at their meeting! The Lake Wenatchee Rec Club (LWRC) has lots of things going on this season. A club ride on February 3rd, a poker run on February 17th, and on February 22nd the Forest Service will be having an employee snowmobile training class at the Rec Club. The club has handed out 20 applications for there scholarship. LWRC will be holding a first-aid class on February 24th. The class size is limited; message the club for details. The club discussed their donations for the year including $1,000 to the Humane Society, $100 to the local 4-H, $500 to a local pantry in Plain, along with $500 to Vets for Vets. The proceeds for the poker run go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation! WOW, go Rec Club! At the Groomers Meeting, items discussed included new signage put up at the Rec Club, Meadow Creek Sno-Park, and French Corrals intersection. All of the ‘No Wheeled Vehicles’ signs are in place and grooming is under way, although it is hit or miss due to the weather. The Bavarian Boondockers broke in the new warming hut with a club ride/barbecue with 30 or so riders attending. The club will be taking part in the LWRC poker run on February 17th; see you all there! The club is hosting the Alpine Institute AIARE 1 Avalanche Courses; the dates are on their website or call James at AA 1 at (360) 671-1505. The club was part of Leavenworth’s Ice Fest 2018 and they gave rides in the park, with proceeds going to the Chamber of Commerce. PRAY for snow and I’ll see you on the mountain!

District 3 By Greg Figg (509) 534-3417 Well, the snow has been falling in Northeast Washington and our riding season is underway. Keep doing your snow dance and pray for colder temperatures to keep the snow coming in the mountains. Grooming is doing well in the Chewelah, Colville, Ione, and Usk areas. As far as snowmobiling goes, I am definitely noticing an increase in the number of snow bikes that are on the trails and in the woods. As this technology matures, I would expect it will continue to grow... which makes it important to bring them into the fold for sno-park permits and registrations. Lastly, remember our Winter Rendezvous this year in Omak at the 12 Tribes Casino and Resort on February 16th-19th. This should be a good time this year with some great rides planned.

District 4 North By Craig Miller (253) 312-2092 Greetings snowmobilers! Well, so far the season has been pretty good. We have had periods of good snow and some not so good. I brought my sled over to the WSSA meeting in Yakima in early January. We had planned to ride Friday and Sunday but there was no snow in the sno-parks so the effort didn’t pan out. Hopefully we will see a more steady snowfall in the weeks to come. The Sno-Jammers will be holding their annual Fun Run event above Green-

water at the Government Meadows Cabin on February 10th. There will be a poker run with lots of prizes, demo sleds to try and lots of great food. If you haven’t done this ride, you should try to make it this year. Registration starts at 10am. The last hand will be sold at 1pm and the raffle begins at 2pm. The route is well maintained and marked. By the time you read this, Junco will have had their Charity on the Snow event in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Junco has raised close to $80,000 for the charity since it began holding this event several years ago. I’ll report on how much was raised in a future article. I have surveyed most of the Forest Service roads in the Mt Adams area and all are open. Have fun and ride safe.

District 4 South By Mike Ainslie (360) 430-1494 Greetings District 4S! Well, like others, so far in this lovely state of Washington, I don't have a lot to report… because none of us have very much snow on the ground right now. As I write this article in mid January, we will be grooming on Saturday for the first time this season out of the Mt. Adams Lone Butte Sno-Park and out through the berry fields, trying to get as many trails done as the snow will allow. That's very sad; normally we have been grooming for weeks by now. We still haven't groomed at Mt. St. Helens yet this season. Let's all hope some of the snow hitting the East Coast swings back our way and starts taking care of us; they say our snow pack is only at 36% of normal and last year at this time we were at 150%. We are way behind right now. As we wait for snow to fall, I can’t emphasize enough for everybody to seek out your local snowmobile clubs and attend a meeting. Please think about joining the clubs in your area; we need all the help we can get and it's a good way to meet new people and a great way to learn new places to ride. And don't forget to send in your reservations if you are planning on attending the WSSA Winter Rendezvous in Omak. It's a lot of fun for the whole family. Thanks, and let's all think SNOW!

District 5 South By Rudy Classen (509) 966-4283 It is mid January and still not much snow in sight. I went sledding last weekend and had to ride the roads and trails only because of the lack of snow. We met a number of folks from different parts of the state and in talking to them it seemed that generally speaking most areas are in need of more snow. If you are in one of those areas that doesn’t need more snow, then hopefully you are having a great time. We are still looking at the long term forecast which seems to say that we should start getting snow soon and it will continue through March. Grooming has gotten off to a slow start because of a lack of snow depth at the sno-parks, plus several weeks ago rain and warmer weather iced the roads for several miles out of the sno-parks. Every winter is different than the one before so with that in mind we just may be sledding in May. The Yakima Ski-Benders had to postpone their annual Scavenger Hunt due to icy roads out of the sno-park in the Ahtanum. It has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 10th. Snowmobile registrations are down drastically this year because of the lack of snowfall so I encourage everyone to get their sleds registered because that is where the grooming money will come from for next year’s grooming.

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

District Reports District 6 By Gary Simmons (509) 529-0210 Hello snowmobilers! I just returned from our January WSSA meeting and prayers go out to the Gary Allard family for the death of their son. Also, to the Jim Kingman family with the loss of his mother. Listening to the recent district reports, we all need more snow. My district could use a lot more snow! On January 10th, the Pomeroy Club had their meeting. Guest speakers included two Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers representing the Detachment Enforcement Program. They said they will be out and much more visible on the snow this year. Pomeroy's Vintage Snowmobile Show and Ride will be held on January 27th, and their Bucket Run is scheduled for February 10th. But, be sure to check their

Club News Yakima Ski-Benders By Seth Ahlbrecht, President Hello again to everyone reading out there on behalf of the Yakima Ski-Benders. I've missed the last couple of issues so I hope I can make up for it a bit and grab you attention with a couple of great upcoming events. By the time you read this, we'll have already passed our 37th annual Chinook Pass Snowfest and will be quickly approaching our second annual Scavenger Hunt. The Scavenger hunt was originally scheduled to be in January, but with this winter's minimalist approach to the snowpack, (especially down low), the club has opted to reschedule for Saturday, February 10th, again in the Ahtanum Sno-Park. (A Discover Pass is required for this Department of Natural Resources managed land.) We're hoping for a good turnout this year as those who participated last year had a great time and the grand prize winner walked away with a nice cash prize! Prizes offered for all who participated. Also coming up soon is the event that has started to grab a lot of attention around the state and beyond; the fast-growing fifth annual ‘Little Sledders Ride’. This Ski-Benders’ hosted event, also at the Ahtanum Sno-Park, will be held on March 10th and kids of all ages are welcome to attend the fun along with the company of a parent. Kids have the opportunity to learn about safe snowmobile riding techniques, improve their riding skills, practice beacon searches and much much more, as well as watch some of the best riders in the industry do what they love to do on the snow! There's fun for all ages and kids will be grouped by age and ability level accordingly and accompanied by their parents, club members, and a pro-rider for the day. This event is totally 100% free for everyone and was a HUGE success last year! Here's to another great time with lots of up and coming sledders, riders of every ability level, and lots of prizes for every kid! Watch the Yakima Ski-Benders’ Facebook page for further updates as we get closer to these great fun, family events! Until then, keep doing your snowdances; conditions are improving every day and the mountains are really starting to get to be a lot of fun!

Tri-Rivers Snowmobile Club

webpage first for updates on the date and snow conditions in case of cancellations or rescheduling. The Dayton Club cancelled their scheduled Bucket Run and is hoping to reschedule this for either March 3rd or March 10th. Again, please refer to the club news before March to make sure of the exact date. On January 13th, Chris Shires and myself cooked the hamburgers at the Godman shelter. With the unfavorable snow condition, we figured we'd only be serving a half-dozen snowmobilers. As it turned out, there were about 4550 people that showed up and we ran out of both hamburgers and hot dogs. Guess everyone has been going stir crazy and thought they'd better take advantage of what snow we did have. Here’s a photo I recently re-discovered in the book ‘Walla Walla, A Town Built to be a City’, by Robert A. Bennett. It just proves snowmobiling has been around a long time and is here to stay. (If you are interested, you can buy the book on Amazon.) That's all for now. Keep thinking SNOW.

ment to me was – if I wait ‘til January, it might not start on the first pull. I had no idea that Mitch was a soothsayer, because I was sure we’d be out in early December. Right now the clouds are low, but the snow is good. It is time to enjoy our three months of snowmobiling! The topic of conversation at our club meeting is the Lily Lake Sno-Park issue. I guess the ‘powers that be’ have growing concerns for grizzly bear and wolf habitat in the greater Lily Lake land-use district. Matt Kensrud, our District 2 Rep, came to our meeting this month with good food to add to our monthly potluck, and great wit and wisdom from our district. Thanks Matt.

ACSC members doing what they enjoy second-most!

A few of our members took in the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Snow Cat presentation at Lake Wenatchee. There were at least 15 different snow cats available for demonstration on the airstrip. It was a very unique opportunity given to us. A big thank you to WSDOT! I would like to give a shout out to James Burts, Club President, and Mike Bratton, lead groomer, for their grooming and maintenance of Clear Lake. It is lonely and time consuming, but they do a great job. Thank you! Several members of our club are looking forward to the WSSA Winter Rendezvous in Omak. So far I have found no members voicing an interest in the International Snowmobile Congress in Nova Scotia; Dean Meakin is looking for 20 members to attend; check the January Snoflyer for details. Well, it’s time (finally) to hit the groomed trails and make some tracks. Don’t get lost on those unmarked meadows. Enjoy!

Cascade Drift Skippers

Apple Country Snowmobile Club By Tim Downs The Apple Country Snowmobile Club (ACSC) has been busy celebrating birthdays, snow, a little snow, and a lot of snow. My machine was into Cashmere Powersports in November for a tune up. The owner, Mitch Hensley’s, com-

You can find out more about our club and meet new riders at one of our entertaining club meetings. The first Wednesday of each month at the Issaquah Brew House. Social hour starts around 5pm'ish with the meeting starting at 7pm and another social hour that typically follows. Attending these meetings are a great way to meet new friends and ride new areas. Have fun and I look forward to seeing you on the snow! Cheers!

Northwest Glacier Cruisers By Julie Street Doran

By Kurt Hensley, President There is lots of snow in the mountains and the trails are groomed. We want you to all come to the WSSA Winter Rendezvous as the conditions are great in the Okanogan. Our club has been quiet and helping with other local clubs with their events and enjoying the last big snow. Call me at (509) 689-2843 if you have any questions on our area.

A bit of Walla Walla snowmobiling history.

By Jason Holmes Hello everyone. Here we are in the middle of the season and there's been some great snow conditions and not so great conditions; let's hope the second half of the season brings great conditions. There are still openings for the Level 1 Avalanche Certification on the weekend of March 2nd, 3rd and 4th. You can find information to register for the class at One of the biggest mistakes you make to yourself and fellow riders is taking the position of "I mostly ride trails and don't go into the backcountry”. Well, I hate to tell you that just about every groomed trail system runs through avalanche terrain at some point or another. Don't fool yourself by thinking since the groomer cleared the trail and made it nice and pretty that there wasn't avalanche debris covering it previously. Get educated to become a better rider.

Now that the holidays are over the Northwest Glacier Cruisers (NWGC) are still waiting for the long desired snowfall. It has not stopped the Glacier Cruisers from gathering for many family events; we have had a funfilled December and January! Elections are upon us and we are looking forward to a big 2018 with our new and past board members! We will be voting in our new board members this February. We would also like to welcome our newest 2018 WSSA District 1 North Rep Aaron Doran. Doug Ploeg and Glen Wilkinson will host their annual ride in Kittitas. We will meet at the Kittitas Restaurant at 8am on February 24th, and head to the riding area from there. No barbecue so bring a sack lunch. This is a great ride for all levels of riders. Thank you so much Doug and Glen for hosting this fun event!

A great day at Mt. Baker! Join the NWGC on the mountain!

March 3rd is our long-awaited annual event, the Mount Baker Shoot Out 2018. Rain or shine we will be up there. This is the biggest event of the year for NWGC. Let’s make this the biggest event yet! Skagit Powersports, Skagit Valley Polaris, Lifestyles Honda/Ski-Doo and Mount Baker Motorsports should have a great selection of demos for you all to try that day. We will be announcing the winner of the 2017/2018 Raffle Prize also. You do not have to be present for the raffle but we would love to see you up there. We will have a barbecue on the mountain and several events for all ages. Bring the family! There will be lots of people camping in the first parking lot if weather permits. We will keep you posted on any updated information. March 23rd-25th is the Mount Baker Ladies Ride. We have raised enough money through donations from Doran Fence Co, Farmers Equipment Company, NWGC, Whatcom County Snowmobile Club, and Leeper’s Marine and through the sale of the ‘Days I Rode Calendars’ to pay for the


February 2018 • 5

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Club News lodge. Lifestyles Honda/Ski-Doo has graciously offered to pay for our food for breakfast and dinners for the Ladies Ride. The ladies will only need to have a packed lunch for the ride on the mountain every day, raffle, 50/50, and gas money for the weekend; no charge for the lodge, breakfast and dinner. Skagit Valley Polaris has offered to donate raffle items and Mt. Baker Motosports is willing to help too! Please support our local dealers; they really do a lot to help us in any way they can. Thank you all; we are all so blessed to be part of this sled community. All proceeds from our raffle at this event will go to Skagit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. A portion of the 50/50 will go to Skagit Distribution Center. We are excited to see all the ladies for this weekend getaway. Just a friendly reminder that grooming has started and you are NOT to drive past the "NO WHEELED VEHICLE SIGNS" as you are tearing up our groomed road. Please tell your 4x4 friends to STAY OFF OUR ROADS! Tickets will be issued, pictures of your vehicles will be sent to the U.S. Forest Service. This costs us as snowmobilers, thousands of dollars, and shortens our season. PLEASE GET OUT OF YOUR TRUCKS AND ONTO YOUR SLEDS! Thank you. NWGC supports Washington Fish and Game Department officers patrolling sno-parks this year. Get your tabs and sno-park permits. The permits must be displayed on your windshield, not on the dash or on the console. Every dime for your tabs and permits goes to our grooming program; every dime of your ticket for not having them goes to the state. Please do your part to help our grooming program! Thank you to all of you that already have them, we appreciate it! Final note: Never ride alone and always have proper gear every ride. Thank you so much! Stay safe. NWGC's meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at Coconut Kenny's at 7pm. Located at 1060 South Burlington Blvd., in Burlington. Everyone is welcome! You can also find out more information about all upcoming events by finding us on Twitter at @NWGCSledders and also on Facebook at Northwest Glacier Cruisers. E-mail us at for any information. Look forward to seeing you on the mountain!

Methow Valley Snowmobile Association By Don Fitzpatrick Jr., Secretary We have had lots more snow now. It is very warm, so settling is occurring and the next new snowfalls should provide some really excellent riding. The club is active with our weekly rides. We are using both our warming huts and are thankful to have them. Through a grant, funded by the Winter Recreation Program, our club received $15,000 for grooming. This allowed us to arrange with the Mountain Trails Grooming Association to provide nine days of grooming on Hwy 20 this year. That section is not only used by snowmobilers, but also backcountry skiers, snowshoers, cross-country skiers, and others. The Grooming Association did not have enough funding to do all the necessary normal grooming on trails that we routinely use, and still do so much on Hwy 20. We are proud to be able to provide this important grooming for our community and its many visitors. Thank you Winter Recreation Program! In addition, we were able to reserve an additional amount equal to 2.5 days of grooming specifically for Hart’s Pass, which typically is not open to be groomed until after March 31st. Once again, with the cooperation of Mountain Trails Grooming, the Winter Recreation Program management, and the Forest Service, we were allowed to make this work. Anyone who has used Hart’s Pass knows how terrible the wash board becomes after a winter of use with no grooming. January 13th saw a very full sno-park at Boulder Creek, as lots of snowmobilers were heading to Conconully for the annual ‘Outhouse Races’. I suspect all 210 residents of Conconully, plus many others, were there to cheer the racers on. Visit for more info. Sunday, February 18th, is our annual poker run out of Goat Creek SnoPark. Join us for a great ride, suitable for all levels, a tasty lunch, and lots of prizes.

always fun to welcome Winter Knights newcomers and people on the trails to enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs with us at our Ritz warming hut!

Our January 13th vintage play day on Badger Mountain was a hit with 20 sleds zooming around and a barbecue lunch to top it off. Looking forward we have some fun events that are coming up. We will be at the Priest Lake vintage races on February 18th. We will also be having our usual vintage sled show, demo, and ride at The Last Resort on February 24th and 25th. Come by and see the snowmobiles of yesteryear, or better yet, bring your own vintage sled. Event details are on our website at See you on the snow!

Sno-Jammers A fun, albeit foggy, ride to the top of Schweitzer Mountain!

We will also have some members riding at the WSSA Winter Rendezvous, West Yellowstone, and McCall in the next month. Our riding schedules are on our website so don’t hesitate to join us on a ride if you’re over this way. See you on the trails!

Junco Snowmobile Club By Craig Miller, Vice President As I write this, the club is busy making preparations for the annual Charity On The Snow rides and auction held every January at the Orr Creek SnoPark. This year will be the first time in two years we have held it at Orr Creek due to a severe washout of the FS 23 road which is now repaired. This is a two-day campout event which features guided rides, a Saturday night potluck dinner, and a charity auction of items donated by club members and community businesses. Sunday features a pancake breakfast for donations to Make-A-Wish, and another ride. I will report back next month when the event has concluded and we have the amount raised. We should be close to $80,000 donated since the event began several years ago. We normally raise between four to six thousand dollars depending on turnout. We invite you to come down and enjoy the great rides in our area near Mt. Adams. You can download trail maps on the Washington State Parks Winter Recreation website for Orr Creek, Johnson Creek and Wakepish Sno-Parks. Think snow, and ride safe.

By Glenn Markovits, President Greetings fellow snowmobilers! With the recent snow falling in the mountains, we’ve all been out riding the trails and busting up the powder, clocking miles on our sleds. I hosted our annual club ride to Stanley, Idaho, between Christmas and New Years and we had a great turnout and a great time. Stanley is an absolute awesome place to snowmobile! They had great snow and sunny days. We stayed at the Mountain Village Resort, where we could ride our sled directly from our hotel rooms to the gas station and then on to hundreds of miles of groomed trails and endless backcountry riding. On January 14th I hosted a club ride from Pyramid Creek Sno-Park (Greenwater) to Easton. We had 15 sleds and an awesome time! It was a great ride with great snow. We had a great turnout at our January meeting as we prepare for our upcoming Fun Run on February 10th. The Sno-Jammers host our annul Fun Run the second Saturday in February from the cabin at Government Meadows, near Greenwater. This year it will be on Feb 10th, and there will be awesome prizes and a ton of fun! Check our website for details The Sno-Jammers snowmobile club is based in Puyallup. We meet the first Wednesday of the month, from September through May. Our monthly meetings are held at the Round Table Pizza on 160th and Meridian in South Hill Puyallup. Our social hour begins at 6pm and the official meeting starts at 7pm. We are a diverse snowmobile club with all ages and experience levels of riders. We always welcome everyone to join our club, and I encourage you and your family to do so; it’s always nice to see new faces, hear new ideas and new energy to lead our club and host events. Individual or family memberships are only $20 per year, and you can sign up online at

Pacific Northwest Vintage Snowmobile Club By Stephen Phillips The Pacific Northwest Vintage Snowmobile Club (PNWVSC) has been making tracks this season, and there is more to come!

Spokane Winter Knights By Sharon Crockett, President The Winter Knights had our first overnight outing at Priest Lake this past weekend – had 25 riders on our ride Saturday to the top of Schweitzer. That fog can make for some scary riding coming down off a mountain top! As I write this, we will have our Newcomers Ride this coming Saturday –

6 • February 2018

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

February 2018 • 7

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Membership Matters By Wayne and Florence Mohler, Membership Co-Chairs

Memberships continue to arrive, but at a much slower pace than in October and November. Welcome to all the new members and ‘thank you’ to those who have renewed. Our total membership is running close to last year’s numbers. Your membership is essential for WSSA to speak for and represent the interests of snowmobilers at all levels of government. Whether it is land-use issues, such as over-snow travel, wildlife closures, legislative concerns, or protecting the funds in the dedicated snowmobile account, your membership makes our collective voice stronger. Numbers count! Since snowmobile clubs and WSSA are all volunteer organizations, it takes a lot of people to effectively represent the snowmobile interests. If you are inclined to get more involved and seek out these volunteer opportunities, the Snoflyer or the WSSA website - is a good place to start. If you’re not a club member and want to find new riding partners, or explore new areas – give one of the clubs a call. And for your friends who are not members – sign them up! If you have any questions about membership, please e-mail us at or call us at (509) 674-4401. Remember – Your Membership Matters!

8 • February 2018

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Sweetgrass hut finished up for the 2017/2018 season Partially funded with a WSSA Trail Grant Information provided by Craig Stahl, MVSA President

This past fall the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association (MVSA) was granted a permit for a second time for a seasonal warming shelter on Forest Service Lands. The location of the hut is right below Sweetgrass Butte on the groomed snowmobile trail. Much of the funding for the Sweetgrass hut has come from years of hot dog and burger fundraisers. The grant from WSSA was a great help for us to complete this project. This past fall we finished the inside with insulation, trim and a vinyl floor. It really does feel like home up on the hill. MVSA’s hut has been a success and is the talk of many in the snowmobile community. This project benefits all winter recreation users on the trail system in our National Forest. Thank you WSSA for the grant!

February 2018 • 9

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Vintage Racing at Priest Lake By Greg Figg

On January 14th the Vintage Racing association hosted the first of two races in Priest Lake, Idaho. The Winter Knights were called upon again to help the Vintage Association with the race logistics. After watching how large the race was last year, I wondered if it could get any larger. Well, this year answered the question, as the race grew leaps and bounds again. I am estimating around 1,000 people and close to 30 classes of snowmobiles racing. This is a great community event that brings both snowmobilers and non-snowmobilers together. Some of the ‘old timers’ were noting this compared to the races that occurred in the early 1970’s; some indicated this year’s race was larger than the crowd that showed up back then. It is good to see a growth sport in the snowmobile world. The next race in Priest Lake is on Feb 18th, which is the same time as our WSSA Winter Rendezvous.

Raise your hand if you have plenty of volunteers! Provided by the American Council of Snowmobile Associations and adapted from an article written by Gary Broderick, Northeast Chapter Chair. Full article here: We see and hear people (at all levels) talking about members and other riders, complaining about how they don’t volunteer, though they complain about a trail if there’s a single mogul on it. While understandable, it might not be totally their fault. Yeah, this is going to offend some people, but if we keep doing the same stuff, saying the same things, complaining about the same things and finding that we still have the same problems, isn’t it time we consider our approach? Maybe it’s time to re-examine how we attack this issue. From our experiences, some common problems crop up: Hey I have a new idea! Listen to new ideas-give them some consideration.

10 • February 2018

Sign-up sheets. When you have a sign-up sheet for a club work party, call everyone on the list that signed up. You wasted their time. When someone shows up for a work party, find them something to do. People’s time is valuable. Cliques. Make an effort to welcome the new people that show up. Gravely Serious. If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. Have fun; it’s contagious… Say Thank You. Do it often, do it in public. You have a much better chance to see them again if they know that you appreciate them.

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

State Parks Update By Pamela McConkey, State Parks Winter Recreation Program Manager

Waiting For Snow! Well here we are waiting for the snow to arrive. But wait! Remember how in years past we thought all was lost, that the winter was a bust… but then, WOW, did we get some great snowfall! So, don’t be caught unprepared when the snow does arrive. While waiting on the snow, how about making sure your sleds are registered and ready to go? When the snow does arrive, the Winter Recreation Program will be using funds that were put into the Snowmobile Account during the 2016/2017 winter season. These funds will be used to plow sno-parks, groom trails, provide sanitation, education and enforcement, and administration for the winter season. The Snowmobile Program does not operate like many other government programs. The only money that is spent is the money that is already ‘in the bank’. We don’t spend money that we don’t have! Even if the snow doesn’t arrive until February, it’s important to register your sleds so we have ample revenue for next season. Watching For Snow! The Winter Recreation Program consults a variety of resources to keep an eye on the weather, snow depths, and avalanche conditions. Check out this website operated by the National Weather Service. A great resource for finding out about weather alerts and forecasts! - For longer term weather and climate forecasts, visit this site maintained by the Office of the Washington State Climatologist. - Interested in more information about El Nino, La Nina, and Neutral Winters? Check out this website and get into the science involved in predicting how ocean temperatures and currents help determine what kind of winters we might have. A very useful source for snow depth information is available from the SNOTEL Data Collection Network operated by the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the Department of Agriculture. The NRCS maintains dozens of data collection sites in the mountains throughout Washington. Check out the snow depth data in areas where you snowmobile. - Before you head off to the mountains to ride for the high country, please check out these websites operated by the Northwest Avalanche Center and the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center to find out more about avalanche hazards in the area you wish to visit. Remember, safe rides begin at home! and RV Show, Seattle The Winter Recreation Program Staff will once again be hosting a booth at the Seattle MHRV (Manufactured Housing and Recreational Vehicle) Show February 8th–11th at Century Link Event Center. We will be talking about snowmobiling and will have some outdoor winter toys to show off, thanks to our friends at Pierre’s Polaris. If you’re in the area, stop in and say hello.

February 2018 • 11

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

By Jon Ferrian •

Safety Lets turn this column around for a minute and instead of me preaching to you about safety this month, let me spin this around and put you in charge! Right here and right now, I am going to publicly share my contact information and want to invite any and all of you to reach out to me and ask me ANYTHING about sledding. Jon Ferrian Facebook/Instagram/Twitter Cell Phone (218) 251-2069 (Please text me first with your name and let me know that you are sledder that wants to chat. I will let you know if I can reply right away and/or schedule time later.) The first thing that I want to clarify is that I am not an expert on anything. I am not going to pretend to be super smart or know exactly how to tune your sled or exactly how to replace the track on your particular sled. What I do find more often than not, is that almost everyone that I speak to feels really good about the conversation and the interaction! I can tell you that I have been able help more people than I could have ever imagined and that I get a lot of personal satisfaction and happiness from these discussions! I love to help other riders get into the sport and get connected with education, people and equipment that they need for a fun and safe day on the snow! Here are some examples of things that I speak to other riders about regularly: • Washington State Snowmobile Association • Snowmobile Clubs • Snowmobiles • Snowmobiling • Riding Areas • Snow Conditions • Riding Skills

• • • •

Sled Trouble Shooting Maintenance Items Riding Gear Safety Gear • Safety ClassesClasses/Level 1 Classes • Connecting Riders to Each Other • Dealer Recommendations • Out of State Riding Destinations • Snowmobile Program Funding • Meeting with State Representatives in Olympia to Talk About Sledding • Trucks/Trailers/Towing • Sno-Park Info • Sled Registration • Trail Riding Dynamics and Safety • Communication • Being a Ride Leader/How to Lead a Ride

This list is virtually unlimited but I think you get the idea. I have ridden snowmobiles most of my life and in recent years it has become such a passion, that I simply eat, sleep, and snowmobile. So what does this article have to do with safety? Here it is… in all of my conversations I will inevitably ask my newfound friends a few questions about their riding abilities and if they have avalanche safety equipment, check the avalanche forecast, or have attended any avalanche safety classes. Somehow we always end up on this topic. Why? The reason is that I truly do care about each and every one of you that are out riding, and I take it very personal when we lose a fellow sledder to an avalanche or some other preventable accident. So let me do a final introduction! Hi my name is Jon Ferrian, and yes we did just become best friends! Give me a call anytime or hit me up on social media and let me convince you that snowmobiling is God’s gift to humanity! Take care and see you all on the snow! Sharing my Passion!


12 • February 2018

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Matt’s Misc. By Matt Mead • WSSA Publicity Secretary • (509) 697-6062 Canadian lynx may be delisted as Endangered Species! Okay, they are not ‘Canadian’ lynxes; that would imply they were in our Country (legally or illegally) from Canada. The species is actually ‘Canada lynx’, buy I digress… Anyway, U.S. Fish and Wildlife recently issued a press release determining the species has recovered and is recommending delisting as an Endangered Species. This would be good news for us as snowmobilers have had issues, and suspected more issues in the future, due to lynx habitat potentially becoming off-limits to snowmobiles. You may recall WSSA went to court over this several years ago and spent a ton of money on the lawsuit. (While we didn’t win on all points, we did well enough to have all of our legal expenses reimbursed! Whew!) It’s not a done deal. It’s safe to assume the environmental groups won’t be pleased with this recommendation and may very well sue. We’ll keep you posted. Check this link to see the USFWS press release: Tracked ATVs/UTVs on snowmobile trails. There was a meeting between the Tollgate Trail Finders and local Umatilla National Forest personnel regarding ATV/UTV use in the winter on the Forest (in both Washington and Oregon). It was reported the Forest Service is not enforcing the Washington State definition of a snowmobile (track driven/steered by skis) and is going by their own Over Snow Vehicle definition which includes both snowmobiles and tracked ATVs/UTVs. What this means is tracked ATVs/UTVs can operate on the trail system in Southeast Washington and won’t be ticketed for not having a snowmobile registration. (Meaning they are not helping to support our program.) The problem is they legally can’t register as snowmobiles due to Washington’s strict definition. The argument once was about the impacts of tracked ATVs/UTVs on our trails. While some still may not like it, they are now here. We need to work on legislation to allow (require) them to be licensed as snowmobiles and help fund the program they are now benefitting from. RTP Grants. A new Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funding cycle is approaching with about $5 million available. The program “provides funds to rehabilitate and maintain recreational trails and facilities that provide a backcountry experience for motorized and non-motorized uses”. State Parks has used it to supplement trail grooming programs around the State and WSSA used a grant to help fund the WSSA Safety Trailer. If you have an idea for a RTP project and are willing to take the lead on it, bring it to the WSSA Board for discussion. This money is ours, (from the federal fuel tax we pay on gas used in our snowmobiles), and we should work hard to get our share back in grants. The RCO (Recreation and Conservation Office) website shows an application window of Mid-August to November 1st, so the process needs to start now. Politics – not always black and white. We are led to believe Republicans are always pro-motorized recreation and Democrats are anti-motorized recreation. There is some truth to this; both are beholden to donors and extreme (anti-motorized recreation) environmental groups donate nearly exclusively to Democrats. But we need to be careful with this broad brush… Case in point is New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo who has again supported snowmobiling by stumping for our recreation and touting $5 million being invested in trail maintenance and grooming in Western and Upstate New York, a 15% increase over last year. Did you know New York has 10,400 miles of snowmobile trails? Do you figure that has an impact on the state’s economy? How about $868 million according to a 2011 study... Now, how do we get this kind of support from of Governor Inslee… WSSA is now on Instagram! Check us out at (Make sure you do and not wssaus. Both look like us, but only one will have current WSSA pics and info.) No good deed goes unpunished. I’ll be completely upfront and tell you I don’t have all the details on this and am making a few assumptions. The headline mentioned the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (NHSA) had reached a settlement with the state’s Attorney General Office over an anti-trust issue. This got my attention for being snowmobile related, and the fact my friend Dan Gould is New Hampshire’s newly-hired Executive Director. What did NHSA do to bring down the wrath of the state? A few years ago NHSA put up a website allowing snowmobilers to go on and join NHSA and a local snowmobile club. Basically one-stop shopping. Sounds good, right? The arrangement agreed upon with the clubs was the clubs would charge unified dues of $35, with $25 going to the club and $10 to cover the NHSA membership. Apparently the unified dues created some sticking points since clubs all had to charge the same rate and snowmobilers (joining through the website) were forced to join both a club and the NHSA with no option of choosing one or the other. It sounds like there wasn’t really anything actually illegal occurring, but was more of the messaging, or assumptions made by snowmobilers, that was the problem. The fix? A redesigned web portal run by NHSA that allows clubs to set their own membership rates on the website, and the ability to join NHSA or decline. (In the back of my mind, I’m remembering the reason for the unified dues had to

do with the fact a snowmobiler receives a $30 snowmobile registration discount for being a member of a local snowmobile club. If clubs are advertising different dues, snowmobilers would tend to choose the cheapest club and not necessarily the one in the area they ride. If this is the case, the unified dues were done for the benefit of the clubs.) Final note from the article: Economic impact of snowmobiling in New Hampshire is in excess of $586 million! Antique snow machines – the market grows! We’ve all seen the really cool antique and classic snowmobiles on display at the WSSA Expo and elsewhere. Vintage racing, antique museums, and even classic rides are all the rage. But other

Antique Tucker Sno-Cats rise in value.

snow vehicles are also becoming collectible. Case in point, the Tucker Sno-Cat. Tucker is celebrating its 75th anniversary and prices for vintage Tuckers are going up. Restored Cats are now fetching upwards of $100,000. And why not? Sno-Cats are steeped in history, four having been used for the first overland crossing of the Antarctic in 1957. Do you know where an old rusty Sno-Cat is parked? Better buy it quick! Keep your wheeled vehicles off of our trails or else! A Wisconsin woman was nearly impaled by a broken sign post when a vehicle she was riding in lost control and crashed on a snowmobile trail. The driver claims the gas pedal got stuck on the floor mat and his Jeep left the trail and hit a culvert, ditch and several snowmobile trail signs. One of the metal sign posts broke off and went through the floorboard on the passenger side, just missing the occupant. The good news is the driver was ticketed for trespassing on a snowmobile trail… Most snowmobilers care about wildlife. This was proven yet again when a group of riders rescued a moose in Newfoundland. The snowmobilers spotted the moose’s head sticking up and found it was stuck in a bog and surrounded by about six-feet of fresh snow. They grabbed their shovels and dug out around the moose so it could get out. Luckily for them, the moose remained calm and let them. Check out the video here: Pre-Super Bowl snowmobile jumps planned for downtown Minneapolis. While many are boycotting the National Football League this year, others will be excited to see Levi LaVallee and his fellow professional riders doing stunts high in the air over Nicollet Mall. I have mixed feelings. While I like positive attention brought to our sport of snowmobiling, I’m not sure stunt riders are a positive influence. I don’t want any of these guys hurt in a mishap, and I certainly don’t want Leviwannabes out on our trails taking chances with their lives and mine. 1927 Model T snowmobile rides again! Once abandoned by American scientists in the Labrador (Canada) wilderness outside of Nain, Jaimie Brake led an effort in 2014 to recover and then restore what is referred to as ‘Labrador’s first

Model T snowmobile rides again after abandoned by scientists 90 years ago in Labrador wilderness.

Matt Mead snowmobile’. While spending its life outside, it was in relatively good condition and a machinist spent three years restoring/repairing it to its former glory. The engine, transmission and skis are original. The converted Model T tops out around 43 mph and is now owned by the local Nunatsiavut government and will enjoy indoor accommodations going forward. Central Oregon sno-park overcrowded in low-snow season. Tensions have risen between user groups as the Dutchman Sno-Park, packed with winter recreationists, is over capacity. While there are other sno-parks in the area, they are at lower elevations and there is limited or no snow, forcing snowmobilers, skiers and others to Dutchman. Snowmobilers seem to be hit hardest, at least those with trailers, who have to arrive early for hope of a place to park. And forget wheeling in with a crew cab and four-place trailer; the sno-park already had a 40-foot length limit and breaking the rule will net you a $600 ticket. Yowza! The Forest Service recognizes the congestion problem at Dutchman and is considering an expansion of the Kapka Sno-Park, adding an area for non-motorized users. While it is years away, it wouldn’t much matter this year as the 500-foot lower elevation means spotty snow this season so far. Dutchman sits at 6,300 feet elevation and only has 26 parking spots; one of the smallest in Central Oregon. Publicity Secretary position… what’s next? Again, I’m not running for the Publicity Secretary position this February. (Of course I didn’t run in the last election in 2016… but here I am!) Anyway, I haven’t been actively advertising for it because former District 1 North Rep Scott Taylor is running. Scott had shown interest a couple of years back, but due to not wanting to give up his District Rep position, was ineligible. Assuming Scott is elected, (the election results won’t be in until February 17th), I’ll be working with him starting with the March/Spring issue and beyond for as long as needed. Facebook and Twitter? Facebook ‘likes’ are over 2,270! We are on Twitter at @wssaus too! Snoflyer or website comments? Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have a concern or question with the Snoflyer, WSSA website or our Facebook site. Send an e-mail to or call (509) 969-6799.

2018 WSSA Elections By Wayne Mohler, Membership Co-Chair Nominations for the offices of President, Vice President, Publicity Secretary and Membership Secretary are now closed. Candidates are: President (one- year term) – Jim Kingman; Vice President (one- year term) – Dean Meakin; Publicity Secretary (two- year term) – Scott Taylor; and Membership Secretary (two- year term) - Florence/Wayne Mohler. On-line voting is open through February 16th. Results will be announced at the Winter Rendezvous banquet on Saturday evening February 17th. This isn’t a cliffhanger type election since there is only one nominee per office; however, our by-laws require an election. Since this is our first year of conducting on-line elections, please take the time to check it out and vote. We can get a good idea how the system works and if there are any changes that are needed. In order to vote you must hold a current paid-up Family/Individual or Dealer Associate membership. Log onto the WSSA website – – using your username and password. On the home page, click on the Surveys tab at the left. The ballot with the slate of officers will come up. Make your selections and save. That’s it – you’re done! On the Family memberships, both the primary and secondary member may vote. If the secondary member doesn’t have a username and password, the primary member can add the secondary member by updating their profile. The member’s profile is in the log-in dialogue box at the upper right of the screen. If the primary member has saved their log-in information, the secondary member will have to log in using a different browser, or the primary member will have to reset their password and not save it in the browser. By not saving your log in information, another person (the secondary member) can log in with their username and password on the same computer. If you have specific questions or need help logging in to your account, contact WSSA membership at or (509) 674-4401.

February 2018 • 13

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


14 • February 2018

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


February 2018 • 15

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


16 • February 2018

February 2018 snoflyer  

The official publication of the Washington State Snowmobile Association.

February 2018 snoflyer  

The official publication of the Washington State Snowmobile Association.