Page 1

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


Jim Kinghman • (509) 698-3658

TABLE OF CONTENTS District Reports ............................................................ 4 Club News ................................................................... 5 Upcoming Meetings & Events.......................................... 6 Legal Action Auction Thanks........................................... 6 12 Tribes Déjà Vu – Winter Rendezvous 2018 ................... 8 PNWVSC Trail Grant Project .......................................... 10 Charity/Volunteer Reporting ......................................... 10 Winter Rendezvous Thanks........................................... 10 State Parks Update ..................................................... 11 Safety with Jon Ferrian ................................................ 12 ‘Know Before You Go’ .................................................. 12 Matt’s Misc. ............................................................... 13

I hope this finds everyone doing well and enjoying this great time of the year. I haven’t been able to write an article for a couple months due to family issues but things are starting to get a little better now and hopefully I can really start to concentrate on WSSA and the rest of the snowmobile season. A special thanks to the WSSA Board and Committee members for understanding what I was going through and why I didn’t have time to even check my e-mails for weeks at a time. I especially want to thank Dean Meakin, our Vice President, for having my back during the loss of my mom. I don’t have the words to express how much I needed his help and him stepping up without blinking an eye. My wife Deann and I just returned from Winter Rendezvous in Omak and we had a great time. Other than the food issues at the resort, things pretty much went as expected and we were treated very well. Thanks to all the volunteers who help us with Rendezvous; we couldn’t do this without help. Greg Figg seemed to be on the run every time I saw him but he did what he could to make us all happy. I didn’t get to ride this year as my truck was in the body shop getting my big boo-boo repaired, but those that

did ride all said they enjoyed what they got even though the snow was a bit on the marginal side. It was also pointed out that all the ride leaders from the Okanogan area did a great job. Thanks guys! Winter finally showed up as we were leaving and showed up big time in some areas. I saw where the White Pass area I normally ride received 30” in 48 hours. I hope your areas all got a load of snow too! The Western Chapter Meeting is coming up in West Yellowstone on February 23rd and with me working my normal job and grooming too, trying to get caught up, I decided to stay home and work and Dean will be attending in my place. Thanks again Dean! There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything I need to get done. I know I will be closer to caught up in April for the annual Washington D.C. Fly-In. Dean and I will both be attending again this year. Our next meeting will be at The Last Resort on March 17th. This is our Budget Meeting to start out the next season and I hope to see many of you there.

Associate Members ..................................................... 14 WSSA contacts & Clubs................................................ 16

PLEASE SUPPORT THE FOLLOWING ADVERTISERS Ski-Doo ...................................................................... 3 Diane’s Tank Removal • 206-510-9497 .............................6 SK Northwest • 503-872-0000........................................ 7 Pierre’s Polaris • 425-488-8600 .................................... 11


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 • March 2018

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

District Reports District 2 North By Mike Potratz (253) 304-3303 Greetings from chilly Northwest Wyoming! As I write this month’s article, my wife and I and are actually in Wyoming investing time into our grandchildren while their parents vacation in Belize. Hmmm, not sure who got the short end of the stick here but hey, at least the cold temps guarantee the presence of that famous Champagne powder Wyoming is known for. I might just have to get out and sample some of it! Speaking of snow conditions… while our local conditions have not been the best, I personally have had a great time on every outing this winter. I have to admit I find it frustrating when snowmobilers gripe about the conditions. This sport is not all about finding those perfect deep powder and bluebird days! To me it’s more about the people we get to ride with and the friendships we are privileged to invest in. Besides, living here on the West Side, if we waited for those ‘perfect days’ we would rarely get the opportunity to enjoy time on the snow. Don’t get me wrong, I love riding in over-the-hood powder but I’m certainly not going to sit at home and wait for those days! Speaking of investing in people… on a recent outing on a less than stellar day, (i.e., drizzle and poor visibility), our group encountered some folks who were out for the day and were fairly ill-equipped for the present conditions and were not carrying any safety or survival equipment. We’re talking no helmets, Carhart outerwear, and no shovels, probes or beacons! As we carefully broached the subject of the lack of gear, they made the comment that they don’t ride in ‘avalanche terrain’ so they had not invested in the equipment. Knowing the route they had just traversed to get to the current location, we were able to point out that even though they were on a groomed route, they had just come through some ‘avalanche terrain’. They were appreciative of the information and the ensuing conversation opened the door to some instructional time regarding our safety gear, avalanche training opportunities and even an avy-pack demonstration complete with one of our group triggering their airbag! Our time ended with giving them the opportunity to cruise around the meadow on a Ski-Doo 850 and Polaris AXYS! They in turn let one of our group take a spin on their ‘93 Polaris which he (name withheld to protect the guilty) promptly tipped over and flooded out. This turned out to be great time and I think we at least inspired these folks to get some training and to carry the proper equipment. The Cascade Drift Skippers club is putting their weight behind an effort to get a warming hut installed on one of the eastside trail systems frequented by the club members. Once the location is finalized and the permit is in hand, more details will come forward. Several club members are spearheading this project and we thank them for their work! The club still has a few more organized rides with the last one being the ‘Steak Ride’ on Saturday, March 31st, at Blewett Pass Sno-Park. Check the club calendar for the details and contact persons for the upcoming rides. Hope to see you on the snow!

District 2 North By Gary Allard (509) 826-5215 Hello after a long absence. It was good to see everyone Saturday night at the 12 Tribes Casino during Winter Rendezvous. Would have hoped for better snow, but everyone made due with what Mother Nature gave us. We are due for a good snow year next year. In the district as this Snoflyer reaches you, everyone is winding up their last rides and end-of-season banquets. As the snow melts, the Butte Busters will be getting ready to start on the shelter for Tiffany Springs. See you on the snow next year!

4 • March 2018

District 2 South By Matt “Kustom” Kensrud (509) 433-2100

Hello from District 2 South! Mother Nature isn't playing nice this season; low snow and warm weather has made riding in the district tough to say the least. Club news: The Lake Chelan club reports grooming is happening and trails are holding up in their area. Wenatchee’s Apple Country club reports the Clear Lake Sno-Park is closed due to four wheeler and ATV damage. Grooming has been off and on due to the low snow in the lower valley. The club is having problems with ATVs and side-by-sides on the trail system. The Bavarian Boondockers are also struggling with the low snow conditions; as I write this, grooming in the Sugarloaf and Entiat area are on hold for lack of coverage. The Lake Wenatchee Rec Club reports they are still grooming in their area. They are planning to hold part of the Special Olympics on the airstrip next to the Rec Club, weather permitting. Info from Pacific Mountain (grooming) Services reports trees down close to Trinity in the Lake Wenatchee trail system and they will not be removed until spring. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me anytime.

District 3 By Greg Figg (509) 534-3417 With the late February snow in the Spokane area, riding in the mountains has gotten a lot better after the mid-February melt-off. Grooming has been going well in our area and off-trail riding is now getting better with the snow depths increasing. Looking forward to some great spring riding this year! We once again will be watching the Forest Plan Revisions which are due out anytime and could impact our riding areas. I would encourage all snowmobilers to watch for these revisions which will impact where we ride in future years.

District 4 North By Craig Miller

District 5 South By Rudy Classen (509) 966-4283 I went to the Winter Rendezvous in Omak and really enjoyed seeing all the WSSA folks again as well as the sledding. The ride guides from the local clubs were truly fabulous and I want to give them a huge ‘thank you’. It was also especially gratifying to see Mr. and Mrs. Gary Allard attend the banquet considering all the pain and suffering they both have endured recently. During the Friday evening meeting we all learned from Wayne Mohler that our recent ‘All Trails to Olympia Day’ is in the process of bearing some fruit. Gina McCabe, who is the 4th Legislative District Representative from Goldendale, took on the task of writing up a bill, presenting it and guiding it through the Washington State Legislature which will make it simple and easy for street legal motorcycles to be registered and licensed as a snowmobile in the winter when a snowbike kit is added to it for snowmobiling. This could be a huge economic improvement for all of our dealers. It would also add many dollars to our grooming. But as we have learned, nothing simple moves very fast in Olympia unless it is an effort to increase taxes and the giveaway programs. Seems that bill HB2975 presents a huge and costly problem for some desk jocks in Olympia. It is hard to imagine that the change or addition of a few words to an RCW can be a big deal, but HB2975 is not expected to be implemented until April 2019. Therefore, any grooming money it creates won’t be in the system until the fall of 2020. When compared to the speed with which Representative Gina McCabe moved on this issue, she basically had HB2975 written before we left Olympia the day we talked to her, the Olympia bureaucrats are sleeping at the switch if in fact they actually come to work. I hope that we will see the communication from our lobbyist on this issue. More snow has come to the 5 South area which brings hope eternal. Regardless, we are going to continue with several remaining scheduled events. Our annual Military Appreciation Ride will be held in early March. This is an event organized by our good friend Matt Mead; it is a privilege and honor to be allowed to be part of. The second event is the Yakima Ski-Benders annual Little Kids Ride to be held on March 10th in the Ahtanum Sno-Park. In the morning the little kids, up to 18 years old, receive a lot of instructions on how to ride safely and use beacons. Then they ride in the afternoon and have dinner when they return. This event started a few years ago with just a few young folks but has grown and last year there were roughly 30 youth taking advantage of professional instruction. For more information, go to ‘Yakima Skibenders’ on Facebook and click on events. (253) 312-2092 Fellow snowmobilers, the snow is flying in the mountains as I write this. I hope you are all having a great season. Please check the avalanche forecast and carry the proper safety equipment. Let’s try to get this season completed with zero defects as it pertains to accidents. Ride safe! Now, on to other stuff. Junco held their ‘Charity on the Snow’ at Orr Creek Sno-Park on January 20th and 21st. While the final numbers are not yet in, it should be very close to $5,000 raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can read more about this in the Junco report later in this issue of Snoflyer. There is a bill in the legislature, HB2975, which if passed into law will close the licensing loophole for street legal motorcycles converted to off-road snowbikes. As the law stands now, a street legal motorcycle is already licensed, so it can’t also be licensed as a snowmobile when converted to one. This costs the dedicated Snowmobile Account the license fee of $50 plus the gas tax allotment. While I suspect the vast majority of snowbikes are non-street legal motorcycles, some are. Those owners under this law would be allowed and required to purchase a snowmobile tag when the machine is converted over to a snowbike. WSSA supports this change in the law. Every little bit helps when funding this program of plowing, grooming, sanitation, law enforcement, and sno-park maintenance. I ask every WSSA member to please go to the WSSA website, click on ‘Find your State Legislators’, and then ask them to support this minor change in the snowmobile licensing law. You can send one e-mail to each of your Representatives and your Senator using the state e-mail system. Every dollar helps run this program we all enjoy. Have fun and be safe!

District 6

By Gary Simmons (509) 529-0210 Hello snowmobilers! I just returned from this year’s Winter Rendezvous. The first day, no new snow - but any day on the snow is a good day! However, the second day it started to snow in the morning and it snowed all day long. By the end of the day, we had all the powder we could ask for. We were taking advantage of it and our group was just about late getting to the evening meeting. We enjoyed the informative report from Pamela McConkey, our State Parks Winter Recreation Program Manager, regarding the current snowmobile registration numbers. To date, for 2018, renewals are down 4,809 sleds from 2017. This translates to half million dollars in lost revenue. So, if you know of anyone who hasn't registered their sleds, please remind them to do so. This is what keeps our hobby going. All in all, the weekend was a success. Good sledding, good friends and good fun. Now for the club reports: The Pomeroy club in my District 6 has cancelled their bucket run and are not sure whether they'll be able to reschedule at this time. The Dayton club has changed the date for their bucket run to March 3rd. With all the snow we just got on the mountain, this will be a great opportunity to get out again for the weekend. That's it for now. Hope to see you on the hill.

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Club News Junco Snowmobile Club By Craig Miller, Vice President Greetings everyone! I hope your season is going well. Junco held their annual ‘Charity on the Snow’ at Orr Creek Sno-Park over the January 20th/21st weekend. I have to say, it warms my heart at the turnout we had. We pretty much filled the sno-park with RVs and snowmobiles. Wow! The best yet! From the bottoms of our hearts, Junco thanks you all so much for your friendship and support. Many members of other clubs came out to stay. I saw Drift Skippers and Sno-Jammers to name a few. Thank you all. It was so fun hanging out with you and showing you our mountain. We had a wonderful ride on Saturday. We had two groups. The trail ride went up to Takhlakh Lake. The off-trail group I was with went up over the Top Sail Loop. I had two ladies who are newer riders tell me the Top Sail ride was the best they had ever been on. We had a ton of snow up there and the boondocking through the forest was thrilling, challenging and beautiful. The food everyone provided was wonderful and the auction items donated were nothing short of generous. We raised $5,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation! To date, Junco has raised over $80,000 dollars to support the wishes of children who are facing serious health challenges. Please remember your donations and purchases at the auction are tax deductible. If you missed the event and you still want to make a donation, you can mail it to Junco Snowmobile Club, 9409 110th St SW, Lakewood, WA 98498. Make your check out to Make-A-Wish Foundation and we will get it directly to them. Every dollar counts and every penny Junco raises goes to the foundation. We keep nothing out as we donate all our time and treasure directly to run this event. Make-A-Wish receives 100%! Again, the Junco Snowmobile Club thanks everyone who supported us in this wonderful event. The children thank you too. God Bless.

Apple Country Snowmobile Club By Tim Downs

Thanks to all the businesses that supported snowmobiling this season. Wouldn't be the same without you. Many of you bring knowledge and camaraderie to the sport. Thanks to all who have e-mailed, called and shown up for rides. We had a great time meeting new friends while touring hillsides and ridges. Hope to see more of you next year. Contact us at or look up ‘Apple Country Snowmobile Club’ on Facebook. Still making snow angels!

Bavarian Boondockers By Matt Kensrud Hello fellow sledders! This season has been trying to say the least; the club is struggling to make club rides due to inconsistent snow conditions. But right now the snow is back! The new warming hut on the club’s leased property has been the big hit of the year! We are happy to see everyone enjoying it! Thank you to all the club members who made it happen. We are still planning the Stevens Pass Backside Opener Ride out of the Nordic Center in late April. The club is still in need of help at the board member level. Please feel free to message me at or call (509) 433-2100. Our next meeting will be held at Kristall’s Restaurant, 7pm, March 12th. Join us!

By Sharon Crockett, President This is my last article as President of the Spokane Winter Knights – I turn the baton over to Greg Figg. Our club has changed so much in the last three years – a big growth in club members - and the biggest change are the rides being scheduled and training for our members during the rides. We have had members travelling to Seeley Lake (MT), West Yellowstone (MT), McCall (ID), Omak (for Winter Rendezvous), and Canada for rides this season. I hope we have a great March for riding in the mountains – I don’t want the season to end! You can keep connected to our rides on our website or Facebook - join us on a ride if you’re over this way.


By Don Fitzpatrick, Jr., Secretary

By Glenn Markovits, President

On Sunday, February 18th, we had our annual Bucket Run. Participants went around a 25-mile loop, stopping at four warm fires, where they drew cards and recorded their results, and had refreshments. Then they returned to the sno-park for a chance to throw a dart for another card. We had a chili and hot dog lunch, with chips, cookies, and water, soda, or coffee. With 12 inches of new snow the night before, the riding was great. We had a huge turnout. Rumor has it that Matt Mead was even there, but I did not have the

Greetings fellow snowmobilers! With the recent snow falling in the mountains, and unusually cold temperatures, we’ve all been out riding our sleds and taking advantage of these awesome snow conditions. We had a great turnout at our February club meeting, as we were doing last minute preparations for our annual Fun Run. Our annual ‘Fun Run’ at Government Meadows Cabin went very well on Saturday, February 10th. We had a great turnout considering at the time, the marginal snow down low at the parking lot. Nevertheless, we had great weather, fantastic prizes, and an awesome groomed Fun Run course. We had riders and winners of all ages, from young to not so young. The top four best Fun Run hands won cash prizes. Our top prize was $400.00! Check our website at to see some of our great pictures. I want to thank Brian Schindler for his leadership and being the head person in charge of our Fun Run this year as he did a great job! I also want to thank all of the other club members who volunteered their valuable time and resources to help make this a great event. In addition, I want to thank all of our great sponsors for their time, generosity and donations. And last but not least, I want to thank all those snowmobilers who spent the day on the snow with us and attended our fun run. Early in February I had an opportunity to testify in Olympia on behalf of the Sno-Jammers and WSSA to support a new House Bill 2975, which will allow street-legal motorcycles to be dual registered as a snowbike (snowmobile). The bill passed unanimously out of the House Transportation Committee, and then passed the full House. It will move on to the Senate now and hopefully it will become law later this month. Allowing converted street-legal motorcycles to be registered for the snow will provide additional funding to our motorized winter recreation program. Though I didn’t have the time and opportunity to make it over to Omak for the WSSA Winter Rendezvous, I did have an opportunity to host a local club ride. On Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 19th, I hosted a club ride from Pyramid Creek Sno-Park (Greenwater) to Raven’s Roost and then on to Whistlin’ Jacks. The weather was fantastic with blue skies and an abundance of sunshine. We had a great ride and awesome day out on the three-feet of fresh snow! 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 Questions? E-mail me at

Bucket runs participants enjoyed lunch around the fire. Note the cook tent in the background.

Nice view in the Wenatchee area!

Spokane Winter Knights

Methow Valley Snowmobile Association

The short snowmobile season in Wenatchee has found us searching for places to ride. The picture shown, taken Feb 12th, is one incredible meadow with towering mountains and white snow. Unfortunately this 'meadow' has fences, houses, and it's our backyard, but it is still a pretty picture. Apple Country Snowmobile Club news: The groomer has been idle for two weeks now. Our projects began to dwindle until some generous soul came by with his creative paint brushes attached to his four wheel drive vehicle, making abstract patterns in the Clear Lake Sno-Park. Well, the gates swung shut. This sno-park is privately-owned, leased to the Parks Department, and groomed by

our club for snowmobile parking only. In other-words, there is no other place to park except for the generosity of this landowner. So, as it stands, our club now has the opportunity to repair the sno-park canvas. I guess the beauty of ‘ruts in the snow' is in the eyes of the beholder. Do we know the artist? No, but my guess it was someone's grandchild. Thanks for the gift. Our club president, Jim Burts, turned 60 in February and the family invited club friends, church friends and neighbors. We packed his house bringing food and good wishes. No old-age jokes though. Just encouragement towards many future trips around the sun. He's one of the good guys. Julanne, his wife, is pretty nice too. For those of you who attended the Omak Winter Rendezvous, several of our members were quite recognizable in our black (with red lettering) club T-shirts.

honor to meet with him. Thanks for coming. The winning hand had four queens! Congratulations to Justin McMillan! Now what? The sun is out! We are going riding again today! Turns out we met three visitors left over from the Bucket Run. They were Jim Larson, Hans Brubaker, and Jacobson, all from the Northwest Glacier Cruisers. They even came to our meeting on Tuesday the 20th and invited us to come to their Shoot Out at Schriebers Meadow on March 3rd and 4th at 9am. (Takes a Discover Pass to park.) We get lots of good spring riding. Come and see us for a day or two. Call our club ahead of time and it’s likely we can provide you with a guide.

Local merchants and others were generous and provided lots of great prizes.

Snowmobilers were keeping warm and chatting around a couple of fires while waiting for the bucket run drawing winners to be announced.

March 2018 • 5

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

6 • March 2018

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

March 2018 • 7

12 Tribes Déjà Vu – Winter Rendezvous 2018! WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

By Matt Mead, Publicity Secretary

My day actually In the week leading up proved to be an interestto Winter Rendezvous, ating one. Pamela Mctendees were getting a bit Conkey and Jason nervous. It had been close Goldstein from State to a month since any sigParks invited me (and nificant snow had fallen District 3 Rep Greg Figg) across the state, and even to join them on the drive worse, temps were up and over to the Bonaparte the mountains had lost a Sno-Park to address a lot of snow to rain. What complaint and a suggeswere conditions in the tion. During the hour-plus Okanogan Country? Facedrive, I had mixed feelbook reports had been ings about not going showing grooming occursnowmobiling as the ring, but also notes of thin weather wasn’t that bad… conditions down low and Once at the sno-park we icy trails throughout. But met with a local and he hey, we are snowmobilers; took us through the situyou bring the sleds and ation. Basically the snohope for the best! park isn’t getting plowed My daughter Ryan and as it did before, meaning I arrived after dark on trucks with trailers are Thursday evening and having a hard time getafter checking in, found A pretty typical view on Friday; snowy, foggy and low clouds. Overlooking the upper Methow Valley. ting turned around once a the WSSA group in a prifew trucks/trailers are alvate dining room in the ready parked. (This issue will be addressed with the Forest Service to see if it can be restaurant. It was here we received our name tags, meal tickets, and could sign up for resolved; the Forest Service apparently changed the plowing policy due to damage Friday’s rides. We hung around for an hour or so chatting with friends and enjoying the done by the plow truck in the campground.) The other item regarded the possibility of snack foods provided by 12 Tribes. (Ribs, stuffed peppers and meatballs – like last year, adding an additional sno-park in the area. Part of the trail system is a couple of miles food on Thursday night is a bonus normally not seen at Rendezvous!) We eventually took from the sno-park and many snowmobilers access it by running down the frozen lake. our leave and retired to our room to get some sleep so we’d be bright-eyed and bushyIf the lake isn’t safe, then the road has to be used and if the snow melts off, it is tough tailed for Friday’s ride. to get to the trails. While Pamela and Jason made no promises, they understand the I gotta tell you up front, Ryan and I avoid large riding groups whenever possible. This situation and it certainly looks like it might be possible to add roadside (sno-park) means I rarely sign up for the well-organized and scheduled rides. That being said, we parking with a change in plowing practices (and likely a need for funding). We ended usually ride with a few friends and make our own small group. And this is what we did up back at 12 Tribes mid-afternoon and I appreciated the opportunity to watch State on Friday. While the scheduled rides headed to the Kerr and Peacock Meadows Sno-Parks Parks’ staff in action. out of Conconully, or Mazama for a ride up Highway 20, we headed to 8-Mile Sno-Park While I wimped out, everybody else who went riding had a great day! Yes, they north of Winthrop. Our drive was long at an hour and fifteen minutes, but we also found got snowed on. But not heavy all the time. More importantly, they enjoyed 6-12 inches freshly groomed trails. Icy smooth trails were the norm for the day, regardless of where of fresh snow; more in some places! Mother Nature came through for them! I undersnowmobilers rode. Most on Friday found very little soft snow, although I heard reports stand the day wasn’t without challenge though… Apparently the group heading to the of a rider or two getting stuck in powder found around Starvation Mountain. Weather for Kerr Sno-Park had problems getting there due to a truck getting stuck on the hill leadthe day was a mix of clouds and light snow showers, with a hint of blue sky on rare ocing in and needing assistance. casion. We actually met… err, were stopped and in the way of… a local groomer, prepping Saturday night was jam-packed and didn’t run on schedule. I don’t think anyone the trails for Sunday’s local bucket run. Our group rode about 60 miles and arrived back really cared, except for the dinner portion. A lot goes on behind the scene on Saturday in the sno-park after 3pm. for those who can’t go riding. Ron Alred and his helpers were busy setting up the Silent Friday night offered up dinner, bingo, and a short WSSA meeting. Dinner consisted Auction. Ryan (and my wife Kathryn who drove up for the night) prepped for the Photo of turkey, ham, mashed taters, stuffing, veggies and salad, plus a dessert later on. Tasty Contest. So when snowmobilers returned, the atmosphere had changed. The no-host and filling! The meeting was short with just a few topics covered, and would be wrapped bar was busy, the Silent Auction room was standing-room-only, and participants were up on Saturday night. Probably the most interesting thing coming from the meeting was busy voting for their favorite pictures. the announcement of the online voting results for the four positions up for election this Dinner did not go smoothly. While there was plenty of food on hand Friday night, year. Re-elected for President, Jim Kingman; Vice-President, Dean Meakin; and Memthe casino misjudged for Saturday. About halfway through the line of hungry snowbership (Co-)Chair(s), Wayne and Florence Mohler. The Publicity Secretary was also up mobilers, the ribs and chicken ran out. And apparently they really ran out! It was a for election and Scott Taylor is newly elected to this position. The night was capped off good 30-45 minutes before staff showed up with a replacement in the form of prime with bingo and a table full of prizes were given away to a couple dozen of winners! (I rib. (Okay, not a bad substitute!) But the delay did cause scheduling problem. walked away with a tie-down strap and set of screwdriver bits and Ryan ended up with In addition to wrapping up the WSSA Meeting, the WSSA Awards were announced. a Moto-Fist T-Shirt and a 509 beanie.) Congratulations to Mike and Liz Van Amburg for winning ‘Snowmobile Couple of the I’m a wimp, I’ll admit it. Saturday morning dawned to a wet snow falling at 12 Tribes Year’; Tom Shields from the Northwest Glacier Cruisers for ‘Club President of the Year’, with the ground already turned white. The Cascades had seen quite a bit of snow on Frithe Northwest Glacier Cruisers for ‘Snowmobile Club of the Year’, and Ron Lind and R day and it was moving east. And while the snow was certainly welcome, the idea of riding & R Grooming for ‘Groomer of the Year’. Well deserved all! in wet snow and/or near white-out conditions wasn’t appealing. I had originally planned Entries were down in the Photo Contest this year, but the quality of the pictures to ride with our two representatives from State Parks, but early that morning they had were top notch! Winners included Gary Simmons for ‘Action’, Greg Figg for ‘Worst decided to go visit a sno-park in Bonaparte instead. As Ryan and I ate breakfast, a new Stuck/Snafu’, Lisa McDonald for ‘Vintage’, Ryan Mead for ‘Scenery’ and yours truly for plan was hatched where I decided to ride with a group who were planning on a short ‘Family’. (And no, neither Ryan or I stuffed the ballot box!) Winners will receive a $25 ride, being back to the hotel around 1pm. Nobody in this group was real motivated as Gift Card to a restaurant of their choosing. we looked out the window and when they bagged it, I wasn’t heartbroken. Of course by The Silent Auction wrapped up and raised over $2,600 for the WSSA Legal Action this time, all the organized ride groups had already departed and were headed to Kerr, Fund; items sold included clothing, gear, food/drink, art, videos, two-way radios, and Peacock or beyond, so that wasn’t even an option for me. Oh well.

8 • March 2018

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington tons of other cool stuff. To add even more to the Legal Action Fund, a live auction raised around $700 more, selling a pink John Deere wagon filled with several hundreds of dollars worth of goodies, and a really unique Mini Cooper-esque cooler to place on a person’s deck or patio. Are you wondering who won the Marlon Sled Deck? This was the Legal Action Fund raffle we have been promoting all season. While you don’t need to be present to win, (and we usually make a phone call to the winner on this evening), this year Paul Younie won it and he was enjoying himself with the rest of us at Winter Rendezvous! Congrats Paul! Sunday dawned windy and a bit cooler. While snow showers were in the mountain forecasts, it was shaping up to be a great day to ride. Rides were again scheduled for all ages and abilities, and as a bonus, snowmobilers could choose to participate in the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association’s (MVSA) annual Bucket Run. And this is exactly what Ryan and I did! The trek to the Goat Creek Sno-Park was more than an hour on sometimes slick, snow-covered roads, but we arrived close to the event start time at 10am. The MVSA event is well run and the volunteers helping were super-friendly, making us feel right at home. For a $10 donation, we received a button which entitled us to one card hand, lunch in the sno-park, and entry into the raffle drawings. Ryan and I cruised around the set course, stopping at each checkpoint to draw a card, eat a homemade cookie, and enjoy the warmth of a roaring fire. We made it back to the sno-park in plenty

One of the groups on Friday went out to Mazama and rode west on Highway 20.

of time to finish off our hand and eat lunch before the prizes were awarded. While we won nothing, we were impressed with the quality of items given away! Thanks to the MVSA for a great time! Sunday night around the casino was pretty quiet. Ryan and I ate in the restaurant, but we talked to others who had eaten with their riding group in Conconully. Others were enjoying the pool and indoor/outdoor hot tub. Some Rendezvous attendees hadn’t even hung around on Sunday as they were headed off to continue their snowmobiling adventure in West Yellowstone and elsewhere. After a peaceful night, we departed on Monday morning. THIS would have been a great day to hang around and ride since the skies were crystal clear and the surrounding mountains were covered in fresh snow! I don’t know if any Rendezvous attendees rode local, but I heard a few were considering riding in other locations such as Blewett on their way home. Certainly was a NICE day! Rendezvous attendance totaled around 85 participants; not a bad number considering the snow conditions and expectations leading up to the event. Details for next year’s event are far from finalized, but a trip back to Hill’s Resort at Priest Lake is high in the running. Regardless of where we end up, we hope you will join us! Whether you want to ride in a large guided group, or a small un-guided group, Winter Rendezvous is a lot of fun and gives you a chance to ride in a new area and hang out with a friendly crowd of like-minded snowmobilers. See you in 2019!

A self-guided ride on Friday launched from the 8 Mile Sno-Park and rode up and around Goat Peak. WSSA Vice President Dean Meakin (left), Treasurer Fred Pitzer, and Jim Senger were part of a small group riding to Starvation Mountain on Friday.

Bradley Gallardo and LaRhonda Long McCauley enjoying the fresh snow on Saturday’s ride out of Conconully.

A break in the weather on the north side of Goat Peak on Friday. (At the top of the Beaver Slide.)

Lisa McDonald smiling; could it be due to fresh snow?!

Saturday night’s Silent Auction offered great deals and a chance to support WSSA’s Legal Action Fund.

Omak’s Mayor, Cindy Gagné, welcomed us to the Okanogan Country during Saturday evening’s banquet dinner.

Gary Simmons was one of several winners in the Photo Contest. His win was in the ‘Action’ category.

One ride option for Sunday was the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association’s Bucket Run. Pictured here are snowmobilers enjoying the fire and homemade cookies at one of the checkpoints.

March 2018 • 9

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

PNWVSC signs trail from Taneum to Whistlin’ Jacks! WSSA Trail Grant-funded signing project Information provided by Craig Stahl, MVSA President

Our Taneum/Whistlin’ Jack trail signs are up! Five of us from the Pacific Northwest Vintage Snowmobile Club (PNWVSC) made the ride and got all the signs placed. We were quite the crew with three trailers full of supplies in tow. There are 15 signs that indicate the route, so it should be easy for

A nice day for a work crew riding classic sleds!

others to follow. We may add more later if required, but we’ll see how this goes. Trail conditions were mostly good, but there were some thin spots/dirt on the descent to Rock Creek. Hopefully that fills in some more this season.

A sample of the signs placed along the route.

The PNWVSC crew arrived at Whistlin’ Jacks after their day’s work of placing signs.

Charity and Volunteer reporting – times up! By Craig Miller, WSSA Volunteer and Charity Chair The time has arrived! Reporting ends April 15th of 2018. If you haven’t done it already, it is time start tabulating and reporting all your hard work in the way of club activities, hours volunteered and any money you raised for charitable organizations. All clubs: Sit down now and report your activities. There is a downloadable Excel spreadsheet on the WSSA website you can use to tabulate the hours donated by each member, the total miles driven for all members to the event and back home, what you did, club dollars expended, the amount of charity dollars you raise and what charity you donated to. It’s easy and fast! Go to the website ( and on the left, click Charity to find the link to the spreadsheet. Then, send it to me in a short e-mail so I can report it to the International Snowmobile Council as well as maintain the WSSA Volunteer/Charity database for our own public relations and legislative lobbying use such as All Trails to Olympia Day. Please report each activity to me directly after it happens if possible. That makes my job easier and that way we don’t forget any events. WSSA members, last year we had only one club report their activities out of 43 registered WSSA member clubs. Can’t we do better? Can you help me better our reporting numbers this season? Remember, reporting ends April 15th! Please REPORT early and often for each event you do! You have my sincere thanks! You can e-mail me with any questions at

10 • March 2018

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

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

Wow, is it snowing! At this writing! In Olympia Something we don’t see very often, but, it is sure beautiful looking out the window this morning. Snow is definitely making another appearance throughout the state and especially Mt. Baker and the Cascade Range. While many folks have started putting their snowmobiles away, the snow is making a comeback, so don’t put them away yet! For those of you who haven’t registered your sleds this year thinking it was going to be a non-winter, think again. It’s not too late to get them registered and get out and ride. Our registrations are down significantly which will have an impact on next seasons grooming. Closures: Some of our sno-parks and snowmobile trails are in bad shape and even closed. Check our website before you head out to make sure your destination is open and rideable. CONTINUED CLOSURE: CANYON CREEK in WHATCOM COUNTY – Although you can ride your snowmobile on this trail, there will not be any grooming this year as it is not safe to send the groomer out and the U.S. Forest Service has closed it to grooming. For updates on grooming and trail closures due to storm damage, fires, winter logging, etc., visit our website at and follow the links for winter recreation. Snowmobile Program Funding 101 - Here’s how it works: You register your snowmobile between August 15th and June and you receive a Sno-Park Permit at no extra cost. (You then enjoy the winter season without any worry of a citation for not being registered and having a sno-park permit.) $50.00 of your registration fee is put into a dedicated account for the Snowmobile Program, (minus 3% to the Department of Licensing [DOL]). The gas tax formula is applied: One hundred thirty-five gallons as the average yearly fuel usage per snowmobile, times the number of registered snowmobiles during the calendar year under determination, times a fuel tax rate of $0.349 cents per gallon of motor vehicle fuel (minus 3% to DOL). So for your one snowmobile you have provided approximately $94.20 to the dedicated Snowmobile Account. That money is then available for the following winter season – income from snowmobiles registered during FY 2017 (last year) is being used during this 2017/2018 season. The snowmobile program does not budget based on projections but on actual revenue ‘in the bank’. If you don’t register your snowmobile for this 2017/2018 winter season, it will be that much less money available for trail grooming, snow removal, sanitation, administration, education and enforcement for the 2018/2019 (next) winter season. Your snowmobile registration funds your program. AtlasTrak GPS Units 51 units have been deployed to all public and private contractors (motorized and non-motorized). The units have been installed and are operational. Currently the contractor, grooming coordinators and State Parks’ staff have access to the data. The purpose of this program is for safety, accountability, transparency, and the information it provides. Plans for the future include having interactive maps for the public to view. For example, when looking online you may see the trails in various colors. These colors would indicate when the trail had been most recently groomed. The color blue may mean it was groomed yesterday, green may mean it was groomed three days ago, yellow groomed five days ago, red groomed seven or more days ago, and black temporarily closed. It’s hoped this may allow streamlining of the billing process for contractors and staff. Mobile maps Many of our maps have been converted for mobile map use when on the trail. Visit our website and see which ones have already been done. (Don’t worry, more are coming soon.) If you have a map you would like to see become a mobile map sooner rather than later, let us know. WSSA Winter Rendezvous Another great event! Although the trails were a bit icy on Friday morning, we were treated with fresh snowfall and softer trails by midday. People signed up for different rides depending on skills, abilities and desires for the day. Ride leaders from the local area did not disappoint; thanks to them, folks got to get out to areas they may have never seen before. During the evening there was socializing and storytelling of the day’s events. Your State Parks’ staff logged 60 miles of riding on Friday along with Matt and his beautiful daughter Ryan Mead, Dee and Ron Alred, Roxanne and Roger Brittain and Florence and our leader Wayne Mohler. Thanks to all of them for a great day. On Saturday we went to the Bonaparte Sno-Park to check out some of the concerns the local club wanted us to see and discuss. Greg Figg and Matt Mead went with us and got to see a new area. Both gentlemen commented that they would like to come back to this area and ride out of Bonaparte. Thanks to both of them for spending their Saturday with us… even if it was without sleds. I also want to thank Mike Olmstead for taking his valuable time to show us the areas of concern and talk with us about the area and the trail system. If you haven’t attended a WSSA Winter Rendezvous, you should. It’s a great event with lots of fun, snowmobiling, activities and information. Remember, safe rides begin at home!

March 2018 • 11

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Safety By Jon Ferrian •

Hello sledders! Thanks for taking the time to read my article! I truly hope you enjoy the content that I provide each month. As I stated last month, please feel free to reach out to me about anything that is on your mind! If you have a great idea for a new safety article topic, please send your ideas to me at Please be sure to follow WSSA on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all the cool things that are going on each season. Well, we have a lot to cover again so lets get to it! Important dates and events: •

March 17th - March WSSA Meeting/Ferrian Family Fun Ride o At The Last Resort in Ronald from 9am to 3pm. o Ferrian Family Fun Ride to leave from The Last Resort after lunch. Launch point will depend on snow conditions. Register for this ride on Facebook here:

March 17th - Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) Basic Avalanche Skills Class (BASC) for snowmobilers o At The Last Resort in Ronald from 9am to 5pm. o Youth under 18 years old are free with a paid adult. o Registration -

March 18th - NWAC Basic Avalanche Skills Class for snowmobilers o At The Last Resort in Ronald from 9am to 5pm. o Youth under 18 years old are free with a paid adult. o Registration -

Now let’s take some time to talk to Erik Nelson from Woodinville who recently attended one of the NWAC Basic Avalanche Skills Courses at The Last Resort with his son Erik. He is a member of the Cascade Drift Skippers Snowmobile Club in Issaquah, Washington. Here are a few questions that I asked Erik a few days after his BASC Training. Q: How long have you been snowmobiling? A: I have been snowmobiling for approximately 10 years but it has only been a few years ago that I finally decided go ‘all in’ and buy a few current model snowmobiles and that is when I started riding more regularly. Q: How did you hear about the BASC training from NWAC? A: I saw the classes posted on the Sled NWAC Facebook page and I also saw that other friends of mine had shared it out on social media. It looked like a great opportunity to attend with my son now that I have been riding more and more with him recently. Q: What were the most powerful take-a-ways from the class? A: During the morning session, what I really liked was getting a better overall understanding of the dangers around avalanches and being able to identify avalanche terrain and run out zones. During the afternoon session I really enjoyed doing the burial scenarios with the hands-on exercises. I had completed a class years ago but this was a great refresher. This was the first time my son had ever taken an avalanche class and this was a big eye-opener for him. It helped him understand the risk of traveling in the backcountry and made it much more real for him. Another very impactful part of the class was getting to see firsthand how important wearing my avalanche safety gear every time I go out is. In the past I personally was not religious about wearing my beacon every time. Having a great instructor like Jeff Hambelton teaching the class was a great outside influence on my son. Q: Would you recommend this class to other snowmobilers and if so why? A: Yes, I love that my son was able to attend with me and having another resource like Jeff teaching him the skills was a powerful tool in getting my son to understand the importance of this type of training. It also was a great refresher for myself and this is a great class for any snowmobiler regardless of if they are new to the training or if they are taking a refresher. I also love the venue at The Last Resort in Ronald. They have everything you need for a great weekend including rooms to rent, a great restaurant, sled rentals, sales shop with avalanche gear, clothing and the avalanche class training room was perfect. Q: What will you do differently when traveling the backcountry now that you have taken this class? A: Just be more serious about making sure everyone has all the gear in my riding group. Getting the training taught me that the beacon doesn’t do any good in your trail bag and it needs to be on the person. I have in the past put the beacon in my trail pack and didn’t have it on me.

WSSA Safety Coordinator Jon Ferrian in action on his 850 Ski-Doo ‘Dora’.

12 • March 2018

I would like to thank Erik for his feedback on the one-day BASC classes. There will be two classes that I listed above held on March 17th and 18th and even more opportunities next season for more snowmobile-specific avalanche training. Please check out details on for the avalanche forecast and training opportunities, and be sure to follow Sled NWAC on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read this month’s article and I hope that this message today inspires you to attend one of the many classes that are available to you here in Washington state! Sharing my passion!

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Matt’s Misc.

By Matt Mead • WSSA Publicity Secretary • (509) 697-6062

Do you want to be a ‘sawyer’? A what?! Someone certified under U.S. Forest Service guidelines and able to do trail work on the National Forest. It was recently suggested WSSA spearhead the Sawyer Certification Program for snowmobilers to allow club members to be legal when doing chainsaw work on Forest Service land. Wayne Mohler is taking the administrative lead under the WSSA Trail Grooming Committee and Carl Corn will be one of two Saw Program Coordinators. Initially the program will run in conjunction with the Backcountry Horsemen (BCH) who have a wellestablished Sawyer program. BCH member Tom Mix is currently a Saw Program Coordinator and planning to hold a certification course this spring, maybe May. If any club members out there are interested in becoming chainsaw-certified, or even a Saw Program Coordinator, contact Wayne Mohler at or (509) 674-4401. Interesting results from ‘All Trails to Olympia Day’! If you have read this Snoflyer all the way through, you already know about this. If not, here it is. WSSA wasn’t pushing any actual legislation this year in Olympia. Our three topics were: Protecting our dedicated fund; hoping to see a change in the date we would receive our FULL fuel tax refund; and making legislators aware of the problem of registering a street-legal dual-sport motorcycle as a snowmobile if a snowbike kit is installed. For some reason the State Department of Licensing (DOL) requires forfeiting the street registration if registering as a snowmobile/snowbike; something that doesn’t need to be done if the bike only has an ORV (off-road vehicle) registration. (You can already dual-register as an ORV and snowmobile.) After our visit to the Capitol, one legislator, Gina McCabe (14th District, Goldendale), decided to fix it. And with luck, by the time you read this, it will be a done deal! Her legislation was introduced in the House and easily passed, and is sitting in the Senate as I write this, with no apparent opposition to keep it from being sent to the Governor’s desk. (Fingers crossed!) Is this change going to make a huge difference in our Snowmobile Program? Probably not. But with so many dedicated dirt bikes licensed for street use, there must be some of them who want to (or already are) running them on the snow. Now they will be able to easily register them as snowmobiles and add approximately $95 to our grooming program. (Note this change would be a year out due to DOL needs. Our program wouldn’t benefit until 2020.) Avenza! I’ve mentioned this phone app before; it is recommended by Jason Goldstein at State Parks to use with their phone-friendly maps to know your location and track your rides. While I talked about, even recommended, the Polaris Trails app, it has proven to be a disaster since the second generation was introduced and is pretty much worthless. (High battery drain and locks up for no reason; the creators seem to have no interest in fixing it.) Avenza offers a free version and the biggest drawback to it seems to be you can only have three imported maps in the program at the same time. (The workaround is to delete from the app, but they will still be in your download folder or wherever else you stash them on your phone for later use.) State Parks has a large selection of Avenza-friendly maps on their Winter Recreation website, but not all of them. Hmm, what to do? White Pass is an area not yet covered and when planning for a recent ride, I decided to see what other options I could find. Bingo! In the Avenza Map Store, I found a U.S. Forest Service Recreation map covering Central Washington for a cost of $5. I downloaded it and found it shows all the roads and trails (ORV and non-motorized) in the region. While it doesn’t show the actual marked snowmobile trails like the State Parks maps do (will), it certainly gives you a reference to where you are and lets you track your travels. (It does show the sno-park locations.) I’ll call that a win! Fake news? How about over-hyped news? Did you hear the story about the snowmobilers who got ‘too close to Old Faithful’ during the brief government shutdown back in January? The media painted the picture of snowmobilers nearly running over the geyser due to a lack of Rangers around to protect resources. That’s not quite what happened. One of the licensed guides did make a mistake by telling a couple of snowmobilers in his group

they could ride around the visitor center at Old Faithful and on to the boardwalk area. This was certainly a bad decision, but the delicate landscape was never in danger. No, but describing what really happened wouldn’t be an attention-getting story, would it? In the same article there was a mention of NASA’s ‘Planetary Defense Coordination Office’. This is the group responsible for monitoring asteroids that could collide with earth. During the furlough, non-government researchers ensured no inbound space chunks would imperil the planet. Err, wait, wouldn’t we be pummeled regardless of whether anyone was watching?... Instagram! Yes, WSSA is there! Follow us! Interact! (Make sure you follow WSSA.US and not WSSA_US. It will be obvious which one is most active.) Man and teen die in moose crash. The lesson here is to not hit a moose if you are riding a snowmobile. Car/moose accidents don’t end well, so it seems obvious a snowmobile is no match. It happened in a rural Alaska village, Aniak to be exact, about 317 miles west of Anchorage. They were riding down a road when the moose stepped out in front of them. Troopers believe alcohol was a factor. (They didn’t mention if it was the snowmobile driver or moose that was drinking…) The poor moose didn’t survive either. (There is a serious safety message here. Keep your speed in check for the conditions/terrain you are riding in. If there is a stopped group or groomer just around the corner, can you stop in time?...) Another governor promoting the sport! Wisconsin’s Governor Walker attended the opening ceremonies for World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River, WI. This was the 55th running of the event. The Governor noted the event draws people in and they spend their hard-earned money in rural northern Wisconsin. Imagine that, snowmobilers boosting the economy! Unforgiving cornice. A 52-year-old man died after a cornice gave way and he fell 250 feet in a backcountry area in Whistler, British Columbia. Other snowmobilers tried to help, digging him out of his partially buried resting place, and performing CPR. Sadly, no luck. A good warning for everybody from ‘Avalanche Canada’: Cornices can break surprisingly far back on ridge tops. Yeah, I thinking avoiding them is good advice. (Make sure you know where you are standing when checking out that stunning ridge-top view!) And now for something a bit gross… A guy snowmobiling on the Red River in North Dakota came across what he thought was a dead deer. But there was something weird about its head. A closer look revealed a live but weak buck sprawled on the ice. Locked in its antlers were the antlers and head of another buck. Nothing but the head and a dangling vertebrae though… The deer was very weak and while it put up a struggle, the snowmobiler was able to free the live buck. The surviving deer wasn’t in great shape, so it is unknown if it survived. The sledder noted the buck appeared to have some bite marks on its hind quarters as if coyotes may have attacked. Interestingly… or maybe not… a similar situation occurred 45 miles away and was captured on a trail cam. Based on the racks, it was determined these were different deer in the same predicament. Good from bad. A mother whose son died in a snowmobile accident donated two brand new snowmobiles and a trailer to the local (Fulton County in New York) Sheriff’s Office. It’s been about two years since the accident and during that time the woman started the Henry D Ross III Memorial Fund and raised more than $30,000. In addition to the snowmobiles for the Sheriff’s Department, another snowmobile was donated to the Mayfield Fire Department. What an awesome tribute to her son! Idaho State Parks contribute millions to Idaho’s economy. That’s the headline. It was noted Idaho’s 30 state parks contributed $184 million to the state’s economy with less than 10 percent of the Idaho Parks’ budget coming from the State’s general fund. That equates to $1 tax dollar invested returns $54 in economic activity. Of course much of this impact is in rural towns and counties across the state, as noted by Boise State University’s Department of Economics who did the study. What does this

Matt Mead

have to do with snowmobiling? Idaho Parks Department also runs the State’s Snowmobile Program so snowmobiling was also included in this study. In fact, the University did a complete 39-page report on the economic impact of snowmobiling. Here are a few highlights: 41,689 snowmobiles were registered in Idaho during the 2015/2016 season with ownership spanning 20,752 households. Owners spent approximately $223.4 million on: snowmobiles and related equipment ($61.6 million); maintenance and repair ($5.5 million); fuel ($48.5 million); lodging, including camping ($19.4 million), food and beverages ($51.2 million); storage ($0.46 million); and other retail ($36.7 million). Read the whole report here: nowmobile/Snowmobile%20Econ%20Study%20FINAL.pdf Snowfest Acadie, an international snowmobile festival! Where: St. John Valley (Maine/New Brunswick/Quebec). When: March 15th-18th. Who cares? This event is billed as ‘the biggest snowmobile festival east of the Great Lakes’! The highlight is likely to be Brett Turcotte, a Winter X-Games gold medalist, who will jump 200 feet from the shore of Fort Kent, Maine, to Kennedy Island in the St. John River, on March 16th. While I don’t condone these stunts, they undoubtedly are popular and should draw a crowd… which will likely boost the economy where these three regions converge, and that’s a good thing! Check out the website at; this really does look like a cool event, even if it is 3,000 miles away! Thanks Association of Okanogan County Snowmobile Clubs. That was the headline, (a familiar one), in a recent DNR (Department of Natural Resources) e-mail newsletter. Here’s the rest of the blurb: “Each summer, Association of Okanogan County Snowmobile Clubs members maintain trails in our Loomis State Forest, clearing brush, enhancing trail tread and collecting any debris, to prepare the trails for the winter months. Last summer, they helped to care for the Jeep trail from Cold Springs Campground to its end a short distance from the Canadian border. They also cleared the trail into the Snowshoe Cabin, maintained the area around the cabin and cared for trails in our Loomis Natural Resources Conservation Area north of the Loomis State Forest. Thanks to this Snowmobile Clubs for their efforts.” MichCanSka is at it again! This is a group of elderly riders who started a snowmobile organization to raise money for diabetes research (a cure). All the members have been touched by diabetes in one way or another and are passionate about the cause. Five Americans and five Canadians will make a 4,000+ mile trek between Michigan and Alaska, with multiple stops along the way. MichCanSka members have raised nearly $240,000 since 2010. The average age of the group is 69 years old and each rider has previously participated in long rides across the U.S. and Canada. For more information or to make a donation, visit Welcome Scott Taylor as the new Publicity Secretary! Scott ran unopposed in the recent WSSA elections and is looking forward to taking over the Snoflyer. This will be my last issue, although I suspect I’ll have significant involvement, (probably behind the scenes in a support role), for the next few issues. I’m not moving away from WSSA and will be visible helping out in other areas that interest me. I’ve enjoyed interacting with club members, district reps, committee members, and so many others over the past 14 years and truly learned a lot. I thank all for their unwavering support! See you on (or off) the trail! Facebook and Twitter? Facebook ‘likes’ are over 2,310! 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.

March 2018 • 13

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


14 • March 2018

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


March 2018 • 15

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


16 • March 2018

March 2018 Snoflyer  
March 2018 Snoflyer  

The official publication of the Washington State Snowmobile Association.