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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

_ President _ Sandy Sternod • (206) 915-3559

TABLE OF CONTENTS District Reports ............................................................ 3 Scholarship Info ........................................................... 3 Club News ................................................................... 4 Winter Rendezvous Registration...................................... 7 Winter Rendezvous Info................................................. 8 State Parks Update ....................................................... 9 Membership Matters.................................................... 10 Upcoming Meetings & Events ........................................ 10 Membership Application ............................................... 10 Hide and Seek – Safety ............................................... 11 Matt’s Misc. ............................................................... 12 Contacts & Clubs ........................................................ 13

February finds us waist deep and more in snow, and in the middle of charity events and rides, legislative work and an eye towards what we can improve upon for next year’s season. Looking ahead… Statewide, off the snow, our immediate focus will be working with the House, Senate and Governor on their respective versions of the next biennium budget. As I write this, next week we will be at the Capitol meeting with our legislators and sending the message why they should not transfer funds from our ‘dedicated fund’. While on the snow, this is a perfect time for clubs and grooming councils to assess their needs, and consider if they have a need to apply for a grant with WSSA. We budget up to $10,000 to provide financial assistance to provide seed money to help out with costs associated with developing and rebuilding trails, warming shelters and equipment to get the job done. The grant limit is $1,000,and the deadline to apply is April 1st. Grants need to be

submitted to Roxanne Brittain, Grant Committee Chair, at Nationally, WSSA leadership is already planning for the annual American Council of Snowmobile Associations’ (ACSA) trip to Washington, DC, in April. We are currently working on the list of priorities we want to discuss with this year’s congressional members. Many of our past concerns have been resolved during 2016 with the exception of the newly required OSVUM (over snow vehicle use maps) within the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Keep your eyes and ears open as you access groomed trails on USFS lands. We expect this activity will be moving up on the USFS Western States agenda, and your input will be essential in maintaining the access we currently have and enjoy on Federal forest lands. As always, check out our website for further legislative and future meeting details at Below are a few pics from an early January ride; a gorgeous day! Keep on snowing and riding!

Associate Members ..................................................... 14

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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 2017

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

District Reports District 1 North

District 2 North

By Scott Taylor

By Gary Allard (360) 393-6559 (509) 826-5215

Happy February District 1 North! First I want to thank you all for reelecting me in January and allowing me the opportunity to continue as your District 1 North Rep. Clubs and dealers are very busy with rides and avalanche classes. Premier Polaris in Monroe hosted a Mountain Riding Techniques Seminar on January 18th. January was packed with events and February is almost twice as busy for all three clubs in our District. WSSA’s Winter Rendezvous is here and Greg Figg has done an excellent job. If you have any questions, give Greg a call; there should still be rooms available. Hope to see lots of you there as we have four days of riding planned. The Northwest Glacier Cruisers have their big Mt. Baker Shoot Out on March 11th. This is an awesome event so make sure you attend. If you have any questions, call Tom Shields at (360) 661-0003. I attended the Ways and Means Committee meeting in Olympia with WSSA Lobbyist Terry Kohl on January 11th. Terry and I both testified before the Committee opposing the Governor’s Budget that moves money from the dedicated snowmobile account. After six and half hours we left feeling very good about our testimony and the Senate recognized Terry and I as the only group there for Natural Resources, which is great. Then the very next day Terry Kohl and Dan Fallstrom, WSSA’s Legislative Chair, testified in the House committee. WSSA is working hard and we will continue to update you all as the budget process continues. I will continue traveling to Olympia with Terry to testify as needed. Have a great time on the snow; stay safe… oh, and make sure that you have registered your sled.

District 1 South By Byron Fehler (425) 396-1033 Greetings from District 1 South! First I wanted to start off and send out a big thank you to Chris Mayer, Brian Bilderback, Jason Holmes, and Carl Corn from the Cascade Drift Skippers (CDS) for positively representing our snowmobiling community. Jefferson County Search and Rescue on the Olympic Peninsula reached out to several of us in the snowmobile community as they needed assistance reaching stranded hikers near Mount Townsend but did not have the necessary equipment to reach them. The group from CDS coordinated with the Sheriff’s Department and mobilized within an hour to catch a ferry to Quilcene and assist, and thankfully they were part of the successful rescue team - great story of our snowmobile community helping out our fellow outdoor enthusiasts. January has been a great month of snow for everyone here in the District and members of CDS are certainly driving interest in our club. We had one of our largest meeting attendances ever in January with standing room only (75+ people) at the Issaquah Brew Pub. Our theme of 'Snowmobiling Tips and Tricks' was well received with multiple participants sharing anything from riding, maintenance, and equipment tips they have learned over the years. Our numerous club rides are also attracting new people to the club and are continually filled from beginner to expert levels at various locations across our riding areas. As always we welcome anyone, young and old, to come check us out on the second Wednesday of the month - info on the Cascade Drift Skippers Facebook page. Well that is it for now – remember, Winter Rendezvous is coming up soon and I look forward to seeing everyone there.

We are now planning for Winter Rendezvous over Presidents’ Day Weekend. Joe Berney and the Butte Busters will have two rides Friday out of Conconully. Three more on Saturday with Saturday night grooming to 30 Mile Meadows for smooth riding on Sunday, plus Betty Wagoner will be taking a group out of 8 Mile in the Methow. On Sunday there will be three more rides out of Conconully. Also on Sunday is the Methow’s Poker Ride out of Yellow Jacket. This will be a 50 mile ride with lunch at Goat Creek Sno-Park. $10 for both the poker hand and lunch; always a big turnout with great food, fellowship, a big fire, and fun for all. There will be lots of sno-park parking. On Monday there will be two rides out of Conconully. Joe can be reached at (509) 826-5124. RIDES WILL BE PLANNED FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS OF RIDERS; groomed trails, meadows, un-groomed trails, and steep riding on Highway 20 in the Methow. The Okanogan clubs will have the John Deere kid’s wagon with wine, cheese, crackers, and cookies in the live auction Saturday night. This is a great item; grandparents get the goodies and the grandkids get the wagon. Something for everyone and a nice chunk of change for the WSSA Legal Action Fund. See you at 12 Tribes at the WSSA Winter Rendezvous.

District 4 South By Mike Ainslie (360) 430-1494

District 2 South By Matt “Kustom” Kensrud (509) 433-2100 Snow snow snow here we go! Lots of things happening in the District… The Chelan club brought back the snowmobile drags in Manson. The races were held Jan 21st and the Bavarian Boondockers postponed there club ride to support Chelan’s drag races. A new date for the ride will be posted. The trail system is looking good; if anyone has any questions, feel free to e-mail me.

District 3 By Greg Figg (509) 534-3417 I had a unique opportunity to volunteer at the Vintage Snowmobile Races at Priest Lake. It turned out the Priest Lake Snowmobile Club was in the need of volunteers and reached out to the Winter Knights to help. It was a perfect day for a snowmobile race; clear and cold! The oval track was well prepared with about two inches of ice and about six inches of packed snow on top of that. The event was very well attended with around 600-800 spectators and about 70 snowmobiles racing. It was very exciting to see this great turn out at Priest Lake. Where else can you get to hang with this many snowmobilers for the day! I would encourage you to attend one of these races; for me it brings back memories of snowmobiling when I was a kid. Names like Sno-Twister, Scorpion, Sno-Jet, Chaparral, Suzuki, and John Deere all took to the track plus all the current brands. (Check out the pics on the cover of this Snoflyer.) Hope to see you all the WSSA Winter Rendezvous this February!

Greeting to everyone in District 4S! As I write this article we just received a major dumping of snow last night and this morning. We have over eight inches of snow on the ground and it is coming down hard still here at my house. All is going well with our groomers on both mountains over here. I have gotten some great reports from people that the trails at Mt. St. Helens have been some of the best groomed trails in years. So if you happen to see the groomer out and about over there make sure to give him a thumbs up and a thank-you for his hard work. We had some major problems with the groomer at Mt. Adams for the month of December but it's all fixed and up and running as of now. All the trails are groomed up there and they are on their regular grooming schedule. This is looking to be a banner year for snow at the rate it's coming down. I would like to remind everyone that in February WSSA holds its Winter Rendezvous which will be held in Omak this year over Presidents' Day Weekend. It's a fun filled adventure for the family. I'd like to encourage everybody to attend. It's a lot of fun and there will be lots of great rides put on by the local snowmobile clubs and lots of great people to meet; it's a fun way to see and ride in new areas of the state. The Trac Riders are still working hard at getting all the plans and engineering done for the new warming hut that is to be built this coming spring. I met with Will and Shane from the Mt. Adams Snowmobile Club, and the Forest Service, to hopefully build a groomed trail around the active logging they have going on over near Trout Lake. We are just waiting for the approval from the Forest Service. In the meantime snowmobilers are asked to stay off the plowed road the log trucks are using so we don't have a major accident. Once again I would like to preach to everyone in my District to please make sure you have all your snowmobiles licensed for this year because once again the money we receive from this year is the money we spend for next year for our trail grooming. Thanks and lets all get out and enjoy this snow that is coming down!

District 4 North

District 5 North

By Craig Miller

By Bill Miller (253) 612-2092 (509) 899-0243

Wow, what a snow season, right?! I was talking to Travis Martinek, the plowing/grooming contractor with Back Country Plowing and Grooming, at the North Mt. St. Helens Grooming Council recently. He informed me the Wakepish Sno-Park the Junco Snowmobile Club refurbished got hit with close to five feet of new snow in the past week! As I write this, the Junco charity event is happening next weekend (January 21st/22nd) and that is great news! I will go out on a limb and say by the time you read this, Junco will have raised several thousand more dollars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Both Junco and WSSA donated $250 each to help with the operations costs of the charity event and to purchase extra fuel for our groomer who is donating his time to be sure the trails are all up to par. This was done to reduce expenses and to be sure all the money raised goes to Make-A-Wish. The club also got permission to groom into the Mt. St. Helens Monument one time for the event. I want to thank all the people who supported Junco at this wonderful charity event. So far the Junco Snowmobile Club has raised over $70,000 for this charity. Great job Junco! A reminder, the Sno-Jammers Snowmobile Club will be hosting their annual play day and poker run on Feb 11th out of the Greenwater Sno-Park. This is a great event to enjoy with the whole family. I rode the area a couple of days ago and trust me, there is several feet of great snow. We had a blue powder day! They have lots of food, prizes and drawings, so be sure to support the Jammers at this fun event! Take Highway 410 from Enumclaw to Forest Service Road 70 which is 6/10th of a mile up from the Greenwater Fire Station, and turn left. The snow is so plentiful there the 12% grade is gated closed. There is a big turn around plowed and signed at about four miles in. This should not alter the event. The road is plowed wide to allow plenty of parking. Have fun and ride safe!

Hello from the Blewett/I-90 corridor! First off, an event coming up: Snomads Annual Golf Tournament, February 18th, Silver Ridge Ranch off of Exit 70 in Easton. 9am – 4pm; for just $25 you get to play 18 holes of golf and you receive a Snomads T-shirt. Raffle tickets for $1; win great prizes. The golf tournament is open to all ages and riding abilities. Come and enjoy the most fun golf tournament you will have all winter.


February 2017 • 3

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

District Reports, cont. Regarding our favorite topic, grooming: According to the application, Grooming Coordinators are responsible for generating a grooming schedule with their grooming contractors. This is based on several components not the least of which is money allocated for the season at Snowmobile Advisory Council. Being a first-year coordinator I'm asking for a pass because I for one am at fault for not having provided one for Manastash/Taneum. It is being developed. The grooming schedule is to be submitted to State Parks by October 14th and it should then be posted to the Parks website. This schedule requires detail-oriented planning and interaction between the Grooming Coordinator and the grooming contractors to be successful. Should issues arise and negotiations become labored, I pleadingly recommend both parties seek assistance from their Grooming Councils Board or Washington State Parks Motorized Winter Recreation Program Manager. There isn't any reason I can find that prohibits updating the schedule through the season as needed. Many times the first part of the trail is the bumpiest and whooped a bit, however the further you ride the smother it gets. Thank you to District 5N groomers, Boulder Creek Enterprises, LandTek and the U.S. Forest Service; great job! Thank you to the State Department of Transportation and Kittitas County for clearing the sno-parks in our area. See you at Winter Rendezvous!

District 5 South By Rudy Classen (509) 966-4283 It seems that everyone with any kind of sled, old or new, is out riding and enjoying the fantastic snow we have received thus far this year. If this global warming keeps up we will be able to ride late into July.

Club News Tri-Rivers Snowmobile Club By Tom Windsor With the light snow pack and frigid temperatures we've had during December and early January, we haven't been able to do much sledding off of groomed trails yet here in the Okanogan. However, the forecast is for slightly warming temperatures and more snow in the coming week. The club has been busy working on clearing groomed and un-groomed trails and posting trail intersection maps for the upcoming WSSA Winter Rendezvous which will be held in Omak this year. We have been able to groom all but one or two of our groomed routes during December and January and should be able to groom at least one more when we get a little more snow. There is a logging operation going on in the Crawfish Lake area so we will not be able to groom trails in that area this winter.

The Tri-Rivers club has been busy clearing groomed and un-groomed routes in the Okanogan.

We had quite a few local and out-of-county people using trails in the Conconully area over the Christmas/New Years holidays, but fewer than normal probably due to our light snowpack so far this year. Several club members are looking forward to our yearly trip to McCall again this year. Upon checking the weather and snow conditions in that area, it looks like the McCall area snowpack is down considerably from past years. If anyone is interested in riding in the Okanogan area, you can contact our club president or myself ([509] 826-4595 or for information. Our club contact info is in this Snoflyer.

4 • February 2017

So far the trails are in great shape, especially considering the tremendous amount of sledders we are experiencing. We have seen folks from Seattle, Wenatchee, Moses Lake, the Tri-Cities and major cities such as Moxee and even Yakima. One of the really great features of the snow season thus far is that there has been no warming so there is no ice to be found on any of the tails. Let’s keep our fingers crossed on that one. And I haven't seem any ice on any of our favorite side hills so the riding is beyond great. For awhile the snow was so deep, but please don't tell anyone from Hollywood for they might be offended that we are enjoying global warming. I have actually talked to a number of riders who quit riding for awhile because the snow was so deep. Recently I had the chance to ride with some old riders such as Jim Kingman and Fred Pitzer who really did quite well in the deep snow. For a change our dealers have had a good year and are sold out or expecting to be sold out soon. That should be great for SNOW CHECK this coming spring. Wonder if I can talk mommy into letting me snow check a new one?… Great snow conditions are not always completely without drawbacks. Our local grooming council is very much concerned with running out of grooming and plowing money much sooner than normal because of the great global warming we have received this winter. This past year the Yakima Ski-Benders received a $1,000 dollar trail grant for building a new short trail that will increase late winter and early spring snowmobiling in a popular riding area. The Ski-Benders had about $5,000 set aside for such a trail and the extra money was very helpful in getting matching funds and all that stuff. It took a number of years but with volunteer help from a good number of folks including the Yakima Job Corp, our groomer Ron Lind, all the great people at State Parks, and Devin Dekker whose brainchild this new road was, it was built this past fall and many are riding it every week. It is not true this is a special trail for Devin so that he can ride from his house nine months out of the year; that is just fake news.

Junco Snowmobile Club By Craig Miller, Vice President Hello snowmobilers! By the time you read this, Junco will have held their Annual ‘Charity on the Snow’ event at the Wakepish Sno-Park. We would like to thank all of you who attended our event and donated for the kids. Riders who wanted information on lodging and such are contacting me so I’m hoping for a good attendance. I will report next time on how much money was raised by our club for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We thank WSSA for the $250 charity donation. Junco held its annual officer election last Monday night. We installed a new President in the name of Jimmy Bauer. Jimmy joined the club back in 2011 and has been very active. He and his lovely wife Shaney were instrumental in making the refurbishment of the abandoned Wakepish Sno-Park possible. Shaney wrote a trail grant proposal and won a WSSA $1,000 grant. Jimmy assessed the hut to see what was needed to remodel it. He then purchased all the material for our work party held last October 8th. The hut was enclosed and a new wood stove was installed along with electrical lighting. (A generator is required to power the lights.) The club also cleaned up the restrooms and hauled away a lot of trash. We also cut and stocked the supply of firewood. Yours truly applied to the Snowmobile Advisory Committee last July to re-establish the grooming program in that area. That was also successful; the sno-park is now maintained, plowed and groomed for your pleasure. Junco would like to thank Mike Heasley who held the President position for the past several years. Great job Mike and thank you for your long years of service to our club! Junco meets the first Monday of each month at the Hawks Prairie Restaurant and Sports Bar in Lacey. The social hour begins at 6pm in the bar, with the meeting starting promptly at 7pm in the restaurant meeting room. Dues for a family are $15 a year. We manage the Wakepish, Orr Creek, Skate Creek, and Johnson Creek riding areas in the North Mount Adams/Mt. St. Helens region, as well as the North Mt. Adams Grooming Council. Come join us!

Yakima Ski-Benders By Seth Ahlbrecht, President Deep snow and good friends, how can it get any better than that? Well I know that's a question that goes through the minds of many fellow sledders this

We are all looking for ways to get young folks out and enjoying the sport of snowmobiling. Well folks, the Yakima Ski-Benders are holding their annual Little Kids Ride the very first part of March. It will be a fun weekend for young and old with Saturday, March 4th, really set aside for the little kiddos. That day, professional riders with be working with them and riding with them. Then on Sunday, for those who stay over, the same professional riders will be riding and adults are welcome to join them. For more information please contact Liz Van Amburg at (509) 225-6681, or check out the SkiBenders Facebook page at Yakima Skibenders.

District 6 By Gary Simmons (509) 529-0210 Greeting to all! Last weekend, we had our first meeting of the new year at The Last Resort in Ronald. After hearing the District Reps telling what's going on with the clubs in their district, we got into a discussion about if the trails were getting groomed, or not groomed, and reported to State Parks or not. We spent way too much time discussing the subject back and forth, back and forth. My only comment, they should have been happy having groomed trails. When I started snowmobiling, the only groomers on the mountains were at the ski resorts. When a bump got in the trail, it was there until the spring thaw removed it. We enjoyed boondocking and going off the trails. If life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Now, on the lighter side; I would like to see everybody at the Winter Rendezvous, February 17th-20th, at the 12 Tribes Casino in Omak. I've got my reservation in and am looking forward to sledding in some new-to-me territory. Hope to see you there!

time of year and for the most part, there isn't usually a good answer. It usually doesn't get any better than that, unless of course you come up and join the Yakima Ski-Benders for one of our upcoming annual rides! As I write this we have one of our longest running events, the annual Chinook Pass Snow Fest coming up on January 29th. This will have been a great snowmobiling event with friends and family! Up next we have our 3rd annual Little Sledders Ride at the Ahtanum Winter Recreation Area. Kids of all ages are welcome to join with their parents for some education and riding tips from some of the industry professionals. The last couple of years this event has been growing by leaps and bounds and this year looks to be even better than ever! Once again we'll be joined by some very well known riders including Brandy Floyd, the guys from the NorthWest Freeriders, and rumor has it Mark Mesenbrink of Thunderstruck is planning to join us as well. What a truly exciting time we are looking forward to! The kids will be given actual on-the-snow training on snow safety, avalanche awareness, beacon training, and of course tips and tricks to help make them better riders! It’s been a really busy year so far for the club and turnout at our various events has been excellent; we're hoping for more of the same in the days to come. If you’re interested in joining the Ski-Benders, feel free to come to one of our upcoming events, or attend a meeting. Monthly meetings are held in season on the first Tuesday of the month at 7pm at Bob's Burgers & Brew in Yakima next to the I-82 and Fair Ave. exit and are open to all. Until next time, I'll see you on the snow!

Methow Valley Snowmobile Association By Don Fitzpatrick, Secretary A very cold ride up Hwy 20 on the 7th resulted in a lot of fun for five different clubs. Our club met the Whatcom County Snowmobile Association, the Cascade Drift Skippers, the Bavarian Boondockers, and the Northwest Glacier Cruisers. Over 70 people braved the cold and had a great time. It is on the schedule for next year to do it again.


WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Club News, cont. Another fun event we have coming up on Sunday, February 19th, is called The Bucket Run. It is based at the Goat Creek Sno-Park, about 13 miles West of Winthrop. Cost is $10 per person. This covers the poker run, the lunch, and any prizes you might come away with. It is about a 25 mile ride, all on roads, but many places to get off the roads and play along the way. Four stops to pick up cards for your winning hand, and many of those stops have a cookie for you too. Since WSSA is having their annual Winter Rendezvous in Omak, we will also be providing guided rides for interested WSSA members from the Yellow Jacket Sno-Park. This is about 13 miles further west in Lost River.

Spokane Winter Knights By Sharon Crockett, President We have had so much snow in Spokane this last month – seems all we do is shovel it off our sidewalks and shovel the berms when our driveways get plowed in. The Winter Knights have had several scheduled rides so far this year – all without me since I hurt my upper right arm – but the riders are having a good time with the new ride format presented by our Vice President, Glen Mumm. Our ride schedule is on our website and Facebook page. You are always welcome to join us! We will be hosting our annual Newcomers Ride at the Baldies and will serve lunch to whoever joins us. Several of the Winter Knights members will be travelling to the WSSA Rendezvous in February – we look forward to a good time over Presidents’ Weekend!

Snomads Snowmobile Club By Ronnie Williams Join us on February 18th; we are hosting our annual golf tournament at the Silver Ridge Ranch off exit 70 in Easton. The entry fee is $25 per person and that includes 18 holes of golf and a Snomads T-shirt. There will be raffle tickets for $1 each to be entered in a drawing for some amazing gifts. This event is open to all ages and abilities. You will need to bring three clubs and a tennis ball per person. Registration begins at 9am and the tournament begins at 10am. Shotgun start. We would like to invite everyone, including children, to our monthly meetings which are held on the first Friday of each month at 7pm in the banquet room at the Easton Saloon. For more information contact, BJ Oswold at or

Sno-Jammers Snowmobile Club By Phil Snow Hello riders! Just a quick suggestion for you this month… Check you sled out after a few rides! I know we all go over our sleds with a fine tooth comb before the season starts, but how about after a few rides? When is the last time you did a real thorough inspection of your ride? You might be surprised at what you find like I was when I was greasing up all the Zerk fittings on my skid and found a cracked rail! That could have been a real bummer if I was out in the backcountry or even on a trail and it would have broken completely. Tragedy avoided by just doing a quick visual shake down on the sled while it was in the garage. Check out your sled; make sure you don’t have to be towed back on your next outing. Now, get out there and enjoy! Our annual FUN RUN is scheduled for February 11th this year so be sure to mark the date on your calendar. As always we will have lots of prizes to give away for the winning hands and the great raffle prizes you can win just for participating in the run. Check our website for all of the information. I wanted to give a quick shout out to all of our sponsors for this year: Clem's Enumclaw Powersports, Tiny's Tire Center, Jet Chevrolet, McCallum License Agency, I-90 Motorsports, Whidbey Retreats, Stanhope Construction, Fastrax Motorsports, Orting Towing, Larson Power Sports, Motorfist, Back Country Access, Vista Vending, and Stafford Excavating. Stay tuned for our upcoming events at and on our Facebook group Our next Club meeting will be on March 1st. Club meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month (September through May), at Round Table Pizza, South Hill Puyallup. Start time is 6pm to 7pm for dinner and socializing with the meeting from 7pm to 9pm. Watch our club website calendar for the

time and place of upcoming club events. (P.S. If you'd like to become a member of our club, dues are only $20 a year per family and you can register online. Also, make sure your WSSA dues are paid.)

Cascade Drift Skippers By Jason Holmes, Vice President Hey everyone! Well, snowmobiling season is in full effect for sure! It's been non-stop since November and doesn't look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. Our Cascade Drift Skippers (CDS) Facebook page is constantly being updated with pictures of all the rides our members and friends have been going on. Club members have been riding in Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Canada! It's been an exciting year to say the least. Eighty-plus people attended our last club meeting. It's amazing to see how this club has grown over the last few years. CDS received the final permit from the Forest Service to install the Transceiver Check Station in the Salmon La Sac riding area. CDS emphasizes that this is a tool for all riders to verify their transceiver is working but you should still confirm your batteries are above 80% and check that your transceiver is ‘receiving’ all of your riding partners’ signals from their transceivers as well. Even if you are simply riding on the trail system in Salmon La Sac you are riding through avalanche terrain. We look forward to working on more projects like this in the near future and your continued support is appreciated. February/early March is a busy month for our club. Many of our club members have vacations planned, with Valemont, McCall, West Yelly to name a few, but we also have two weekends scheduled at the Last Resort for riders completing their Avalanche 1 Certification. Also, Saturday, February 11th, we have a ‘new member’ club ride scheduled out of the Last Resort. This is an opportunity for new members to ride with some of our board members and ‘chair people’ to see what other activities our club leaders do besides the meetings. What better way to do this other than a fun day of riding and socializing afterwards. If you would like to sign up for the ride go to our website and you will find the event in our calendar. See you on the hill! Cheers!

ing up March 11th. We are looking forward to seeing several of our vendors meet us up there for you to try out some of their new products! A few of our vendors are Lifestyle Honda, Skagit Valley Polaris, NWAC, Ride Cascade, and Adventure Motorsports. Thank you again for your continued support of this event! Everyone is welcome to camp in the parking lots and we will also be serving food. This is a great event for everyone of all ages. Please continue to watch e-mails and our Facebook for more updates! We will be hosting this in the ‘Salad Bowl’ at Peanut Knob, the original location, weather permitting. Again we will keep you up to date! To be continued!

Seventy Two riders from at least five different clubs participated in the 2nd Annual TNT Hwy 20 North Cross Ride on January 7th.

The NWGC held their annual Play Day on the weekend of January 14th and 15th.

Northwest Glacier Cruisers By Julie Street Doran The Northwest Glacier Cruisers (NWGC) hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! We had a big finish to 2016 and are off to even a bigger start in 2017 with lots in store! Everyone has been loving all the fresh powder this winter has brought us. The NWGC 2016 Christmas Party was on December 3rd and had a big show of people and it was great seeing everyone once again. The food was great and the company was even better. The kids all got to open a present from Santa. Thank you Kristina and Justin Kortlever for all of your help, and Jennifer Huffstetler and Dana Gerdes for putting this year's event together. On January 7th the NWGC hosted a great ride, the 2nd Annual TNT Hwy 20 North Cross Ride. We were privileged to be joined by several of our local groups including Whatcom County, Bavarian Boondockers, Methow Valley Snowmobile Association, and the Cascade Drift Skippers, with a total of 72 riders! Thank you again everyone for putting on this EPIC ride! We will definitely be doing this ride again and look forward to having even more clubs on this ride! If you are interested, please contact us at anytime, we would love to see everyone up there for another EPIC Ride! Also on January 14th and 15th, at Ploeg’s Place Warming Hut on Mount Baker, we enjoyed our 2017 Annual Play Day Campout and Avalanche Training. Thank you so much Pat and Jeff of the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) once again for your training. It is an absolute must to learn; your knowledge will help teach everyone what to watch for with avalanche danger and in a time of need be there for someone in any situation. We look forward to all future training. Thank you also J.R. Larson and Justin Kortlever for clearing the roof of the snow! It was educational and fun to watch… which is a big reminder to everyone to please park and walk at a safe distance from the hut during snow season as the snow gives away at any time. Keep safe up there! We had a lot of food and drinks and training and a piñata for the kids; it was fun for all ages that is sure! Don't forget we have our annual Mount Baker Shootout and Campout com-

This year's new separate raffle item we are excited to announce is a ‘She Shreds Mountain Adventures Clinic’ in Pemberton B.C. Donated by the gracious Julie Ann Chapman. Thank you from the bottom of our snowmobiler hearts for this generous donation valued at $500, with an added $100 from NWGC to go to help towards a hotel room or food. The other big raffle items up for grabs is a first place prize Garmin Rino 650T valued at $500, second place prize is the Arctic FX Wrap of your choice with $100 towards installation, and a third place prize of two BCA radios valued at $300. The winners will be announced March 11th, 2017 at the Shootout. The 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!

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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

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

WOW IS IT SNOWING! Something we haven’t had to deal with for many years, we are dealing with this year… we are quickly having to dip into our emergency reserve for snow removal money. This could mean your favorite sno-park may be closing early this year because we can’t move snow out of the parking lots. Check our website before you head out to get the most recent information. At this writing, January 13th, the sno-parks are still open. The great news is there is lots of snow in the mountains! 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. Before you head out the door and make the trek to your favorite snowmobiling destination you need to be aware of a few things. Make sure your sleds are all registered and ready to go! The Winter Recreation Program is currently using funds for this 2016/2017 season that were put into the Snowmobile Account during the 2015/2016 winter season. These funds are used to plow sno-parks, groom trails, provide sanitation, education and enforcement, and administration. 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. Some of the closures, just to name a few include: 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 (USFS) has closed it to grooming. KINGS LAKE SNO-PARK – The sno-park is open, however, there are some re-routes on the trail system due to burned danger trees and winter logging. (Thanks to the USFS, Spokane Winter Knights and the many others that made this re-route a reality for the season.) SOUTH CASCADES – ATKISSON, LONE BUTTE AND FLATTOP – Temporary closure of the 32 Road north of Lone Butte, the 8851 north of Mosquito Lakes, the 88 road north of Steamboat Mountain, the 23 road north of Grand Meadows, and the 90 Road southwest of Takhlakh Lake. SNOWMOBILE PROGRAM FUNDING 101 Here’s how it works: You register your snowmobile 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.) Fifty dollars of your registration fee is put into a dedicated account for the Snowmobile Program, (minus 3% to 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 – snowmobiles registered this winter will provide funding for next winter. 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 current winter season, it will be that much less money available for Trail Grooming, Snow Removal, Sanitation, Administration, Education and Enforcement for the 2017/2018 winter season.

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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

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

Memberships are still coming in at a brisk pace. Welcome to all the new members and ‘thank you’ to those who have renewed. Our total membership is up about 8.5% from same date last year. 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; strong membership numbers and membership support is essential in communicating our needs and protecting access to public lands. Since snowmobile clubs and WSSA are all volunteer organizations, it takes a lot of people to consistently and 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 email us at or call us at (509) 6744401. Remember – Your Membership Matters!

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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Safety By Jon Ferrian • Ski-Doo Helium Snow Gear

Hide and Seek! Has this ever happened to you? You are out on a typical overcast day in the Pacific Northwest and everything is going fine. You stop at a play area surrounded with trees and deep powder and is clear enough that you decide to hang out and allow your group to play in this perfect area! It has only been about 10 minutes and you have made a few passes at the hill when you decide to do a quick head count. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4… Um, where is 5? You look around and you see many tracks from your group but there is no way to see which way rider 5 went. You continuously scan the area with your eyes and you don’t see rider 5. Immediately your mind starts to consider the possibilities… • Did they fall into a tree well? • Did they ride off into another area out of sight and get stuck? • What if I cannot find them? • How am I going to find them?

Jon Ferrian

TOBE Monosuit

Your immediate thought is to call them on your radio to see if they are okay but then you realize rider 5 does not have a radio. (More on riding with radio’s next month!) More often than not, the person may be in plain sight but you still cannot see them because they blend into the background because they are wearing all black clothing. Take a look at the picture below, what do you see? In the picture at left, it is extremely difficult to see my son Maxx who fell off of his snowmobile and now blends in with the snow and trees around him. Only his lime green helmet gives him some contrast against the otherwise black and white scene. When you choose snowmobile gear that is black, white or other neutral colors, you do not stand out from your surroundings. This makes you very difficult to spot even when you are waving your arms around trying to attract attention. Many of us have purchased all black clothing over the years for reasons like: • It matches my sled. • I switch sleds often and I don’t want to have to buy matching gear every year. • My favorite clothing manufacturer only made clothes in black. • I think, “Those wild colors are for the punks who jump off of cliffs and drive turbo sleds”.

FXR Monosuit

Motorfist Jacket

Klim Jacket

Now look at the photo below, what do you see? In the picture at left you can easily see me, yes ME, STUCK! The bright orange sled wrap on my Ski-doo Summit and the bright orange Ski-Doo Helium 30 clothing that I am wearing makes me easy to spot against the monotone background of snow and trees. Snowmobiling is a dangerous sport in itself, so why not give yourself every advantage you can get to out and enjoy a safe day on the snow. Whether or not you are just looking for a friend who got stuck and is blending into the background or you need to quickly locate a friend who was just buried in an avalanche, you will want to have every advantage you can get! Do yourself a favor, quit playing hide and seek with your friends and update your wardrobe with some of these great high visibility options shown at right. Sharing my passion!

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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington

Matt’s Misc. By Matt Mead • WSSA Publicity Secretary • (509) 697-6062 My Ski-Doo was on fire. Apparently they all do that. Huh?! So it was the first ride of the season. We were only a few miles out of the sno-park when I started smelling something getting hot. Since I’d just replaced the hyfax and the trails were icy, I figured this was the smell. I jumped off the trail into some powder and the sled just about ground to a halt. I shut it off and got off and just then spotted flames in the engine compartment. Yikes! I opened the side panel and quickly threw snow and put the flames out. I was lucky in that nothing important burned; plastic protectors covering both wiring and a radiator hose, along with a piece of plastic the pull rope is routed through. Why the fire? The brake pads were locked against the disc and things got a bit hot. I didn’t let this spoil our ride; I removed the brake pads and rode on, being careful to not put myself in a situation where I needed to stop… quickly I mean. Back at home I’m Googling trying to find out what happened; turns out it is relatively common. On the Ski-Doo master cylinder there is a small return flow port that can easily get clogged with rust or other contaminants. Every time you pull the brakes, they tighten against the disc, but when you let go, they either don’t release at all, or release at a much slower rate than usual. Add in friction from the pads and it doesn’t take long to create fire! It actually took me two attempts to fix this problem. I tried clearing the port from inside the reservoir but on the next ride, it started to lock up the brakes again. In the end I did what I should have done the first time and removed the reservoir and back-flushed it; it’s been working fine after several rides now. So how common is this? It was only a couple of rides later when riding with another Ski-Doo that the exact thing happened to their machine. Luckily it was diagnosed quickly… hey, I’m an expert now… and we didn’t see any flames. But wait, there is more! A couple of days ago I’m talking to my neighbor who is working on a couple of old (late 90s) SkiDoos. He is telling me about this one he picked up that had caught fire… sure enough… a locked brake! Many assume these kind of fires are due to leaving the parking brake on and riding off. Not always! (So the moral… flush the brake system routinely. Obviously I wasn’t…) Camping in sno-parks. The WSSA Facebook page recently received a message from a snowmobiler wanting to know where they could camp in the Cle Elum area and ride from their RV. So I’m thinking, well, in a sno-park of course! I see lots of people camped in them, so that makes sense. But then I got to thinking, I’ve also seen a few sno-parks with ‘no camping’ signs in them. Well, the answer must be as close as the State Parks website in the Sno-Parks section; I’m sure every sno-park page mentions whether that particular park is open to camping. Sadly, no… I then sent an email to our Winter Recreation Program Manager, Pamela McConkey, and asked if camping info is available. Surprisingly it is not. With luck it will be coming though! Pamela agreed this is worthwhile info and she is hoping to get it compiled in the future. Stay tuned! Recalls! With both Arctic Cat and Yamaha sharing technology, I wasn’t surprised to see them both mentioned in recent recalls. Turns out though they are different recalls. For Yamaha, the recall involves 2016 Viper models with the dealer-installed Mountain Performance turbo kit. Apparently a pesky overboost condition can cause severe engine damage with the potential for crashing and/or catching fire. No injuries have been attributed to this problem, but better safe than sorry. Approximately 400 Viper snowmobiles are involved. Visit

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Snowmobiles for more information. Arctic Cat on the other hand has a problem with cracking fuel tanks leaking fuel into the engine compartment and starting a fire. Cat has received 918 reports of the problem with six fires. (No injuries involving the Cats either.) About 20,700 machines are affected with model years ranging from 2007 to 2009. For more info on the Cat recall, visit ACSA raffle calendars – your ticket to wealth! Did I get your attention? Okay, I’m lying, you won’t really get rich. But these raffle calendars from the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) do pay out for winners every day, and the big prize is several thousand dollars. The money donated for these calendars supports the ACSA who is working on snowmobilers’ behalf at the National level. A worthy organization deserving of your support. Want a calendar? Contact Florence Mohler, our Membership Co-Chair; she can hook you up! (Come to Winter Rendezvous – she’ll be there!) Snow seems plentiful around the U.S. So far it’s been a pretty good snowmobile season across the country. How do I know? Because my Google Alerts keep notifying me of a lot of snowmobile-related deaths and injuries from coast to coast. This is NOT good. Be safe out there; make smart decisions; your friends and family want you to return from every ride in the same condition you went out. (Maybe in better condition on your return?...) It’s a tricky situation… My Google Alerts hit on an article titled ‘Friends help rescue stuck snowmobiler at Ahtanum Sno-Park’ back at the end of December. I perked up since this is local and I wanted to read what happened. The article went on to say a snowmobiler reported to the Yakima County sheriff’s Office around 1:30pm he had become stuck in several feet of snow. A search and rescue team was dispatched, but about the same time (4:30pm) they were unloading at the sno-park, the victim and his friends came riding in. (The snowmobiler wasn’t alone, but had gotten stuck out of sight of his friends and apparently it took some time for them to find him.) I’m not really sure what to say here… Certainly if you feel your life is in danger and you can call for a rescue you should… But on the other hand, how big of an emergency was this really? Our search and rescue teams’, not to mention the Sheriff’s Office’s, time is valuable, and we want to make sure we aren’t wasting it. I’m not judging… maybe a little… It’s all about making smart decisions. (Seems radios could have come in handy… and was there at least a call back to the Sheriff’s to say ‘never mind’?) What are you doing on your 90th birthday? Heck, many of us will be ecstatic if we reach 90, but Tom Ritter went snowmobiling on his. He took his Ski-Doo out twice that week! Tom is a member of the Nevis Trailblazers (since 1989) and lives in Nevis Township in Minnesota. A bit of trivia: Tom, a World War II veteran, refuses to purchase snow machines manufactured in Japan; the sting of the Pearl Harbor attack still lingers! Can you survive a night out? I recently read about an account of a logger in Ontario who was stranded for two days in harsh winter storm conditions. Snowmobilers found him and he was grateful, but he hadn’t planned on dying out there. First, he had a SPOT messenger with him… although it failed to send out the distress signal when he tried to use it. Most importantly he was prepared! Other loggers knew he was out in the field, so they were looking for him. He had some food rations, and also was prepared to hunt since he

Matt Mead

had a rifle. He started and kept a fire going the entire time and he used pine boughs to create a shelter to keep the wind out. What can you accomplish with your emergency kit? No helmet – boy dies a few days before Christmas. An Idaho teen died after the snowmobile he and his cousin were on dropped into a steep ravine and he hit his head. The boys, 14 and 15, were taking a short ride behind their homes, headed to a nearby water tower. Thinking they would be quick, they skipped the helmets. It was also reported the snowmobile may not have been running properly. Just a reminder to ensure our kids and grandkids are well trained and supervised. It only takes a split second to change lives. Polaris Trails App – sucking my battery dry! I still like the Polaris app, but it seems to be a greater power hog than it was before. Last season if I started the day with a fully charged phone, I could make it through the ride before my phone was dead. (I was only using the phone for the trail app and to take pictures during the ride, nothing more.) Now I’m finding my phone is nearly dead at about the halfway point of the ride. Last season we carried a spare universal battery to charge our phone if needed; this season I’m using it on every ride. What I’d like to find is a phone case with an external battery built in… someone must make one. Oh, and the ‘group tracking’ appears to be a bust; as mentioned, it likely needs a cell signal which we usually don’t have. Facebook and Twitter? Facebook ‘likes’ are over 1,970! 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) 697-6062.

WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


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WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington


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Snoflyer 2 2017