Gerbil and I went up to West Yellowstone for the Expo on Saturday. We watched some racing, looked at the vintage, checked out all the new 2012 sleds, sessioned the swapmeet, and rode the new RMK's.
Here's some pictures of the new sleds:
My favorite Ski Doo was the Tundra Extreme, but the Freeride is alright too (except for the hideous factory wrap)
Here's some photos of AC's new M Chassis and also the Vintage M1100 and the new M8
Here's a couple more. I don't really know what they are. I think that last HCR is the big turbo. Wow, the motor is really crammed in there! It looks like they melted the side panel onto the can, and had to put new plastic on for the show.
Here's some of the stuff from Polaris. I was happy to see that they've got the 600 in the Pro Chassis now, but the 144" 600 weighs 22 Lbs. more than the 155" 800 Pro? What's that all about? Nice wrap on the Assault....NOT!
I guess the Cat guys are getting all worked up about how awesome the new line is this year. I think this is the sleeper they've been waiting for:
Here's some stuff from the vintage show. They weren't too concerned about weight back in the day. Check out the solid steel skis, the car battery, and the metal outboard-motor fuel tank.
Here's some more:
They were doing some dragracing out there. The backdrop to this track looks a lot different than the frozen lakes I'm accustomed to.
Polaris came through again this year with demo rides of the new sleds. Wonder why none of the other manufacturers let customers ride their new models? This year was the biggest demo yet. Not only did they have all the RMK's to ride, but they had another group that went out on the Rush's and Assaults. We rode the new Pro RMK 600's, but didn't get around to trying out the Rush's, even though I was pretty curious about them. There was better snow this year at the play area we rode, so out by the edges, and in the trees, there was powder to be had. I guess my impressions of the Pro were pretty much the same as last year. It's very flickable and climbs amazingly level. I was more impressed this year by how good it is at cutting through poor snow conditions. I was carving some deep snow at the edge of a packed hillclimb area. My carve started in perfect, deep, untracked snow. Next, I held my carve through some trenched out crap, and then right into the middle of the packed run. The sled just held a consistent edge through all of that. Usually those conditions cause me big problems. I found myself doing that Rasmussen one-leg-dragging thing more often on this sled than my Dragon. That may have been because I had to take lots of tight, off-camber lines to get in any deep untracked snow. The 600 was pretty impressive in that chassis. What everyone says, is that the Pro 600 will outclimb the Dragon 800 in deep snow. The Dragon can walk all over the 600 on a packed hill, but when it comes to the powder, the 600 Pro supposedly wins every time.
Here's some pics of the demo ride:
Baller just showed up last night, so now we have two sleds again. It's dumping up in the mountains today, and raining in the valley. We should have some good snow again starting tomorrow.
You are still a douche. How does that 13.5x144 work in the mountains mr. expert guide. That is by definition a shorty out west. I'd like to see you keep up with us where you go Mr. A/C, you would have no chance. FYI, I've been going out west since 03...
DCUBA, what is the snow like out there? We suddenly have the urge to make another trip somewhere west, either the Horns or the West Yellowstone area again probably the first weekend in April. I have a buddy who just picked up a different sled and he's been dealing with some family illness this winter, I figured it would be great to get him out of here for a long weekend.
I heard there was a great turnout for Expo this year. I would like to try to make that and the hillclimbs sometime.
Last edited by flatlander_summit : 03-15-2011 at 02:58 AM.
Flatty, the snow is great right now. We've gotten four feet since we got here, and there was 5 feet of fresh the week before we arrived. This time of year, snow conditions are dictated by what happens the two days prior to your arrival. North facing aspects and shaded areas next to trees will stay light and powdery for quite awhile, but steep south facing slopes get killed by the sun this time of year. The snow was still good up in West Yellowstone when we were there for the Expo. Where we did the demo ride, wasn't too far out of town, and not very high, but we still found deep, soft snow in the trees and where it wasn't sledpacked. Gerbil even managed to get his demo sled stuck, so there was plenty good snow.
Baller and I did some riding the other day, and it turned out to be a really good time. The snow was good pretty much everywhere we rode, and some places it was great. The only fly in the ointment was that THIS was kind of the theme for the day:
Baller admitted he wasn't really up to midseason from yet. Midseason form?? Isn't it the end of March? Oh well, except for one huge incident toward the end of the day, he cleaned up his act quite a bit after a huge flurry of stucks initially.
We were riding Wyoming on the west slope of the Tetons. The area is called Spring Creek. Here's a sample of some of the terrain we were riding. Wow, that's a lot of untracked snow!
The first spot we hit was a little windpacked, but it was still very carveable. The views into the canyon off the backside were pretty spectacular.
Next, we moved along the rim of the canyon to a little bowl that had a nice little climbing area on one side. Baller doesn't really want this to get out on the internet, but he did do some wheelies in this area. He's pretty anti-wheelie, but that's mainly because he sucks at them.
I guess I hit the wheelie spot too, and I totally forgot that I had a picture of Baller going "All Rassmussen" with the wrong leg thing.
We sessioned that area for quite awhile because the snow was good and the visibility was excellent. After a bit, we started coming dangerously close to crossing our own tracks, so we moved on looking for more untracked snow. Here's a couple final pictures from the top riding area.
We knew all along that we'd find the best snow beneath a north-facing ridge a mile or so from where we were first riding. We boondocked our way over in that direction and couldn't resist some great tree riding on the way. We ran into a couple rental riders in transit, and they were stoked on the conditions. They warned us of a huge melted pit to avoid, since they'd had a big bonfire up there. They were a little skeptical of the 600 XP 144's, and their ability to get through the deep stuff, but they seemed to be tearing it up fine to me.
We dropped down into the next canyon, and found that the snow conditions truly were better down there. Baller managed to get stuck about a thousand times, and the visibility had gone south by the time we got to the next riding area. We had some adventures there, but I'm done with internet time for now. I'll continue the rest of this ride later.
We worked our way up the bottom of the canyon towards some higher open terrain. Baller was really having trouble making the correct decisions in route finding and there were a lot of stucks in this section.
Finally we made our way up to the base of a pretty big hillclimb. We took a little break near a derelict Ski Doo.
Before long, we heard some loud sleds making double time toward us. Why didn't they have to stop every 2 minutes to dig out of a stuck? Either it was because Baller wasn't riding with them, or it was the fact they had some sweet HCR M8's. We talked to those folks for awhile, and it turns out they were Driggs locals. The chick was a hillclimber on the RMSHA Circuit. We'll be cheering her on at Jackson this weekend.
After a little chatting about the blown up Ski Doo, which the dude had been riding the week before, and some general bs'ing, those two just started taking apart the steep face we were sitting by. They'd just go up as far as they could, turn out, and come down to do it again. Pretty soon they had a track packed high enough that they could reach the top. Me and Baller weren't really into their hillclimb thing, so we went further down the face and did some sweet climbing and sidehilling a little lower. Once I spotted Baller, over my shoulder, getting stuck; so I went and hid in the woods until Arctic Cat dude came and helped him out. I pulled up right when they were getting it out, so it looked like I was being helpful.
Eventually, the AC posse talked me into trying their climbing spot. I turned out a couple times, and the dude said he expected my Dragon to just walk up to the top. He figured I was clutched wrong or something. Little did he realize that I was intimidated by the M8's, since I hear on the internet all the time that they're the only sled that you can ride in the mountains. My next try I took the summit. The problem previously was that I needed to use full throttle to make the top, not some weakass 3/4 BS which I'd been trying before. I did it again for good measure, and then we decided to move higher up the ridge.
AC guy and I were going to check out some cornice jumping, and I thought Baller was just going to join in that or do his own thing by the cornice area. Instead he got a wild hair to head toward the Wilderness Boundary by himself. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him heading in the general direction of some danger, but I was busy and didn't really think twice about where he was going. After not seeing him for awhile, I started getting worried that he'd found trouble. At about the same time, we all started heading the direction in which Baller was last seen. At this point, I was almost certain where he'd ended up.
Here's a picture from last year of the area he was headed toward.
Notice to the right of the trees in the photo? You can just see the corner of a massive blowhole. That is where I feared Baller had ended up. Unfortunately I was right! We looked down the blowhole, and there was Baller's sled. He'll really have to try to explain why he went down a hole that was over 25 feet deep on one side, because I certainly can't figure it out.
It took lots of tugging to get the sled out of the sheer bank, and then Baller had to sidehill around the hole to line up for the attempt at the only climbable spot out of there. I feared he'd get sucked down into the very bottom, which would have been a disaster, but he held his line and was set up for a good shot at escape. Arctic Cat guy was stoked!
Here's a video of the result of all the rescue planning:
After we got out of that predicament, we parted ways with the Arctic Cat duo, and did some more riding over by the ridge. It was pretty sweet over there, and I finally managed to get stuck.
Here's a video from earlier in the day. Ignore Baller's damn play by play about the stupid Douglas County Urban Ballers. He's got that so confused, and the dipshit refuses to acknowledge that he's wrong about what DCUBA stands for.
The Winter Storm Warning for our area is calling for 10 to 16 inches of snowfall tonight and tomorrow, so we should be getting out there again soon.
I am starting to think more and more about just leaving sleds and gear out west and getting in three good quality trips a season. I am giving the UP one more season before making that committment. All the pics and videos are starting to sway me.
Gave up sled life for salt life.
We got utterly slammed with snow today. It was DEEP up at the skihill. Constant faceshots were the order of the day. Tomorrow we'll try to ski in the morning, and braap in the afternoon. It should be epic.
Well, we ended up getting 23" out of the last storm. Those bastards over on the east side of the mountains got 29" in 24 hours! Snowsports pretty much went off yesterday. The snow wasn't as good as during the storm, but it was brilliant bluebird out, so you could see, which is nice. Here's some skiing pictures of Gerbil and Baller:
After skiing, Baller and I went up for some riding. The snow wasn't as good as it was at the skihill in the morning, when it was only 9 degrees, but in areas sheltered from sun and wind the snow was awesome.
Baller jumped out of the gate fast with a couple early stucks, but then he proceeded to rule all over some areas that had given him HUGE problems before. By the end of the day, I may have surpassed him in the stuck category.
Here's a few more pictures:
Baller, the aspiring video artist, is pretty damn proud of the following video; mainly because of all his inane background prattle. Ignore all his blathering, and it's an ok little clip.
It's pretty exhausting skiing in the morning and then riding in the afternoon. We're wooped today, so we're sitting around waiting for the next storm to roll in. It's already snowing again up in the mountains, so we shouldn't have too long to wait before the mountains are a clean canvas.
Gerbil's business associate from Boise is stopping by tomorrow on his way to the Hillclimbs to look at Gerbil's Assault. If the deal goes down, Gerbil will have a sled again: a Bad Gerbil Customs 800 Edge 151". An 800 Edge competition is already in the works. Since Gerbil sold his GenII 500 before the real 500 comp could begin, the stakes are even higher in the 800 comp.
Congratulations to Keith Curtis for winning the King of Kings crown at the World Championship Hillclimb. I heard Kyle Tapio was supposedly the one to beat since he was riding the new 2012 RMK Killer M-Series. Tapio laid down a hell of a run in the Open Mod final, but Curtis beat him by 2 seconds in the fastest run I saw today. I guess the 2011 Pro RMK is perfectly capable of beating the 2012 Cat.
Here's Curtis at the starting line waiting for his King of Kings run: