We do get river effect snow up here. It is a quite rare phenomena and quite localized. Some meteorologist friends of mine speculate that the flatness of the landscape, the moisture from the beet piles and the elevation of the dikes is what causes it. It really creates some nice snow conditions which allows for some good training.
I will dig up some pictures of the dike training and the classes I run, but I will have to check with my legal department first. We have a number of proprietary techniques that we use, and we try to keep some of the locations that we use a little bit secret.
Don't reveal any of your trade secrets on Slednutz. We don't want to be responsible for some kind of internet scandal. Did that SOPA legislation pass? I'm sure we could get sued under that law if we started riding sleds like you Grand Forkers ride your dikes.
I'm actually pretty interested in taking some of your riding classes. Of course I will willingly pay for the services so the legal department shouldn't have to get involved. Don't worry about me going to China to get cloned DVD's of your riding, or searching out unauthorized Youtube bootlegs of your clinics. I respect talent when I see it, and wouldn't want to deprive someone of their rightful income.
I totally agree with your theories about training on the dikes. Once you've really ridden Midwest mountain simulation terrain, it becomes very apparent how much of it crosses over into mountain riding. In fact, training in smaller venues actually is more difficult than the real thing. Here's some examples: Since we've only had about 10" of snow all year, I wanted to do some carving training a few weeks ago. The only place with carveable snow available was a 10 foot strip next to the lakeshore. It's pretty fricken easy to go out west and carve in some boring heli-bowl filled with perfect powder, but dodging boatlifts, docks, open water, rocks, and rogue geese in a 10 foot strip of marginal snow really gives you skills. Let's say you want to train for busting up big cornices at the top of near vertical climbs. Pretty easy to do out west. As long as it isn't too huge, just climb the thing. If you mess up you'll fall in some soft snow. In Midwestern training, you have to avoid auto traffic when you cross a State Highway to get enough speed for your climb. You've got to watch out for power poles and fenceposts as you climb, and as you're roosting the cornice back out onto the highway, you see that you're going to land on a barbwire fence with a whole grove of prickly ash shoved up your ass! You learn to execute an in-and-out whip REAL fast in that situation.
I'm a totally Midwestern trained skier and braaper, and I do just fine in Western mountain riding, so I'm totally down with your theories and methods. I just don't understand your reliance on 163" tracks and the largest available motors to accomplish your riding goals. I would think that someone of your stature in the snowmobiling world wouldn't need to buy the biggest and baddest sled to try to compensate for a lack of skill. I'm looking forward to riding with you. Maybe we could meet halfway in the Fargo area? I hear there's some sick gravel piles and railroad embankments up there. PM me, brah!