Snowmobile + much fresh powder = Long work day

January 10th, 2008 by Chris

So I drove a snowmobile for the first time today. Although I grew up in the snow belt of NW Pennsylvania, snowmobiles were only for those people who went whipping down our road at 95 bazillion feet per second at 1 AM (with a noise like: wwwweeeeeEEEEEEZZZZowwwwwww” please add your own Doppler shift for full effect).
Actually, it occurs to me that this is quite probably the first time I have ever piloted a motorized personal conveyance of ANY kind. Trike: Nope, ATV: Nope, Jetski: Nope, Dirtbike: Nope, Motorcycle: Nope.

Snowmobile: Yes.

Yes. This was for work. And actually maneuvering a motorized sled through 2-4 feet of powder is actually quite a bit of work. It REALLY wants to tip over into the snow at the slightest upset. Thankfully, rolling into the thick powder is neither painful or particularly unpleasant (except for our VERY helpful and VERY patient guide Stan who had to once again drive the sled out of its upsettedness). Standing in sort-of a jetski like crouch turns out to be the most stable config (easy to lean and adjust) but tiring to say the least.

Anyhow, I’m sure it’s great fun once you know what you’re doing, and you’re not on a time-line like ours: Must get gear installed today and working and get off mountain before dark and you get lost, die, get eaten by a mountain lion or all of the above.

Don’t get me wrong. It beats sitting at my desk.

Sorry no action shots today. We have to make another short run tomorrow, so maybe we’ll have time to get some pics. Who’s that driving my sled?
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My hotel closet has become a regular electronics warehouse. I wonder what housekeeping thinks?
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3 Responses to “Snowmobile + much fresh powder = Long work day”

  1. Heidi Says:

    How cool for you! Me wants action pics. And, for me … I’m a nope on all counts, but would actually prefer being a passenger while someone else pilots, anyway. Have done that on a four-wheeler, but none of the other conveyances.

  2. The Alperts Says:

    Hey there! Isn’t snowmobiling a blast…I (Lisa) have done it several times growing up and the last time was in Lake Placid (took Mike) for the Pep Band trip!! Mike loved it!!! Wait till you get to do it for just plain fun!!! HUGS to the family and raspberries to the baby!!!

  3. Stephen Says:

    I know this is WAY late, but I don’t check the blog as much as I should.
    Anyways, just want to apologize to you and Heidi…..I was one of those who
    would occassionally zoom past at Mach 0.072829783 around 1am. Oh, those were the good old days.

    Our sled (a 1972 John Deer 400) gave up the ghost around 1996ish, and by then sleds just were too expensive for us poor farmers. To date I’ve been on all of them that you mentioned. The only one I’ve never done, and I’m not sure now at my mass I’d want to, is an Ultralight. I sure do miss my 750 Katana too (Suzuki motorcyle).