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Sled Accessed touring

 
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Cyborg



Joined: 20 Nov 2013
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:01 pm    Post subject: Sled Accessed touring Reply with quote

I need some advice. As many of you who are familiar with the Medicine Bow national forest are aware, there's lots of snow and skiable terrain, but its hard to access. Luckily, there are plenty of snowmobile roads/trails. I have been toying with the idea of picking up a sled (either cheaply or saving my pennies) to access this far-out (5+ mile approach) terrain, but I want to make sure that a) it's actually a good idea and b) I do it right.

I plan to use it for getting out on the trails and closed roads. Mostly, the snow will be packed down. Of course, sometimes I'm sure I'll have to navigate deeper snow, but I don't need to shred pow on my sled; that's what my skis are for. I'm also not going to be that lazy bro who gets his buddy to pull him to the top of every run - I just need to get within a reasonable distance of my intended line (i.e. to the bottom, then skin up, or something like that)

I have heard from a lot of skiers that the best machine is a mountain sled (even compared to modern touring sleds with more storage and easier riding). I'm torn as to whether this would be total over kill and a waste of money (plus I would have to wait til at least next season), or if I will ultimately want something as capable as one. My original idea was to pick up an old but reliable cheap sled to shuttle me around the roads and trails. Which would be the better idea? Like I said, I don't need something, at this time, to take me way out through deep untracked snow.

Also, I heard a good point made - it's hard to find places to ski from a sled where other people aren't already riding snowmobiles. I.E. if you can take a sled there, chances are you don't want to ski there. However, I can see that being the case with big open bowls and the like, but I'm sure there's some treed and cliffy terrain to be skied where there won't be people riding. Again, I'm not really sure.

I'm hoping to hear from people with first or second hand experience. I'm trying here first, but I'll post this thread on TGR if I don't get any answers on PB
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d-rock



Joined: 08 Jan 2007
Posts: 563
Location: cloUd 9

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all I know, no great information...just good times!
http://www.powderbuzz.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1302

Also, this is on page 2, your kinda area
http://www.powderbuzz.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1153
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Cyborg



Joined: 20 Nov 2013
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks much, d-rock. I have seen a few bits on spring skiing up here, some people use bikes to get up the road in the spring (which is totally up my ally.) However, the new rules (posted in an earlier thread where I again was asking lots of questions...) for med bow say "no wheeled vehicles" and I wonder if that means bikes. Guess I'll wait and see.

That first thread confirms some of my suspicions - owning a sled might open up a whole new can of worms. I'm looking at something like this http://denver.craigslist.org/sno/4280509502.html Just to get me around the roads and trails. It might get too gnarly up on the pass though, idk. I guess I'm looking for someone to speak up and say either "Look, son, save up for a good sled and understand that, yes, it is a whole new can of worms" or "that'll be fine for roads and trails and will get you around. Definitely worth it for the fun to be had" or something along those lines haha
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telejet9



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 458
Location: Fort Fun, CO

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll be digging that old sled out more than you will be riding it. Save up for something better. The roads/trails you will be wanting to explore won't be groomed. You'll get along much easier with a powder sled. You will still get one of those stuck, but as you get to be a better rider...hopefully not as frequent.
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Cyborg



Joined: 20 Nov 2013
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks telejet. You put that to rest for me. I appreciate the info. I had a hard time finding a straight answer since most of my buddies with sleds don't understand the ski touring piece and the skiers don't get the sledding part. Much thanks
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mountainsun



Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 43
Location: Denver

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been on both sides of the ski / sled backcountry user for awhile and hope my comments help a little.

I started out skiing into terrain at Jones Pass, and after a couple seasons realized that a cheap sled was the way to get back several miles in minutes not hours.
I’ve picked up a lot of sleds off craigslist over the years, all Yamaha’s due to the fact that they last forever with minimal maintenance.
You will definitely want a powder or mountain oriented sled, lightest/longest track/most horsepower you can afford. I’ve had Phazers, and Mountain Max’s mostly.
I would go with at least a 600 HP or higher as a 500 will have a hard time towing one skier up a moderate incline.
I tried a VK 540(ski patrol sled) thinking it would be able to pull a lot of skiers, which it did, but also was a TANK and did not do good in powder.

The biggest misconception people have with sleds is that they will get you anywhere without getting stuck.
If you pick up a sled, be prepared to dig it out at least once each time out.

I’ve had seasons with and without a sled, and there are benefits to both. I’m in the same boat as you, my sled is not for highmarking and other
super intelligent sledneck activities, it’s purely a means to get from the trailhead to the base of something that needs to be climbed.
If you tow a plastic ice-fishing type sled behind the snowmobile, you can load it up with gear to make a base camp and spend a few days.

My suggestion if you’re interested in purchasing a sled, is to find a really good deal on a less expensive one, get familiar with riding it,
towing it, and see if you like it. If you get the right one, you can sell it for purchase price and upgrade to a newer sled.

If you’re looking to buy one, PM me I can help steer you away from the “shop magnet” sleds…
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GPP33



Joined: 27 Nov 2013
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've played on them for skiing a few times with friends. While reliable has never been a word that's come to mind with them certainly the older ones are less so. No way would I take the one you linked to far from the trail head. Too much risk of being stranded. My limited experience would also lead me towards not buying anything older than very late 90's maybe even nothing before 2000. Minimum 2" lugs, longest track you can find and I'll second a 600 minimum. 600cc, not 600hp though. That would be insane.

I often toss around the idea of getting one but for how much I would actually use it, having to store it would be too much of a pain.
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Cyborg



Joined: 20 Nov 2013
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the conclusion I have come to. When the time is right, my buddy who is a Polaris mechanic will help me pick out a mountain sled, probably mid 2000s. I struggle with how much I would use it as well, but considering I have some sweet terrain that is just out of easy reach (5-7 miles up the closed road), I think I might use it a fair amount. Save me the drive to CP or Rabbit Ears.

A 600hp car is nuts. 200hp on a bike goes a long way. I would think a 600hp sled would be nearly unusable!
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mcfarrel



Joined: 05 Nov 2013
Posts: 16
Location: Fort Collins

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

on a side note for the snowy range... I have never tried it but have thought that you can bringing a 6 pack to the road closure and try to hitch a ride with the people up there sledding already? They could get you out there before it gets too late and then you can have a nice long tour back to the car or try to hitch a ride back... you can also ski centennial ridge if you don't have a lot of time

http://www.themountainviewhotel.com/webCam.html
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Cyborg



Joined: 20 Nov 2013
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Centennial ridge looks like it might be a bit hard to access, especially for the quality of skiing (doesn't look like much vert.) Correct me if Im misguided, but I lways figured that Happy Jack is closer if I need short backcountry runs, and if I go up to the Snowies, might as well park at the ski area and skin the service road to Barber Lake road or ride the lift up and ski down the backside, and head over to the old libby creek ski area.

Also, I have thought about the six pack thing, but I don't have as much as a need for it because I can split gas with my snowmobiler buddy and have him take me wherever I want. Less convenient than having my own, but better than someone taking me only as far as they are going. Although, it might be nice to be able to go on my own time. There's always people riding up there.
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mountainsun



Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 43
Location: Denver

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:32 am    Post subject: Sled Skiiers - Looking for partners with or w/o sleds Reply with quote

Hey there-

Marital and Parental responsibilities seems to have consumed most of my old riding partners.

Looking for others who sled ski and those who want to join me in riding Vail Pass, Corona, Jones Pass, and ?

I'm super familiar with Jones but have started exploring Vail Pass the last 2 seasons. I'm open to new zones as well.
Anybody in WY want to show me around?

I'm a seasoned BC sled rider on AT gear and have my Avy 1, and 2 sets of Avy gear with a Ski-Doo Summit X850 and 2 place trailer.

Based out of Denver, can go during week until I land a FT join here soon.

Seems I'm always looking for partners these days so hit me up if interested.

Rick
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