Winter has finally set in and sealed the once running streams and creeks that run through the mountains. With the firm base of snow whole new areas open up for your average backcountry snowmobiler. Not far from Denver you can find yourself in any number of parking lots that are launch pads into hundreds of square miles of snow covered peaks and valleys. All you need is a semi-reliable 2 stroke in the 700-800cc class.
Add in some modern GPS technology and you can not only ensure your own rescue in the case of catastrophe but you can also show all your friends the cool things that you do. I recently acquired a DeLorme inReach Explorer and while my experience with it is still limited I enjoy it so far.
It isn’t everyday you can ride along the backbone of the continent. Our sleds never did get us over 13,000 feet, but that was because we ran out of mountain to climb over. Even with powder four feet deep in the bowls, the tops of the mountains rarely get buried as the consistent onslaught of winds keep them clear of virtually any snow.
We had a little trouble getting one of the sleds tuned to run at the altitudes we were riding. Fuel controllers I’ve learned are a finicky device and best left to those who care to invest the fuel and time required to get the most out of them. With all of the technology of our age these devices make the abacus look impressive. While the others played with their slide rulers I enjoyed some Pueblo green chili and a homemade tortilla, leftovers from Christmas of course.
We eventually made it to all of my favorite places, crossing the divide and traversing across many different mountains. It may look like people driving around in circles but it is hard to gain perspective in photo and video. Many of the cornices that hover over these areas are more than 30 feet tall and the slope often exceeds 30 degrees. Not only is your backdrop dramatic but just to ride the terrain is physically demanding and incredibly fun. Now if I could only get my fuel controller dialed in…