29 March, 2009

Don’t Ever Expect Powder. If you don’t, you will be much happier. Just when we thought the season was winding down, the storm cycle turned on again. Over the last week locations in Utah received 5-6ft.+ of new snow. While the powder doesn’t last quite as long this time of year, we managed to catch several days of deep powder and blue skies.

Last weekend we donned t-shirts to ride spring snow in 60 degree temperatures. This weekend we broke out the Klim balaclavas, underlayers, and snorkels to ride in freezing temperatures.

One of the most challenging aspects of snowmobiling is the vast array of snow and weather conditions that may be encountered while riding. Snow comes in all depths and consistencies and learning to master it in all of its forms is not easy. In Utah we are usually spoiled by incredibly dry powder that is relatively effortless to ride in once you get used to it, at least until you get stuck in 4ft.

After reading an article by Andrew McCarthy on the frustrations related to his mid-season injuries, I found myself questioning how much I take “average” rides and snow conditions for granted. In the quest for deep powder I often set myself up for disappointment when my expectations don’t pan out, instead of realizing how amazing the experience itself is. By early summer I would trade the best day on my mountain bike for just a taste of snowmobiling, but that is in the back of my mind when spring rolls around.

Even in spring conditions a snowmobile is incredibly versatile. The style of riding is entirely different from powder, but you can still jump, ride technical terrain, and it is the ideal time to climb. I suppose that part of the problem is simply in adapting to ride different snow, but I also tend to idealize powder too much and forget how much fun snowmobiling is without deep powder. Some of the most memorable rides are often in the spring or summer, long after there is any reasonable chance of powder. Even when conditions are bad, the camaraderie surrounding snowmobiling always makes for a good time. Springtime creates favorable conditions for riding in larger groups and teaching up and coming riders.

So why do I spend so much time poring over weather forecasts and snow reports when I don’t have any spare time to begin with? I guess when it comes to snowmobiling there isn’t really anything better than 3ft. of powder and sunshine, especially in late March. However, living in Utah I have come to expect rather than appreciate these days.

There are several more big storms in the forecast for this week, slated to drop another 2-3ft. of snow. Anyone up for a deep powder ride? Better yet, anyone up for a ride?

On a side note, rumor has it that Matt Entz jumped a 120ft. natural gap in Colorado this week. Stay tuned for more info and pictures!

-Photos by Justin Cowett and Dave Napier

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  1. snowrodeo Says:

    dan, how about the idea that just being on the mountain with some good friends adds another dimension of enjoyment to the varied and tricky spring conditions!
    im back from nevada – when are you riding this week?

  2. Darren Black Says:

    Awesome powder shots Guys!! As far as the rumor about Matt I can tell ya for a fact he got it done cuz I saw it with my own eyes!! ( plus thats my sled he is on in the pic doing practice runs) it was sick!! I was glad to be a part of it. Thanks again for putting matt and I up for the weekend Dave!

  3. Dave Napier Says:

    Your welcome. Darren you left your thong on the bathroom door knob. I used gloves in its removal and I have mailed it back to you.
    You should have it in a day or so..:)

  4. Darren Black Says:

    Now Dave there is only one way you could have known those were mine! Thought you said we would keep that between us??:) I look forward to getting to see more of never neverland again some time. Awesome riding area!!!

  5. Sanchit Says:

    Wonderful blues in no 1 and 2..!Makes me think of the ocean on a cloudy day.Enjoy the atiicipanton of Spring whilst Winter still keeps a grip of our beloved Sweden.. Soon all that snow will melt away and you’ll skip about life barefoot.. Sometimes the beauty is in the wait.. :)xx Charlotta

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