At the end of March, after an abysmal early season and a mediocre January/February, we were looking at a snowpack in Utah that was just over 50% of normal. Despite the poor snow totals, we had still managed to get in more than our fair share of epic rides by hitting the road and chasing storms, and we were ready to count our blessings and start looking forward to next season. But just when the season was appearing to wind down, the pacific storms starting lining up and April/May turned out to be our best powder riding of the year.
What this season lacked for early snowfall, it more than made up for it in April and May with some of the deepest spring powder I've seen. While we still have several weeks of riding left, this is the time of the year that I like to refer to as the “last call.” This is the time of year when only the most dedicated and passionate riders are still out hitting the snow. Although the snowpack is still superb, many riders lose interest at the tail end of the season and hang up the sledding gear in order to pursue their summer hobbies.
Much like the late night revelers that find themselves taking advantage of the last opportunity to become further intoxicated, the late season riders are addicted in their own right. For this group of snowmobilers, there is nothing else that compares to sledding in the backcountry and they will take every last opportunity to get one more ride in. While the last call in the pub is legally mandated in order to protect the patrons and community from the dangers of alcohol abuse, you might say that the end of the riding season serves a similar purpose. At this point in the year our bodies, sleds, families, and perhaps checkbooks, are ready for a few months off.
Although this is not the end of the season by any means (Rick and Phatty are on the way to Canada now…), I think it is time to ring the bell for the last call. Get it while you can!
Look for the Boondockers 7: First Tracks teaser in the next month! For now, enjoy some pictures from our last few rides:
Photos by Phatty Dyer and Dan Gardiner