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Old 11-28-2012, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

Since I have not been to the Yetna yet I have no way of knowing what the ice will be like but judging by what I see where roads cross streams here the high water at freeze time will make for rough ice. Some years it's smooth like a highway all the way to Skwentna and others it is cluttered with giant ice bergs and ruts that can loosen your fillings even at low speeds. When it's rough the trip is slow and arduous. It'll be a couple more weeks before I give it a go.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

That's crazy that you guys have ice on your rivers already, well not for you Ard

Here you can notice that every year the ice comes later and a little bit less in quantity, seals rearing pups on land and all

As far as sleds go, I've seen people water skip over 100 foot spans of open water, machines have a tendency of attracting the smartest of our species
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

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Originally Posted by latshki View Post
That's crazy that you guys have ice on your rivers already, well not for you Ard

Here you can notice that every year the ice comes later and a little bit less in quantity, seals rearing pups on land and all

As far as sleds go, I've seen people water skip over 100 foot spans of open water, machines have a tendency of attracting the smartest of our species
We froze over early, in fact way early this year. But I still wouldn't be riding all over it, and I certainly wouldn't stop on it for those goggles.

We had a race with snowmobiles on open water up here one summer. They had a pontoon boat with an open center and electric winches on an overhead frame just for snowmobile recovery. As long as you don't slow down and take your turns wide you can go forever on open water.

In all the years I worked on the ice up here I did see a lot of really stupid things. Most involved pressure ridges and a guy looking at it and then saying, "I can hop that." Most of the time they find out the hard way, no they can't. I used to jump them several times a day with a snowmobile, which is I'm sure, a lot of the reason I sent the snowmobile in at the end of the season with much of the suspension in boxes.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

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Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
We had a race with snowmobiles on open water up here one summer. They had a pontoon boat with an open center and electric winches on an overhead frame just for snowmobile recovery. As long as you don't slow down and take your turns wide you can go forever on open water.
I had no idea you could do this.

Being a youtube junkie, I found some video for others who haven't seen this


If anyone's spouse thinks they blow too much money on fly fishing, they should be glad we're not blowing money on snowmobiles then doing this.

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Old 11-30-2012, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

Like I said, don't slow down.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

I am a fellow who has beat the odds. By that I mean I have survived some pretty hairy stuff and can still walk - run - talk, etc. Through it all I realize that some of the situations I have been through were avoidable. However, NEVER, and I really mean NEVER, would I have ever been that stupid.

There is something about ice on a river that just screams BE CAREFUL, it was that way when I was young and it's that way now. I don't even dream about traveling to the cabin until I know that freight sleds loaded with fuel and fuel oil are running as far as the upper Skwentna River. Once they are hauling thousands of pounds over the trails I feel pretty confident but I stay on the trails! If something like getting all wet were to happen where I go, you will die. Not you might or could die, I'm pretty sure you would die.

We have people who die because they have an accident on the rivers involving open waters. We also have people who die because they were doing something really stupid in a place where there isn't a wide margin for stupid.

When I see something like that it makes me ashamed of our species and our society. Not only can we waste money and resources doing something so idiotic but we can buy cameras to record it with as well. Then there are all the contaminants that are introduced to the water when you lose a machine full of gas & oil...... I better not get started
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

OK, here's my 'stupid on the ice' story. Back in about 98 or 99 I went to go ice fish with the owner of the bait and tackle shop up at Wheelers point right where the Rainy River dumps into 4-mile Bay of Lake of the Woods. It was really early in the season and the ice was not really very thick. We took his four wheeler and both of our ice houses. I have an 8'X8' suitcase house and he had a house about the same size. His had a ply wood floor and 1X4 frame but was essentially like my suitcase. He had a rack on his 4 wheeler in the rear that he put the house, his auger, etc. I had mine being pulled laying on the ice. I sat on the rack in the front and away we went. We get about 3 or 4 hundred yards into 4-mile bay and the ice starts busting. You could hear it and FEEL it! He hit the gas and went like a bat out of h....eck. I'll bet we went for 200' with the ice going out from under us. As soon as it stopped busting we stopped and got off and looked back where we had just been. It didn't open up but I would not have let a house cat walk over where we had just been. We stayed and fished till dark. When we went back in we went straight West and away from the channel till we felt good about turning back towards shore. No trouble getting back in, but that was as close to going through as I have ever been.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

It reminds me of this story that happened on Lake Erie while I was living in Michigan. If I remember right, an outdoors program was shooting an ice fishing program on Lake Erie that day. They'd brought a boat that could travel over the ice so they were fine. I think, when they headed out onto the ice they crossed over a significant crack, which developed into the large open water later in the day. They picked-up some folks (leaving their gear) and were able to cross the open water without a problem to get back to shore. I've never been ice fishing. I know tons of people do it safely, but the image I have is standing on a tree limb and drilling holes between me and the trunk However, if I lived near my in-law's place in Northern Wisconsin, where you can drive trucks across the lake and there are zero other fishing opportunities for months of the year I might give it a go.

I also think about the oil and fuel that leaks into the water when the machines go under. A snow mobile on something the size of Lake Erie is probably a drop in a very large bucket, but on smaller ponds and streams it could do some damage.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

OK, one more stupid on the ice story since you mentioned shooting a show. A popular TV was up here to film an ice fishing episode. They were staying at Zipple Bay Resort. In the morning they got up to fil leaving across Zipple bay for the lake to ice fish.

Over the last few decades, farmers have cut down to the waters edge along the streams feeding the bay. As a result of farm silt runoff and fertilizer, there has been an increasing amount of silting in around the resort.

So every winter now, they use large heavy equipment to chop a giant hole in the ice and dredge out the channel out to the bay. Keep in mind we get really thick ice so a giant backhoe, large dumptruck full of mud, etc. are not in danger of falling through. However, they do make a really big hole in the ice.

So here it is bright and early in the morning and the guys are headed out down the ice road out to the lake. The camera man is getting the shot of them headed out and keeps backing up to get the best shot till....... yes you guessed it, the hole. So now here is the TV show camera and it's now freezing camera man doing the one arm water tread.

They bought as much rice as they could find in hopes of saving the camera.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: First snowmobile on the river.

Here's a snowmachine that'll never see open water; 2012 Tundra LT powder walking sled. We only have about 3.5 inches of snow here at the house so I haven't even used it yet. It's just sitting on the trailer with a cover on since early October.

Click the image to open in full size.

The Yamaha is parked down back on pallets with a jack under the rear bumper to keep the track and suspension off the wood and fully extended and I need more snow before I can go down and bring it up to the house also. It's looking like we could see 6" over the next few days and that'll be enough on top of what we have for them to be ran up and down the drive lane to loosen things up.

Right after Christmas the forum will be left to Larry and Frank because I'm headed out and will be gone for a few weeks or more.
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