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August 15th, 2019
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Looking Back, Moving Forward – MSM Issue 15

Sometimes we need to look back to see how far we’ve come.

This truth is never more clear than when we’re standing atop a mountain, tracing our trail back—way back—to the distant valley from which we started.

Mountain sledding has come a long way from its humble beginnings nearly 50 years ago, and Mountain Sledder Issue 15 is in part a celebration of that accomplishment. In it, we look back at the early days when Dusty Veideman and friends pioneered mountain sledding in Revelstoke. Their efforts paved the way for the rest of us and the mountain sledding culture that has grown since.

 

Boulder Mountain Dusty Veideman

Dusty Veideman and pals, as they make their way to the top of Boulder Mountain.

Along the way, we paid a price. As more sledders took to the hills, and their machines became more capable, our attention to the danger of avalanches didn’t keep pace. We lost too many of our kin. But there is hope that a coming of age in our culture will stem the loss.

But a focus on avalanche safety isn’t the only change that’s resulted from adversity. Ours was once a renegade sport—a suffer-fest for only the most dedicated and hardy adventurers. Now we have high tech gear that keeps us warm, dry and comfortable. And new helmet safety technology has emerged to address a growing understanding of the prevalence and severity of traumatic brain injuries.

The other part of this issue is a look around us, and a guess at where we’ll go from here. We’re becoming more proficient riders in general. We have riding goals and high expectations. How else would progression exist? Caleb Kesterke is one rider who is changing what is thought possible on a sled right now, and we can only imagine what he and others will be able to accomplish tomorrow.

 

Sideflip Sequence Caleb Kesterke

Kesterke, executing what he calls a “Sideflip”.

 

The way that we live and breathe sledding is also in transition. In these pages, we showcase five West Coast riders (Andrew Munster, Aaron Leyland, Cody McNolty, Khan Yong Gee and Sam Standing) who are chasing their snowmobiling dreams, each living a sledder lifestyle that is as unique as their character.

Change is always afoot. Old is replaced by new. And we who follow our passion for snowmobiling in the mountains will always find different ways to pursue those dreams.

So where will we be in 30, 40 or 50 years from now? Hopefully, standing atop dizzying new heights, looking forward at all the places we’ve yet to go.

 

– PG