Ride Report – Nick Woods
Hey Sleddermag.com, Nick Woods here.
Well, another winter season has come and yet again we were dealt another awful early-season snowpack here on the coast, with super high freezing levels and a lack of snow that forced a late start to the season for me. So I was beyond excited when it was finally my last day of work!
Saturday December 20
Had to get an early start, loaded up my truck with all my riding gear, and beelined it to Route 99 Motorsports to finish off some last minute things on my fresh sled build. A few hours of work soon turned into a full day ordeal. At last she was all done, and I broke my motor in on the sled dolly and loaded her up on the sled deck. This feeling never gets old!
Got out of the shop in Pemberton by 5pm and was on my way to my Kamloops destination. What is usually a 3 hour drive took me 4.5 hours due to 7 inches of fresh snow on the Duffy Lake Hwy. I thought, of course it starts dumping just as soon as I’m leaving.
I arrived at my buddy’s place in Kamloops, did a quick CFR bar install, and then we were on our way to Brett Turcotte’s and Niki Taylor’s new place to celebrate Niki’s birthday! Always love catching up with good friends you haven’t seen for a while, and the party went late into the night.
Sunday December 21
The day has finally arrived, first day of the season! It wasn’t exactly an early start due to all the fun the night before, but everyone their got life together and loaded up and we were on are way to Crowfoot Mountain, my local stomping grounds—5 minutes from my family home. It couldn’t have been a better day. The sun was breaking, and the pow was handle bar deep. It took a bit to dust off the cobwebs, but by the end of the day I was feeling one with the sled again. Brett even found a nice double and a hip to get sendy on!
Monday December 22
We got a much earlier start this time, and were on route to Grizzly Lodge for day 2 of riding. I stayed out at my parents house in the North Shuswap, and met up with our crew of riders consisting of Brett Turcotte, Cody McNolty, my dad Wayne and myself. We geared up and started the 40km trail ride in. Luckily we took a little break halfway, because we noticed oil leaking out of Brett’s belly pan. We looked inside and found the oil line had moved and been burned by the muffler. We performed a quick trail-side surgery, and were on the move once again.
We got up top and started the day ripping tree lines—the Shuswap has endless boondocking! We then began to make moves to a known hip for a quick session. After bombing the landing out on the hip we had a quick bite to eat, and made a decision to keep pushing back in search of new zones and untouched powder.
We came to a steep one-way draw and decided to drop in, even though we knew it would be a hard one to get back up. It paid off, and ended up being the best zone of the trip, littered with pillows, hips and gullies—the kind of terrain every sledder dreams of.
After a bit of playing in there, and fuel starting to run low, it was time to attempt the hill climb out. Brett and I went first, and our 3″ Powerclaw tracks trenched their way up no problem. It took some of the others a few pokes to get up, but everyone was pretty stoked after that pull. Epic sun sets on the way out, followed by a cold ride back to the trucks.
There is definitely no better way kick off the sled season! My sled was working unreal, all my new gear was top notch, and the trip got the fire in my eye for the season ahead!
– Nick Woods