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SnoWest NewsLetter

White Outs ... (Staff Blogs)

Mother Nature’s Hoar

Although we are all anxious to get out and embrace winter with our new snowmobiles, it would be wise if we pay close attention to the weather and more specifically this past week of clear skies and frigid temperatures.

            While most of us merely bundled up and watched the weather forecasts for the next storm front, we may have missed an important signal from Mother Nature-conditions have been optimum the creation of depth hoar.

            Now, some of you may ask what this has to do with snowmobiling. Well, depth hoar is the main culprit behind most avalanche fatalities. It represents that weak layer of snow that tends to persist throughout the season just waiting for something to put enough pressure on it to break away and create slab slides.

            Basically, this is how it forms. Early snow tends to provide an insulation factor for the ground. When cold temperatures freeze the surface of the snow, a hoar layer begins to grow, being maintained by moisture that is protected by the insulation of snow over the earth. This hoar has ample strength to sustain pressure from above, such as additional snow weight, but is very vulnerable to side pressure. And once it breaks away, it serves as ice beads that facilitate the sliding of heavy slabs of snow.

            So all of this cold dry weather has just made our future base level a death trap for the next few months.

            Depending on how Mother Nature distributes its snow and cold temperatures for the rest of the winter will determine how safe the high elevations will be. But for a while, snowmobilers need to be on their guard, particularly on west and south facing slopes and near ridgelines where wind tends to keep snow levels close to the surface.

            Although we often equate avalanche danger to deep snow, in reality it is a thin snowpack and cold temperatures that create the most dangerous conditions. A thick snowpack can actually do more good in the long run to eliminate depth hoar … but that's in the long run. The next deep snowfall might be the deadliest. So pay attention to the weather..


Steve Janes Blog
Ryan Harris Blog

Snow Fronts ... (Industry Headlines)

Why Do You Yamaha?

Continuing with its grassroots advertising approach, Yamaha Motor Canada is spotlighting real world Yamaha owners in its 2012 ad campaign.

After asking Canadians, "What Kind of Yamaha Are You?" the company now wants to know, "Why do you Yamaha?"
Read More

Polaris Chooses Progressive

Polaris has chosen Progressive Insurance as its preferred ATV, Side x Side, snowmobile and neighborhood vehicle insurer. By joining forces, Progressive and Polaris are making it easier for riders to get coverage that protects them and their vehicles, both on and off their property.

"We're working together so it's not only easier for Polaris owners to buy affordable insurance, but to really understand what they're buying," Progressive product manager Charlotte Elek said. "We're available anytime by phone and our website is filled with information to help Polaris owners make even smarter choices about coverage that protects them and their vehicle."
Read More

Take A Friend Snowmobiling

The snowmobile community has announced Take a Friend Snowmobiling Week, which will be held Feb. 11-20, 2012. This elongated week celebrates friends and family snowmobiling.

This special week compliments the Take a Friend Snowmobiling campaign, encouraging all of us to take our non-snowmobiling friends out snowmobiling. We have all had many conversations, telling stories about how much fun it is to take people snowmobiling for the first time and many of us have a lot of non-snowmobiling friends to take snowmobiling.
Read More

2012 International Snowmobile Congress

The Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts (SAM) is hosting the 44th annual International Snowmobile Congress (ISC), June 5-9, 2012, in Sturbridge, MA. Snowmobile enthusiasts from all over the world will gather at this premier international event.

ISC is the preeminent snowmobile event of the year, featuring more than 20 workshops covering an incredible wide range of topics, including proper grooming techniques, trail easements, planning saddlebag trips, political impact, even vintage snowmobile restoration.

A full list of workshops and ISC information is available at
Read More

Forum Snow Balls...

Here are the top posts on the SnoWest Forums for the past few days.

Pro vs M8 (Thread 1)

Pro vs M8 (Thread 2)

Yesterday's Powda

***WARNING-GRAPHIC PICS*** Always wear your helmet loading trailer!!!

How many forum posters does it take...

Whining about weight

Pictures of Riding area in the Summer and Winter

Another great snomobile transportation pic

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SnoWest December 2011

SledHeads December 2011

Featured Company/Product

EVS Sports

SPG Seat
Skinz Protective Gear

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Seats offer Gripper Top seat covers and TIG welded aluminum frames powdercoated flat black. Seats are available for the Polaris IQ/Pro, Arctic Cat M Series and Yamaha Nytro. Note that the Nytro seat requires under-tunnel exhaust.

For more information see the Gear Box Section in SledHeads December 2011 issue or Contact Skinz Protective Gear at or call (320)243-8771.
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