If anyone has the experience and expertise to put on an expo dedicated entirely to the sport of snowmobiling, it's SnoWest, which is one reason we do it. But we'll let you in on another reason: we do it for you.
Don't get us wrong. We get pretty excited when the leaves start turning and the air becomes crisper because we know it means that pulling the throttle back and careening up a mountainside on the back of a sled with more power than nature intended is just around the corner.
The Intermountain Snowmobile Show is just our way of whetting the palate, so we'll be holding shop at the Salt Lake County Events Center on Oct. 22-23, from 3-9 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The snow show is where Polaris, Yamaha, Ski-Doo and Arctic Cat bring the new sleds out for a look-see and every other important dealer, vendor, clothing maker and parts supplier shows up to share their latest and greatest offerings.
We can't help but grin when we think of the new videos, new toys and the long-awaited smell of a spanking new sled (why don't they bottle that fragrance to help us get through the summer?). We're willing to bet exhibitors will be happy to crack the hood open for you so you can see what's inside of the various sleds on display. From avalanche air bag demonstrations to large screen TVs showing expert riders soaring up impossible chutes, there will be something that will crack a smile on your face or force an ooohhhh or aaahhhh from the deepest depths of your guttural regions.
If you're net savvy, log on to www.intermountainshow.com for info on advance tickets, a floor plan of vendors and other news about the event.
After last year's success with seminars from expert mountain riders, we have decided to continue on with the trend of having acclaimed mountain riders reveal their most coveted secrets on how to pull off gravity-defying maneuvers. You won't want to miss out on your shot to meet Amber Holt and others at this year's seminars, and yes, (oh, yes) they will personally answer your most burning questions about boondocking and sidehilling.
Each year the Utah Snowmobile Association coordinates a swap meet on Saturday, so even if you aren't able to fork over the funds for brand new products, you can still pull out with a toy hauler full of new (as far as you're concerned) things to play with. Or perhaps you'll want to sell that extra sled that has been taking up space in your garage to provide you with some "unaccountable" funds you can use to purchase that new turbo that your wife will likely never hear about. Either way, strolling through the swap meet is not a bad way to tick off the days until the mountains are blanketed in powder.
If you have been maintaining your very first sled like it was a collector's item, our SnoWest Vintage Snowmobile Show is for you. It's a bit of history and nostalgia of all things snowmobiling that makes a stroll through the exhibits very worthwhile. Plus, you can register your vintage sled on the website and show it off to your friends and fellow snowmobilers. There are booths with information about riding packages, ongoing contests and tons of aftermarket goodies.
If things fall into place like we hope, we'll be doing another sled build this year, so watch for that. There will also be information on the necessities of staying safe and warm with groups like the parks and recreation department there to give avalanche avoidance tips.
And all of that work coordinating fun and information brings us back to the reason the staff at SnoWest look forward to the Intermountain Snow Show: you, the snowmobilers.
The entire SnoWest staff-including Steve Janes, Lane Lindstrom and Ryan Harris. you know, the guys who are paid to snowmobile-tend to hang around at the shows looking normal and inconspicuous. These are the mysterious gurus behind every great read about snowmobiling in the West for the last couple of decades. And they love talking shop to riding enthusiasts.
It's a common occurrence at the show to have some avid reader who has spent just a little too much time at the beer garden to wander over to the SnoWest booth and proceed to vocalize his opinion of an article in the magazine in a loud, expletive-ridden kind of way (which is great). But what the guy doesn't realize is that he is sharing his opinion with the very person who likely wrote the article.
It usually ends up with a lot of laughs, new friends being made and an invitation offered to ride "with a guy who can show SnoWest what riding is really about."
The Intermountain Snow Show offers a very family-oriented venue where you can bring your kids and expose them to people who have found a way to make a living out of pleasure.
So if you have even a remote interest in snowmobiling, we're confident you'll find something at the snow show that will interest you. If not, stop by the SnoWest booth and we'll make something up.
We can't wait to see you at the show.