Letters to the Editor

Published in the September 2008 Issue White Out & Wide Open—The Blog

Dear Editor:

In your Final Thoughts in the Deep Powder Challenge ["Burying The Competition," SnoWest, March, 2008, page 35], you state, "If you find yourself at the bottom of a canyon in deep powder . you probably better be on a Rev XP."

I ride on an '07 Yamaha Apex Mountain. I endure the occasional penalty of weight but I keep up with my backcountry buddies.

The real dirty little secret Yamaha doesn't want you to know about is the real weight penalty of riding their sleds. The penalty is towing XPs back to the truck. Our sleds don't feel light then. My friend, Jim, dumped his XP in a ravine where it flipped without hitting a tree. The "lightweight" frame was twisted like a corkscrew and the sled was totaled.

Based on the Doo owner complaints on the SnoWest forum, your bottom of the canyon advice should be, "You probably better be on a Rev XP if the crank is not broken, both belts blown and if the dainty little frame isn't bent like a corkscrew." They should be called Rev I.R. (insurance required).

Greg Staeheli

Spokane, WA


Sled Evaluations

Dear Editor:

Keep up the good work. SnoWest is really the only magazine that does a true evaluation of sleds. You were the first, best and now the "only" unless you count the other magazines' factory storyline.

Readers won't always agree unless you pick their favorite. I think you do a service to the novice, uninformed individual looking to purchase a sled.

Ron Seewald

Boise, ID


Global Warming?

Dear Editor:

I'm not sure where Mr. John Sherer got his information from ["Global Warming," SnoWest, October, 2007, page 12]. But he is incorrect about the fact that CO2 levels rising increase the temperature.

Rising temperatures are causing CO2 levels to change. Temperatures changed more in the late 1800s and early 1900s than they have over the last 50 years. What would all the Al Gores think had they lived during the dust bowl YEARS in the Midwest? As many as 50 million acres of land were destroyed by the effects of the Dust Bowl, another 50 million acres endangered. Dust storms carried millions of tons of dirt from one location to the next. The largest migration in American history was during this time period. More than 2.5 million people left the Dust Bowl area; most headed west for California.

With modern technology, NASA now believes the jet stream was partly responsible for this drought. In the 1930s, the jet stream was weakened, causing the normally moisture-rich air from the Gulf of Mexico to become drier. The result was dry air and high temperatures in the Midwest from about 1931 to 1939. Check out the information on CO2 at http://www.globalwarmfacts.com/html/co2-temp.html.


Via e-mail


The Military And Riding-Part II

Dear Editor:

In the October, 2007 issue you printed the article ["The Military and Riding," SnoWest, page 12] that I had written to you last year.

I thought I should write again and update the story a little. It has changed since it hit print last year. I had written explaining how moving in the military can be great if you desire certain things and I did mention the fact about moving to Alaska. Well, as much as we trust our government, the whole Alaska move didn't happen.

I instead had the chance to pick from Ft. Hood, TX, or Ft. Drum, NY. Well, having two sleds and trailer and all that, I just didn't think that hauling it to Texas and living there for three years would make much sense. So I chose New York. Yeah, it is New York and many people like myself from out West assume as if you are moving to downtown Brooklyn.

Not so. I am stationed in upstate New York, about 30 miles from Canada and out in the Adirondack Mountains. I am sure you all know the amount of snow that falls here in the winter. It is something else to be able to see more snowmobile crossing signs than stop signs and one of the only places where schools have snowmobile parking, as well as the roads having carbide scratches on them.

Anyway, I just thought I would let you know this and that one day I shall make it to the final frontier by expense of the military.

Oh, and another thing, with all this about the snow up here and just moving here I do admit I will be missing this winter due to deployment to Iraq with the 10th Mountain Division. So to all who may read this, enjoy that fresh powder because I too know how it feels to have it all to yourself. 

SGT. Erin Orton

10th Mountain Division Ft. Drum, NY

"Climb To Glory"


Unwanted Pictures

Dear Editor:

I think that your website and magazine is a wonderful publication and I love reading it and viewing the snowmobiling information.

My family and I have received your magazines for many years and we love snowmobiling. SnoWest has been an informative magazine. But I was wondering why you guys need to put advertisement pictures on your website that are not very appropriate for viewers.

I love to watch your videos that you put on your website but today (11/2/2007) when I went to view some of the videos you guys had, an advertisement of some sort was on there with a woman that was wearing next to nothing. I don't believe you should let companies advertise their products on there using that kind of material.

I am disappointed with your magazine and don't appreciate those images coming onto my screen. Your magazine and website is very interesting but with this kind of material on your website it is becoming very sleazy and unprofessional. You are promoting snowmobiling, a sport that we love, not pornography. I hope that you would control what you let companies use to advertise their products.

Chris Fredrickson

Cedar City, UT


Another One Bites The Dust?

Dear Editor:

I've been riding since 1990. Sleds are now $15,000-16,000. Ridiculous.

When considering buying a sled, I've heard things like, "Consider a used sled instead of new because you will only use it for a few months anyway."

The very fact that this is becoming the thinking clearly shows that prices on sleds are insane.

Two-stroke technology isn't new. Better skis aren't new. Addressing rider position isn't new. Lengthening tracks isn't new. Riding areas are being shut down because people insist on not working for a living and thinking they can just ride a sled, be in a movie and promote themselves. Is the technology being increased or just people's greed?

Bluecollar Bob

Via e-mail


West Mountain And The Tamarack Resort

Dear Editor:

Apparently the U.S. Forest Service has gleefully sold us out to Tamarack Resort. According to the latest meeting and new land use map, Tamarack Resort has been granted the entire northern riding area on West Mountain from Four Corners, past 44 Hill and into the existing resort property.

As of March 1, 2007, anyone found in our traditional riding area will be considered trespassing and prosecuted accordingly. In order for us to continue to ride in this area, we will now have to purchase a lift pass from Tamarack for each visit.

In past meetings, Tamarack promised that it would not encroach on our traditional riding area and wanted "to be a good neighbor." Unfortunately, it seems they lied. Go figure. Their empty promises convinced many locals and WSC members to concede to the original plan, thus little opposition was expressed to the USFS and resort officials.

I have no opposition to the USFS, skiers and Tamarack. I applaud Tamarack for looking for inventive ways to be profitable. I do, however, loathe their tactics and the fact they would take PUBLIC land traditionally used by snowmobilers . given the fact their original plan included plenty of land just the north of 44 Hill.

My question is this: can your magazine do an investigation and article on this total encroachment? Some negative exposure for the resort might reduce the size of their ego. I have sent a similar letter to the Idaho State Snowmobile Association folks so they can look into this issue.

Brian Lueddeke

Nampa, ID

(ED-After receiving this letter from Brian Lueddeke about snowmobiling in Idaho's West Mountain area, we asked Tamarack Resort, to whom Leuddeke's ire is directed, to address his concerns. The resort's reply follows.)


Tamarack's response:


Thank you for your obvious commitment to snowmobiling in Idaho. We are honored to be part of a community which is so dedicated to preserving such a unique environment.

That being said, I would like to clarify some concerns stated in your letter to the editor.

Tamarack purchased the Meadowood Lodge snowmobile permit in the fall of 2007. This permit does not exclude anyone from riding in traditional snowmobile areas, with the exception of the Tamarack backcountry ski permit area. This area includes the land from Arling North to No Business on the east-facing side of the ridge. Though this does limit riding in this area to Tamarack skiers and snowboarders, it does nothing to prevent snowmobilers from enjoying the hundreds of other trails and locations for riding and highmarking that surround this area.

We have attempted to close those areas specifically used for guided ski trips to snowmobilers and winter enthusiasts for the safety of skiers and riders in the area.

Tamarack Resort has never bothered those who choose to ignore the closure, nor has Tamarack ever issued a citation. Tamarack has not taken public land, but merely purchased an existing outfitter permit allowing us access to these areas. We have found that the majority of snowmobilers have appreciated our efforts and stop by the resort via the trails and ride the lifts to the base area (free of charge) to enjoy a beer or lunch.

Tamarack is a strong supporter of snow aficionados and has continued to be a partner with other snowmobilers who enjoy the West Mountain area since the conception of our program.

Tamarack annually donates to the snowmobile grooming program that services public trails. We were also strategic partners in the founding of the Gibson Creek trail as an access point to the West Mountain ridge, a trail we continue to maintain through the winter.


Jamie Seifert

Director of Mountain Operations


Complaining For Years

Dear Editor:

I really loved the article "Men vs. Women" [SnoWest, November, 2007, page 84]. It is everything I have been complaining of for years.

Along with that how the heck do you keep prescription glasses from fogging? I can't keep the visor down because it fogs my glasses and goggles just don't seem to fit right. The most successful solution I have had is to ride blind. Watch out if you see me coming.

Anyway, I hope the manufacturing companies are paying attention. I am probably the most frugal person I know when it comes to spending money on clothing for myself. The one thing I have found is that I will SPEND to stay warm. It is worth it. I hate being cold, but I love to ride.

Remember ... keep your butt off the seat. It's funner that way.

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