Letters to the Editor

Published in the September 2010 Issue Column


Dear Editor:
I can tell the snow really needs to fly and accumulate soon. It seems that a few folks have nothing better to do than complain about seeing the occasional beautiful woman in some of your advertising (letters to the editor in the last two issues).

Really people? Really? Time to get an autumn/fall hobby and quit whining about seeing a beautiful woman on the pages of a mag.

Ken Brown
Bend, OR


Useful Info

Dear Editor:
You guys have an awesome magazine. As a part of the Union County Search and Rescue I use your mag a lot for info on riding techniques for new member trainings.

Your staff riders are very informative when it comes to explaining the different ways of riding whether it's on or off trail.

Thank you for this input and keep up the great reviews. You guys rock. Keep up the good work. Oh yea, keep wishing for snow. Doing a snow dance may help. We're trying it here in eastern Oregon.

Shawn Wood
LaGrande, OR

(ED-I hope you find Steve Janes' riding tips in an upcoming issue helpful.)


Snowmobile Capital Of The World - Part 2

Dear Editor:
Actually this is written to Snowtoad ["Snowmobile Capital of the World, SnoWest, October, 2009, page 12].

We couldn't be more delighted that we have made your "bucket list" of places to ride, considering that Eagle River is the "Snowmobile Capital of the World." That's great. Actually it is snowmobilers themselves, from their own riding experiences, who dubbed West Yellowstone as the "Snowmobile Capital of the World." West Yellowstone considers itself more as a place for "total winter adventure." Our array of winter activities in the most fantastic white powder to be found gives us just cause for such a claim.

Want to snowmobile? West Yellowstone grooms 200 miles of trails in the Gallatin and Targhee National FORESTS that join the nearly 400 miles of groomed trails in southeast Idaho that just run right into Wyoming trails. What's more, there're millions of acres of off-trail riding to be found just off these hundreds of miles of trails-get the picture? All available to you and your own sled.

Snowmobile racing? Not on ice, you are right. Snocross, drags, speed runs, freestyle-on snow-every March at the World Snowmobile Expo.

Want to ski, too? West Yellowstone's world renowned Rendezvous Trail System annually greets cross-country competitors and recreational skiers from all over the world to test, train and recreate on these perfectly groomed trails. Oh, wait, there's still Big Sky of Montana with the longest alpine vertical in the United States, just a short 45 miles to the north.

What about snowshoeing? Millions of acres of national forests are open to snowshoe explorers, including the Refuge Point marked trail that brings breathtaking views of the Madison earthquake area.

What about a dog sled adventure? Opportunities abound for those who want to ride or race along well-marked trails.

Do you like to fish? Cast a fly into the clear waters of the Gallatin River or drop a line into the deep of Hebgen Lake. Those trout are especially hungry in the winter months.

Oh, almost forgot to tell you about skating and sledding. If you come by car, bring them both. And your snowboard, too, because if Big Sky's slopes and half-pipe don't suit you, you and your snowmobile can get to some unbelievable places to shred.

Then, how about a quiet evening winter campfire with `smores and hot chocolate? You can do that, too.

And you haven't even been into Yellowstone National Park yet. Many snowmobilers spend most of their time outside of the Park and then add a Yellowstone trip for a day.

Yep, you're right. The rules of snowmobiling in Yellowstone have changed. You do need to ride a four-stroke snowmobile in Yellowstone to help sustain this, America's First National Park (you might want to watch the Ken Burns series on National Parks now airing on PBS). And a guide (more accurately, a teacher of Yellowstone's purpose, history and lore) is required. Or a snowcoach tour is an option, too. All this doesn't change why people the world over come to experience the awesome, spectacular beauty of Yellowstone in winter where buffalo share the trail with you, rivers drop into falls, elk continue to graze and geysers cast themselves into the clear blue skies.

Well, Snowtoad, we hope you get your wish to ride with us in West Yellowstone in the near future. Let us know if we can help you make your plan. In the meantime, we know Eagle River's legal claim to "Snowmobile Capital of the World" and we proudly stake out "Total Winter Adventure."

Marysue Costello
Executive Director
West Yellowstone (Montana) Chamber of Commerce


Stop The Name Calling

Dear Editor:
I received my September, 2009 SnoWest and I've been called a "carrot snapper." ["2-Stroke Days May Be Numbered," September, 2009, page 10]. And last March I was called a "moron" and "*#$%." I would cancel my subscription right now if I didn't enjoy your magazine so much.

Ms. Shook indicated that I had trashed Yamaha snowmobiles; I contend I did nothing of the sort. I just described conditions where their performance is outstanding, "Yamaha Snow." In fact, I was just defending the Rev XP (a sled which I do not own but covet) which another writer had previously trashed in their letter.

One question I have for Ms. Shook: If ALL snowmobile manufacturers are producing sleds that can climb any humanly possible mountain, why then are no Yamahas on the "Hill Test" charts in the Deep Powder Challenge results the past two years? With your commitment to the Yamaha brand, it is unlikely that we will ever cross paths even in Idaho with my affinity to avoid trails and spring riding conditions.

There are just some things you will never do or experience on certain brands. Example: You will likely never break a crankshaft on a Yamaha. I've broken two on my two-strokes. See, I can compliment Yamaha.

Evan Boberg
Sandy, UT


Dear Frustrated Wife

Dear Editor:
["You're Not As Daring As You Used To Be," SnoWest, December, 2009, page 10]. Ok, this is a real delicate subject so I am going to be very honest and please don't think this is the end-all.

I am a diehard sledhead. I have been riding my whole life, literally, and I have forgotten sometimes that what is real easy for me may be very intimidating for others. My wife has been riding with me for a year. I kind of threw her in eye-deep with an 800cc sled. I have been guilty plenty of times of telling her to try something that she is not comfortable doing, many of which are much like what you have described.

Here is where you and my wife go different ways. You said no and your hubby got put off because in his mind he tried to get you involved and you wouldn't. He loses interest in teaching you, because you seem uninterested. My wife tells me she does not feel comfortable and then says, "too many trees, too many rocks, too steep, don't know how to get out of a pinch if I dig in or get stuck." These are real honest things she does not know.

Then we go find a place to practice what she needs to know or I do it first and let her watch and ask questions. Trust me, she shows me she wants to learn so I'm happy to teach. Try it. If he still is closed off, then, well that's another issue. And really, telling him that you'd rather ride with his friend, than him, that's cold, painful and degrading to him.

Show him an interest, ask him questions and I bet you'll be shocked how much it helps.

Brian Allen
Twin Falls, ID

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