Getting Out of Trouble

Off-Trail Tips: What to Do When Your Sled Gets Stuck

January 2024 Feature Steve Janes Web Exclusive

If you venture off trail in the back country, you’re eventually going to find yourself bogged down on a steep slope or in the bottom of a creek. And although the manufacturers have gone to great efforts to lighten up their snowmobiles … when you’re buried in heavy snow, there’s some work ahead of you.

Here is a situation where the rider got a little bit out of position coming out of a creek bottom and buried his sled. The initial thought was to just roll it out. However, the snow was wet, crusty and no base under the top two feet. The snowmobile was stuck and too heavy for the rider to budge.

The first thing to do is to start working on the base so when the snowmobile does roll out, it can sit on some packed snow. This meant to remove the snow from around the front of the sled on the side you plan to drag the front end over and shovel it down to where you are standing. Build the base by putting the snow in the holes created by your feet.

As you move the snow down, you also free up the resistance that makes rolling or dragging your sled over more difficult.

Also spend some time shoveling the snow out from around the opposite side of the direction you plan to roll. You want to free the track from the trench it has created so as you roll the sled over the track isn’t being wedged.

By just spending a little time packing and preparing the area you plan to roll your snowmobile onto, you will help ensure your chances of being able to drive it out of the mess you’ve gotten into.

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