Noob With Some Backcountry/ Mountain Riding Questions - HCS Snowmobile Forums

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Old 10-26-2016, 06:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Noob With Some Backcountry/ Mountain Riding Questions

Hey guys!

I'm just getting started out in riding and had a few questions. First a little background.

Born in raised in Southern CA and lived in Las Vegas, NV the last 15 years. Just this spring I relocated to Boise, ID and am finally in an area where it would make sense for me to buy a sled.

I have ridden a few times but not many in scheme of things. The last ride I did was in Whistler, CA (about 2 years ago) through a tour group. It was a couple trails on the backside of the Mountain and took us in to some big open power bowls which I loved. I'm an avid snowboarder and looking to do more backcountry riding as well. Living here in Idaho it looks like there is a ton of riding north of Boise and north east in the saw tooths and tetons. I would also like to use the sled to access backcountry spots for snowboarding, so here are my questions.

1) As someone new to this how do I do it safely? I was looking at taking a avalanche training class this year, but besides that and proper backcountry kit (shovel, beacon, food, fire, etc) what else should I know/do?

2) Im guessing this is something you always want to do with a friend? Correct? as in a SHT moment you would have someone to help you out.

3) Any other comments or suggestions are welcome as I just want to make sure I'm being safe about it.
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You should get on Snow West. Mostly Midwest and East coast trail peeps on here.
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Old 10-27-2016, 11:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the heads up. I'll check it out.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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But for those of us on multiple forums, we can help you out on either.

*An Avalanche course is definitely #1 priority. Mike Duffy has a popular one down south.

*A transceiver(we don't call them beacons anymore) is only as good as the person using it. Which means practice makes perfect. Knowing the equipment is just as important as buying the best equipment.

*Don't go cheap. Used is fine and dandy, but take it into a shop and have them go over the equipment with you. Anyone in your area would more than likely have no issues helping you out. Costco or Walmart shovels are not the same quality as what you find in the WPS catalog or your local dealer.

*One that I am a big believer in as well, don't go to the lightest probe or shovel you can find, plastic is not your friend when it comes to a shovel. And a short carbon probe that measures 260 is far less effective than a 320 probe.

*And my favorite, an Avy bag, used is not an issue, but like I mentioned above, make sure that it still functions, there's no rips or tears, and a shop has a good once over on it. They will want to sell you a new one, but most shops will be willing to help a newbie with his used gear as well. As long as we are all safe.

Now take all of this info and find a group of sledders that share the same sentiments as you. Guys that have no problem getting their AST1 or practice using their transceivers randomly are the guys you want to hang out with. If your riding buddies are lax in their approach to their own safety, what are they going to be like with your life in their hands?

First Aid kits, Survival kits, and proper helmet, boots, gloves, and clothing is also something you'll want to research.

You are a boarder so you have a good idea on what you need in that regard, however sledding in the mountains is different than riding a lift for half the day. Layers, extra gloves, proper socks, ventable gear and proper fitting helmet/goggles will all help make your sledding experience much more enjoyable.

If you want to get more in depth we can help. You also have some great dealerships in the area, as well as Western Power Sports. They have a few people that are extremely knowledgeable and can walk you through the whole gear process as they sell everything you need. Unfortunately they don't sell to public, only dealers, but nonetheless they are a wealth of knowledge. I suggest finding out who the local rep is for WPS and talking his ear off for a few hours one day.

Have fun and welcome to the mountains!
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