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Published on February 5th, 2013 | by The Powerhouse

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2013-02-03 Sled Recovery Adventure

turtle mtn 1

I was working in the shop Saturday afternoon when I got a text from a good friend, he was riding way back in Turtle, near the end of their day, as they were working their way back out, Rozzy’s drive chain broke on his Nypex.

There was nothing to be done this late in the afternoon as it was getting dusk already, so I organized the required replacement parts, chain, cover, bearings, oil and tools, etc.. for a sledding repair adventure for Sunday. We loaded up the sleds, fueled our sleds and stomachs at the Big Eddy Market, …Vince’s breakfast sandwich tasted very good!!

turtle mtn 3No fresh snow to report, temperatures were warm, parking lot was slushy as was the lower trail, …quite unseasonably so for this time of the year. Rozzy rode his spare sled, (Rozzy Moto) and I rode the Honda, we ripped up the trail through the cut block and avy runs, we were on a mission and wasted no time. As if a sign, the we broke thru into brilliant sunshine as we left the sub-alpine trees behind. We held a steady pace all the way back, past Pebble Beach, then dropped into one of favorite little canyons that we like to smash powder and climb in, …there was “Wayne”, …looking somewhat dejected from the night in the cold rather than his usual cozy heated trailer.

We threw him up on his side and went to work at 10:41 am. Of course the broken chain destroyed the cover as it tore itself to pieces. I got it stripped down and started cleaning the bulkhead, checking for shrapnel hidden out of view. We had the new chain on, the new cover on and were dumping the oil in by 12:45, …not bad for a hillside repair. We put the plastic back on and set Wayne back down on his skis, Rozzy turned the key and he fired to life instantly.

turtle mtn2After a two minute warm up, Rozzy inched ahead to ensure the track wasn’t froze up, then got himself into position and launched Wayne on a wicked sidehill carve, proceeding to finish the climb from yesterday when the chain broke. The mighty Apex powered sled responded and they tore to the top. I wasn’t quite so lucky, the Honda stumbled and we dug in to the deep powder on the steep sidehill.

We soon started our trek back out, two riders, with three sleds! We would ride one ahead a few kilometres, then double back for the other one. The weather had changed by now, with a system, moving in quickly, snowing heavy, reducing our visibility to minimal in some areas. We left the scene of the broken chain around 1:00 pm and arrived back at the parking lot around 4:30 pm. We had some great riding in the process, taking a bit of time to smash some powder. We ran into a young man driving around in the meadows, he appeared to be looking for someone so we stopped in check. Sure enough he had lost his riding partner somewhere and could not find her. We continued with our sled leap-frogging and kept an eye for her. We ensured that they were back together and on their way before we left the area.

turtle mtn 4We enjoyed some absolutely insane climbing while riding double on Wayne. Rozzy and I had done a similar recovery last year and are getting rather good at styling under power, while riding double. When we crossed the “ditch” heading back for the other sled, Rozzy opted to make the pull straight up and over to the west side rather than opt for the sidehill. We must have been 60 MPH climbing that steep face, ..incredible power, we were going FAST!! haha

Rozzy called some fellow Saskatchewan friends to meet as at the Trail Head on the Kirkup, such that we could just drive the rest of the way without going back for the spare sled. That was nice as we were getting tired and ready to relax. All in all, a great day, and a successful sled recovery. Rozzy took the only pictures on his phone, … which he forwarded for this ride report. Thanks Rozzy!

Incidentally, the chain that broke was only 8 rides old and was adjusted regularly. It was however not an OEM Yamaha drive chain, but a Team Performance HYVO chain, made in the USA. We have not had any similar premature failures with these chains to date, but I will definitely be stocking genuine Yamaha drive chains hence forward.

Cheers! Cpt. Ron


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