A serious storm system worked its way through CO/WY late last week. Big snow totals were predicted and big snow totals is what we got! The storm was forecasted to let up around mid-day on Friday. With it being light late these days as compared to mid-winter we decided that a afternoon ride on Friday would be the best time to hit deep pow and good weather. Therefore Friday afternoon we left town and did our best to chase the snow. The front range foothills were the bulls eye for this storm. We had a local riding area we planned on hitting that is about as far east as you can ride but still get up above 10k ft. We figured that would be the place to be with this storm and we were right.
We got off the main road with the trucks and started up the freshly plowed (thank god!) gravel road to our riding area.
We get to our area, unload the sleds and take off. We parked farther down the road then we normally do and would have to ride about 20 miles in to the area we really wanted to get to. Here is what the snow looked like just a few hundred yards from the truck.
It was incredibly wet and heavy snow, but also pretty deep. I was riding the new 2018 Cat M8000 162″ for the day. Huge thanks to Front Range Arctic Cat for letting me try it out for the day!
Here is Jordan shooting by me on the way up to higher elevation.
We kept pushing our way up the road, slowly getting higher and higher. Once gaining some elevation the snow dried out and it started feeling a bit more like mid-winter.
We had a plan which involved following this small goat trail into the woods and getting to tree line. We went for it, but the snow was to deep. I was keeping the 2018 Cat pinned, and it was getting me places I didn’t think it would. However I still ran out of skill and got stuck a few times. Find the Arctic Cat in this pic! Was trying to turn around in the powder and got a bit to close to a tree.
I have to admit, I think the 162 2018 M8000 is the best deep snow sled I have ever ridden. Its ability to jump on on the snow and creep around at 2mph while fully pinned in 3ft of snow is better than any other sled I have ever ridden. I was constantly amazed by what the sled could get out of if you just grab a fistful of throttle and shake the sled around a bit.
As a group we decided to turn around from the goat trail and try to hit another area we know off a bit further down the way. I got out ahead of the group and took a few pics of them driving my way.
At times it was so foggy you couldnt see more than 50ft. Here is Matt enjoying the powder in the fog.
We were making our way down a road, and if you were first in line there was unlimited untouched powder to ride!
Towards the end of the day the sun started poking out at times.
Jordan let me ride his Axys Silbur turbo for 20 miles or so. Was my first time spending a solid amount of time on a turbo and it was crazy. Even at 5lbs of boost, the power is out of this world. While the power truly makes you smile and laugh a couple times every minute, the power also wore me down quicker than a stock sled. Learning to control the throttle on a turbo is key, as if you hold it to the bar for a couple seconds you can get out of control quick. It definitely opened my eyes to turbos.
The 2018 Cat is a hell of a sled, it was more confidence inspiring than riding the Axys turbo and made traversing drifted out gnarly sections of road easy. Other than the running boards holding alot of snow, I cant say one bad thing about it. It maybe the sled to have for 2018 out of all brands. After riding the 2018 Cat 162 for 3/4 the day, and riding the Axys turbo 153″ for 1/4 of the day. I am sold on going back to a 160″ length for my next sled. The deep snow performance and the longer tracks ability to hold a line without getting bucked around as much really made a difference in the type of snow conditions we rode. The Axys turbo is also a wild ride and to really appreciate it and to get dialed in riding it, I think I would to spend a half a season on it. However the stock 18 Cat, within a half days ride I felt I could put that sled anywhere I wanted with confidence.
From there we called it a day and started heading back down the long road following our tracks back to the trucks.
Even on our way back down the snow as still great!
Check out some quick video from our day!
Overall it was a great day. Can never complain around riding powder in late May. While I may have one more ride in me. This will probably be the last ride blog for the year. Great way to end the season and already looking forward to whatever comes next winter!