Man today was a blast!    Any time your only a mile from the truck and the trail looks like this you know its gonna be a good day.

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Today I rode with Jordan Marrou and Jason Tamlyn at an undisclosed location in Northern CO.  Nothing like riding 2 feet of fresh pow on the trail in.

We parked around 9,000ft in elevation and once we got up to around the 11,000 ft mark the snow was ungodly deep.  I would call it a true 3 foot fresh pow dump.

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Jordan Marrou and I took turns breaking trail up.   A few sections of the road up are fairly steep, and with how deep the snow was, there were a few times I was full pinned going up the trail at only 2 mph, rocking the sled back and forth trying to keep its momentum going to get stuck.

At one point I was in a climb on the trail and saw a downed tree ahead of me.   My inital though was I will go under the tree as it appeared to  be above the trail high enough to let me pass under it.  As I approached the tree, fully pinned going 2-3 mph, I realized both myself and not the sled would not be able to go under the tree.   So at the last minute right before I would of got close lined by the tree, I hopped of my sled and tried to shoot it under the tree.  The plan worked ok, but I still got stuck.

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Later down the trail, and up higher in elevation a few more hundred feet, the snow was still getting deeper.

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Jordan was riding his 2016 Polaris Axys 155″ 3″ track.  Jason on his 2015 Arctic Cat Proclimb  153″ with 2.6″ powder claw.   And of course myself on my 2016 Ski Doo XM 154″ with 3″ track.   We found a little open hillside up top and shot a few pics.

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At one point Jordan was taking some pics of me, I went to do a downhill turn into a sidehill.   As I layed the sled aggresively over on its side, everything went dark and the sled came to a stop.  Popped my head above the snow to find my sled mostly engulfed in the 3ft of powder.   A few from my perspective.

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And a view from Jordan’s perspective.

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Man it was a deep day.

On the way back down the mountain we ran into a small lake with with probably 24″ of untouched snow on it.  Needless to say we rode every inch of fresh on that lake.

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A few quick things I want to mention about my sled.

Today I started sidehilling a large semi steep hill, thinking I was knowing where I was going to end up.   Needless to say after sidehilling it for a minute or 2, I was not where I thought I was (keeping in mind it was overcast with pretty poor visibility all day).   At this point I decided to descend down the hill to get to a few meadows at the bottom of the valley I knew to be there.   As I descended down this fairly steep hill, I was up on one ski, controlling my descent, and having to make little technical maneuvers every 10-20 feet as there was many downed trees/stumps in my path.    This hillside was a bit exposed to wind so snow conditions varied dramatically.  There was anything from 4ft deep drifts which I would hit and instantly it would be head light deep snow, there was windblow areas with little to no snow, and there was many logs/ stumps both in plain site and hidden below the fresh snow pack.

After decending the hill a few hundred feet, I could see the bottom of the valley still quite a few hundred feet below me, down the steep hill.   Nothing looked familar.   At this point I realized nobody was following me, I was in the middle of a steep treed hill, not knowing if I would be able to climb back out what I just came down.   I didnt want to keep decending the hill, as I thought it could maybe put me in a even worse spot that was harder to get out.   Basically I realized I was in a bad spot where if I ran into some bad luck, it would be a bitch to get my sled back out.

At this point I decided to not go down the hill anymore and instead try to sidehill my way back out to the general area I came from.   Long story short I made it back out and reconnected with my riding group.   Throughout this whole time, my sled performed flawlessy in these intense conditions.   I was able to put my sled where I wanted every time I tried, and to be honest for the conditions I was in, it was pretty easy to make my sled go where I wanted.   It was at this point I realized how much I like this Ski Doo.    It is so easy to ride and takes minimal effort to get it to do what you want even when in tough situations.  I think my suspension setup has alot to do with it, but i want to get more miles on it, in all different types of conditions before I can for sure say my 2,000$ Exit shocks customly setup for my weight and riding style turns really makes this sled work vs the stock shocks.

So the moral of this story is “Holy Shit I love this sled”.

I also adjusted my suspension a bit from how it came setup for me from Ian at Monster Performance.   From his “stock settings” setup for me, this is what I changed.  I let the limiter out 1 hole from stock.  This will let the suspension drop down a bit more and get better contact with the snow while sidehilling, therefore increasing the predictability in a sidehill.   I bumped up the rear torsion spring preload setting from 3 to 4 to help control front end lift a bit from loosening the limiter.   I bumped the compression on the rear track down a bit, to try to help keep the rear compliant in the smaller bumps since I increased preload in the rear.   The center track shock has a dual rate spring on it.  I loosed the “secondary spring”  (the spring that controls the inital movment when the shock is compressed) to help the track climb on the snow better and reduce trenching.  I slightly tightened, the “primary spring” on the center track shock so that the shock can move very easily initally to get on top the snow, but still  be very hard to bottom out so it can handle the big hits.   I also slightly bumped up the compression on the center shock.

The front ski shocks, I liked the way they came setup for me.  They come with dual rate springs as well.   I slightly tightened the “secondary spring” on each of the shocks up front, to help keep the sled from being tippy on the trails, and also to help hold the load in a sidehill when all the weight is one shock.  As I dont want to be 3/4 of the way through the shocks stroke when sidehilling.   I also slightly softened the compression setting on the shocks up front.

Overall this setup seemed to work very well in the deep pow conditions I rode in.  I will  play alot more with suspension settings throughout the season to try to really dial in this sled to my liking.   But already I feel it is setup very well for me.

More snow forecasted early this week!  Life is good!