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  1. #1
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    Default Team Kesslers Storm the Snowies

    Well 4 of us piled in the big rig last week and embarked on what could only be described as an amazing adventure. We hit the road at noon on Friday, and after driving straight through arrived in Laramie at 3 am local time, filled the sleds and jugs and started heading up the mountain. We parked in the Friendly Store parking lot and had a 2 hour nap with a couple empty propane tanks in the camper. We needed to wait until 7 to purchase our trail permits (Wyoming allowed this to be done online in the past, but for some reason this year their computer system was down). We were the second rig up in the parking lot at Greenrock Saturday morning at 7:40. About 45 minutes later, it looked like this:


    After making sure everything was dialed in, we hit the hills. It hadn't snowed fresh in over a week, but we were able to find some great stuff - despite the number of people out on a beautiful bluebird day with a high of 35 degrees. The first stucks happened quickly on a nice hill we wound our way up.


    Once we got there the view was amazing though:

    And some of us were a little tired from the graveyard shift of driving:

    We headed in a little early to go check in at Mountain Meadow Cabins and get situated. After only 2 hours of sleep with no heat the night before, we hit the hay pretty early.

    The next day brought slightly overcast skies and a strong wind up top. We decided the best way to get out the of the wind was to duck down. We headed down into 7 Fools or the South French Creek ravine. We wouldn't recommend this unless you have a pretty good idea of where you are going. Lots of snow caves have been dug down there... We again found plenty of fresh snow.


    Another good stuck:


    This is probably one of the most dangerous hills in the Snowies for Avys. It is a dirt and grass hill with lots of spread out trees. The lack of rocks on it causes it to slide easily. We were down there with low Avy conditions, and we were wearing beacons - thanks to Patches and fgsacts for letting us borrow theirs! When we were watching, a guy rode his 800 dragon RMK up, and the Dragon decided to drive itself down. When we saw the sled 4 hours later, it was about 10% of the way out of 7 Fools and missing it's entire left side and the motor was rattling around in the belly pan. We helped as best they could be they were a big group with lots of able bodies - I'm sure it was a long day for them! This picture is taken from the top of the far side which we climbed to. There are lots of extreme drop offs to watch out for!


    Down on the bottom we found a nice stump to hop off of (I rattled my head pretty good on this one):

    Timner hit it a little more even:

    After a quick meal it was time to head out of French Creek. You can never give yourself too much time to get out of that place:

    Just for grins we headed south on T trail to hit up Cinnabar and Fourlogs. We came across this abandoned settler's cabin along the trail:


    Day 3 we woke up to a sledders dream, fresh snow:


    For this day we had planned a ride with the guys from 10 High Extreme. They know the area very well, and it gave us a better sense of confidence up there. We were in no mood to stay the night out again like we did a couple years ago because of the extreme whiteout conditions. Going out was defintitely worth it. The snow was deep everywhere, from Sugarloaf to especially the backside. Sugarloaf:


    Backside:


    It was one of those days where we advise parking downhill...

    Here is Timner in a foxhole he dug starting up:

    With all the snow on day 3 came horrible visibility, blowing wind, fogging goggles, and wet clothes. Not that we were complaining, but weather like that really makes you appreciate the weather we had on day 4, more bluebird skies and no wind. Here is one of the first hills after Sugarloaf:


    Although others had already climbed the hill at Lake Marie, there were plenty of places to pick fresh tracks:


    We were the first to go to the top and keep traveling over into the backside from there. It was fresh everywhere we looked:


    The trees and snow was beautiful after the storm. The snow clung to everything:


    Your face starts to hurt from smiling after making fresh tracks every time you hit the flipper. You saw the parking lot at the beginning - trucks as far as you could see. This was Tuesday and there were MAYBE 10 trucks in the parking lot.


    A nice break up on the hill:


    The drifts were deep and firm. If you weren't careful you could get stuck facing downhill.


    We stopped for lunch at the top, which is almost always a howling wind. Today it was calm. This is right around 10,800 ft.

    The muffpot and hot dogger worked great up there. Little weiners, left over caribou steak, hot pockets, pizza rolls, all made great warm lunch meals!


    The sun was hot and reflecting but the snow wasn't melting:



    We tore up every meadow we found. They were always untracked when we got there, but....


    We made short work of that, here is what they looked like after we were done with them:


    As we got up by the Quealy Safety hut, we started exploring way back. Of course it was still completely fresh and untouched:


    We took a couple sample probes, almost all readings on the back side were between 9 and 11 feet deep:
    Last edited by blutooth; 02-04-2010 at 09:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Day 5, the last day of riding turned out to be exactly like day 4. Calm, sunny and right around 30 degrees. Chris the owner of Mountain Meadow Cabins blew off work for a couple hours to go for a ride with us. He took us to a few spots very close but almost always untouched. here is a hill he took us to:


    And here is a nice jump we found next to the hill he took us to:


    At Chris' suggestion, he said more speed and higher up the slope:


    Chris led us through Sugarloaf and through the gap past the widowmaker to the beginning of the rollercoaster. We were the second people to see it since the storm! Here was a little drift busting gone wrong:

    Drift busting a little more successful:



    Another nice little hill that had a nasty way of sucking you off to the left if you weren't ready:

    Some drift busting up top:


    Once Chris had to head back to work we found more fresh in the trees to play in:


    Sometimes the path isn't always straight up or down but maybe across:


    The weekdays are pretty quiet up there. We got back to the parking lot early because we had a long drive ahead of us. It looked a little different than Saturday and Sunday.


    Finally loading up the rig and heading home. We just got ahead of the storm blowing through Nebraska and arrived home around 1 pm today, Thursday.


    I'm guessing all told we have about 50 hours of footage from the trip to sift through, but there are lots of great shots that I know are going to make some fantastic footage. So bear with us as we compile it and sift through everything. We should have some shorter clips ready soon from the adventure. I'm sure the other guys will post up a couple pictures as well and some short stories about the trip.

    As Team Kesslers always says, "That's another one in the books."

    Blutooth

  3. #3
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    Default

    Awesome pics! All that powder has me drooling, the jumping has me drooling, the hill climbing, with no freaking trees in the way, has me drooling! Nice job!
    Lake Effect Snow, my three favorite words.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Nice

  5. #5
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    FIB'r/Mass City, MI
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    Default

    Very cool. Can't wait to see the footage. Bring it to Mass next time you are up.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Awesome! That place is so Extreme. Why did you guys bring the camper? With the wind , will you bring the camper again? How did that Cummins do pulling? It sucks that Youtube removed the music from your vids they always pumped me up.

  7. #7
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    I likea da no tree 2. that's it, i'm headin west sometime in my life

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by icantsee View Post
    Awesome! That place is so Extreme. Why did you guys bring the camper? With the wind , will you bring the camper again? How did that Cummins do pulling? It sucks that Youtube removed the music from your vids they always pumped me up.
    The dodge is crew cab (not mega cab) so the back seat is a little tight for guys over six feet tall. Every four hours/tank of fuel the driver and copilot would switch with the two guys in the camper where we would watch movies, make food and get some sleep. It was great having the camper to relax for the long haul out there. The dodge is stock with 5.9 diesel with 325HP and 610ft lbs of torque. No probs towing....we could hold 80MPH up hills!

  9. #9
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    Default

    we are heading to the same spot on march 6th. can't wait

  10. #10
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    Wow!

  11. #11
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    Amazing pics guys!! Ya' all are really good with the ol' camera... and on the sleds too!! Looks like you hit it good with the fresh and during the middle of the week. The endless fresh meadows, like you said, out there are unbelievable... have to loosen the helmet cause smilin' so much!! Cant wait to see your vids.

    Lenny, you can head west with us anytime, let us know, Matt and I may be headin to the Snowies in two weeks, get the Mtn Max ready and get down here!

  12. #12
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    Default

    Excellent pics! Amazing

  13. #13

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    Blutooth, you nailed that one jump! Looks like it was a great opportunity to practice hitting a long jump like that since here in Michigan those kind are so rare. Great job taking the pics when the sleds were still in the air to show off the jumping!

  14. #14
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    Very Nice!!!

  15. #15
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    Northeast IL.
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    Looks like a great trip.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigakessler View Post
    The dodge is crew cab (not mega cab) so the back seat is a little tight for guys over six feet tall. Every four hours/tank of fuel the driver and copilot would switch with the two guys in the camper where we would watch movies, make food and get some sleep. It was great having the camper to relax for the long haul out there. The dodge is stock with 5.9 diesel with 325HP and 610ft lbs of torque. No probs towing....we could hold 80MPH up hills!
    What were you guys getting for mpg, or did you not bother to check it?
    Lake Effect Snow, my three favorite words.

  17. #17
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    Great write up and great pics, thanks for sharing.

  18. #18
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    Awesome pics. I thought you guys wouldn't be so lucky with the reports when you left. I'm glad this turned out to be an awesome trip. Can't wait to see the footage.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylar View Post
    What were you guys getting for mpg, or did you not bother to check it?
    Skylar,

    We averaged 10mpg ranging in speed from 75-85 (2100-2400+ rpm). If we would have kept it under 2k rpm, I'm sure it'd be a bit better.

    Not sure what our total weight was but I think the camper alone was 3k of bed weight. Blutooth could probably chime in on this.


    Pics just can't capture how beautiful it was. Watch for some TK vids soon. Thanks again to Team Patches for the use of the beacons!

    -Ner

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by timner View Post
    Thanks again to Team Patches for the use of the beacons!

    -Ner
    No problem on the beacons. Andy gave up two, I gave up one and Jay (you will meet him eventually) gave up his. We weren't using them so someone might as well. Glad you didn't need them.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by timner View Post
    Skylar,

    We averaged 10mpg ranging in speed from 75-85 (2100-2400+ rpm). If we would have kept it under 2k rpm, I'm sure it'd be a bit better.

    Not sure what our total weight was but I think the camper alone was 3k of bed weight. Blutooth could probably chime in on this.


    Pics just can't capture how beautiful it was. Watch for some TK vids soon. Thanks again to Team Patches for the use of the beacons!

    -Ner
    Do you know what gearing is in the truck? My buddy has an 06 dually one tonner, cummins, with 4:10 gears, and we only get around 11 pulling an open 4 place to the yoop. I always thought that was crappy mileage being a diesel, but, the 4:10 gears are the problem I think.

    Looks you guys had an absolute blast out there! Awesome.
    Lake Effect Snow, my three favorite words.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuzzinolaf View Post
    No problem on the beacons. Andy gave up two, I gave up one and Jay (you will meet him eventually) gave up his. We weren't using them so someone might as well. Glad you didn't need them.
    Great to see guys borrowing out their beacons, to make sure other sledheads are safe. Nice job Keith and friends!
    Lake Effect Snow, my three favorite words.

  23. #23
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    Dec 2009
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    Sweet Pics!! Headed out west this monday for a week. Your pics have me stoked!!! Its supposed to snow the next 5 days on and off where we are going so we should have plenty of powder on top of already lots of snow. We may head to the Snowy Range for a day or so on our way home. Enjoyed your pics and stories.

  24. #24
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    Looks like great conditions! Wish I could go west!!! Thanks for sharing!

  25. #25
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    Yeah the camper weighs right around 3k by itself sitting in the bed. The biggest issue with it is wind resistance. You could barely feel the sleds back there. I drove the camper from Spokane, WA empty with a small Uhaul trailer behind it over Thanksgiving and got about the same mileage. Without the camper or trailer and just my sled in the back I got around 18.5 on my way to and from the UP. Once you get used to the sway you cna't beat lying down for the ride out!

    I'm not sure on the gearing, but I will check. It is a 1 tonner as well but not a dually. That milage you are getting seems really low!

    Thanks again for the beacons. The avy conditions were pretty high on day 4 as we say a couple real small slopes have mini slides. We stayed clear of anything that was highly prone to a slide.

    It sure was a blast though. Still downloading some of the footage... We have a couple unique camera angles as well this time.

    Blutooth

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylar View Post
    Do you know what gearing is in the truck? My buddy has an 06 dually one tonner, cummins, with 4:10 gears, and we only get around 11 pulling an open 4 place to the yoop. I always thought that was crappy mileage being a diesel, but, the 4:10 gears are the problem I think.

    Looks you guys had an absolute blast out there! Awesome.
    First, great pics guys! Glad you hit some snow, last week must have been the week since the rest of my buds in CO hit the backside of the same storm system 6' plus at elevation...
    On another note that mileage seems real low even for that truck. I run a 06 5.9 mega cab with I forget but no 4:10 gears but I barely drop under 13 with an enclosed and I usually average around 20 on paper with just the sled in the back running up north for the weekend. I have a couple of "upgrades" to my motor but nothing extreme.

  27. #27
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    Thanks for the pics! I'm sure , NO justice. Glad you went out there prepared, took a avy class in Greenbay this past summer and boy did I learn some very important stuff. Can't wait for my first time! Peace.

  28. #28
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    Default skyler

    i have an 05 dodge with 3.73 gear auto and i get `18 towing 2 place enclosed u may not know but u have to put minmum 60000 miles on those cummins b for their broke in remember thats a tractor engine when mine was new it only got 15 16 now during summer not towing i get 19.5

  29. #29
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    attack, it has 42,000 on it now.


    OK, lets get this thread back on track for blutooth, no more diesel mpg talk here. (Sorry for the hijack/sidetrack)

    Skylar
    Lake Effect Snow, my three favorite words.

  30. #30
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    Absolutely beautiful...It makes me wish I was there...

    m8man
    ahh, watch this..

  31. #31
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    "It was one of those days where we advise parking downhill..."Gosh I sure hope Togwotee will be like this for us this March...

    "At Chris' suggestion, he said more speed and higher up the slope:" Crikey! Looks like you're 300ft away from the crest!

  32. #32
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    4 days and counting. Leaving for the Snowies on Wednesday, can't wait. Thats for sharing the pics. Like I needed to get anymore pumped.

  33. #33
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    NICE! Just what I needed! Looking forward to the movie.

  34. #34

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    Unbelievable. Absolutely amazing. After seeing those pics I'm wondering how I will be able to ride here in Michigan again!

  35. #35
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    Oh my!, that was an awesome trip. Great pictures, can't wait for the videos.

    Thanks for sharing guys.

  36. #36
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    Default Snowies Trip

    blutooth, Looks like you had a great trip! Plenty of POW! I see in some of the pics you are using the Contour HD helmet cam, what mount are you using off the backpack? I would like to try and make one.

    Thanks!

    Craig
    You can email me at csa464@verizon.net

  37. #37
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    can you say jealous.

  38. #38
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    Default Wow

    Great pictures, thanx for sharing. I'm wore out just looking at the stucks in the pictures.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidooking View Post
    blutooth, Looks like you had a great trip! Plenty of POW! I see in some of the pics you are using the Contour HD helmet cam, what mount are you using off the backpack? I would like to try and make one.

    Thanks!

    Craig
    You can email me at csa464@verizon.net

    Hey Craig-
    we had lots of fun with different mounts with the contour HD on this trip. I bought a length of carbon fiber tubing, the contour handlebar mount and a Ram mount and went to town.

    the backpack mount really only worked because the backpack I have (true north adventure gear lightning pack) has a VERY secure exterior shovel handle holder.

    I put together a quick set of clips, not a finished vid but just a teaser:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEiAHZJFaL8

  40. #40
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    Very Nice Pictures! Well Done! Cant Wait to see the video!

  41. #41
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    Just wondering, is it legal to have guys in the camper? I always thought it wasn't.
    Great pix, I love the mountains, I guess I have to try that before I die. I just don't think digging out a sled would be fun. How often do you get stuck? I know it may depend on your ability also.

  42. #42
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    Ann Arbor, Mi.
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    Default

    ttt
    nice pics
    looking forward to more video

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