SLEDsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 06 - Off-Road Terrain
In deep snow it’s possible for your machine to become really stuck. Deep snow can also prevent you from seeing obstacles, so it's important to ride cautiously in areas with the deep stuff. If you keep getting stuck, free your machine and move to an area with harder packed snow or areas that aren't as deep. It’ll be much easier to ride!
HARD-PACKED SNOW OR ICE
Operate cautiously on hard-packed snow or ice. This type of terrain can be slippery and can easily become icy, making cornering more challenging. You’ll need much more distance to come to a complete stop. Improper turning or sudden braking under these conditions can result in the machine spinning out of control. Keep in mind that fresh snow can drift or blow over the hardened stuff, hiding bumps and rougher terrain. Operate cautiously in conditions with hard-packed snow..
Fresh, fluffy, powdery snow is the good stuff! It can be ideal for riding under the right conditions. Careful though, after your sled travels over fresh powder, it can tend to linger in the air, which can cause reduced visibility for anyone traveling behind you.
WET OR HEAVY SNOW
Wet snow can also provide awesome snowmobiling conditions, but it can be tricky too. Always start out slowly on wet or heavy snow as this terrain type can make steering more difficult. Oh and head’s up, wet snow can easily gather on your clothing. Make sure you’re wearing the appropriate gear that will keep you dry in case you get caked in...you know... the wet stuff while riding.
Ice can frequently form on trails, making them difficult to ride on. Operate cautiously, slow down and take corners slowly. Provide yourself with extra time and distance to stop in case you slide on the ice.
RIDER SAFETY TIP: WHITE-OUT WISDOM
Whiteout conditions are when heavily blowing snow is combined with overcast skies and snow-covered terrain. The white-on-white effect makes it very difficult to judge distances and changes in the terrain. If these conditions arise while you’re riding, slow down, operate with extreme caution, pay attention to your surroundings, stay calm, stick to the trail and head home.