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Thread: Going to be new to Alaska

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    Exclamation Going to be new to Alaska

    Hello im planning on moving to alaska and I would like to know how the conditons are and ANY idea on a good sled to get. I ride around PA right now... we get good snow but every area is diff. Please and Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by StolenHonker View Post
    Hello im planning on moving to alaska and I would like to know how the conditons are and ANY idea on a good sled to get. I ride around PA right now... we get good snow but every area is diff. Please and Thank you
    Welcome to the Outdoor Forum. I am a former PA'er.

    Forget what you know about riding back east. Our snow here is very dry and many times bottomless for a couple of days before things settle. As far as a sled it all depends what kind of riding you do. I am a cross country rider and I am running F series and Firecats with 128" with a 1.5" paddle and because I ride late into the season and run on the river systems often I also have 1 3/4" studs installed but only 102 each.

    Let me know what you plan on doing and I will offer you some choices. I use to be a mountain rider but not near as much and the reason I changed to the F series. I would definitely consider buying before coming up if you have the room. I bought my last sled from D&D and with shipping it beat the best price I got local by ALOT. I actually could have driven down and picked up on the difference easily.

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    Thank you =) and well im planning on moving to Tok (still not 100%) but mostly backcountry. not much trail stuff but some every now and then. lots of hills jumps. 1 that can do a little of everything. prolly alot of backcountry.

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    Im thinking the Polaris RMK 800 Assault? yay or nay?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StolenHonker View Post
    Im thinking the Polaris RMK 800 Assault? yay or nay?
    Be wary of the of 08-10 800 motors but otherwise a good choice. You want a longtrack whatever brand you choose. If you're thinking about a new one get the RMK track not the stock Assault track. The RMK track is designed for powder where the Assault track for denser spring snow. Also get yourself geared up to ride in the cold and dark.

    If you're partial to polaris there are lots of Edge RMKs up here that can be had pretty cheap and they're a great all-around machine. I have two 03 700's that run and run and run.
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    I am going to guess here but being from Pa...I am going to say probably a Cat rider, then maybe a Doo, would be shocked if he was a Polaris rider.

    Ok backcountry riding I would look for something in the 140's & 800 cc. I would not get any paddle over 2" but a good finger track would be a big bonus. There are alot of leftovers available across the lower 48 that you should be able to pickup for a decent price.

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    Youd be right. cat rider right here. but u know its always nice to change things around and the RMK looks amazing and the proformance is aweful good. I think im gonna go with the '11 Polaris RMK 800 Assault. ill try and get the RMK track on it like "Erik in AK" said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StolenHonker View Post
    Youd be right. cat rider right here. but u know its always nice to change things around and the RMK looks amazing and the proformance is aweful good. I think im gonna go with the '11 Polaris RMK 800 Assault. ill try and get the RMK track on it like "Erik in AK" said.
    I personally would reconsider. I do not want to start a war but I have been around the horn at least twice and have got to say I am back at Cat and looking to stay unless something big comes out for the rest. Cat fuel injection can not be beat and with the new electronic reverse makes things a breeze with a tilt trailer.

    If you are looking for brand new I would consider the 800 ProCross SnoPro or the 800 ProClimb SnoPro. If looking at holdovers the 2010 Crossover SnoPro would be high on my list with 17 inches of rear travel.

    I am a short tracker, well a 128". In the stable I have 1 ZR (121") with a 1.5" paddle and studs, 3 Firecats, 1 upgraded track to 1.5" with studs, 1 with a 1.7" and one with the stock 1.375 w/ studs, 2 F Chassis's with 1.5" paddles and studs. I run the Sustina/Yetena river drainages ALOT and we get off trail and boondock ALOT. We spend alot time along the Alaska range especially toward Rainy Pass in fresh powder just about every weekend. I would consider myself and above average rider. I have taken a couple of groups along for a ride that consider themselves average riders and we put a hurting on them even what I thought was an easy day.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    "Ok backcountry riding I would look for something in the 140's & 800 cc. I would not get any paddle over 2" but a good finger track would be a big bonus. There are alot of leftovers available across the lower 48 that you should be able to pickup for a decent price."

    I'll second that, I am not a fan of short tracks! Right now I am ridding a tundra and it's a great all around sled but way underpowered for me. The snow here is unlike anything you have seen in PA and you will have a bit of a learning curve. Honestly I'd get a use sled before coming north. Personally I bleed yellow and black but really brand means less than what you intend to use the sled for...........not sure you are prepaired for what we call "back country"! Get with some folks up here who know the area ASAP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StolenHonker View Post
    Hello im planning on moving to alaska ... we get good snow but every area is diff.
    I'm surprised nobody asked you this yet... what part of Alaska are you moving to? You do realize that "mainland" Alaska covers a region equivalent in size to the area under Colorado to Dakota to Kentucky to Texas? Every region up here is also different.

    We don't have very many trails by the PA definition of such. Everything is "backcountry". You've basically got to choose between flat-land and mountains. If you're in the Anchorage-Valley bowl, you'll have every type of riding available within a short drive. The interior is all flat-land and extreme cold. Copper River valley is all mountains. Kenai Peninsula is mostly flat with rolling hills.

    Secondly, other than pure motorized recreation, why are you using a snowmachine? Ice fishing, camping, gathering fire wood, running the Iron Dog or Arctic Man, etc. The secondary use will drive which machine to pick for your recreational use. Any snowmachine can go for a joy ride. Don't buy anything with less than a 136" track under it. The rest is variable based on your riding style and location.

    You'll never go wrong with a Cat. Rather than "brand bashing", I just recommend that people only buy snowmachines from companies that are named after animals. Keeps it simple. You just can't beat their 40+ years of rock solid products.

    Oh, and if you're driving up during your move, you would benefit greatly to stop off in Minnesota and buy your snowmachine before you get here. You'll save thousands.
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    Well im planning on living in Tok but its not 100% yet. and the secoundary use would prolly just be all utilitys. up in PA where im from we get bad snow to where ur machine becomes ur primary vehical. so just about everything. no events or anything.

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    [QUOTE=JOAT;977263 Kenai Peninsula is mostly flat with rolling hills.
    [/QUOTE]

    Dude! Western Kenai Peninsula, north of Homer, is flat with rolling hills in places. The rest offers some of the best mountain riding in the world.

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    Dude! Like if you can find a mountain in the Chugach National Forest that they will still let you run an internal combustion engine on, then go for it!

    Yes, there is a small portion of the Turnagain to Seward region of the Penn that's got some hills that they let you ride on... sometimes. But the "rest" of the Penn (i.e. Most of our Island) is boondocking country. That would include the region from Homer to Nikiski and the ocean to the National Wildlife Lockout.

    I know some folks in Valdez that would laugh at your claim that the Penn has the "best mountain riding in the world". How many of the extreme mountain riding videos have been shot on the Penn? About none. Dozens have been shot in Valdez, specifically through Thompson Pass. And then there's the Eureka and Summit areas north of that.

    For the OP, if you're going to Tok, you will have access to every terrain you can imagine. Lots of mountains around there and lots and lots of trails back into them. That's one region that hasn't shut down motorized recreation yet. You'll want, actually need, to get a 4-wheeler for your summer recreation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Dude! Like if you can find a mountain in the Chugach National Forest that they will still let you run an internal combustion engine on, then go for it!

    Yes, there is a small portion of the Turnagain to Seward region of the Penn that's got some hills that they let you ride on... sometimes. But the "rest" of the Penn (i.e. Most of our Island) is boondocking country. That would include the region from Homer to Nikiski and the ocean to the National Wildlife Lockout.

    I know some folks in Valdez that would laugh at your claim that the Penn has the "best mountain riding in the world". How many of the extreme mountain riding videos have been shot on the Penn? About none. Dozens have been shot in Valdez, specifically through Thompson Pass. And then there's the Eureka and Summit areas north of that.

    For the OP, if you're going to Tok, you will have access to every terrain you can imagine. Lots of mountains around there and lots and lots of trails back into them. That's one region that hasn't shut down motorized recreation yet. You'll want, actually need, to get a 4-wheeler for your summer recreation.
    I was just making a simple statement of a somewhat popular opinion. New guys aren't allowed to challenge old guys when they disagree? I'll try to use more smilies or something next time I give you a good natured ribbing.

    1: I never said the peninsula has the best mountain riding in the world. I said it has SOME of the best. That's a big difference.

    2: You "know" some people that would laugh? Where do you ride, what do you ride, how do you ride it? I actually ride these areas with people I "know", (maybe you do to?) none of them poo poo the Mountain riding on the Kenai.

    Resurrection Pass, Lost Lake, Whittier, Johnson Pass, Turnagain, Placer. Those are all on the Kenai, in the Chugach Nat Forest, and they are all open to riding, and they all offer great mountain riding. (Takes a special year to make Res worth the ride in though.) Three of those six places have been in at least one of the few snowmachine videos I've seen, but I'm not sure how that became a valid method of judging the quality of a riding area.

    Valdez is awesome, and it is vast and very diverse, I would love to ride there several times a year. Too bad its a days drive away from Anchorage. I think it too has SOME of the best mountain riding in the world.

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    thank you for all the advise =) big help.

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    I got caught up arguing with Joat and forgot about the op, sorry bud.

    If you want to be able to enjoy the best the state has to offer, you (in my opinion) need to get an 700 with a 150" or longer track that is no older than 2005, and be willing to ride it in the mountains.

    In '05 cat came out with the m7 and changed forever the world of snowmachining. Being able to buy a mountain/boondocking specific chassis off the showroom floor had never really been possible before. These sleds are light (compared to earlier models), worked awesome in the deep, and ran forever. IMO its important to ride what your buddies ride, maybe not the exact machine, but something similar. Your gear needs to physically be capable of keeping up, even if your skill needs development over a couple years to do so.

    It's not fun to ride with a bunch of good dudes and feel like your holding them back all the time because your sled simply doesn't have enough track/engine to keep up. My wife went through that for years, until I opened my eyes and bought her an '08 M8 153.

    The same applies to living in the flatter parts of the state too, not much reason to buy a mountain sled if you live in Deadhorse.

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    DH, I wasn't arguing, I was "ribbing" you back
    Winter is Coming...

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    so are u saying that the polaris 800 rmk assault 10' is or isnt a good choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StolenHonker View Post
    so are u saying that the polaris 800 rmk assault 10' is or isnt a good choice.
    I would be wary of a 2010. There was some engine issues that did not get fully worked out till 2011. IMO. Some were fixed with a reflash some required a fueler, like the Power Commander.

    Last thing I would consider is the ability to have work done for warrenty or if you do not work on things yourself, and I thinking you do most things yourself, so parts availbilty. I have not been that way in a few years so I am not sure about other then Arctic Cat and even they are not real close.

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    As Eric and Dupont Spinner have pointed out the 08-10 800's do have motor issues, ran into one guy who had been through 4 in his dragon! He also said it was one of the best ridding machines ha had ever owned "when it's running".
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