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Thread: Avalanche Awareness input

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    Member Jackson5's Avatar
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    Default Avalanche Awareness input

    Hi there, I'm posting this thread because I am a new rider to Alaska and Big Snow Country including riding in the Mountains. I just bought a 2005 Arctic Cat M7 153" and I understand you can do a lot of riding in the back country off the trails. I grew up trail riding on the East coast "Maine" and don't know a lot about the fresh snow riding in the mountains. Been watching some videos on you tube and see a lot with guys up on slopes causing an avalanche. Just looking for some Do's and Dont's from some of the more experienced riders and hopefully help other readers stay safe. Any input or advice much appreciated!

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    Member alaskankid13's Avatar
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    Default Avalanche Awareness input

    Well for starters go take an Avalanche class(offered by AMDS recently) and learn a lot from that.

    From there it is very highly recommended that you buy
    -a beacon and learn to use it
    -collapsible shovel
    -avalanche probe

    There are the ABS backpacks as well and can help in an avalanche, but just like everything else offered doesn't mean your safe from it all.

    Never ride alone, several guys on here are very nice and welcoming and willing to show flatlanders the ropes in the mountains.

    Use common sense. Read the daily avalanche warnings and know what to look for when in the backcountry(should learn this from your avalanche course).

    Anyways, welcome to the forum! This is about as much I feel to reliably able to give you on this subject, but if you have any questions about your sled, I bought a 2006 M7 153" in August and have gone through that machine a lot by now.

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    Member Jackson5's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info on the class they give at AMDS. I'm looking into that hopefully next week. I'd like to pick your brain on the M7 like I said its all new to me. I learned on a ZRT 600 trail riding. Send me a message if you don't mind talking about the M7 some more. Thanks.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default Avalanche Awareness input

    Also the CNFAIC folks will be holding a back country avalanche awareness class in Turnagain Pass.

    Check the interwebs for more info on that.

    Do your research on Beacons before you buy. There's several POS beacons out there.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Regarding beacons, buying and wearing one will do you no good if you don't practice and learn how to use one well - and the same goes for your riding partners. I know plenty of people who buy one, turn it on once to try it out, then pack it away. Beacons have become much more user friendly, but they still take a bit of skill and knowing what you're doing in an emergency will likely be the difference between life and death when every minute matters.

    There is a practice course at Alyeska that is free to use. When you get a beacon and a riding partner, head down there to practice your skills. Also, plan on regularly reading the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Forecast. Even if you're not riding down in Turnagain Pass, the discussion on those pages will help you know what to look for.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Join the Anchorage Snowmobile Club and we will show you the ropes...it's what we do.

    Plus, being a member qualifies you for $250 reimbursement towards avalanche training.

    Our next meeting is this coming Wednesday, 21 November. 7pm at the IBEW hall on Denali St. across from Johnson's Tire
    Wayne Biessel, Superintendent of Hatcher's Pass State Park is this month's guest speaker. He will be there to discuss access issues at HPSP
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member Jackson5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Join the Anchorage Snowmobile Club and we will show you the ropes...it's what we do.

    Plus, being a member qualifies you for $250 reimbursement towards avalanche training.

    Our next meeting is this coming Wednesday, 21 November. 7pm at the IBEW hall on Denali St. across from Johnson's Tire
    Wayne Biessel, Superintendent of Hatcher's Pass State Park is this month's guest speaker. He will be there to discuss access issues at HPSP
    I'm going to plan on being there. I appreciate all the information. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Member alaskankid13's Avatar
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    Default Avalanche Awareness input

    Jackson5 I'll PM ya once you can(need 10 posts).

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    Member Jackson5's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks. Didn't know that. I called AMDS also and they said they already did their avalanche awareness class. I'm going to go down to the Anchorage snowmobile club meet on the 21st and I'm sure I'll find out all I need to there. Thanks again.

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Join the Anchorage Snowmobile Club and we will show you the ropes...it's what we do.

    Plus, being a member qualifies you for $250 reimbursement towards avalanche training.

    Our next meeting is this coming Wednesday, 21 November. 7pm at the IBEW hall on Denali St. across from Johnson's Tire
    Wayne Biessel, Superintendent of Hatcher's Pass State Park is this month's guest speaker. He will be there to discuss access issues at HPSP
    Erik can you give us some more info on the club? Is there a yearly membership? Cost for this next meeting? I'd like to attend but would like a little more info. Thanks
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    Erik can you give us some more info on the club? Is there a yearly membership? Cost for this next meeting? I'd like to attend but would like a little more info. Thanks
    Our mission is
    1. To promote snowmachining as a safe, fun, family sport
    2. To advocate for improved motorized access--more and better trails and riding areas on public lands, trail heads/parking areas etc.
    3. To make snowmachining safer through proactive safety education for our members

    Our board meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month all year long while the general membership meetings are the 3rd Wednesday's of the month from September through March. Both are open to the public and there is no fee for attending. Annual dues are $25 for singles and $35 for families (all members of a single household). Besides guest speakers we have refreshments, door prizes and a 50/50 raffle, all open to all attendees.

    We're on the web--www.anchoragesnowmobileclub.com
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member alaskankid13's Avatar
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    Default Avalanche Awareness input

    Jackson, what is the current status of your M7?

    Miles?
    Mods?
    Etc.

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    Member Jackson5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskankid13 View Post
    Jackson, what is the current status of your M7?

    Miles?
    Mods?
    Etc.
    It has 1300 Miles on it. It has a Boondocker Control box, and D&D Pipe. But thats it for Mods that I know of. It has the attach 20 track. Runs good. Starts on 2nd or 3rd pull from cold start.

  14. #14
    Member alaskankid13's Avatar
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    Default Avalanche Awareness input

    1.Make sure your boondocker box is set up correctly for your pipe.

    2.Give your slide rails a once over, look for cracks, just found two in mine after having the shocks rebuilt.

    3.As pre-season care I took my diamond drive off and had arctic cat put new bearings and oil in it. Apparently the M7's came with good bearings and are good to go for about another 1000 I'd guess. Just pull the drive and pull the cover changing the oil and give the bearings a once over.

    4. Do your normal pre-season things such as check hifax, track alignment, springs on the exhaust, change plugs, etc.

    5. Once season rolls around you can calculate how much oil your machine is using as many came from the factory running about 1/25-1/28 parts oil, when they are perfectly fine going with 1/32 or a little higher.

    6. You will need to either get AMP's bracket or the Sled Junky's wheel kit to solve your track tensioning problem, that the 05-06 m series had.

    Current mods I have done to mine is
    1. WRP running boards
    2. BDX 2 wheel kit
    3. Power claw track
    4. Anti-stab kit
    5. (Soon) ice age rails
    6. Sled junky's kit to fix the track tensioning problem

    That's all I can think of right now.

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    Member Jackson5's Avatar
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    I'll have to do some research on some of those things as to what they are and to install. I've never had a mountain sled, so all new stuff to me. Can you take the diamond drive right out, or you just pop the cover off it right where its at. That's another thing, I wasn't sure where exactly to locate the drive. Is it hard to get to? I have to get a manual for it and i can start digging into it if I have to. I was worried about the Diamond Drive because I have heard some bad stuff about from some people, but others say they are good.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    If I may redirect this back to the original topic--avalanche safety

    Got home from work tonight to find an inch of beautiful, delicate hoar frost on my mailbox. It suddenly reminded me of my training. Namely that hoar will form on any stable surface including existing snow pack. Given that there's 2-3' of snow in the mountains, when the snow does come it will be resting on a persistent weak layer created by that very same hoar frost.

    Come the prime riding season the avalanche hazard will be pronounced.

    Avalanches are 100% predictable and avoidable. Get educated so you can recognize the signs and don't ride when it's dangerous.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member Jackson5's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Info. I got a flyer from the Anchorage Snow Mobile Club the other day. Here is a link to the Alaska Avalanche School website and calender.

    http://alaskaavalanche.com/newpage/wordpress/schedule/

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