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Thread: Snow machine advice

  1. #1

    Default Snow machine advice

    Here's the deal.. I moved up last January and I love it! I love to hunt fish and explore.
    A good friend in Oregon sold me a sled. I only bought it because I knew the history of it. I'm pretty sure it's the wrong snow machine for me, but i figured I'd ask expert opinions.
    I want a snow machine for fishing and exploring.

    What I have is a 2005 M7 w/162

  2. #2
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    You should find alot of use for a mountain sled with 162" track, well at least at the recreational level. If you want a pure utility sled you would be better served by a scandic, tundra, bearcat etc., but you can put a tow hitch on that cat and tow your gear behind a capable machine.

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    Thanks .338

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    Are you looking to possibly sell it? I have an 2000 AC Powder Special with a 136" track. I am looking to add a long track >151" to ride the powder with some friends, I am a big guy (6'8" 260) and need a longer track.

    Quote Originally Posted by fishcatcher541 View Post
    Here's the deal.. I moved up last January and I love it! I love to hunt fish and explore.
    A good friend in Oregon sold me a sled. I only bought it because I knew the history of it. I'm pretty sure it's the wrong snow machine for me, but i figured I'd ask expert opinions.
    I want a snow machine for fishing and exploring.

    What I have is a 2005 M7 w/162

  5. #5

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    No Yukon, I think I will ride it this winter and see what I think about it before I sell it.

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    A snowmachine should fit you and your riding style. Try your machine and see if it fits. If so, always look to improve it. If not, trade for a machine that you think will work for you.

    My first machine was a modded 600 RMK. It was very fast but I don't ride that way. Next machine was a 300 Tundra. Loved it. Moved to a 550 Tundra and now have 2.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    A mountain sled will be great for exploring because you don't have to into the mountains to appreciate the flotation of a long skid sled, you just need to get into deep untracked snow.

    Where you would want a different machine is if you're pulling a sled full of fishing gear. For pulling loads a lower hp utility machine is really the best choice. You can pick some of the older air cooled machines fairly reasonably and asside from swapping out bearings and hyfax in the suspension they really don't need much maintenance.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Mountain sleds are the best all-around machines for exploring Alaska, period. Specifically because they are purpose-built for deep snow. As such they will easily go places that would leave other types of sleds hopelessly stuck.

    You can fish, hunt, explore, and play on a mountain sled. The only they are not suited for is prolonged heavy hauling, but they'll do that too in a pinch with some minor mods. Utility machines are awesome for utility work and when you build your dream cabin in the boonies get a utility machine for hauling supplies and skidding logs.

    Until then have fun on your M7. It's a great machine.

    Final thought: Get with friends who have similar sleds and start practicing! Once the snow gets deep find a meadow or swamp and practice carving. Start with simple turns, right and left. Progress to full circles, necking them down until you're essentially doing donuts. Then move to figure-8s. After that find some open, low slopes and practice side-hilling. You do all of these things by counter steering and throttle control. Essentially, to make an aggressive turn in powder you lean in the direction you want to go while simultaneously turning the skis in the opposite direction while accelerating through the turn. Easier said then done, but tons of fun to practice.

    Those two skills, along with proper techniques for getting unstuck (everybody gets stuck, eventually) form the bulk of back country riding. The rest is mostly reading terrain and picking good lines and that comes from experience.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Mountain sleds are the best all-around machines for exploring Alaska, period. Specifically because they are purpose-built for deep snow. As such they will easily go places that would leave other types of sleds hopelessly stuck.

    You can fish, hunt, explore, and play on a mountain sled. The only they are not suited for is prolonged heavy hauling, but they'll do that too in a pinch with some minor mods. Utility machines are awesome for utility work and when you build your dream cabin in the boonies get a utility machine for hauling supplies and skidding logs.

    Until then have fun on your M7. It's a great machine.

    Final thought: Get with friends who have similar sleds and start practicing! Once the snow gets deep find a meadow or swamp and practice carving. Start with simple turns, right and left. Progress to full circles, necking them down until you're essentially doing donuts. Then move to figure-8s. After that find some open, low slopes and practice side-hilling. You do all of these things by counter steering and throttle control. Essentially, to make an aggressive turn in powder you lean in the direction you want to go while simultaneously turning the skis in the opposite direction while accelerating through the turn. Easier said then done, but tons of fun to practice.

    Those two skills, along with proper techniques for getting unstuck (everybody gets stuck, eventually) form the bulk of back country riding. The rest is mostly reading terrain and picking good lines and that comes from experience.
    I disagree with the mountain sled the best for AK...Period. I have a mountain sled but I have pulled plenty of them out with my SWT. I now have a 2011 Scandik WT etec 600 that I take to the interior well before I take out my toy (2012 Pro RMK 800). Too many perople go around ruining trails with the mountain sleds (MOUNTAIN SLEDS) as they are not designed for slow going in deep snow and being able to start up again. I USED to think a mountain sled was best then actually needed to get somewhere in deep snow 80 miles out. The mountain sled will trench a trail in a second, making it unusable by everyone (including yourself). My SWT would break a big wide trail going slow...if stuck a short backup, then forward again. But then again I only have 47 years riding experience with 26 yrs of those in AK.

  10. #10
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    If you are pulling out a mountain sled with an SWT then someone needs to practice up a bit with their mountain sled

    How does the wide track do on an incline with deep snow?...

    ....( just dishing a ribbing ...)
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    pull my finger....

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    I agree with Tjm. I've rescued swt a time or two in the deep. My summit goes away more places than a swt. Having said that, there is nothing that hauls better than a bearcat or skandik. Mountain sleds don't pull loads very well, like said above, they work in a pinch. It's all what you want to do, go out and play with what you got, you'll figure out what you want.

  12. #12

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    I've been playing with my m7. I'm having a ton of fun and it will do for now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aksnowmo View Post
    I disagree with the mountain sled the best for AK...Period. I have a mountain sled but I have pulled plenty of them out with my SWT. I now have a 2011 Scandik WT etec 600 that I take to the interior well before I take out my toy (2012 Pro RMK 800). Too many perople go around ruining trails with the mountain sleds (MOUNTAIN SLEDS) as they are not designed for slow going in deep snow and being able to start up again. I USED to think a mountain sled was best then actually needed to get somewhere in deep snow 80 miles out. The mountain sled will trench a trail in a second, making it unusable by everyone (including yourself). My SWT would break a big wide trail going slow...if stuck a short backup, then forward again. But then again I only have 47 years riding experience with 26 yrs of those in AK.
    I agree wholeheartedly! I have never been stuck in my SWT. I have about 45 years experience all of it in Alaska. Have had every snow machine type known to man! If you live in the woods or spend a lot of time at your cabin in the woods the SWT is the best bar none. They have even made it a very comfortable snow machine to ride. If your just into play and don't need something to also freight with then a mountain sled is the way to go.

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    Turnagain Pass.jpg The new ones do work in the mountains too (WT with 600 etec (120 HP) and are FUN to ride!
    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly! I have never been stuck in my SWT. I have about 45 years experience all of it in Alaska. Have had every snow machine type known to man! If you live in the woods or spend a lot of time at your cabin in the woods the SWT is the best bar none. They have even made it a very comfortable snow machine to ride. If your just into play and don't need something to also freight with then a mountain sled is the way to go.

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