October 2019 Snowmobile Trail Grooming Already Under Way!

Hi All, here is a quick clip from grooming trails yesterday. Can’t believe how early the base is getting established at Sage’s private, custom trail system.

Our guess is not many, if any, others are currently establishing trail base at this time of the year. Operating on a private mountain that’s bigger than the Vail ski area allows us to start work whenever the weather delivers. Most other trail systems/outfitters are on public lands and regulated by the government, and grooming is not yet allowed on most public land.

What does a good base do? It’s like comparing driving in sand vs driving on packed dirt. Sand is wallowy and unpredictable. Packed dirt is pleasurable and gives a driver confidence. With snow, the same generalities apply. The more compaction you get on a trail as it snows early season, the better it holds up to use throughout the winter. When the base is driven on, it mechanically disturbs the snowpack, “packing” it down, and that snow sets up hard and will stay that way all winter.

You have all driven on washboard, pothole dirt roads in a car i’m sure. Well snowmobile trails can get the same way, only in the form of “whoops”. When the base is soft, the tracks of snowmobiles dig into the base, and create a hole, and generally also a pile of snow right before or beyond to the hole. The result is a dip into a rise, where the next track of a snowmobile will then land after the dip/rise rhythm, and create another dip/rise…and so on forever…miles and miles of back jarring head throbbing whoops (hole – rise – hole – rise – hole – rise…..).

At Sage, the trails never get that way. We prepare the base very early, and continue the maintenance of the trails very methodically throughout the season. We have heard it many many times from our guests that the trails/grooming on our mountain make the ride fun and enjoyable, instead of feeling beat and tired like on some other rough trail systems.

 

 

Cutting Fallen Trees From River – Spring 2018

Cutting trees out of the river is a yearly and constant project for river enthusiasts. Darryl has taken over 350 trees out of the Eagle River alone over the past 40 years of commercially using this river. Its not required of us, but we are happy to do it to help mitigate river hazards for all users. Plus, chainsaws are cool and playing in the river is what we do, and this is just a form of that, and we find it fun and enjoyable….most of the time. Some trees have been downright SCARY to cut out!

The Importance of Suspension for Serious Snowmobile Riders

Snowmobile

By Cole Bangert

Suspension is a crucial part of the setup for more aggressive and advanced snowmobile riders. It changes the entire feel of the machine. Over the past several years, I’ve been spoiled by Fox Racing Shocks and have learned why great suspension makes a world of difference.

Correct suspension settings allow a rider to approach any terrain far more aggressively. With proper suspension, the sled becomes more predictable. This affects the proper ride height, weight distribution, and rebound and compression rates.

Stock suspension on most snowmobiles tends to be soft. Soft suspension creates an unsettled feeling in the sled. It can feel somewhat unstable at high speeds and unpredictable in changing snow densities. When encountering unforeseen obstacles or firm snow layers, a rider will “slap” the bottom of the suspension. This is an awful feeling. It’s a resounding slapping noise that can be heard over the motor. The result is not good. It hurts your wrists, ankles, sled, and confidence.

Aftermarket suspension, especially Fox, will not increase the amount of suspension travel you get on a snowmobile, but is infinitely more tunable. You can set it up correctly for your particular ride weight, style and terrain.

The “spring rate” is what holds you and the sled off the ground. Traditional springs are steel or titanium. Most vehicles on the road have same thing, steel springs holding the weight of the car. Most Fox Shocks for snowmobiles have an air spring. There is a pressurized air chamber holding the weight up. This offers a different feel from steel and is also highly adjustable. With nothing more than a pocket size pump, changes can easily be made on the fly.

The next point of consideration is damping. To understand damping, picture a pogo stick. When compressed, it rebounds and flings you right back up in the air. Not something you want to happen in suspension. Damping is what slows the compression and rebound so the reaction of the shock is manageable.

Damping is also adjustable. It can be as easy as using a clicker knob on the outside of the shock. There are typically high and low speed adjusters for compression and rebound. This is often confusing for riders, so here is a simple way to decipher high speed versus low speed damping:

Low speed damping is your body weight. This includes anything you are doing to the shock by pushing down with your body weight, like compressions on the face of a jump. The speed of your shock compressing and rebounding is quite slow on these.

High-speed damping comes from the ground up. This might be a square edge bump that you hit at a fast rate of speed. Your shock compression and rebound speed are very fast and abrupt. You need faster rebound on this type of obstacle because there may be multiple obstacles right after one another. If your rebound is too slow, your shock will not recover to full length before the next hit. This causes the suspension to “pack up” and operate on the bottom of the stroke, which is not a good feeling.

Good suspension is a must for any semi serious to serious snowmobile rider. It changes the game, changes how and where you will ride. It’s a major confidence booster, and confidence is everything in a rider.

For more information on snowmobile rides and the other adventures we offer near Vail, Colorado, please explore the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com or call us at 970-476-3700.

Throttle Therapy….ENGAGE

powder-sled

Its dumping snow. We’re excited. Can’t wait to shred. After a crazy fun Summer and long hot Fall full of bike riding and whitewater in the Pacific Northwest, its time to get to power wheelies in the snow!!!

 

2016 Gore Canyon Race Results and Photos

We had  a great day, and had a pretty clean run in Gore, which is always a task in itself. It’s one of the harder class V runs in the country. Ended up second in the raft division, and already looking forward to next seasons racing. We are one of the only elite teams to be made up of a single company’s raft guides. Lots of teams are a conglomerate of river experts from many walks of life, but Sage’s race team is 100% Sage guides!!

Tunnel Falls 3 Tunnel Falls 2 Tunnel Falls 1 Tunnel Falls 4