I Survived a Complete Avalanche Burial

by Jeff Turner

January 27th is just like any other day for many. For me, it marks the anniversary of the day that my life was spared, and I survived a complete avalanche burial. 

I recently attended the funeral of my friend’s teenage son, who’s life ended suddenly when he triggered an avalanche while snowmobiling in the Wasatch mountains. As I waited for the service to begin, I looked around the chapel and overflow and was overwhelmed by the number of people who were there to celebrate the short life of this young man and to mourn his death. I sat and pondered the number of lives that would be impacted by this tragic event and how it could have been prevented. 

I then felt compelled with the need to share my story, not to bring attention to myself, but with the sincere hope that my experience can be used as an example to help educate others who recreate in the backcountry in the winter, so that they can avoid the pain and sorrow that I was witnessing on that funeral day. 

As the wise quote states, “Learn from example, don’t be the example”.

January 27, 2016 
Winter had gotten off to a slow start and the Northern UT snowpack was well below average. The areas where we typically ride; Franklin Basin, Providence Canyon and Monte Cristo, were all in need of more snow. I read on a FB thread that some backcountry riders found decent snow above Timber Lakes near Heber City, so my brother and I made a plan to visit this area and explore a bit. 

We unloaded the sleds at the trail-head near the Heber Valley Camp and followed that trail up the canyon, working our way South, towards Roundy Basin. We found some slopes to climb and play on which had been ridden pretty heavily and tracked out, but a recent storm had covered the tracks with about 6” of snow, so it was just OK riding. We made our way up to the ridge where we discovered that the recent winds had scrubbed it mostly clean and deposited a fair amount of snow on the Southeast side of the ridge. Note this detail for later.

We dropped off the ridge and played in the basin for a while, then decided to head towards Currant Creek Peak to explore the area more. We found an opening in the trees that looked promising and so we picked lines down the slope until the terrain opened to a clearing that seemed like a great spot to break for lunch. 

After lunch, we dropped into a basin which had a grove of trees in the bottom, surrounded by moderate slopes of untracked snow. We turned off the machines to chat a bit and eyed a slope that I wanted to make a run at climbing. This slope faced Southeast and had some scattered vegetation and evidence of wind drifting. There was some exposed rock about 1/3 of the way up the slope and I told my brother that I was going to “test” the slope by just looping around that rock on a first pass. 

I fired up my sled and proceeded up the slope and didn’t even make it to the rock before hitting soft snow and the track started to trench in. I slid off the side on my machine and grabbed the rear bumper to hop the track to one side, planning to throttle out sideways and abort the climb.

As I tugged on the bumper, the snow under me started to move downhill and as I lost my footing and fell into the snow, I pushed the sled away from me. The last thing that I recall seeing was the snowflap on the rear of the sled, before everything went dark. A roar filled my ears and I was overcome by an immense pressure that enveloped my entire body. I could feel the sensation of movement and tried to kick and pull myself free but was unable to move my limbs. The mass of snow that was carrying me away was moving like a liquid, but in solid form. 

As sudden as it had started the movement stopped, the roar was gone, replaced by the sound of my adrenaline-fueled panic breathing. My heart and mind raced as I exerted all my physical strength in the attempt to break free of this icy tomb. It was useless, I was trapped with no way to free myself. 

My thoughts turned to my wife and children, how they would react when they heard the news of my death, what their future would be like without me, what challenges would they face, their sorrow…….I then thought of my father and grandparents who had passed on, how soon before I would see their faces again? I wasn’t ready, NOT YET!

I fought to clear my mind and focus on the present. My brother had watched me ride up the slope and would now be searching for me. If I was going to survive, I needed to buy some time,and knowing that my oxygen supply was limited to what was in the snow around me, I became keenly focused on slowing my breathing. The pressure of the snow restricted me from taking a full breath and I had no idea how deep I was buried or which direction I was facing or if I was injured or how long I had been under. 

I performed a quick health assessment. I felt no pain, only the overwhelming pressure of the snowpack. I tried to move my legs and found that I could only move my toes inside my boots. The movement of my head was restricted to the slight rotation of my neck inside for my helmet. The wave of panic started again as I couldn’t move my arms or hands……..wait, I felt movement with the fingertips of my right hand!! 

My mind raced…..if I can move my fingertips, I might be able to wiggle enough snow away to free my hand, then my forearm, and then gain enough movement to start digging myself free. My will to survive was strong, but I knew that the clock was ticking on my oxygen supply. 

I bent my exposed fingers down and began flipping snow away from my hand. I slowly gained movement in my wrist and began to perform a sweeping motion with my hand to clear away more snow. I was surprised at how densely packed the slide was, but then I thought of the snow what would build up in the winter on the tin roof of the barn on our ranch and how it would randomly slide off and pile up on the ground, packed solid as soon as it stopped moving. 

I prayed for God to help my brother find me; for me to survive and be reunited with my earthly family, all the while flipping away the snow with my hand.

My mind fought against the reality that at this rate, I would run out of oxygen before I could uncover my head. My thoughts again went to my family and their future without me….but was jolted back to the present as I felt a hand grab my exposed hand! I began to weep with joy, as I was filled with assurance that I was going to survive!

My brother watched the avalanche break, saw me holding onto the rear of the sled, watched the slide roll me and the sled as it churned downhill; then disappear. The slide moved into the basin towards where he was parked, my sled being carried along near the leading edge of the slide. 

The slide came to rest, then a 2nd larger avalanche broke free at the ridge and ran into the basin on a more westerly path, away from the 1st slide that I was trapped in.  
Several minutes passed by before all the snow stopped moving and my brother began frantically scanning the rubble from his safe vantage point, searching for any signs of my location. The surface of the slide was strewn with blocks of snow that ranged in size from a toaster to a refrigerator.
He noticed movement that appeared like snow settling, but then noticed a dusting of snow being repeatedly flipped from behind a block. Moving through knee-deep snow, he struggled to reach the slide, then scrambled through the debris to where he had last seen movement. He saw the snow flip again and rolling away a block, observed my gloved hand, sweeping snow around on the surface! 

He gripped my hand tightly and I pulsed my grip back, as if to somehow indicate that I was OK. He began to frantically dig with his hands to clear the snow away from my arm. With my forearm free, he worked his way down towards my shoulder and I tried as I could to help, by sweeping loose snow away with my forearm and hand. I could hear the snow moving as he would dig and then it would stop, then he would dig some more. 
At this point, I became somewhat aware of my orientation in the slide, I was lying on my left side with my head downhill, my left arm pinned across my chest and my right arm had been raised skyward. The pressure on my right shoulder and chest were decreasing a bit as the muffled sound of digging became clearer; the darkness was slowly replaced with an orange glow as daylight reached my fogged goggles. I will never forget how amazing it was to taste fresh air!! 

With the face of my helmet clear, but my breathing still shallow and labored, my brother scrambled back to his sled to retrieve his shovel. Upon return, he quickly worked to free my head and chest, then removed my helmet and took a much-needed break.
We both sat there, me in a 4-foot-deep hole with my lower torso still buried in the slide, sucking in the cold mountain air and mentally absorbing the event that had just occurred. I had a raging headache, the byproduct of oxygen deprivation from breathing in expelled carbon dioxide. We estimate my burial time somewhere between 12-15 minutes.

My brother shoveled out the rest of my body and I climbed out to sit on the edge of the hole. I was compelled to say a prayer, giving thanks for this second chance at life that I had been blessed with, for the heroic efforts of my brother and for the angels that I feel had a hand in the outcome of this event. 

It took some time to uncover my sled and get it to fire. My mind was beginning to clear and knowing the gravity of what had occurred, I felt the need to take some pictures of the slide and document the event. I had only recently been introduced to the Utah Avalanche Center and thought that having photos might be of value. We snapped a few photos and then slowly worked our way back toward the trailhead. 

I’ll leave the details of the rest of the day for another time. Let’s jump to what can be learned from this event.

Surviving this burial fueled my desire to learn as much as I could about the science behind avalanches and how to prevent myself, my family and my friends from ever having to experience what my brother and I did that day on the mountain, or worse.
In the days and weeks that followed, I uploaded my pictures and avalanche report on the Utah Avalanche Center website, I downloaded their app on my phone so that I could get daily alerts on the snow conditions throughout the state and specific details on the areas where I frequently ride. I read everything that I could find about identifying snow conditions, wind patterns, terrain types most prone to avalanche, snow pits, route planning, safe slope crossing, safety equipment, etc.

I purchased a beacon, probe and a backpack that would also hold a shovel. My brother, who is my frequent riding partner, was outfitted with the same. We also added radios for better communication. I took a course on how to properly use the beacon and practiced bracketing location techniques and probing skills. 

Some key points that I learned is that human body is 3 times denser than avalanche debris and will sink quickly. Once the avalanche stops, it settles like concrete. 

Avalanches are caused by four factors: a steep slope, snow cover, a weak layer in the snow cover, and a trigger. 

The vast majority of avalanches (90%) occur on slopes with angles between 30 and 45 degrees. Steeper slopes tend to continually slough snow, keeping a deep snowpack from building up.

If completely buried in a North American avalanche, a victim has a 79% survival rate if they are found and extricated within 5 minutes, but only a 40% survival rate after 15 minutes. Survival rates quickly drop off to zero if the rescue time stretches to 30 minutes. 

Asphyxia accounts for more than 75% of avalanche deaths, caused by inhaled debris blocking the airway; exhaled water vapor that freezes, forming an ice mask around the victim’s face; or oxygen depravation from rebreathing expired air.

I came to the realization that the slope where I had triggered the avalanche was home to a sleeping monster. Faceted snow conditions at the base, top-loaded drift snow from the previous Northern winds and 30-45 degree slope angle. Combined conditions that should have been avoided.

Looking back on some of the terrain that I’d traveled, I was surprised that I hadn’t triggered an avalanche before, because I had unknowingly taken many risks.

I had been operating in the backcountry for 35 years on pure luck and ignorance.

Proper safety gear (beacon, probe, shovel,) and the training on how to use them should be a minimum requirement and riding alone should be avoided. 

Even more important, is the knowledge of daily snow conditions available in the Utah Avalanche Center reports. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/

No amount of safety gear, including airbags, will keep you out of harm’s way like using the UAC Daily Snow Condition Forecast as your guide on the snow conditions and terrain aspects which are safe to ride. UAC produces daily forecasts for the mountains of Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake, Provo, Uintas, Skyline, Moab, Abajos. These reports are available at your fingertips via the UAC app on your smartphone. Their KnowBeforeYouGo program is loaded with information to keep you safe in the backcountry.

I have my own beliefs as to why I survived the burial. We were riding that day without beacons or probes. Why was my right arm stretched skyward, placing my hand at the surface? If 6” lower, I wouldn’t have been unable to move it and my brother would have had no idea where I was buried. That slide could have been my grave.
With proper training, my burial could have been avoided. 

I am eternally grateful for my brother’s heroic efforts, for the grace of God and the angels that watch over us.

Respect the mountain, my friends, as it holds no respect for you.

Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week on KSL

Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week on KSL

USA Trailer for KSL Interview


Here is our news feature with Dan Spindle KSL. Thank you for reaching out to us to help spread the word about snowmobile safety. 

Big thanks to Young PowersportsUtah Department of Natural Resources&  Young Truck & Trailers for the help to build the amazing education trailer. 

Thank you to our avalanche safety sponsors Backcountry Access, Inc.Highmark by Snowpulse, & Pieps for providing us with amazing equipment to be able to share the best of the best equipment and education with our club members. 

And without the help of our instructors donating their time, we would not be able to make this happen.  

Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week

Do you love to snowmobile, ski, snowboard or even hike in the snow? You have to see my story with the Utah Snowmobile Association… They've got tech that could save your life! KSL Today is on!

Posted by Dan Spindle KSL on Wednesday, January 22, 2020
KSL’s Dan Spindle with Cal Taylor and Kirk Chester

Farmington Lakes Avalanche Report

Dear Snowmobiling Community,

We have been asked to share with you the accident report from the UAC of the fatal avalanche at Farmington Lake. You can find the full report at http://bit.ly/FarmingtonAvyFB and the video below. Our deepest condolences go to Chase Adam’s family and friends. Any death in our community is a huge loss, so we hope that all snowmobilers will take time to read through this report and learn lessons from this tragic accident.

Some key takeaways for all snowmobilers from this report include:

We aim to learn from accidents like this and in no way intend to point fingers at victims. All of us at the Utah Avalanche Center have had our own close calls and know how easy it is to make mistakes. Our intention is for this report to offer a learning opportunity. For that reason we have the following comments.

(1) This slope ended in a terrain trap that is not obvious like a creek or gully. Because there was such an abrupt transition from a steep slope to a perfectly flat slope (the frozen lake), the debris piled up very deeply.

(2) Deep burials (greater than 6 feet deep) are very difficult to survive. Even shallow burials require exhausting digging to reach a buried person because avalanche debris sets up like concrete. It is very dense and heavy, and it makes the digging very time consuming and grueling work.

(3) Avalanche airbags are great lifesaving devices that can decrease mortality from 22% to 11%. However, they are not a sure thing. On January 1st in Montana, a snowmobiler was buried 7.5 feet deep with a deployed airbag. Read more about the statistics HERE or the detailed scientific study HERE. In the case of this accident, even though Chase deployed his airbag, he was fully buried because the debris ran into a terrain trap.Of note: Since last winter at this time, there have been 6 avalanche fatalities in Utah in which the victim or someone in their party was missing critical safety gear which includes an avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel, and partner(s) in a safe location ready to respond.

Photo of burial location from UAC. The probe is held with 180 cm at the surface. The total depth of the excavation was 11 feet.

Please “Know Before You Go.” If you have never done any avalanche training, start now by joining your local club and attending a USA Motorized Basics class to learn to use your beacon and introduction. Then get into a companion rescue course or moto 101 class on UAC’s website https://utahavalanchecenter.org/education/uac-kbyg-classes. There is a Moto Backcountry 101 on Feb 6 and 8, Companion Rescue on Feb 15, and Moto Backcountry 101 on Feb 27 and Mar 1.

Then get into a full Avalanche 1 course, the following providers have courses specific to snowmobilers:

AIARE Motorized Providers

Mountain Riding Lab, The
Location: Jackson, WY
Website: www.themountainridinglab.com Classes Offered: Motorized AIARE Level 1, Motorized AIARE Rescue,
Motorized AIARE Level 2

Mountain Skills with Matt Entz
Location: South Fork, CO
Website: https://mountainskillz.com/ Classes Offered: Avalanche Awareness, Motorized AIARE Level 1

NXT LVL Riding Clinics
Location: Alpine, WY
Website: www.nextlevelclinics.com Classes Offered: Avalanche Awareness/Refresher Clinic

Ride Rasmussen Style
Location: West Yellowstone, MT Website: www.riderasmussenstyle.com Classes Offered: Motorized AIARE Level 1, Motorized AIARE Rescue,
Motorized AIARE Level 2

Tyler’s Backcountry Awareness
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Website: backcountryawareness.org Classes Offered: Motorized AIARE Level 1, Motorized AIARE Rescue

Weston Deutschlander
Location: Park City, UT
Contact: info@inspiredsummit.com, or call Weston at 716-472-7405
Classes Offered: Motorized AIARE Level 1, Motorized AIARE Rescue,
Motorized AIARE Level 2

AAA Motorized Providers

Backcountry Institute
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Website: https://backcountryinstitute.com
Classes Offered: Motorized Backcountry 101, Motorized Avalanche Level 1

Tracked Out Adventures
Location: Saratoga Springs, UT
Website: trackedoutadventures.com
Classes Offered: Motorized Avalanche Level 1

Davis Snowmobile Club Update

by Terri Hammond, Club President

Hey fellow sledheads! So glad to see the snow falling. Let’s keep the snow dancing going. The Davis County Snowmobile Club has had a very busy January. Our club ride was on January 11, up to Logan Canyon. The club members enjoyed a deep powder day with lots of smiles and laughter. On January 18, we had 29 riders show up for an Avalanche Awareness Class with the USA. 

February is another busy month for our club, and if I had to guess, I would say it’s the club’s favorite month. Our club meeting will be held on February 3, 2020, at Granny Annie’s in Kaysville at 7:00 PM. The meeting is held in the conference room at the back of the restaurant. 

On February 8, the club members get to put smiles on the faces of several amazing Camp K participants. The participants will show up in Kamas at Weller’s old shop for a half-day of riding snowmobiles and eating pizza. I know the smiles on their faces makes the whole day worth it.  

February 13 and 15th club members can sign up for a 2-day Avalanche 101 Class with Backcountry Institute. We will spend 4 hours in the classroom the evening of the 13th at Young Powersports in Layton and all day on the snow on the 15th. Club members can RSVP for this class by sending an email to daviscountysnowmobileclub@gmail.com

February 19 through the 23rd is the clubs Annual Ride. We will be staying at Ruby’s Inn and riding the Bryce Canyon area. 

Our March club meeting will be on March 2, 2020, at Granny Annie’s in Kaysville at 7:00 PM. 

Make Mental Preparation a Key Part of Your Riding Plan

By Bob Stockwell, with Michael Morgan, LMFT

Backcountry snowmobiling is an all-in sport. It takes a clear mind and full focus along with physical abilities to get into, and out of, the best lines and moments.

But sometimes focus fades. Maybe you’ve just spent 30 minutes digging your buddy out of a tree well (it’s never you, right?!?), you haven’t had enough water or food, you’ve had one too many Monsters. Or maybe you’re riding with someone whose skills far outpace your own, and as a result, you’re feeling intimidated.

Whether it’s the start of the day or early afternoon, getting your mind into the right place is critical. Michael Morgan, a licensed therapist, specializing in sports performance, shares some practices to set and reset your mental state throughout the riding day.

At the Start the of Day

Make mental preparation a part of your start-the-day routine. As you check your gear and oil level, set the radio channel, and make sure your beacon is transmitting and receiving, take a couple of minutes to slow your mind and get it ready to go, too.

Have a Blast. There may be some temporary setbacks with equipment, unpredictable terrain, weather situations, etc., but you’re going to have a blast and be in some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Enjoy every time out and look at the whole experience as an adventure.

Think and Prepare, Then Let Go. Check the weather and avalanche forecast. Evaluate the terrain and talk with others who have ridden there recently. Make sure your equipment is up to par. Know the risks. Check and re-check. Be prepared for the unexpected. You will feel more confident and less stressed, the more prepared you are. Plan. Then, let go of thinking and enjoy the feeling of being exactly where you want to be.

Find an Excellent Mentor. You will reach your point of limitation soon enough, and you won’t be able to progress to where you want to be without working with riders, who have paved that path or understand that path more thoroughly than you. This is true in snowmobiling, as well as any other area that you want to progress in. Seeking guidance isn’t a weakness…it’s just smart.

Ride with Trustworthy People. You are putting your life and your family’s life in the hands of those you ride with. Make sure they have your back, and you have theirs. There is a great camaraderie that happens when ride with your friends. Lift each other up.

Be Kind to Yourself. “Man, you suck.” “Dude, you are the worst.” You won’t make a lot of friends with negative talk. You also reduce your own riding ability with that kind of self-talk. Don’t be hard on yourself, instead build yourself up with encouragement. Self-belief is one of the biggest keys to success in everything you do.

As the Day Goes On

Yeah, you’re tough. You don’t need a break. Except you really do. The physical and mental exertion of riding that 400+ pound beast takes its toll. To be at your best throughout the day, take breaks for food and hydration. During your breathers, take a few minutes to do a mental once-over and make any needed adjustments so you can close out the day strong.

Focus on Nutrition and Your Body. Your mind and body are intricately connected. If you’re feeling down or negative…EAT SOMETHING. Take plenty of food with you, and drink plenty of water. If you’re having trouble focusing or your body is exhausted…take a break. Most accidents happen when people are tired or worn out. Pay attention to your body, and don’t argue with it.

Don’t Compare. You are not competing against your crew. You’re competing against and progressing toward your full potential and capability. Cheer each other’s successes and remember that everyone else is doing the best they can and wanting to have fun. Enjoy the process of growth, even though sometimes it feels like a setback. And remember that when one of your buddies succeeds, it’s your success, too.

Know Your Limits, Then Push Them. Be aware of your abilities, strengths, and limits. Then, find a way to push them. Don’t do this all by yourself. Seek out positive mentors and riders that can help you get to the next level. And remember that, as the day goes on and you expend physical and mental energy, your limits will change. The line you rocked in the morning is going to be harder to nail later in the day. And that’s ok.

Think Worst-Case Scenario. This may be the opposite of what you would think a sport psychologist would say, but it can be empowering when you confront your greatest fears. If the worst-case scenario is that you could embarrass yourself…lean into that, confront it, feel the fear, and do it anyway. If the fear is that it could lead to potentially serious injury…press the pause button, re-evaluate, and find a scenario that doesn’t involve risking injury or worse.

The Gift of Fear. Don’t Doubt. If you have fear, pay attention to it. Sometimes it’s there for a reason. However, once you make a plan and a decision, commit to it. Believe in yourself.

No Failing, Just Learning. The most valuable lessons you will learn are from “failures.” Don’t put yourself down, learn. If there’s a line that gave you fits, explore it, lean into it—was it a strength issue? Was it a technique? Does one of your buddies have an idea for you on how to do it differently? It’s all about learning and progress, not perfection.

Gratitude. Maintain Perspective. Live in gratitude. You’re snowmobiling. You are with some of the luckiest people on the planet. You have money, resources, support, and a situation that most don’t have. Don’t mess it up with a negative attitude. Be grateful to be out in nature, spending time with your friends, see what you are capable of.

***

Michael Morgan, based in Sandy, Utah, is a licensed therapist specializing in sports performance. A professional pickleball player, Michael has worked with professional athletes in snowmobiling, golf, tennis, and basketball, as well as coaching individuals in learning to cope with their current stresses and find their own unique identities and strengths. Connect with Michael at mike@momentumcounselingservices.com or visit their website at www.momentumcounselingservices.com

New Club in Heber

by Scott Graves, President Wasatch Back

Hi to all, my name is Scott Graves, also known as SledGimp. For many years I was a member of Davis County Snowmobile Club and loved it. However, I live in Heber and the club was so far away it was hard to participate in any of the non-ride club functions. It became clear to me that we needed a club in the Wasatch Back, so I have started one. 

Wasatch Back Snowmobile Club is a new club and part of The Utah Snowmobile Association. We are based out of Heber but will be riding anywhere we can find the good stuff. It doesn’t matter what kind of sled you ride or what kind of terrain you ride all riders of all ages are welcome. You can find us at https://www.facebook.com/WasatchBackSnowmobileClub to keep up on our current activities and where we will be riding next.

DNR Grooming

DNR Grooming Trail

Want to know more about how DNR grooming of your favorite snowmobile trail? Check out DNR’s blog post and video below. If you want to find the most current grooming reports, go to https://www.snowut.com/Grooming.

USA President’s January Update

I keep seeing everyone on social media out having a good time and enjoying the wonderful snowpack we have this year. I know I have taken advantage of some of the storm cycles this past month of January. Nearly 100 inches of snow has fallen since the middle of the month, and there are a few more flakes in the forecast.
We are having an incredible year as an association. A huge thanks to everyone on the board and those who have come out to help and support our events this year, it will definitely be one for the record books. It all started out way back in the summer when we knew it was time to bring our members an education program to help all sledders here in Utah’s backcountry. During the snow show in October, we revealed our new trailer and all the partners who made it happen. We received a grant from the Recreational Trails Program to launch this amazing project. Young Trailers, Pieps, BCA, Highmark, and the Department of Natural Resources State Parks OHV Program helped with their generous donations to match the grant. At this point, we have taught four classes through the clubs, and we will be teaching all the DNR rangers in two separate classes, then one or two more this season. By the time we are all said and done, we will have taught 200 people the Motorized Basics education course. Kirk Chester, who is our education director, has overseen this project and has quickly brought our board members up to speed to educate all these people.

We had our first ever Avalanche Awareness Week, it will happen the first week of December from now on. This came about because of the need to make the public aware of avalanche dangers here in Utah. It was in partnership with the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Snowmobile Association, Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, Utah State Parks, Utah Department of Transportation, and Ski Utah. Look for that next year.

January 18-26th is the national Snowmobile Safety Week and on Wednesday morning there will be a story on KSL News TV about our education program and mobile classroom. On the 25th will be our 5th annual fundraiser ride at Strawberry Bay Marina & Lodge. “Rally in the Strawberry Valley,” as it’s been named, will host the great clubs, surrounding dealers, and supporters of snowmobiling in Utah. Please show your support by joining one of our fabulous clubs or donating through the association.

Next month, I will be meeting with many of the association delegates at the Western Chapter Summit in West Yellowstone, Montana. We will discuss the needs

of fellow snowmobilers here in the western region of the United States and Canada.

Well, I hope you will get out and enjoy this wonderful state we have, and I hope to see you at the Rally! Until next time, Stay safe.

Cal Taylor
President, Utah Snowmobile Association

Chalk Creek Club

By Cody Sargent, Chalk Creek President

Update

After a few years of hiatus, we started back into the scene last year, and now this year, we are finally back in full force. Our membership numbers are growing to some of the highest they have ever been. We have a diverse group with members ages 10 to 60+, and we are finally getting some members from outside of the Coalville area.
We have new members on our leadership team. Diane was elected to be our treasurer/secretary, and Jed & Kendra were elected to be our activities/ride coordinators. All three of them have already proven to be worth their weight in gold.

We want to thank the whole USA board for their support and Chris and the DNR for their help. The DNR has provided us a groomer to use again this year. A huge thank you goes out to Ben for the countless hours that he spends running the groomer.

We want to remind everybody who rides the Chalk Creek Trail that it will only remain open through the continued support of our club, USA, and DNR. So please join the club and support the USA. Also, remember to stay on the county right of way from the trailhead until you reach the forest boundary. The club is working very hard to maintain a good relationship with adjacent landowners.

Activities

  • We are excited about the rally in the valley ride. We hope that as many of our members will go as can to support the USA.
  • Club social ride to Whitney is scheduled for 01/18.
    • We are planning the following events:
    • One of our famous wiener wagon rides for February,
    • Lunch ride to Bear River with an overnight option for February or March,
    • Avalanche motorized basics in March, and
    • Weekend trip to strawberry for the end of the season. We hope to work it out with Strawberry Bay that we can go as soon as they shut down for the season again and will have the place to ourselves again.
Chalk Creek Club Ride