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Sunday, February 17, 2013

BRUTAL, BRUTAL!!!!! Trail. Bryan's Story

Marten comes out and goes 20' then backtracks.
Bryan's story.... I left at noon on "Poncho", the Tundra 550 LT.  The trail had been just grated but it had snowed 2' which wasn't too bad but also the snow had slipped out of the trees.  So to go the 14 km there were 50 really big tree wells that had to be shoveled.  I would jump off the skidoo crotch deep in the snow and wallow up to the tree well and shovel.  I couldn't keep putting on and taking off the snowshoes.  Almost every hill I had to take several runs at.  Back up then try again.   
 Reaching the Inklin River, I was astounded at the amount of new snow down there.  It's 335 m (1100') lower in elevation.  Clouds must have hung around there longer than the 12 hours we had.  
The  snow on the 45% talus slope had slide filling the trail.  The 350 meter or more took me 4 hours to shovel. 
I reached the Inklin cabin at 6:30 and called Vikki on the SBX.  "I just got here, the whole pass was full.  I'm leaving now, be back there in an hour."

The snow is so high it is almost reaching the wire I attach the trap too.  Amazing.
I had no trouble until reaching the Knoll at Two Bridges.   There was another fresh snow slide 10' deep on the trail.  The Big 550 drove down into it and tipped.  By that time I was getting pretty tired and lost control of the machine.  Took 15 min. of hard labour.  My arms were so sore I could hardly steer the skidoo anymore.  
The steep drop.... I only made it halfway up (trail was not set up yet).  But I just had to back up 150' and took another run at it.  "Miss Piggy" the Scandic 800 SWT would have had to back down the whole drop which would have been impossible in the dark.  
I got to the bottom of the Long Drop.  At the dip at the bottom, I gunned it , gaining speed and Yee Hay.... the hi beam burnt out.  Ten minutes before, I'd seen a blue arcing in the headlight.  Now I realized it was the 1st hi beam filament burning out.  I was in the pitch dark.  I had to stop 50' up.  I fiddled around with the switches and got the low beam on.  I backed up twice and finally got it out of the dip at the bottom.
After reaching the top of the long drop, I had no further trouble.  That 28 km round trip checking traps usually takes 2 hours.  This time 8 plus hours.  
The whole rest of the way I was thinking.... "I sure hope the other headlight doesn't burn out".


  1. When I read some of the comments posted such as "I so envy you living your dream" I think "if only you fully understood!" The sheer grit and determination, the dedication and commitment required to efficiently manage and operate a remote trapline is beyond the grasp of most people in today's society.

  2. Tom, you couldn't be more right. Its all VERY hard work and then more hard work! If you're lucky its just a little more after that and if not, it becomes a matter of sheer survival!

  3. That was a long hard day Bryan I hope you get a few easier days for a while :)

  4. I think Byran should take a fitness test. The 60+ trapper may be much more fit than much younger athletes.



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