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Old 01-03-2006   #1
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Montgomery Pass snowmobiles

Yesterday while skiing the Montgomery Pass area we where invaded by snowmobiles. They ran up Mister Big, in front of the Knob, and the pass area. They ran across the tundra that was not covered in snow.

Please contact any resources that could help stop this ugliness.

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Old 01-03-2006   #2
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Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
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News over the weekend was that some snowmobiler Iowans died in avalanche in the backcountry. Is this a growing trend? Are there more out of state slednecks who are unfamiliar with BC safety/ettiquette/common sense coming in from out of state?

I feel bad for the families, but my point is that it seems that Colorado BC is becoming a destination for more and more out of state snowmobilers who are unfamiliar with traveling in a mountian environment. I'm not sure how you would be able to make sure these people are educated. Also could have been Colorado people that you saw too, who knows.

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Old 01-03-2006   #3
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I happily abide by the very strict rules for running rivers. In order to get on any major river we encounter many restrictions, allotments, and even lotteries. These help ensure we do not over use the rivers and use them correctly.

My understanding is that snowmobiles can run any where any time without much restraint. Why are they not required to be registered or get a tag? At least a license.

Anyone fool with 10k can be out in the backcountry polluting the air, noise polluting, and scaring the snow (high points are the ugliest thing I see in the backcountry). They can also endanger others by possibly dropping an avalanche others.

Currently I do not see any way to stop the snowmobiles. You can not catch them. They do not have visible tags. The can travel anywhere unchecked.

I once saw them go into RMNP from American lakes. I called the park service and reported the intrusion. The ranger’s response was – so what.
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Old 01-03-2006   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Up where I live you must register your snowmobile with the Forest Service and also get a special permit for the Buff Pass area - new this season. There are designated non-motorized use areas as well. Most people abide by the rules, especially the "hybrid" users - snowmo skiers. I'm pretty sure that every snowmobile in Colorado has to register with the Forest Service, but I've been wrong before, perhaps it's a county by county thing. Is the area you're talking about a non-motorized area?
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Old 01-03-2006   #5
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Honestly, my response is very emotional, so I am not sure of all the permits required and if the snowmobiles have them. The bilers act like they have no training or responsibility so I just assumed that there are few restrictions.

Lets look at the deaths this weekend. There were 12 snow machines and none of them had enough training to know high pointing on unstable snow was a bad idea? They need training and restrictions. How would you like to have been one of the rescue people that had to deal with the mess they made?

My friend believes that the Montgomery Pass area is restricted.

Personally I believe we should put a North Face store on top of Diamond Peak that includes a McDonald’s and a Starbucks. The state needs the revenue generated by tourism, how else can we continue to grow?
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Old 01-03-2006   #6
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I've always wondered why we have not had more problems with snowmobilers at Montgomery. As far as I know they are allowed to go up there. If they came up Joe Wright creek or Sawmill they would pass into the wilderness area though. High marking on Mr. Big is a dangerous proposition. We set off a pretty big slide on the skiers left side of that in November. We should re-route all snowmobilers to the face of Diamond. Tell them is is better riding. Eventually this will reduce the number of riders in the area.
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Old 01-03-2006   #7
Join Date: Dec 2003
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All snowmobiles need to be registered, and out of state riders need a temporary permit. Snowmobiles are allowed on forest service land, need special passes on state park land or recreation areas, and of course are not allowed in Wilderness areas, I don't know about RMNP but I would guess that if it is legal in Yellostone that it is legal in RMNP. Some areas have individual restrictions such as Rabbit Ears Pass where snowmobiles are only allowed on the Eastern side of the pass. My guess is that they are no different than any other group out there, growing up in Minnesota where snowmobiling is a way of life I know responsible riders and irresponsible riders. As in off-roading, mountain biking, boating and so on there will allways be people out there that cause problems and ruin it for the others. Education is about the only way to fix it.

Except as otherwise provided in these regulations or
by Colorado Revised Statutes, no motor vehicle shall
be brought onto any Parks and Outdoor Recreation
lands unless a valid pass issued by the Division is
properly attached to the extreme lower right-hand
corner of the vehicle’s windshield in a position so
that the pass may be observed and identified. For
an annual vehicle pass, including an aspen leaf
annual pass to be properly attached to a windshield
it must be permanently affixed. Any vehicle without
a windshield shall be treated as a special case, but
evidence of a pass shall be required.
2. No vehicle pass shall be required for:
a. Any snowmobile as defined in section
33-14-101, C.R.S.;
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Old 01-03-2006   #8
I'm wrong 50% of the time
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RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
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Posts: 857
As an avid BC user and snowmoboarder, please do not generalize all of us. As in resort snow ridding, their are gapers among us. Please educate those that do not know. Especially as it pertains to wilderness, tundra, closed areas and Danger (read: high marking in Avy terrain)

People died this week from stupidity and under education. We need to take it upon ourselves to protect that which we cherish. As a river post we stand by and let stupidity happen or do we educate...

On the other hand, there are some out there that will cuss me out no matter what I do. This is because they have no idea that I to respect the environment, but gas powered toys can be fun in moderation.

That’s my $.02

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Old 01-04-2006   #9
The next zone, .
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Posts: 1,200
Funny you think that all BC skiers know what are doin out in the BC just because they start walkin lower down the hill. Just a quick story of what happened LAST WEEK. Not a big deal just what us die hard sledneckers deal with on a regular basis.

I ran into a couple Boy/girlfriend at the trailhead they happened to be parked next to us and they were typical “rangers” Subaru and couple of mutt dogs off leash. I gathered up my pitt as I started my sleds – first comment from them was about the stink of the machines and how they “earn” their turns. I offered them a miller hi life which they promptly turned down and we parted ways. Next time I saw them well the guy was waving his hands on a trail about 3-4 miles from the trailhead. I thought man this guy really needs a beer! Anyway he got his old lady in over her head and she had fallen and “broke” her hip. Mr. rude-parking-lot-sic-o had a different perspective on how far over his head he was at this point.

Anyway we got the Buena Vista snowmobile clubs rescue sled, went over the trails that are paid for by snowmobile registrations (thanks all for the 2nd groomer this year!) that are groomed by volunteer snowmachiners, used the Buena Vista’s snowmobile’s clubs sat phone to call for a ambulance (Mr I earn my turns insisted), and finally used those good awful snowmachines, and got to the chick. The best part is that at the end of the day the guy still would not have a miller with us. Oh yea it also turned out to be a bruise.

Remember that it is the snowmobile registrations that pay for grooming in this area the BC skiers pay nothing, zip, zero!

I don’t think that snowmobilers should break the rules and ride into or on to Wilderness Area’s. Also there is among locals in any area an understanding of where snowmachines should access. This is fine there is a ton of BC in Colorado. On the flip side of that coin if you will have your day ruined by some snowmachines - be smart enough to learn where wilderness areas are then start to learn the terrain, and use these areas - this is what they are for. Here around BV look into the Collegiate Peaks wilderness area – it is only about 1.5 million acres of sled free area. Around the state there are Millions and Millions of acres of wilderness area – buy a map and learn about one of them.

Here is something else to ponder - with a 2001 800 that will easily pull skiers getting down to the $3000 range the snowmobarding segment of the BC population is going to grow exponentially over the next 5-10 years. Something this gooooooooood cant be kept a secret for ever! Last year was the 1st year that our most easily accessed stashes up on “the wood” started to see other users. Oh Well I guess there is only about a million other stashes to find.

You can get pissed as well about growth and change – but that will only get you pissed. The simple fact of economy in many small redneck towns in Colorado are kept alive, in part, by snowmachine traffic. My advice get is to get on on the snowmoboard train asap - or learn about wilderness area’s.
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Old 01-04-2006   #10
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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I could not have asked for a better response to demonstrate my point – Thanks RDNEK.

The backcountry will be over run by motorized vehicles if nothing is done.

There was a bill in the making that would allow ATV’s access to the National Park trails. I am not sure what happened to this.

Where will we go and not hear a motor running? How scarred and small do we wish to make the earth? Where can I sit and not see the hand of man upon the country side? Where will we find people who have a sole connected to nature?

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