Coq. Snow Sled Skills, Day 1

The Coquihalla Snowmobile Club this year has tons of new stuff going on despite the less than average snow fall. New groomers, cabin upgrades and reno’s, new web cams and a new skills development program.

This past Sunday was the first Skills Day on the Coquihalla. We had 5 people turn out for the first day. For two of the riders this would be their first time ever on their new sleds (both purchased from Coquihalla Snowmobile Club Supporter Greater Vancouver Powersports)


Steven putting the first couple miles on his Summit 800.

We started the day off by playing around in a meadow working on counter steering and balancing on an edge. Steven even gave us the opportunity to show some tree-well extraction techniques, thanks Trey!


Ray playing on one of the hills early in the day.


Steven working on his counter steering, not bad for his first day.

Trey practicing the tuck and roll.

Trey practicing the tuck and roll.

We cruised the Henning Loop and played around in the bowls getting the guys used to some hills and open spaces. The trail was in great shape thanks to the hard work of the grooming crew.


The crew enjoying the view at Spearing Bowl.

The 2 first times progressed a lot through he course of the day and were both getting around great by the end of the day. Good times and meeting new people, always fun.

Mike taking a breather on his newly acquired 163" Summit Demo Sled form GVP.

Mike taking a breather on his newly acquired 163″ Summit Demo Sled from GVP. By the end of the day Mike was hucking this XM around with ease.

Photo Dump Dec/Jan ridding.

January 7 marked my 17 day out this season on the new sled. I had a few days cut short do to lack of snow or visibility but I did manage to have some pretty awesome days as well.

The West Coast of BC is off to another slow start this season, actually were even behind what I would call a slow start. But, if you remember last year we got most of the white stuff in February and even March, so there is still hope for more powder days, and of course some spring ridding.

Ive got about 50 hours on the T3 163 and the only problem to report so far is other people not having a T3, meaning Im doing more than my fair share of digging ;)

With all the sledding lately I haven’t put much up on the site so here are a few pics from the last couple weeks.


Getting my good friend Tommy out for his first ride. He got stuck a lot but he is English so wasn’t really his fault.


Yes, thats my old sled down there, I told you he was English right? I guess they don’t get snow back home?


I spent a day with Paul from Ministry of Transportation showing him around the Coquihalla Clubs ridding area. The Ministry of Transportation provides a lot of info to Avalanche Canada for forecasting. They now has 2 Summits in their fleet and will be spending more time in our ridding area which means better forecasting, this is great news!


I’ve never seen anyone so keen to stick their head in the snow.



Henning Trail on the Coq this year got hammered with rain that lead to some sketchy trail condition early on in the season. Thanks to the hard work of the club, and volunteer groomers things are back to normal and a lot safer. Support your local club!


Rode a few days with my buddy Joe from Dawson Creek, he really likes trees. Picture is from a nice deep day up at Henning on the Coquihalla.


A lack of snow early on left some really week layers in the snow pack around South West BC. You can see a perfect example here on the Avalanche Trail on the Coquihalla.


More rides with the English. Henning Area, Coquihalla.


Bill and Joe taking it in somewhere in the back of 10K up the Coquihalla.


Joe taking a breather up 10K after another tree well extraction.


Early season powder up at 10K. Like last year some of my best days were in December.


Mike from Greater Vancouver Powersports rocking a T3 174 on a nice powder day up by Princeton .


It was deep!


So much snow, can’t believe he showed me his spot . . .


I told you Joe likes trees right? 


Day 2 at Mikes spot, this time with blue skies, so sick! Best day of the year so far by a long shot. Sorry about smashing all your snow Mike!


Powder is my crack!


Tree ridding up Groundhog in Blue River.


163 T3 looking all bad ass at Groundhog. Blue River is quickly becoming one of my favourite places to ride.


Joe testing out the ice capabilities of the Summit in Whistler. No matter how crapy the snow in Whistler gets the scenery is always top notch.


Ill never get sick of these views.




Day 2. Henning Cabin, Coquihalla

Well the conditions on the coq haven’t improved much around Henning but apparently there is more snow by 10K. With only 20 minutes on the new machine we decided to go for a tour instead of tempting fate with a hidden boulder or stump at 10K. This worked out well as the club needed to post a “Danger Trail Closed” sign on the trail down from Henning Cabin.

The Henning Trail has been closed for a week now and doesn’t look like it will be opening up in the immediate future. A section of the trail is covered in 12+ inches of ice. Several feet of snow will be required before it can safely be opened again, luckily the Coquihalla can get a couple feet in a day when things really turn on.

Aside from that the ride in isn’t to bad the back way past Murphy Lakes. That was my first time going into Henning that way and while it was nice ride Im not itching to do it again real soon.

Snapped a few pics and a video, despite only a couple feet of snow there is a solid base now. A couple more weeks before prime time still.


The new Summit T3 makes a great sign hauler.


This trail is better suited to a bobsled right now. Hopefully we get some snow soon, this is a much more pleasant way to access the mountain.


Henning Trail wasn't the only think covered in ice. not sure Ive ever seen so many stairs on the cabin before, did someone raise it or is there just no snow :0

Henning Trail wasn’t the only think covered in ice. not sure Ive ever seen so many stairs on the cabin before, did someone raise it or is there just no snow :0


For more info on the Coquihalla Riding Area check out The Coquihalla Snowmobile Club Site.

First Day of the Season, Coquihalla.

Well I gave in today and took the new Summit T3 163″ for a rip up the Coquihalla.

So much paddle!

So much paddle!


There is a lot of exciting new stuff this year going on with the Coquihalla Club, if you ride around the Fraser Valley or Vancouver this is a great club to be part of, especially this season.

The most exciting news this year from the club is the addition of a new groomer, the club now has 2 groomers! Also the mine that used to clear the road between 10K ridding area and Henning is closed this winter so that means the road will be unmaintained and we can ride from one zone to another, big bonus! Lots of other small things going on as well, avi courses, upgrades to both Henning and 10K cabins, new outhouses and upgrades to the front end loader to make clearing the parking lot easier.

Back to today though, yes it is still a bit early to go sledding. There was about 2′ in the 0k parking lot. After a few laps on the pipe line and a quick blast up and down the road to break in the new motor and belt I headed up to Henning to check out the conditions up top.

Stopping to let the new motor cool off after a blast up the road towards 10K.

Stopping to let the new motor cool off after a blast up the road towards 10K.

Unfortunately a new log has fallen across the trail about 3/4 of the way up. With a little snow it wouldn’t be hard to get around it but being by myself and with the skinny snow I decided to play it safe and went back to the pipe line for some donuts.

The log that cut short my day. This thing has to go, I don't think my chin saw bar is big enough but if someone wants a hand cutting it up let me know.

The log that cut short my day. This thing has to go, I don’t think my chin saw bar is big enough but if someone wants a hand cutting it up let me know.

The new T3 is a tractor! The snow was extremely heavy and wet so it wasn’t the best day to feel out the new sled but my first impressions were pretty good. It seems to be a lot easier to roll over than my previous 2014 XM. I think I will have to crank up the front shocks a bit and play with the skid but I will wait till there is proper snow before I start making to many changes.

Found some salad while turing around at the log. Once the 3" paddles found the bottom they hooked up nicely ;)

Found some salad while turing around at the log. Once the 3″ paddles found the bottom they hooked up nicely ;)

Winter may be late this year but its here, they are expecting more snow this week and colder temps. Don’t forget to check you safety gear and renew your memberships.

(Don’t deal with sled envy all winter again, call the crew at GVP and get a new ride, they are sweet!)

Short Braaaap for Paps Birthday up Cheam.

What do you get the man that has everything for his Birthday? How about a foot of fresh snow, blue skies and a world class view all from the seat of his snowmobile. Happy 67th old man!

This was my first trip this year up Cheam in Chilliwack, BC. This year has been a low snow year and Cheams snow pack took a beatting early on with the warm start and then the long cold dry spell. The snow line is a ways up the road and that makes just getting to the snow interesting. Yesterday there was about 10 trucks parked just below the snow line and there wasn’t much room left, glad we didn’t have a trailer thats for sure.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the expansion over on the Thurston Side. Looks like the crew has been busy opening up a new trail that leads over to some new bowls. Cheam is a smaller ridding area and this new expansion is a welcome addition. Need to get back up there and do some more exploring now.

Since I thought I should probably let my old man drive his sled I have been using all season for his Birthday ride it meant I really needed to throw the 2007 Rev that was in pieces in my garage back together or I would get stuck riding the short track MXZ. I finished putting the raves, reeds and carbs back together around 9pm, fired it up, nothing leaked and loaded it into the truck. She ran all day without a hiccup, much to my surprise. A far cry for the 2014 XM i have been riding but the old rev is still blast to ride.

Pictures and video by Marlin Bayes


Up in the Bowl there is no shortage of big terrain. With the snow conditions that day people were ridding to the very top of Cheam.


Playing in one of the bowls before dropping into Spoon Lake.



SledinBC Season opener 2014, Blue River and Grizzly

Another Sandra Ramsey Edit from some of our first trips out of the Fraser Valley this season. We had some epic big powder in Blue River and spent a weekend at Grizzly Lodge for Sandra and my Birthdays.

If you have not been to Grizzly Lodge you really should, food, accommodations and terrain are world class! There hadn’t been new snow for a couple weeks when we were there but we were still able to find some fresh fluffy stuff and bury some sleds!

Fingers are crossed for a few more days of powder before spring shows up!

– Ryan Bayes

<p><a href=”″>SledinBC Season Opener. Blue River and Grizzly Lodge</a> from <a href=””>WCK-TV</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Pictures from Hunters Range

It was only three short years ago that I was diagnosed with a serious case of Sledsalotitis, a terrible form of snowmobiling addiction mostly untreatable except with severe, frequent and heavy doses of powder.

Luckily enough for me this disease is highly contagious and it was only a few short weeks after contracting it that my girl friend came down with an equally severe case of sleddiction-itis. Even more so lucky for me, the main Treatment Centre for this disease is located just a short drive away from the inlaws house in Armstrong. The Hunters Range Treatment Facility has access to all the prescription powder you could ever need. A short stay here has proven to be good for the body, mind and soul!

Im not saying a trip to my inlaws for Christmas is any better than yours…but I must admit I have it pretty good!

Ryan Bayes


Sandra collecting herself after a treatment. – Photo By Ryan Bayes


Sandra enjoying a session on Marlin’s brand new XM.


“You powder junkie leave me some snow” – Quote and Photo by Ryan Bayes


While sledding is a recognized form of relationship counselling, having only 1 brand new XM sled and an older XP can really be taxing on a relationship. Advised to just buy two sleds in future. – Photo by Ryan Bayes

Silver Star Mountain

Silver Star Mountain is located just outside Vernon in the Okanagan and is a very popular ski and snowboard resort. This past Chistmas on a family trip to Silver Star we brought along the sleds to check out the area maintained by the Vernon Snowmobile Association.

The VSA have 2 cabins in the area easily accessible via the rather impressive network of groomed trails. There are a lot of groomed trails here but this is definitely not somewhere to go if you looking for big chutes and technical terrain. This is a very beginner friendly area.

There are several nice open meadows to play in and even if you get creative there is actually some fun low angle trees to play in.

In the short 4 hour tour we did here we made it to both cabins and most of the way around the marked trails. As with most places this time of year the snow wasn’t super deep but there was lots of untracked areas with nice Okanagan powder if you were wiling to venture off the trails.

There is a donation box at the trail head, they ask that each rider put $10 in the box.


Sandra Ramsey finding some fresh in one of the meadows. Photo by Ryan Bayes


Photo by: Ryan Bayes


Photo by Ryan Bayes


This was my 64 year old Dad’s second time out on his new Summit XM 154, great place for breaking in the new machine and rider! Photo by Ryan Bayes


Sandra exploring some of the side trails. Photo by Ryan Bayes

Coquihalla Riding Area Update

I attended my first Coquihalla Snowmobile Club meeting last night and learned some exciting stuff about the upcoming season. The most exciting news to me was that currently it looks like the coal mine company that has been plowing the road between 0k and 10K parking lots will not be operating this winter. What does that mean for sledding? You can now unload at 0K and ride both areas in the same day. It sounded like the plan was to groom the road so the trip up to 10K wont take very long by snowmobile.

On top of that the club now has updated both Henning and 10k cabins. The reno on Hennign Cabin is amazing, well over double the size. The parking lot also now has a heated change room it sounds like. The change room will be open as long as there is someone operating the pass shack. I should also point out that we were up there today (Thursday) and they were checking passes. With the new facilities its likely they will be checking more mid week and not just weekends. Join the club if you plan to ride Henning or 10k this year!

Enough Club talk, I did manage to get out for a ride today. This was my first real experience going very far into 10K area, it is amazing. 10K area is nothing like Henning, its a lot more open, has lots of hills and some good tree riding as well. I will definitely be spending more time there. The snow today was pretty thin in the open bowls and exposed areas. The Coquihalla was hit with a big wind storm not long ago and open areas have been scraped almost clean in spots. Get out of the open areas and into the trees and there was more than enough snow for a couple of good stucks.

Ryan Bayes

Couple I-Phone pics form today:


Image 1