Timbersled Snow Bikes

The history behind the Timbersled Snow Bike

The idea of the Timbersled started back in 2001. The original concepts were using a tire on front with the track system mounted in the back. There were numerous modifications through the years and for the most part, the original Timbersled was difficult to ride and just didn’t offer the float that one looks for when riding through snow. The real breakthroughs came in 2010 and by 2013 the Timbersled Snow Bike was using a super light weight ski up front and a modified rear suspension that offered the necessary float. Now entering 2016, the Timbersled has quickly become the preferred choice for backcountry travel.

In 2013, Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals became the first company in Colorado to offer the Timbersled Snow Bike as a rental machine. Since then, we have continued to push the boundaries of the sport and introduce Timbersledding to new riders across the country and world. In 2017, Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals won the first ever Timbersled Enduro Race and is also credited with having the first women’s Timbersled racing team. Through the years, we have perfected the install kits to work efficiently and effectively on KTM Dirt bikes to handle the most extreme conditions.

 

While the sport of Timbersledding is still in its infancy, we here at Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals are excited for what the future holds and hope that you will come join us soon.

Polaris Slingshot Colorado Driving Laws

The Polaris Slingshot is sometimes called a three-wheeled motorcycle or a reverse trike, as its design places two wheels up front and one in the rear. Driving a Slingshot is an experience in itself, but driving a Slingshot over the scenic mountain roads near Vail, Colorado, is an unforgettable adventure. Here at Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals (RMAR), we offer Polaris Slingshot rentals so that you can get the thrill of being behind the wheel in this vehicle that has an incredibly unique design.

Updated Colorado laws make driving the Polaris Slingshot even more accessible, so read on to find out more about the Slingshot driving experience and about where to drive a Slingshot near Vail.

The Polaris Slingshot and Colorado Law

Great news: As of April 2017, Colorado no longer requires a motorcycle endorsement to drive a Slingshot. Now anyone who meets the legal requirements for driving a car can also drive a Slingshot. This change makes Slingshot driving more accessible for a wider group of people who want to give it a try on exciting mountain roads near Vail with Slingshot rentals from RMAR.

A bit of background: When Polaris introduced the Slingshot in 2014, drivers were required to have a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate the Slingshot. Because the Slingshot has three wheels, some states have chosen to continue requiring a motorcycle endorsement. But many states are now choosing to license the Slingshot as a car because it handles more like a car than a motorcycle. Colorado originally required drivers to have a motorcycle endorsement in order to drive a Slingshot, but as of April 2017, Colorado drivers only need a driver’s license to take a Slingshot out on the open road.

In Colorado, drivers and passengers under the age of 18 are still required to wear a helmet when in a Slingshot, in accordance with Colorado’s motorcycle helmet law. Drivers and passengers over the age of 18 are not required to wear helmets when in a Slingshot—though RMAR has helmets available for those who would like to wear them.

The Polaris Slingshot Experience

The Polaris Slingshot is known for its low-to-the-ground ride and for its powerful acceleration. It also features a side-by-side, driver-passenger experience and an open cockpit that doesn’t have any doors. When driving a Slingshot on the mountain passes and rolling terrain near Vail, this set-up lets drivers and passengers take in cinematic mountain views and breathe in refreshing high-country air.

The Polaris Slingshot is also an ace vehicle for driving on winding mountain roads. Because it’s lightweight but doesn’t have overwhelming power, it accelerates nicely through corners and curves. The Slingshot’s body shape gives drivers and passengers the sense of being safe and enclosed while also being incredibly low to the ground.

As Polaris sums up the Slingshot experience

  • Insanely low
  • Absurdly powerful
  • No doors
  • No roof
  • No regrets

Polaris Slingshot Rental and Vail Slingshot Driving

Now that Slingshot driving is even more accessible to Colorado drivers, we’re excited to share the experience by offering Vail Slingshot rentals. It’s possible to drive a Slingshot right out the RMAR adventure rental location in Eagle-Vail, Red Cliff, and Buena Vista and have the day trip of a lifetime.

Ready to go? Find out more here: Slingshot rentals from Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals. Or give us a call today to reserve: (970) 471-8491.

Drivers must be 16 with approved endorsements. Under 18 must have drivers license present upon rental. Credit Card and Deposit will be taken upon reservation.

2017 Timbersled Snow Bike Race

Timbersled Snow Bike Race

RMAR Tops Timbersled Snow Bike Race at Sledstock 2017

Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals (RMAR) rider Matt Wohlgemuth took first place overall in the Sledstock 2017 cross-country snow bike race held at Rabbit Ears Pass, located in Colorado between Kremmling and Steamboat Springs on April 1, 2017. Other RMAR riders also had a strong showing, including two female riders who raced with the field for the first time. The snow biking race was a part of the larger Sledstock 2017 at Rabbit Ears Pass event, which included a pro snowmobile race as well as semi-pro, snow bike, vintage, and kids classes. Organized by Mountain States Snowmobile Racing with the support of local sponsors, Sledstock 2017 at Rabbit Ears Pass also featured live music, DJs, and after parties for a festive event held under classic Colorado blue skies.

The Sledstock 2017 at Rabbit Ears Pass snow biking race is believed to be the second-ever organized cross-country race held for the sport of snow biking, also called Timbersledding. The 19-mile loop course covered varied terrain, from snow-covered jeep roads and singletrack to dense pine forests and a wide-open section of motocross-like track that included jumps and natural snowdrifts. Constantly changing terrain added to the challenging and adventurous nature of this course with snowed-in creek crossings and winding, alpine-meadow descents. Riders completed two laps on the loop for a 38-mile race distance.

RMAR rider Matt Wohlgemuth won first place in the cross-country snow bike racing event, beating out pro snowmobile racer Wes Selby, who went on to compete in and win the pro snowmobile race later in the day. Other RMAR racers had a strong presence in the field, including Spencer Brown, Stanton Morris, Nathan Finneman, Dick Payton, Clay Bidwell, and female racers Nikki Sjoden and Sasha Eagen, who are believed to be the first women to race in a Timbersled series.

With a field of 15 riders, the 2017 Sledstock Rabbit Ears Pass snow biking race showed a positive increase in snow bike racing interest and attracted a high caliber of riders in this sport that is beginning to take off in Colorado. Mountain States Snowmobile Racing will be teaming up with Steamboat Powersports in the 2017-2018 winter season to organize a highly anticipated series of seven snow bike racing events in Colorado.

Snow biking and snow bike racing are relatively new sports, and RMAR is pioneering snow bike riding and racing in Colorado while also giving others the opportunity to try it out with Timbersled rentals available from its rental outlet near Vail, Colorado. Snow biking is also called Timbersledding, and the machines themselves are sometimes called snow motorcycles, snowtercycles, or snow dirt bikes. Timbersled is the brand name for a snow bike conversion system that allows dirt bikes to be converted into snow bikes for winter riding on various snow-covered terrain. The Timbersled system results in the creation of a snow bike that has the terrain capabilities of a snowmobile but with the agility of a dirt bike.

Snow biking naturally appeals to dirt bike and snowmobile enthusiasts, but it’s also attracting a wide range of athletes and recreational riders looking to experience the backcountry in a new way during the winter season.

As forerunners in snow bike racing and in Timbersled rentals and maintenance, Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals is the leader in Colorado’s growing Timbersled rental market. For the 2017-2018 season, RMAR will be renting snow bikes equipped with Timbersled’s new ARO 120 kit that has a redesigned front ski and spindle, making it more lightweight and easier for beginners to ride.

All RMAR Timbersled rentals go out with a fully assembled Timbersled snow bike, a helmet, and a trailer and hitch, if needed. For an additional fee, pants, boots, avalanche gear, goggles, and trail maps are available, but expert advice and depth of local knowledge remains free when renting from RMAR’s staff of pioneers in Colorado’s Timbersled industry.

Paddle Boarding Colorado

Whether you’re a first-timer or an expert at stand up paddle boarding (SUP), you’ll want to try out this growing water sport here in Vail, Colorado, where mountain peaks and scenic vistas inspire any adventure. The Vail area is unique for stand up paddle boarding because it offers opportunities for relaxing lake floats and for exciting river paddling.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding Gear & Overview

Stand up paddle boarding is continuing to gain popularity with fitness enthusiasts who want a full-body workout—and with those who just want to enjoy this sport at a recreational level. A strong core is essential for optimal paddling, and stand up paddle boarding challenges strength and endurance. Yoga can also be done on a stand up paddle board to add an additional layer of challenge to traditional land-based flexibility and balance training. Plus, stand up paddle boarding is simply fun, and it can be a social activity when shared with family or friends.  

Minimal gear is required when stand up paddle boarding, which adds to its appeal. In order to go out on a lake or river, you’ll need a paddle board, a paddle, a PFD (personal floatation device), and a leash, which helps keep your board nearby in case you fall off. Different types of leashes are used depending on water type—still water versus whitewater—and it’s important to understand how leashes work in order to avoid potential dangers. SUP clothing depends on activity type and water type. On a warm summer day, for example, swimsuits can be worn while out on a lake, but if you’re stand up paddle boarding down a river in snowmelt whitewater, you’ll want to wear a wetsuit or a full dry suit. 

Where to Paddle Board near Vail Colorado:

Nottingham Lake:

This small lake in Avon is perfect for SUP beginners.

http://rmar1.com/map_geometry/paddle-board-nottingham-lake/

Lake Dillon / Dillon Reservoir:

Enjoy mountain views, and get a great workout while paddling along the generous shoreline of Lake Dillon.

http://rmar1.com/map_geometry/lake-dillon/

Wolford Reservoir:

This quiet reservoir north of Kremmling gives you a lot of space to SUP and explore.

http://rmar1.com/map_geometry/wolford-reservoir/

Rancho del Rio to State Bridge:

Gain some SUP lake experience, and then try out this four miles of mellow river fun on the Upper Colorado River.

http://rmar1.com/map_geometry/rancho-to-statebridge/

Pumphouse to Rancho del Rio:

This stretch of the Upper Colorado River is recommended only for highly skilled and experienced stand up paddle boarders, and it’s also very popular for other water sports.

http://rmar1.com/map_geometry/upper-colorado-river/

Ready to go stand up paddle boarding? Find out more here: Stand up paddle board rentals from Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals. Or give us a call today to reserve: (970) 471-8491.

http://rmar1.com/sup-board-rentals/

LNT Principles: Leave No Trace

Stay the trail. Don't bring glass. Pack it out.

Leave No Trace

The LNT Principles are a relatively simple set of rules to follow while in the backcountry. Whether you are on BLM land, National Forest, or even somewhere outside of the United States. If all outdoor enthusiast would follow these simple guidelines, many of the once open lands for all use would still be open – instead of our current situation where lands are continually being roped off. At Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals, we take pride in allowing visitors the opportunity to access areas that they would not otherwise be able to access without our equipment. Not everyone is capable of hiking deep into the woods – whether it has to do with physical fitness, age, disabilities or other obstacles. Having the opportunity  to jump in an RZR with the family and ride to the top of a mountain is more often than not a gift to the individuals and if everyone, motorized and non-motorized adventurers would simply follow the rules of Leave No Trace, we will all be able to help protect our lands for future use.

Below you will find the 7 basic concepts of LNT Principles – Leave No Trace. We recommend that you take the time to set these to memory and follow the principles the next time you find yourself in the wilderness.

#1. Always be Prepared and Plan Ahead.

  • Research and educate yourself on the regulations of the area you plan to visit.
  • Be prepared for all conditions including: weather, hazards, and emergencies.
  • Schedule your trip around times of high use – try to avoid over population of one area.
  • Travel in small groups.
  • Repackage food and supplies to minimize waste.
  • Use a map and compass. Avoid having to use marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
  • Always let others know where and when you plan to be visiting a location.

#2. Travel and Camp on Designated and Durable Surfaces.

  • Designated and Durable surfaces include marked trails, campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses, and snow. UTV, ATV’s, Dirt Bikes – You must STAY on trails. NEVER drive off of the marked trail/path.
  • Always camp at least 200 feet from lakes, rivers and streams.
  • Concentrate on using existing trails and campsites – avoid places where new impacts are beginning.
  • Always walk single file in the middle of the trail – no matter the conditions.
  • Keep campsites small.

#3. Dispose of Waste – Properly.

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Thoroughly Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash and other items including spilled foods. Pack out all of your trash, leftover food and litter. This is the most common of all broken rules.
  • Deposit solid human waste in foxholes. Your foxhole should be 6 to 8 inches deep and at least 200 feet from water, campsites and trails. Cover the foxhole when finished.
  • Always pack out toilet paper and all hygiene products.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from rivers, streams and lakes. Use biodegradable soap in small amounts.

#4. Leave it Alone.

  • Preserve the past: look and inspect, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Don’t pick the flowers. Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects alone.
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
  • Do not build structures or dig trenches.

#5. Minimize Campfire Impacts.

  • When and Where fires are permitted, use already established fire rings.
  • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash and put out campfires completely. Do not leave a campfire that is still smoldering.
  • Use a small camp stove for cooking to avoid added need for a fire.

#6. Respect Wildlife A.K.A Leave the wildlife alone.

  • Do not follow approach the wildlife and only view the wildlife from a distance.
  • Do not feed the animals.
  • Control your own pets at all times.
  • Avoid wildlife during times of mating, nesting, and other sensitive times.

#7. Be considerate of others.

  • Be courteous. Yield to uphill traffic on the trail.
  • When encountering horses and other pack stock, step to the downhill side of the trail.
  • Camp away from trails and other trekkers.
  • Speak softly to avoid creating loud noises.

Vail Colorado Weather

Your local forecaster is wrong... about Colorado weather

Vail Colorado weather snow conditions

Years ago I was delivering some product to a client in Vail Village. It was two days before the opening weekend which for Vail Mountain is always around Thanksgiving. The ski patrol had already posted the runs that would be available for opening day. Per usual, it was just the front side of the mountain that was set to open. Meanwhile, a few feet next to me there was a young man in his early teens standing next to his younger brother. While looking at the large trail map that was mounted on the wall, the younger of the two was pointing out all of the runs he was hoping to ski. In a fit of rage, the older brother threw his arms in the air, tossed out a few choice words and finished by saying “None of those runs are open. They are never open. Every year we come here, they are never open.”

Now you can understand the young mans’ frustration. He most likely traveled a long way with the hopes of skiing the back bowls of Vail in untracked powder. To make matters worse, when the young man looks up on the mountain, he can clearly see that all of the peaks are covered in snow. However, when he reviews the map, he learns that those same runs that are covered in snow will not actually be opening.

You can’t blame the kid for his frustration. You also can’t blame Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts has a responsibility to their guests to provide a safe environment and when it comes to early season snowfall, many times, it takes a while for the snow to settle and form a safe base to ski on. That is a battle that Vail Resorts and all winter-based companies here in the mountains deal with. Even here at Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals, we need to perform early season snow depth checks to make sure the regions are ready to ride. It is the reality of the early season.

Early season snow conditions only represent one of the many challenges that local mountain businesses have to navigate in order to have a successful winter season.

One of the larger challenges is dealing with the professional guessers of the world who call themselves “Weather Forecasters” or “meteorologist.” They are much like Punxsutawney Phil but without the pizzazz and fanfare. Now I’m probably being a little too harsh and maybe a bit childish in my name calling but I felt it was the best way to vent my frustrations with the industry as a whole.

There is a national lack of understanding when it comes to the Colorado Rocky Mountains and the weather patterns of the state of Colorado as a whole. I myself, who is originally from the Detroit area, used to believe that Denver was a cold city and that Denver represented the majority of Colorado. After all, Denver is the most widely known city in the state and the state itself is known for alpine skiing. I moved to the central mountains back in ’98 and have since learned that the direct opposite is true when it comes to weather and temperature. Denver is a very warm, high desert climate and the weather of Denver very rarely represents the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Often times, when Denver is experiencing a warm period in the middle of winter, it is still very much in fact, a winter wonderland here in the mountains. To that point, Denver is currently seeing temperatures in the mid 70’s and yet here in the high country, our snowpack is at 118-124%. Unfortunately, the local weather forecasters around the country feel it necessary to shout to the world that “Colorado” is seeing unseasonably warm temperatures which creates an uphill battle for all of us local businesses that depend on the winter travelers.

When the forecasters of the world lump the entire state of Colorado in with Denver’s weather pattern, you can literally see online searchers and bookings drop severely. Vail Resorts is often times the most susceptible to this penalty but even the local, small businesses feel the pain. What makes the matter even more difficult is that at a micro level, even the mountain towns see warm weather during the winter months that do not reflect the snow on the hill. Here in the Vail Valley, many locals choose to live in Edwards, Colorado because of the “Banana Belt” as it’s called. The belt is a strange occurrence where the western canyon causes a split in the weather pattern. Edwards will stay sunny and warm while the mountains to the north and south stay covered in snow. Even as I write this article, I am sitting in shorts and a T-shirt while watching my neighbors heading out to go cross-country skiing.

To even further complicate the forecast, the mountains can create their own weather pattern and their own precipitation – known as the Orographic Lifting. Orographic lifting refers to the changes in air flow when the topography of the land forces the air up a mountain. When the weather system moves across the land, it has no choice but to follow the topography of the land below it; air must go over mountains and through the valleys. As elevation changes with terrain, the pressure and temperature of the weather system change as well. All of this combined can cause the Mountains to create their own weather system and precipitation.

We recently had a family call us from South Carolina concerned about their travel plans. After hearing their local weathermen speak of the unseasonably warm temperatures in “Colorado” they began to question their own vacation plans. Thankfully, they had the foresight to call us and confirm whether or not the reports were true. We were able to quickly explain what the snow conditions were versus the in-town temperatures.  They made the trip out and at the end of their stay, they thanked us because they had the time of their life being able to ski and snowmobile in great snow conditions while enjoying the warmer temperatures in town.

Small businesses can’t afford to mislead people here in the mountains; we are too dependent on loyal customers. If you do plan on coming to Colorado to enjoy the snow, please do not put your travel plans in the hands of a weather forecaster in Toledo. Simply call the local shop that you plan on visiting or at the very least visit the Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals Snow Report which displays the base depths of all of the Colorado snow basins. You can also visit sites such as snotel which are more scientific in their approach and unlike local weathermen, snotel is not trying to create a story out of nothing.

You worked hard for your vacation, don’t let it pass you by because of an irresponsible forecaster who didn’t take the time to research the difference between Denver and the state of Colorado. Many forecasters’ around the country fail to even recognize that the snowiest months in Colorado are actually in March and April.

I write this piece on behalf of all local mountain businesses here in the great state of Colorado. It’s a topic that has been bothering me for years and I felt now was the time to put those thoughts to paper due to the increase in faulty reports nationwide.

What is Altitude Sickness

Dr. Lindsey Nelson explains.

Altitude sickness

—also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a medical problem when we are exposed to high altitude low partial pressure of oxygen usually following a rapid ascent to an elevation above 8,000ft  (82400m).   Common symptoms of altitude sickness resemble the ordinary flu or feeling “hung-over”.   Therefore, people with AMS frequently complain of headache, fatigue, upset stomach, dizziness, and restless sleep.  Furthermore, it is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that correlate with a susceptibility to AMS.    Anyone who travels to altitudes of over 2500m or 8,000ft is at risk of acute mountain sickness. Normally it doesn’t become noticeable until you have been at that altitude for a few hours. Part of the mystery of acute mountain sickness is that it is difficult to predict who will be affected. It is not uncommon to hear stories of young athletic individuals being badly limited by symptoms of AMS while older members doing the same activity have felt fine.   Do NOT be fooled by AMS or take it lightly. The dangers of this illness can be severe and every year people die of this physiological derangement when left unrecognized and untreated as AMS can progress to the potentially fatal high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE).

 

What causes altitude sickness?

Two things are certain to make altitude sickness very likely – ascending faster than 500m per day, and exercising vigorously.   This includes the many people that come to Colorado on vacation to enjoy our outdoor activities.   Utilizing one of the outdoor “toys” at Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals, LLC will potentially allow you a quicker ascent than was possible before.  REMEMBER: Physically fit individuals are not protected – even Olympic athletes get altitude sickness. Altitude sickness happens because there is less oxygen in the air that you breathe at high altitudes.  As you may have noticed, you may feel more parched at our altitude so it is also likely, that dehydration due to the higher rate of water vapor loss at higher altitudes may contribute to the symptoms of AMS.

The AAAs that influence AMS susceptibility

  • Ascent Rate
  • Altitude Attained
  • Activity Amount

The Three Forms of Altitude Sickness

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Mild altitude sickness is called acute mountain sickness (AMS) and is quite similar to a hangover – it causes headache, nausea, and fatigue. This is very common: some people are only slightly affected, others feel awful. However, if you have AMS, you should take this as a warning sign that you are at risk of the serious forms of altitude sickness: HAPE and HACE. Both HAPE and HACE can be fatal within hours.

  • Lack of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
  • Fatigueor weakness
  • Dizzinessor lightheadedness
  • Peripheral edema(swelling of hands, feet, and face)
  • Insomnia
  • Pins and needles
  • Shortness of breath upon exertion
  • Nosebleed
  • Persistent rapid pulse
  • Drowsiness
  • Excessive flatulation
  • General malaise

HAPE

HAPE is excess fluid on the lungs, and causes breathlessness. It is similar to when people with heart disease are in failure and have pulmonary edema.  It is NEVERnormal to feel breathless when you are resting – even on the summit of Everest. This should be taken as a sign that you have HAPE and may die soon. HAPE can also cause a fever (a high temperature) and coughing up frothy spit. HAPE and HACE often occur together.   DESCEND IMMEDIATELY!!

Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)

  • Symptoms similar to bronchitis
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath even when resting

HACE

HACE is fluid on the brain. It causes confusion, clumsiness, and stumbling. The first signs may be uncharacteristic behavior such as laziness, excessive emotion or violence. Drowsiness and loss of consciousness occur shortly before death.  DESCEND IMMEDIATELY!!

Cerebral edema (swelling of the brain)

  • Headache that does not respond to analgesics
  • Unsteady gait
  • Gradual loss of consciousness
  • Increased nausea and vomiting
  • Retinal hemorrhage

Altitude sickness prevention

The body has an amazing ability to acclimatize to altitude, but it needs time. Ascending slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness. Avoiding strenuous activity such as skiing, hiking, etc. in the first 24 hours at high altitude reduces the symptoms of AMS.   AVOID alcohol and sleeping pills as they are respiratory depressants, and effectively slow down the acclimatization process and should be avoided. Alcohol also tends to cause dehydration and exacerbates AMS. Thus, avoiding alcohol consumption in the first 24–48 hours at a higher altitude is optimal.

 

Increased water intake may also help in acclimatization to replace the fluids lost through heavier breathing in the thin, dry air found at altitude, although consuming excessive quantities (“over-hydration”) has no benefits and may cause dangerous hyponatremia.

 

Can I take drugs to prevent altitude sickness?

As with everything, many ‘quack’ treatments and untested herbal remedies are claimed to prevent mountain sickness. These treatments can make AMS worse or have other dangerous side effects – many herbs are poisonous. Only one drug is currently known to prevent AMS and to be safe for this purpose: acetazolamide (diamox). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest the same dose for prevention of 125 mg acetazolamide every 12 hours. Acetazolamide, a mild diuretic, works by acidifying the blood. This change in pH stimulates the respiratory center to increase the depth and frequency of respiration, thus speeding the natural acclimatization process. An undesirable side-effect of acetazolamide is a reduction in endurance performance. Other minor side effects include a tingle-sensation in hands and feet, and it can make carbonated drinks taste “flat”. Although a sulfonamide, acetazolamide is a non-antibiotic and has not been shown to cause life-threatening allergic cross-reactivity in those with a self-reported sulfa allergy.  This drug should only be taken at the direction of your primary care physician.

 

Prior to the onset of altitude sickness, ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that may help reduce the headache and nausea associated with AMS.

Author: Dr. Lindsey Nelson

Klim Havoc Bib Pants

Klim Havoc Pants

Let’s face it. Most clothing manufacturers have perfected the art of creating great tech wear, building a large mass of followers, and then, years later, dumbing down the product to the point of it being on the same tech level as most wal-mart clearance items. Klim is not one of those companies. In fact, they are the direct opposite. Klim is always pushing the limits and staying at the forefront of innovation. Klim is one of the few brands that we still trust enough to wear in the backcountry.

Their latest product offering is once again leading the way for what will most likely become the next, most sought after article of clothing. With the ever growing popularity of Timbersleds (Snow Bikes), it was becoming obvious that something needed to change in the standard construction of winter snow pants. The status quo of traditional snow pants are problematic when riding a machine that requires the rider to move freely in the saddle.

Klim noticed the need for a Snow Bike specific pant and they have since released the Havoc Bib Pant as their first attempt. Since we rent out the highest volume of Timbersleds in the state of Colorado, we thought we should pick up a pair of the Havoc Bibs and test for ourselves and see if they are worth recommending to customers.

The Good:

From the onset, the overall warmth and comfort of the pants were no different than what you would normally expect from any Klim produced product. The pants offered just the right amount of play to allow a rider to throw a leg over the saddle to ride. A new feature that we were big fans of is the addition of an easy clip to the laces instead of the old button system that would almost always slide up the leg. The clip is a big help in keeping unwanted snow out of your pant leg.

The idea of bibs have never really excited us but an all honesty, they are what makes this pant so bomber. It didn’t matter how aggressive we were while riding, it didn’t matter how often we were moving around in the saddle, the bibs just kept everything in place. To add to the positive vibes of the Havoc Bib pant, the bibs even sit a little higher in the waist which protected against the abominable snow crack monster that often times sneaks up on you when sitting in snow or helping your buddy dig his snow bike out from under a bridge – that is a separate story.

The Not So Good:

We didn’t find too many negative items to list about the product. We will mention that the built in knee pads are a bit too thin – we would recommend that you wear an added layer of protection. Also, with an MSRP around $489, the pants seem a little pricey for a sport where they will inevitably get burnt from a hot pipe if you are not careful – although the pants do offer a leather panel to help with heat resistance.

Conclusion:

We really had no complaints about these pants. We are thankful that a company such as Klim took it upon themselves to produce a product specifically for this up and coming sport. If we had a rating system, we would give the Klim Havoc Pants a 4 out 5 star rating. Exceptional comfort, dryness, and warmth but they come at a price. Overall they are a great performance pant and are the perfect addition to your Klim Adrenaline GTX Boots for the ideal setup for backcountry riding. We are looking forward to style varieties for the Havoc Bib and we really hope to see a women’s line for the ladies that rip on Timbersleds.

Whitewater Rapid Classifications

It’s almost impossible to predict what to expect on a river. It’s a living, moving, and ever changing body of water. To help you prepare for a day on the river, there have been certain rapid classifications set-up to help you better understand what to expect for specific sections of river. Though not an exact science, Whitewater Rapid Classifications are set between Class I and Class VI. We have assembled this list to help you understand how River Rapids are Classed and Characterized. Always keep in mind that the rapid classes are often times left for debate as to whether or not a particular rapid is actually a class ll or say a class lll – it is often times up to the paddler(s) to decide what the class is based on their own level of skill. For this reason, the Whitewater Rapid Classifications are really more of a guide and they are used to represent how difficult the rapid is to navigate – not how much fun the rapid is.

Class I Rapids

Class I Rapids include fast moving water with ripples and small waves. Their are few obstructions, which are for the most part obvious and can be easily avoided with basic training and knowledge. The risk to swimmers is marginal and self-rescue is fairly easy.

Class II Rapids

The class II rapids are usually wide and clear with channels that are evident without scouting. Maneuvering maybe required but to a trained paddler, rocks and waves should be easily missed. Rapids that are borderline in this class are often referred to as “Class II+” and swimmers are rarely injured and group assistance is rarely needed.

Class III Rapids

Class III Rapids are moderate with irregular waves which can be difficult to avoid and can swamp an open canoe, kayak and/or Ducky. Good boat control in tight passages or around ledges is often required and large waves or strainers may be present but should be easily avoided. Eddies and powerful current effects can be found most commonly on large-volume rivers. Inexperienced parties should always scout the river before taking on the rapids. Injuries are often rare while swimming but having group assistance might be required to avoid long swims. Class III- and Class III+ labels are often times given to rapids that are on the lower or higher side of difficulties within the “Class III” rapids.

Class IV Rapids

Both intense and powerful rapids that require precise boat handling. Depending on the river, the rapids may include large and unavoidable waves, holes, or constricted passages which require quick thinking and maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be a needed skill to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Some rapids may include “required” moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting recommended for the first time down. Swimmers will experience a moderate to high risk of injury and water conditions could make self-rescue impossible. Group rescue is preferred, if not essential, and requires an experienced set of skills. Having a solid eskimo roll is highly recommended. Class IV- and Class IV+ labels are given to rapids that are on the lower or higher side of difficulties within the “Class IV” rapids.

Class V Rapids

These rapids can be extremely long, obstructed and very often times violent and leave the paddler exposed to risk. Drops most likely contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep chutes with complex, demanding routes. Class V rapids will continue for long distances between pools which demands experience and core fitness. Few eddies will exist and most likely will be small, turbulent, and difficult to reach. Scouting is essential and can often times be difficult. DON’T Swim, but if you do, swims will be dangerous and rescue is usually difficult even for trained and experienced experts. You must have a very strong and reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience and appropriate rescue skills. Their is a large range of difficulty that exists beyond Class IV and Class V is a multiple-level scale designated by class 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, and so on.  Each level is an order of magnitude more difficult than the last. Example: going from a Class IV to a Class V is the equivalent of going from a class 5.0 to a 5.1.

Class VI Rapids

These are impossible and mostly left to the crazies who have a death wish. In fact, the overwhelming majority of these rapids have never been attempted and they exemplify the extremes of river difficulty, unpredictability and danger. Errors are very severe and rescue is probably impossible. These rapids are left to teams of experts/professionals at favorable water levels. Upon proper inspection and taking all necessary precautions professional teams will run these rapids many times over and upon relative continued success, the rapids will be re-classed to the appropriate rating if changed at all.

Tagert Hut Review: Winter

Tagert Hut Review: Winter

A portion of the RMAR team set out on an expedition to the Tagert Hut as a way to ring in the 2016 New Year. If the idea of a “Hut Trip” is new to you, you should know that “Hut Trips” are the types of trips that people come out of the woodworks for. They are the epitome of what a true Colorado Adventure can and should be. You plan your food rations well in advance, you pack for all types of weather conditions, you carefully consider what you need to bring vs what you want to bring while keeping a watchful eye on the weight of your pack. You will question your physical conditioning every waking hour leading up to the trip and you will constantly debate whether or not to snowshoe in or use your AT or XC set-up. You will find yourself researching new avalanche equipment, GPS equipment, and you may even find yourself researching and purchasing a handful of new maps. You will do all of this for what will in the end be nothing more than a quick 24 hour out and back expedition…. Unless you’re setting off on a true hut-to-hut trip.

Having sleep accommodation’s for 6 (or a very cozy 7), The Tagert Hut is one of the smaller huts in the Braun Hut System. It is located south of Aspen on Montezuma Road (Pearl Pass) and is just 20 yards away from the Green-Wilson Hut. In the summer time, you can park right at the trail head if you are choosing to hike to the hut but in the winter, the main road is closed about 2 miles from the actual trail head. In the winter months it is about a 7 mile jaunt from the winter parking location to the front door of the hut. The majority of the hike is on a consistent grade and really isn’t too bad by most standards here in the high country. Where the trip becomes a little more difficult is after you cross the bridge leading into the switchbacks. At this point, you are only about ¾ of a mile away from the hut but the pitch is enough to make you want to turn back and go home. In the winter, we found that the trail is basically hard packed until you reach the switchbacks. A few of us didn’t even wear our snowshoes until we reached the switchbacks because the trail was so packed down from day use. At the end of the day, it took our slowest group member about 4 hours to make it to the hut and that included many breaks for photos, lunch, and even a long chat with a local from Aspen who was taking his fat tire snow bike for a day ride.

One of the more surprising items to note is that the trail really is not as exposed as other reports claim it to be. We were expecting to be in extreme avalanche country the entire way based on what others had written but in reality, there are really only 4-5 big areas to look out for and they are up towards the top of the hike. Most of the trip included very large, steep mountains on both sides of the trail with very obvious avalanche chute outcroppings but the chances of the slides making their way to you while on the trail would seem unlikely as they would have to cross a very deep river basin first. However, that being said, as you get closer to the top, there are a few spots where you need to pay attention to your surroundings because you will be crossing some very exposed areas. So, the danger is there but it is not the entire way – maybe a just half of the way.

The Tagert Hut being smaller than most, it did not offer the super cool wood burning cooking stoves that you find at Jackal Hut and others but what the hut lacked in creature comforts, it made up for in sound construction. The Tagert hut is probably the best hut I have ever experienced when it comes to insulation – there was not one draft coming into that building. In fact, just after dinner, we had to kill the wood stove. It was just too hot inside. We didn’t relight the woodstove until the morning and it was mainly to help prep the cabin for the next guest. Speaking of dinner, We pre-made a Brunswick Stew and vacuumed sealed individual rations. It made for easy clean-up which is important on a guys trip. We also made Jell-O Shots and shared them with the group that was over at the Green-Wilson Hut. For breakfast we had pre-made Scottish eggs with gravy.

Normally when I participate in hut trips, I try to keep the group together and work as team for safety reasons while ascending/descending on the trail. In the case of this trip, the weather and snow conditions were so perfect that the descent became more of a free-for-all. Some of us left on downhill skis and others went at their own pace on their cross-country set-ups and a few of us slowly meandered our way down on our snowshoes. It took about 1 hour for the slowest person in our group to make it back down to the car.

For being the first hut trip of the season for us, I thought the trip to Tagert Hut was a success. We got lucky on weather and avalanche conditions. Even though each of us had a shovel, probe, and transceiver, I question how truly ready were to use them. If you’re going to Tagert in the winter months, I would also warn you that the propane line that is feeding the table top stove is a little finicky when the temperature drops below 15. If you would like to see a detailed map of the route we took, please visit our Colorado map and find “Tagert Hut” under the Trails Menu. Trails > Huts > Tagert Hut.

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