Timbersledding for Women

Women & Timbersledding: Interview with Sasha Eagen

As a relatively new sport, Timbersledding—sometimes called snow biking—is seeing rapidly growing interest from men and women, alike. In Colorado, the first known cross-country snow biking races were held in the winter of 2017, and Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals (RMAR) rider Sasha Eagen topped the women’s field in the Sledstock 2017 at Rabbit Ears Pass event. We recently caught up with Sasha to get her insight into the sport and to hear her tips and advice for other women who would like to give this exciting winter sport a try.

But first of all, what is a Timbersled?

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 snow-covered terrain. The Timbersled system essentially results in a snow bike that has the terrain capabilities of a snowmobile but with the agility of a dirt bike. The machines are sometimes called snow motorcycles, snowtercycles, or snow dirt bikes.

Timbersledding in Colorado is gaining popularity, and as Sasha Eagen demonstrates, women have no reason to shy away from getting in on the action. An adventurous spirit and a willingness to try something new are all that’s really required for someone who wants to try out Timbersledding, but as with any other sport, strength and skill are important for progression in the sport.

Sport Background and Timbersledding:

How did you get into Timbersledding? What is your sport background?

Sasha E: I raced moto in my 20s, and I learned a ton about throttle control and how to throw the bike around underneath me. Going fast on two wheels is one of my favorite things to do. So one snowy morning, I received a phone call from my older brother, who requested I “come out and check out these sick Timbersleds.” So I did, and it was the best day in the backcountry I have had to date!

What it has been like to pioneer Timbersled racing in Colorado? What’s exciting? What gets you scared?

SE: I don’t think of myself as pioneering Timbersleds—I think of it as going out to play with my friends on machines, and finally someone made a toy that is fun for me to keep up with the boys. I was super excited to start racing again because I see Timbersledding as a blend of snow and power, which is the recipe for a perfect riding machine for me. I was super nervous, too! When racing, I wanted to finish and not be last, but when I got in the gate, my moto-racing skills kicked in, and my body took over. It was epic. When the gate dropped, so did my throttle, and it was just another day of riding. I was trying to keep up with the pack, and I did. The part I was worried about was making tight turns and not falling over. I totally fell and spent the rest of the race trying to gain that fall over on the clock.

I am super stoked to see what this winter holds for snow bike racing in Colorado, and I’d like to see if we could get more women out riding the Timbersleds. Nothing stokes me out more than seeing more women get into this sport. In turn, I hope this would lead to more women racing Timbersleds.

Timbersledding: Tips and Advice

How do you train for Timbersled racing? What skills help you out the most?

Cross-training for sports has been something I love to do. As an athletic trainer, I find that a regular workout routine helps keep me fit for any sport. And Timbersled training is no different. I focus on balance, core strength, and cardio six days a week. Also having a regular yoga practice helps me focus on my breathing work because sometimes breathing is what it takes to make the ride more enjoyable.

What are some of your favorite things about Timbersledding that are different from either snowmobiling or dirt biking?

Sasha E: Going fast and jumping the Timbersled is my favorite. Timbersleds are also really FUN to ride. I literally can point to a place I’d like to go, and I grip the throttle and rip it open. A Timbersled is easier for me to move around and turn, whereas a snowmobile takes all my weight to turn, and even then I sometimes won’t get the desired turn I want on a snowmobile. Timbersledding is similar to a dirt bike, but you can’t put your feet down on a Timbersled when you want to stop, which takes some getting used to.

What advice do you have for women getting into the sport?

SE: Just try it. Do it…life is a journey, and Timbersledding is something EVERYONE should try.

What are some things you wished people had told you or taught you about Timbersledding before you first tried it?

SE: I went out with an open mind and the idea that I would have fun. Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals gave me a good idea about what to expect, and those were great building blocks.

My biggest pointer is to make sure your elbows are out and that your head is up. A Timbersled handles similar to a dirt bike, so trust that your machine will do its job, and you can do yours. Speed will help you get where you want to go, but take it slow in the morning to warm up and get to know your machine.

What’s your strategy for getting back up when you fall over in the backcountry with a Timbersled?

SE: Anything! I try to get my hip under the bike to help with leverage. Sometimes just having a friend help you get it back up is great. I use all my power to get back up. Getting all my weight under the machine as quick as possible helps me use less energy, but I try not to fall over so that I don’t have to worry about picking it back up. That is my best strategy.

Anything else you want to add about gear, clothing, training, racing, or riding Timbersleds?

SE: Go try it. Timbersledding is the most fun thing to do in the backcountry. I personally wear protective gear like knee braces, a neck collar, and obviously a helmet. I just try to set myself up for a great day, and that starts with dry clothes, warm boots, and a full tank of gas! And maybe take a little water and a snack in case you find yourself bonking while riding.

RMAR is the leader in Colorado’s growing Timbersled rental market, and we’re also pioneering Timbersled Snow Bike riding and racing in Colorado. Timbersled rentals and tours are available at our Vail, Red Cliff, and Buena Vista locations. Call to reserve: (970) 471-8491.

Guided Timbersled Tours: Cottonwood Pass

Experience Cottonwood Pass near Buena Vista on a Guided Timbersled Tour. Learn more about Timbersledding Cottonwood Pass

Guided Timbersled Tours: St. Elmo

Explore the advanced terrain of St. Elmo near Buena Vista on a Guided Timbersled Tour. Learn more about Timbersledding St. Elmo

Timbersled Snow Bike Rentals

Our Timbersled Snow Bike rentals are ideal for intermediate riders of dirt bikes and can handle any terrain and any condition. Our adult Timbersled Snow Bikes are built using a KTM 450 SXF Body and we also offer the Timbersled ST Ripper for kids who want to ride. Learn more about Timbersled Snow Bike Rentals

Buena Vista Tours and Rentals

Come join us in beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado

To reserve machines, give us a call at: 719-966-5233

We are pleased to announce our expansion and new location in Buena Vista, Colorado where we have 3 locations within the San Isabel National Forest to launch our new fleet of Polaris 2 and 4 seat RZR ATVs for guided and unguided tours. We have also paired up with River Runners and Mt. Princeton Hot Springs to offer Adventure Getaway Packages.

Our new location in the South Main area of Buena Vista shares the Adventure Hub location with River Runners and will have other equipment offerings such as Polaris Slingshots, OneWheels and motorcycles for rent.

The RZR rentals will include guided and unguided, full and half day options with a choice of launch location. Location 1 (Trout Creek/Fourmile) and Location 2 (Brown’s Canyon/Bald Mountain) offer terrain best suited for beginner and intermediate riders and Location 3 (St Elmo/Mt. Antero) offers intermediate to advanced terrain including high alpine scree fields and technical rock sections. Half day tours and rentals start at 9am or 1pm and full day rentals at 9am. All rentals include helmets, a full tank of gas, and guide (if choosing guided tour). We will also be offering packages that can include: Hot Springs and/or Hotel packages, Rafting Trips with River Runners, and more.

We are excited to become a part of the Buena Vista community and look forward to a great season. We are equally excited to announce our upcoming winter projects which will include Snowmobile and Timbersled Snow Bike guided and unguided tours and some package offerings as well.

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.

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/

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.

tagert-hut-winter-rmar1-2016
tagert-hut-winter-rmar1-2016-aspen
tagert-hut-winter-rmar1-2016-entrance
tagert-hut-winter-rmar1-2016-exterior
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tagert-hut-winter-rmar1-2016-scenic

Top 3 places to ride Snowmobiles and Timbersleds in 2016

Top 3 places to ride Snowmobiles and Timbersleds in 2016.

Wondering where to go ride in Colorado? We already know that on New Years Day any place with the name “Vail” in the title is going to be super busy and this includes Vail Pass Colorado. So where can you go with your Snowmobiles and Snow Bikes (Timbersleds) to avoid the heavy crowds on New Years Day and throughout the 2016 winter season? After careful consideration, we have compiled a list from our own experiences over the past 15 years.

#1. Sylvan Lakes Colorado

Located just west of Vail and South East of Eagle and known as a popular summer destination for paddle boarders, campers, and travelers looking to take the back roads to Aspen, the Sylvan Lake Region offers enough open space to keep you exploring for days. Most of the area is comprised of rolling hills, thick forest, and high alpine terrain with a few steep pitches to be weary of. There is even a canyon of sorts that cuts through the middle. The region is a popular destination for a few local riders but is far enough away from the front range of Colorado to keep the masses from charging the snow in full force.  One disadvantage of the Sylvan Lakes Region is its distance from any gas or service stations. Those of you on TImbersleds will want to top off your spare tank before heading out and for those of you with snowmobiles, you will want to have a spare can in your truck. The town of Eagle is known for having the worst cell phone and internet coverage in Eagle County and by the time you reach your destination at Sylvan Lake, you will be officially off-the-grid so plan accordingly with GPS devices, maps and always let others know that you will be in the area and when.

#2. Montezuma Colorado

You can’t go wrong with Montezuma. Though it is a small open space to ride through, it just isn’t on most people’s radar. Lets face it, if you’re from the front range of Colorado and spent a few hours in skier traffic, you’re probably not willing to make the U-turn off the highway to double-back through Keystone and up to Montezuma – you most likely already have your plans in place for either Vail Pass or Rabbit Ears Pass. For those of you in Vail, it may just look like too far of a drive and why would you take an extra hour to get there when you can just pull off on the pass? Well, it’s for those two reasons that make Montezuma one of my top choices. Much like Sylvan Lakes, it stays relatively quiet no matter the time of season. The one down side is that even though the area is big in terms of square acres, the available space to ride is really only enough to keep you occupied for about a day. Most of the riding is through narrow valleys and the mountain peaks are too steep to climb which can also make the region a high avalanche risk so you must check the conditions before heading out. Just like the Sylvan Lake Region you will be completely off-the-grid by the time you pass Keystone and your last chance for gas is in the town of Keystone. There used to be a general store in Montezuma where you could purchase food rations and fuel but we’re sorry to say that the shop closed down a few years ago.  As for scenery, you really can’t beat having two of Colorado’s most popular 14ers (Grays and Torrey’s) as your backdrop.

#3. South Glenwood Springs

I actually discovered this area on a cross country skiing trip. We were spending the day up behind Ski Sunlight and in the distance I could hear the sounds of Braap Braaaap Braaaaaap. Once I returned home I immediately looked at the White River National Forest Open Space Map and sure enough the region is designated for recreational motor vehicle use. It’s an open and relatively flat area of land which is great for those of you heading out on a snow bike (timbersled) for the first time or for those of you who really want a chance to open up the throttle on an RMK800. The hardest part about the region is just getting to it. Navigating the slow roads of Glenwood Springs you need to get on 4 Mile Road (117) at the south end of town. If you miss the cut-off you will have to circle back in often times heavy Pitkin County traffic. Once you get on 4 Mile Road you just need to pay attention as there is a split right before Ski Sunlight. Take the split and you will loop around the ski area on the north side. As you head up the road you will see people parked along the road. DO NOT park too early on the road – the designated open space does not begin until you reach the main parking area a few miles up. The parked cars you see early on are either out cross country skiing or breaking the forest rules thereby eventually ruining it for the rest of us. Please always follow the forest service guidelines so we can keep our open spaces, open. Once you find the main entrance, you will see powder fields in every direction. Again, you will be off-the-grid at this point so have a map ready but you will quickly learn why this location is worth the drive.

If you’re looking to head out into any of these regions, be sure to give us a call so that we can get you set up with your equipment early in the morning thereby giving you plenty of time to get to your chosen location. If you are going to any of these regions, or heck, any region at all in Colorado, we highly recommend that you bring proper avalanche safety gear, extra fuel, food, water, maps, and proper attire – always avoid cotton.

Braaaaaaapy 2016 everyone and we look forward to seeing you out in the snow.