Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Early Winter 2016 | 5 A message from VAST President Tim Mills It’s happening right now and I couldn’t be more excited for something to arrive! The current forecast is just what the doctor ordered: rain changing over to snow with small accumulations of snow over the next few days. Winter is not something that you can rush right into if you expect to have snow on the ground until April that can be groomed. We need the ground to freeze before we receive any real measurable amounts of snow cover, otherwise the ground is just too warm to sustain a good base. We have been in that scenario more than once. I remember about 15 years ago when we had a warmer than usual fall. We were all doing our own individual snow dances (thankfully these are not scored!) and winter seemed to be avoiding us, when all of the sudden it happened. What happened was that we received several measurable snowstorms after a warm fall and the ground never really froze all that hard. The biggest problems we had were in the places with standing water. The snow insulated these spots and it took longer than normal for them to freeze and stiffen up. This in itself made grooming the snow a daunting task at best and the wet areas never really froze up until January. Unfortunately, when you pull a drag through a wet spot and the water hits an already cold grooming pan, the wet snow sticks to the finish pan and doesn’t make for a great trail behind you. We all remember the way winter went two seasons ago. Normal weather patterns with reasonable amounts of snow until that one storm when the Snow Gods really answered our prayers and we were blessed across the state with a thick blanket of heavy wet snow. This sounds like a great setup, but it really only created a lot of work for the clubs. The heavy wet snow took a majority of the skinny trees and whips and laid them all down on the trail bed. The clubs ended up cutting their trails back out mile by mile until we had our trail system back. As you know, our clubs are powered by volunteers and they are not paid to provide the manpower that it took to open the trail system back up. If you are an avid snowmobile enthusiast like most of us, and you are following what the clubs around the state have been up to on social media, you will see that this has been an exceptionally busy year for the clubs preparing for this winter. Everyone is excited and is trying to make this winter another memorable riding season for the membership. If you see your local club posting for work days, please make an effort to support them. Volunteering helps keep the costs down and builds relationships that can last a lifetime. I know this firsthand. The weather is cooperating so far, snow is in the forecast in reasonable amounts and we are headed in the right direction. Just keep your fingers crossed! Purchase your TMA early, as this saves you money and also keeps the funds moving to support a sport we all love. Ride safely and smooth trails, - Tim Mills, VAST President and Trails Coordinator Roxbury to Camel’s Hump and the Camels Hump area. -Mark Bernoskevich Potters trail....always snow there, nice pine tree lined trail. -Jason Ulitsch 100 going past Killington. Lunch at Long Trail or Ramunto’s. -Todd Sayles Up the back side of Magic (Timberside). -Arther Einstein 96 in the Northeast Kingdom. -Chuck Munn My favorite is any freshly groomed trail. -Paul Holcomb Interesting find in the middle of the woods in the Northeast Kingdom. - Jamie L. Arsenault Next issue... Who is Your Snowmobiling Hero? Is it a parent or relative who taught you how to ride? Is it a fellow member or officer for your local club? Someone who founded your club? A landowner? A volunteer? Send your answer to: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook Letters Favorite VAST Trail?