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Grooming in Vermont with 08 VK Pro

Season is ending

Well another town meeting day has passed in Vermont. We all get together across the State and debate our various town issues and budgets. At the end of the day we feel good that we were able to raise our concerns about various topics, but feel bad that our taxes are only going one way - up up up, no matter how much we debate.

For me it usually means the end of our ski season each year. The temperatures in March are above freezing during the day and the sun is high enough now to really burn through the snow.

I took the VK Pro in for it's annual service at the dealer and will be parking it when I pick it up. I've had the VK Pro for three grooming seasons now and this season it performed well with no problems, but it wasn't called upon that much. The VK is still a keeper for me. For my dedicated grooming use - it's in it's element pulling all day long on well maintained trails, with lots of cooling aids to keep it under control.

I groomed my ski trails 20 times this year and put about 1000 km on the VK. Most years I am doing double that. In our northern part of Vermont we got only about 50 inches of snow this year, compared to our norm of around 120 inches.

I'm glad I had snow scratchers on the VK. There was a period in January where I was trying to re-groom old snow for about 20 days. And my best groomer attachment was a set of garden rakes that are mounted on the TiddTech G2 that basically scratch the surface when there isn't enough to sink in the teeth.

The big event at our ski trails this year was hosting the US Ski-Orienteering Championships. Orienteering is a sport where you navigate through the woods with a map and compass to a set of checkpoints. Throw in snow during the wintertime and put on skis and you do it on ski trails. Our trail network was create with orienteering in mind so I have a maze of trails to add to the challenge. Anyways we had about 70 skiers including about a dozen from eastern europe where the sport is very popular and we had a great day. It was a treat to see 70 very fast skate skiers flying around the trail network in every direction. Lots of compliments about the grooming under such low snow conditions, and it made another season all worth while.

Hope the rest of you had some good days on your sleds this year and always looking toward another.

I'm glad to hear your VK performed well this season. It certainly has been a strange one here in the Maine mountains. I have not pulled anything other that gear to camp and the occasional stuck sled. It's a first for me not to groom any trails although we got a big dump of snow last week...gotta get a few more trips in.

My wife and I put our usual 1800 miles on our sleds with most of the miles on nice groomed trails in Aroostook. The VK performed flawlessly although I did manage to tip it once. I was able to get it back on two skis myself which surprised me. No damage. I was also happy with 18mpg when conditions were ideal. I have not been in any deep snow yet this year but maybe this weekend.

I had the opportunity to put a few miles on a new Skidoo Expedition. It was a 2-stroke and was very light compared to the VK. It shifts between low and hi gear without stopping which was nice. Maybe the 4-stroke version would make a nice work sled but the 600SDI was very quick and it handled well on the trails. The rear tip-up track seemed to function better than the VK so backing in the loose snow was a snap where the VK seems to bury itself.

I still like the VK and will keeep it one more year. I turned 6000 miles with it last week without any issues.
Hey Eric,

If you are looking at Ski-Doo, maybe try out the new Skandic WT when they are available. They are moving the WT to the Rev-XU platform, same as the Expedition. It will have a new 4 stroke engine, not as big as the 1200 on the Expedition, but the price will probably be a couple thousand less.

Keep us updated as you go through your search. Always interested to hear impressions of new work sleds. And feel free to post hear, maybe Yamaha will see how much the competition is moving ahead and do something.
Since you're interested in work/utility sleds I'll keep you posted on my new Bearcat XT Z1. Due to being a groomer at ABR trails here in Ironwood I am quite familiar with almost all the others. I know the cat will overheat pulling unless I install the radiator kit,but the plan is to use it primarily as a trail/back country sled. We will hook it to a Ginsu or two to see how it pulls with no low range. Should be interesting.
Grooming DVDs

Hey Ricardo,

I asked last year about your 4 grooming related DVDs. Are they all done now and available for purchase?

And yes would love to hear about your Bearcat experiences.
Sorry for the slow reply, haven't checked back here in a while.
Yes, the DVD set is ready, check the ABR website www.abrski.com.
We got about 4 to 6 inches early in the week and another 2 last night, were able to open some trails yesterday. Still can't ride the snomo trails due to deer season so no time on cat yet.
Winter is on here in Teton Valley. Tons of snow. Groomed all 10k of my track over the last 3 days. The VK is working well pulling a heavy roller through 18" of new snow after sitting quietly in a barn for the summer. Lots of fun! Looking forward to another great winter.
Winter is starting here in Vermont

Hope everyone is starting to get the temperatures they need. We've had a couple of 2" snows. Not enough to get out there yet, but we are close. I usually wait until I have about 6" on the ground to cover some of my obstacles (the rocks and stumps I couldn't get out) before I start rolling.

Sounds like the Teton guys are at it, ahead of the rest of us as usual. Send pictures so the rest of us can start dreaming.
some photos of early season snow

As requested, here are a few photos of our early season snow taken from my back porch looking east to the start of the track. The Tetons are in the background. The one photo shows our ginzu burried in the snow just behind the fence. Grand Targhee Ski Resort up the road has already received over 120" of snow this season. We do not get quite that much here at my track (only about half that amount) but plenty enough to have a long season.

I'll post some more photos of the track and the equipment when I get a chance. I hope your season starts soon.


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Very impressive Teton RB,

Looks like a great place for XC trails. Hopefully you spend as much time skiing on the trails as you do grooming.
I was just out grooming and staking the track tonight. It turned out so nice I had to go for a little night ski afterwards. Just got back, It is about 10pm. I'm kind of a night person.
Welcome again everyone for another snow season

Haven't been on the forum for a while. On December 1st we had a bad wind storm - 40 mph winds with 60 mph gusts for 6 hours straight. I lost about 300 trees across our XC trail network, so all I've been doing the last two weeks is chainsaw work, haven't even had the sled out yet. I still have about two more weeks of work and hopefully I'll get 3/4 of the trail network open. There are some tree pile ups that will have to wait til summer when I can get the tractor/winch in there.

I started my sled up last week, after 8 months of hibernation. Not the easiest starter. I had been trickle charging the battery for a week. Took a long time for the fuel to move around. Tried it for about twenty minutes the first time and it never caught. Started recharging the battery again. Tried an hour later and it finally turned over. I've started it a couple times since. Maybe this weekend I'll finally take it out. We only have about 4 inches in the fields right now here in Vermont.

Looks like the West and Midwest are off to a good snow season. I hope the Northeast catches up, but right now I'm using the light conditions to my advantage to finish what tree cleanup I can. It's a lot easier moving limbs and tops with only a few inches of snow on them and we can still get around easily in the side by side UTV which we can carry more gear with.
"By the way I solved the tippy feeling on my VK Pro by installing a sway bar from an arctic cat f7," (top of page 15)

Can you provide some more details - maybe some photos. What year of f7 and which parts did you use?
ao-oa said:
"By the way I solved the tippy feeling on my VK Pro by installing a sway bar from an arctic cat f7," (top of page 15)

Can you provide some more details - maybe some photos. What year of f7 and which parts did you use?

Tom Lee posted that solution - perhaps he will chime in or try to send him an email, and please post any details you find.
You mentioned a hard start after the summer. I had the same thing happen. I put a bit of gasoline in a small spray bottle and sprayed two mistings of gas into each of the three carburator intake bells. The engine fired immediately and kept running - it filled the fuel lines while running on the fuel I sprayed.