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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to decide between buying an ATV or a snowmobile to get to a winter cabin in the Sierras.

The Forest Service quit plowing the road this winter due to budget cuts - so about 18 miles of paved road in now under 6 inches to 24 inches of snow.

I have tried twice this winter to drive in using a Jeep 4x4 but even with the lift kit - I bottom out at about 15 inches of the white stuff. The cabin sits at 5200 feet and the snow elevation gets around 6 inches starting at 4000 feet.

I am looking into a snowmobile that could haul the wife and myself along with a small sled for supplies.

My question is this - some of the exposed ridges have melted off - so i would hit dry pavement about once every 3 or 4 niles along the 18 mile route. The dry patches are about 300-500 yards in length. Can I drive a snowmobile across dry pavement like this without trashing the thing?

Need to know before I go shopping.


Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd be getting the snowmobile. This is what they were really designed to do. Riding on the open parts will really kill the carbides, but the rest of the sled should be pretty well lubricated for that short distance. I'd highly recommend a long track w/deep cleats if you are ever going to go off the road or if the drifts are deep. With 2 people on a sled it's very easy to get it stuck. Mind you that won't happen in 6" of snow, but it could in 2'-especially if you are pulling a trailer. I'd get nothing less than a 700. 2 people on a 700 is pretty good, but not pulling a trailer. In fact, I'd go so far as to recommend getting 2 sleds. That way if one breaks or gets stuck you won't have a long hike.

This is a Ski-Doo utility sled. I know it ain't pretty, but it's meant to work. The oversized track and deep lug will really help pull that trailer. The wide track will also help keep the sled upright, something that is hard to do with 2 people and powder.
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