Sweet and sticky

Wayne Donald ended up stuck up a chute while snowmobiling one day—but managed to finish off a day of sweet sledding

by Sheila Milloy

Let’s face it. Snow riding and getting stuck are like peanut butter and honey—sweet and sticky. Machines can sink into the shoulder of the road immediately after you offload. They can plunge into fresh powder in deep basins and bog down from accelerating too much or not enough. A misjudged tree well and a moment of inattention can pile you hopelessly lopsided into a bank. A case of daring might stop you dead, pointed straight up a mountain with nothing visible but your skis. One way or the other, sledding is sticky business.

For instance, there's the time Wayne Donald, a hobby farmer and municipal snowplow operator for the City of Kimberley, B.C., was breaking trail up at Headwall in the Mark Creek Basin. The ride was exceptional until Donald ended up sideways up a chute.

“I climbed up a chute and got stuck, turning my 800 Summit XP sideways," he said. "It was a pretty rocky spot, so I rolled the machine over, tied it off to a tree, and let it slide back down. I watched the rope, wondering why it didn’t tighten up. The end slid past me—the knot had failed! My machine flew down that chute, lodged between a couple of trees, and snapped the tie-rod. I fastened a stick splint between the skis and finished off a great day.” 

It's nice to hear that this story has a sweet ending.

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