Porcupine and powder

Rhea and Kirby Musey make the trip to some of Saskatchewan’s best snow on a weekly basis

person sledding
The Porcupine Forest area near Hudson Bay has a well-deserved reputation for some of the best snow in the province. - photo courtesy Dave Olson
Hotshots Riding sun up to sun down

Courtney Langford took this picture of her boyfriend riding in Castlegar, on a 2013 Skidoo Summit X.

The Scoop Tamara Osborne, founder of the Betties Powersports Network working hard in the not so off season to produce this years Bettie Adventures Snowmobiling film. Snowmobile season never truly ends

Summer months are spent planning

Gearboxx Phantom youth snowmobiles

The key to growth in any sport is getting the youth involved—this ensures a healthy crop of participants will always be moving up through the ranks into adulthood. The problem with introducing children to snowmobiling has always been in the equipment; with little profit to be made off mid-sized machines, manufacturers have neglected this population. Sure, there are models for very small children but the middle years have very little out there unless they are to move into a smaller, underpowered adult machine.

The problem with sending children off on adult machines has always been the safety issue of too much power or a cumbersome machine that does not handle well for their weight and strength. This is where Phantom snowmobiles steps in. Based out of Ontario, they produce three sleds that are set up to introduce adolescent (or small adult) beginners through to trail-oriented intermediate and snocross racing machines.

Published May 2010

I first corresponded with Rhea Musey a year ago when she sent in a Hot Shots photo of her husband Kirby carving up the powder in the Porcupine Forest near Hudson Bay. In her e-mail, she said the snow on that day was as good as mountain snow; when she stepped off her sled, she found herself armpit-deep in the white stuff.

“We had gone to Armit Lake, and on the way back, we had found some incredible, untouched powder,” said Rhea. “I remember thinking that I could see the smile on Kirby’s face through his helmet.”

The Museys operate a farm near the small hamlet of Danbury, which means they are central to many top snowmobiling destinations—from Kelvington and Kamsack to Endeavour, Elbow Lake and the Porcupine Forest.

“It’s amazing,” said Rhea. “They have wonderful trails, the scenery is amazing and they have a really good warm-up shack system.”

A regular excursion

Rhea said the trip to the Porcupine is an annual trek that the family makes on Kirby’s birthday, although they will travel that distance as many times as possible during the year. But the Museys don’t need a special occasion to take advantage of the trails and trail amenities—several times a week, when their three children are in school, Rhea and Kirby will often head to a warm-up shelter half an hour from their home.

“We are so fortunate in where we live,” said Rhea, adding that snowmobiling in the region is a way of life for the inhabitants and not just a hobby. “Some of the best riding in the province is right in our back yard. If it’s trail riding we feel like that day we can; if it’s untouched backcountry, we have that too.”

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