Getting unstuck in Smoky Lake

Vern Billey and some fellow sledders had to call a Cat to assist them

by Jessica Kirby

Coming back from a long snowmobile ride during warm spring conditions and mushy snow, Vern Billey—president of the Smoky Lake Trail Twisters—and some friends decided to go along the secondary highway and ditch-bang all the way home. They were about six miles north of town when Gene, a novice snowmobiler running a new four-stroke Yamaha, was crossing a country road and started to cross a windrow created by a grader.

He began to slow down at the wrong time, and then he gunned it—and that was it. The six-foot-deep snowbank swallowed the machine and it wasn’t going anywhere. The group started shovelling, but no luck.

They called a friend with Bobcat skid-steer loader and he had to dig this sled out. Needless to say, Gene was the centre of jokes for some time.

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