“No way, I’m not wasting a weekend of riding out in central!”. For anyone that lives on the west coast of Newfoundland, you’ll understand my plight! Snow conditions are awesome, we have 6-8 ft of powder in the backcountry and I typically only get to ride on weekends. Now my sister is begging for us to go to King’s Point in central Newfoundland for the weekend. It’s any sledders worst nightmare! Ok, that may be exaggerating it a little…lol
Obviously, I lost that battle as I do most and I begrudgingly loaded up the sleds and packed the bags into the truck and we hit the highway. This weekend we’re visiting my hometown of King’s Point. My sister is out from St. John’s and has just bought a new sled. She’s a townie girl at heart but since moving back to Newfoundland from Ontario a few years ago she has a new appreciation for all that our
beautiful province has to offer, especially the great outdoors! Of course, that little sister mentality still exists and she couldn’t do it alone. She still needed her big brother to come show her around and take care of her in case she got lost or stuck. lol
We arrived in King’s Point Friday night and though I’m from the area, I haven’t snowmobiled there in 20+ years so a little research was necessary. I reached out to Rob Clarke of Rob Clarke Motorsports in Springdale and he promptly responded with some great suggestions! Very much appreciated Rob! This guy really knows his terrain! Look him up if you’re ever in unfamiliar territory and need a guide as this guy has been everywhere (www.robclarkemotorsports.com).
Day one began early, not wanting to trail ride we headed out in search of powder. First we headed in over the King’s Point ridge, though there was lots of snow, it had no bottom and we quickly got tangled up in the tuckamore hiding just below the surface. With my sister riding a 121” sled and following in our beaten down track, she quickly found herself entangled in it and sunk in the waist deep snow. After a quick lesson on how best to get her sled unstuck, we decided that perhaps a trail ride was the best we could hope for and descended the ridge. We jumped on the groomed trail and headed into Gull Pond where we stopped for a quick lunch at the warm up shack and then headed out towards Middle Arm. Shortly into this section of trail we found a small open hillside that was too attractive to pass and I quickly climbed to the top while Petrina attempted a small jump at the bottom that resulted in her first tip over of the day. After a few choice words and another “This thing is some tippy”, we successfully shredded the area and then proceeded on to Middle Arm.
By this time it was getting late in the day so we quickly passed through Middle Arm and broke the trail across to Rattling Brook before returning back to King’s Point. It was this last segment of our journey that lead us to some awesome little areas in which to play. However, it was nearly dark and we didn’t have enough time to enjoy it properly so we vowed to return the next morning.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. Sunday morning we awoke to heavy snow and windy conditions but I was determined that it wouldn’t ruin our plans. Like a kid on Christmas morning I had the girls up early and we headed out. During our ride home the previous day, I had been making mental notes of areas where I thought the girls could actually learn something without being intimidated by the terrain.
This is where the prelude ends, I thought it best to give you some context leading up to now and though this area isn’t well known for great snowmobiling or at least not backcountry riding it does have its gems and the beauty in this valley is breathtaking. There are abundant scenic views and lookouts that a person can get lost in as you will quickly become entranced by the beauty in front of you and time slips away without you even noticing.
Sorry for the nostalgic moment there, let’s get back on track. The first area I wanted to hit happened to be a huge open field just outside of Rattling Brook with about two feet of untouched powder! The girls wanted to learn how to boondock, well this was their chance! I’m no expert or professional rider by any means but through trial and error and with the help of last year’s Sledcore Clinic I have picked up a few skills. I gave a quick demonstration and went over a few things like foot placement and throttle control before setting them loose. My wife, Petrina, was the first to attempt the maneuver and promptly failed miserably tipping her sled over. That didn’t deter her one bit! She quickly righted her sled and tried again…failing again…and again…and again! Lol
This continued for a couple hours as they both shredded every ounce of snow they could find and slowly progress was made. Smiling from ear to ear and thoroughly exhausted we decided to push on and head in over the Rattling Brook ridge. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was against us this day and once we ascended the ridge we were met with whiteout conditions and forced to turn back. We explored a few areas at lower elevations but eventually succumbed to the weather and Petrina decided her sled needed a break as it had been on its side most of the day. lol
Overall, we had a great weekend and I actually enjoyed myself. Though Petrina will say she spent more time under her sled than on it that weekend she had a blast practicing and we’ll definitely ride here again!