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Just_Some_Hiker
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Whose bright idea was it to allow snowmobiles on what is probably the most popular snowshoe/ski trail in the Stevens Pass area? Seriously.

I've had two close calls with snowmobiles on this trail. When they aren't almost running me over, they're trashing every skin or snowshoe track in sight, as they did today.

It was so bad today that my partner and I made it about a mile up the trail before rage quiting and heading back to the car.

This seems like a major safety issue and it's probably just a matter of time until a skier or snowshoer gets squashed by some dude-bros on snowmobiles.

With the abundance of motorized snow parks in Washington, and the vast range that snowmobiles have vs. skis/snowshoes, is it really fair that they get to dominate this area too?

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Celticclimber
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 5:57 pm 
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Sucks that those guys, on their crotch-rockets, weren't better mannered.

I ski up that road alot. And overall, have not had your experience.
Most of those guys have taken care to avoid me and my dog.
But it would be nice if there was somewhere we could go w/o
those foul  smelling machines.










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Dalekz
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 6:15 pm 
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How big is the parking area?? (How many cars/trailers can legally park there)
Are they making the parking area longer this year than in the past?
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Just_Some_Hiker
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 6:22 pm 
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Dalekz wrote:
How big is the parking area?? (How many cars/trailers can legally park there)
Are they making the parking area longer this year than in the past?

The pull-out looks about the same size as the last few years, but it was especially full today. Maybe 20 cars? The area seems to be growing in popularity. It looked like about 90% foot travelers, 10% slednecks.
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Jeff
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 6:44 pm 
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Don't skin or snowshoe in snowmobile areas if you don't want to get your track trashed. Time it right and you can beat them in the morning but still glide down their tracks all the way to your car in about 20 minutes.
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christensent
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 7:05 pm 
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Nobody "allowed" snowmobiles here, it's a road on a map. That means snowmobiles can go there. The only exception I'm aware of on this is if it's a road that's groomed for non-motorized use. Unless there's a road closed sign, roads are open year round to motorized use be it snowmobiles or wheeled vehicles. And they can't simply put up a road closed sign just because skiers like to go there, that'd be an unreasonable closure (at least, that's my understanding).

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RandyHiker
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 7:38 pm 
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Snowmobiles have been using Smithbrook for decades.
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Just_Some_Hiker
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 8:03 pm 
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Jeff wrote:
Don't skin or snowshoe in snowmobile areas if you don't want to get your track trashed. Time it right and you can beat them in the morning but still glide down their tracks all the way to your car in about 20 minutes.

The road is large enough for snowmobiles and skiers to each have a side. What gives them the right to take the entire road and destroy the ski trails?

christensent wrote:
Nobody "allowed" snowmobiles here, it's a road on a map. That means snowmobiles can go there. The only exception I'm aware of on this is if it's a road that's groomed for non-motorized use.

In the winter it's a defacto ski trail, populated mostly by skiers and snowshoers. Occasionally a few snowmobiles come through and wreck it, and create a hazard for foot travelers. Imagine a dirt bike speeding down a running trail in a city park. Same thing. Given the high volume of foot traffic, perhaps this should be designated a non-motorized sno-park, like other forest roads in the winter.

RandyHiker wrote:
Snowmobiles have been using Smithbrook for decades

That fact was not in dispute.
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mbravenboer
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 8:06 pm 
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Sorry you had a bad experience there.

Just to emphasize that they're not all bad: when I go to Smithbrook, I'm usually the first & last car there, but still usually meet a few sleds. The early and late visitors have always been extraordinary courteous to me (slowing down to make sure my dog is leashed, moving by slowly, and usually checking how we're doing). They're probably the nicer guys though, just like early and late hikers.

As a snowshoer, I don't care about my tracks of course. I understand the frustration for skiers.
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RandyHiker
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 8:48 pm 
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Just_Some_Hiker wrote:


RandyHiker wrote:
Snowmobiles have been using Smithbrook for decades

That fact was not in dispute.

Right, but it seems you are relatively new in this area and are pontificating on a multi-use issue as if was something new and you have some novel insight.
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Jeff
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 9:33 pm 
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Just_Some_Hiker wrote:
Imagine a dirt bike speeding down a running trail in a city park. Same thing.

More like a dirt bike driving by a runner running on the road.

I like skinning up smithbrook, but I know sleds are a part of it. Lots of other options on 2 if you want to get away from them.
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joker
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PostSat Mar 04, 2017 10:58 pm 
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Sorry you had such a crappy experience JSH. I guess I've been lucky enough to only run into  a few snowmobiles along that road, and that they were courteous and safe about passing us. And I've been happy for their effective trailbreaking along the road. Also fortunate is that where  I have planned to spend most of the day when  going up there  is well away from any terrain  they can access.

But then I've spent a fair bit of time skirting the edges  of much busier snowmobile terrain so my experiences here  have seemed  quite mellow in  comparison. Even in the busier spots all  but a few meatheads have passed us very politely (and when we hear them coming, we do tend to get off to the side, and give the  thumbs-up to spread good cheer rather than hostility which some sledders have told me they get  from some other recreationalists).

Better to work for more snow-parks (reliable parking for  Jim Hill, Arrowhead, etc. anyone!?) than to piss off snowmobilers by trying to take away this historic-use road from them, IMO.
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gb
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PostSun Mar 05, 2017 7:28 am 
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Just_Some_Hiker wrote:
Whose bright idea was it to allow snowmobiles on what is probably the most popular snowshoe/ski trail in the Stevens Pass area? Seriously.

I've had two close calls with snowmobiles on this trail. When they aren't almost running me over, they're trashing every skin or snowshoe track in sight, as they did today.

It was so bad today that my partner and I made it about a mile up the trail before rage quiting and heading back to the car.

This seems like a major safety issue and it's probably just a matter of time until a skier or snowshoer gets squashed by some dude-bros on snowmobiles.

With the abundance of motorized snow parks in Washington, and the vast range that snowmobiles have vs. skis/snowshoes, is it really fair that they get to dominate this area too?


If they are following skin tracks, put a trap for them with the skin track. Run it through tight trees for awhile or put them on a too steep traversing track. Maintain it for long enough that it is difficult to pick up the track again.
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Schroder
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PostSun Mar 05, 2017 9:13 am 
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Snowmobiles used to be prohibited west of the pass between the Rainy Creek and Smithbrook drainages and there were plenty of signs to that effect.  It used to be illegal to unload snowmobiles on Highway 2 at Smithbrook.  I was also surprised to see the change last time I was there a couple of years ago.
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NacMacFeegle
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PostSun Mar 05, 2017 9:54 am 
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Snowmobiles are a menace.

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