The drive back to UT to fix the snowmobile deck was fairly easy going without any hiccups. I met with Seth from Trail Ridge Off Road and we put a plan together to fix the sled deck from sagging by boxing in the frame and adding some support structures. While Seth worked on resolving the saggy bus, the rest of us met up with "Kickstarter Mike" for some riding at Canyons Resort. Mike had donated the most amount of money on our Kickstarter which earned him a day of snowboarding with us and a night stay in the bus. Mike passed on the crowded bus and went with his comfortable condo he was staying at with his kids and wife who we cooked dinner for after a day on the slopes.

Trail Ridge Off-Road finished the reinforced snowmobile deck and we loaded up some supplies for Jackson Hole where we hoped to catch another storm. Along the drive to Jackson I noticed that Bruce The Bus had no power on anything uphill. I had the pedal mashed to the floor and he just didn't have any power. It wouldn't down shift so I assumed it was a transmission issue. I took the bus to Jackson Hole Express Lube & Carwash where they helped changed the transmission filter and add new fluid as I assumed that was the issue. 

That same day we went out past Togwotee Pass to pick up the snowmobiles we had left and the bus still didn't have any power going up hill. I called Rich at Gillet Diesel Service and we determined that the issue was the waste gate on the turbo. It was getting stuck fully open and not allowing any pressure to build up to create torque and power. I tore into the motor and found the turbo and waste gate. With a little help from our photographer and friend, Ben Giradi, we were able to wire the waste gate completely shut permanently for constant power and it worked liked a charm. 

We struggled to find good snow to ride over the next few days and as we started making a plan to wait it out for the next storm in Jackson. At the same time a huge storm system moved into southern Colorado with up to 7 feet expected by the end of the storm. This caught our interest...

 

Linking in with Kickstarter Mike.

 

 

Pasta and meatballs with Mike's family.

 

Mike placing a Bus Life Adventure sticker somewhere in Park City...

 

We made a stop in the Verts factory. These simple little snowshoes make climbing snowy mountains easy.

 

 

Back to Wyoming!

 

 

Our buddy Dave let us crash on his floor for a few nights. Thanks Dave!

 

 

Jackson Hole Express Lube. This dude taught me a lot about transmissions in a short period.

 

 

 

 

 

We departed Colorado and headed towards Jackson Hole. The head wind was extremely strong and we watched our miles per gallon go down drastrically. To make matters worse Cub's Toyota Tacoma lost all power in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming. A few calls to Triple A and we were able to get Cub's truck and snowmobile trailer towed to Rock Springs around 1AM. The following morning Cub pulled his tools out and started searching for the problem. We traced it to a bad fuel pump and luckily the Autozone in town had the part we needed. Cub, Brian and I dropped the fuel tank and replaced the bad fuel pump in the sleeting rain. It ain't always easy on the road but with good company you can tackle just about anything.

We arrived in Jackson and made our way to Teton Pass to test our the snow pack and get a few turns in. We found fairly good snow but the avalanche danger was high and we spend the rest of the day boon docking powder on our snowmobiles. The following day we knew we had to get to higher elevations so we made our way up to Togwotee Pass for some better conditions. We spent almost a week camped out at a trail head that required us to travel over 50 miles round trip everyday to ride a hidden zone we were shown last year. Before we could make it out to the zone for filming Brian's sled cracked a piston and we spent the day pulling apart the motor to find the problem and order parts from our SPOT satellite phone for pickup the next week. Our good friend Rajat had a spare older sled that we were able to borrow for the rest of the days filming.

The bigger issue we faced at the end of our stay was the fact that the snowmobile deck had bent the frame of the bus again and we would have to leave two snowmobiles in Wyoming in order to drive back to UT to get it fixed. Life on the road is fun but never easy.

 

Cub getting dirty first thing in the morning.

 

Brock Butterfield surfing walls of powder on the new Never Summer Swift. 

 

Cold mornings in WY before we hit the trail at 6am.

 

We rode and filmed every line you could in this secret zone.

 

Cub soaking in the sun in between filming.

 

 

Backcountry beats provided by our Buckshot from Outdoor Technology. 

 

Colin Spencer getting upside down off some natural terrain.

 

Rajat Bhayani getting pitted.

 

Long days require us to gas up in the night. Luckily we had a spot just down the road from our basecamp.

 

Cub making friends with a friendly, bread eating moose called "Grandma".

 

 

 

Our first stop of the trip for snowboarding and getting our feet wet was Steamboat Springs. Traveling with a total of four snowmobiles is a lot to maintain and we needed to stock up on oil and a few other supplies before heading out. Steamboat Powersports is the best place to stop in for all your supplies. 8 gallons of oil later we made our way to the trail head for the first night sleeping all four of us in the bus. It was interesting to say the least and we spent the night laughing and drinking PBR in our t-shirts due to the wood stove making it a nice 82 degrees inside the bus with 10 degrees outside.

The next day consisted of getting Ryan (our photographer) and Brian (our cinematographer) comfortable on their snowmobiles being it would be the first year they owned one. The snow was sub par but we did find a few meadows for learning how to man handle a snowmobile. Jacob and I spent most of the day laughing as we watched Ryan and Brian get tossed off the sleds while learning how to turn in powder. We ended the day at McKnights (highly recommended) for some happy hour appetizers, beers and epic face off battles between photographers and riders in ping pong, pool and foosball.

With conditions not the greatest in Steamboat we made out way to Vail where our good friend Mike Hood was waiting to show us a zone non of us had been to. We explored and scraped some rocks for a couple days trying to find good snow. Colin Spencer's sled also had an issue and we had to tow the sled out by using a split board tied down to the track.

Next we made out way to Denver, CO for the SIA trade show where the bus was parked out front for anyone to come take a tour. After SIA we stopped by the Never Summer factory to pick up some new boards before we hit the road for Jackson where the snow pack was much deeper and consistent.

 

Loading up on snowmobile supplies!

 

Ryan Bregante perfecting his pow carves on his snowmobile.

 

Brian and Ryan in a Guinness chugging contest. One of them dispersed all their dinner afterward.

 

Unloading at the trail head. 

 

Attaching a splitboard to the bottom of the snowmobile track to tow it out.

 

Ryan and Cub changing out spark plugs before heading out.

 

 

Two vital tools in the backcountry. SPOT Gen3 Tracker and Grape Solar Stone.

 

Parked out front the Denver Convention Center for SIA 2015.

 

Never Summer factory employee putting the final touches on a board.

 

The new Funslinger from Never Summer stacked up!

A few bumps in the road but we've hit the pavement with cameras rolling.

It was a rough past month with a few unplanned events but we finally hit the road. We took my favorite route to Colorado on the US 40 through Steamboat Springs and dipped into the Front Range where Jacob "Cub" Carey and Brian Swenson were waiting. High fives, hugs and cold beers were exchanged as we parked the bus for the night.

The next day we rose early to tackle getting a few last things dialed before we started the big adventure. A full days worth of applying custom snowmobile wraps, tuning sleds, stocking up on groceries and pre cooking 39 burritos to heat up in our Muff Pots, a small cooking unit attached to the muffler of our snowmobiles.

It snowed most of the day on us and we talked about the potential of good conditions on the horizon.

 

Frosted trees on the US 40.

 

"Do not rush through life. Pause and enjoy it."

 

Rolling through Steamboat Springs.

 

Cub's Mod Shop.

 

 

 

Three dudes, one sled wrap.

 

 

Weld it up!

 

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