Skyline SnoPark and Upper Clackamas Snowmobile Adventure

My mother-in-law was kind enough to watch my son today, so I was able to go snowmobiling while Katie stayed home wrapping gifts and getting ready for the holidays. Due to the late notice, I wasn't able to find anyone to go with me, so it was a solo trip. There is snow at Skyline SnoPark this year, so I headed there to ride for the day. I didn't make it to Skyline snopark at all last season because of the lack of snow. I hope this season continues to be great.

There were already a half dozen vehicles at Skyline when I arrived around 7:30 AM. The temperature was in the upper 20's with snow flurries. I unloaded my red sled (2014 Polaris 800 Pro RMK) and headed toward High Rocks. Before High Rocks, I turned off and headed down rd 58 to Shellrock Creek campground. I met a few other snowmobilers who had started from Shellrock. The trail I had been on was groomed up until this point. Here on out it was deep, rutted wet powder.

Snow near Shellrock Creek     Polaris 800 Pro RMK near Shellrock Creek

There was just enough snow down at Shellrock Creek campground (approx. 3,000' elevation) to drive around the small campground loop. It's nice to see snow down this low.

Just me and my Polaris 800 Pro RMK today     Snowmobiling near High Rocks

Before heading all the way back, I snowmobiled over to Timothy Lake. Before getting to the lake, I came across some fellow snowmobilers who needed help. I only saw two snowmobiles until I got off my sled and looked down the embankment. One of the riders had lost control and their snowmobile went off the side of the road, flipped over, and was wedged between trees. Luckily no one was hurt.

My chainsaw was unfortunately back with my other snowmobile at Skyline snopark, but I did have a folding hand saw with me. I cut all the small trees around the stuck snowmobile and then we were able to flip it back over. Then we repositioned it so the front faced uphill toward the road. Next we tied it to one of the snowmobiles up on the road and combination rode and pulled it off the hill. I was surprised it went so well. Luckily there was only minor damage to the snowmobile.

Timothy Lake in the winter     Water from Timothy Lake dam

After riding to Timothy Lake, I went to Clackamas Lake and then continued on toward the Warm Springs shelter. The road was rutted pretty bad and I eventually turned around shy of the shelter. Hopefully after the trail gets groomed, the 4x4's will obey the law and stay off the trails.

Clackamas Lake in the winter

It turned out to be a beautiful day. There were snow flurries and fog at times, but a few sun-breaks too. I'll be back up to ride again tomorrow. I can't wait!

2015/16 Mileage

Trip: 75 miles
Season: 160 miles
Total Days: 3

Gear List

2014 Polaris 800 Pro RMK Snowmobile
2013 Polaris 800 Switchback Assault Snowmobile
Up North Technologies PRO SERIES Snowmobile Cargo Rack
P-700-B Low Profile Powder Keg
Echo CS-271T chainsaw
HMK Summit V16 Pack
GMAX GM76X Helmet
Smith Phenom Turbo Fan Goggles
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III Titanium Omni-Heat Boots
HMK Hustler 2 Snowmobile Pants
Columbia Titanium Hightail II Softshell Jacket
HMK Cascade Snowmobile Jacket
Columbia Powerfly Down Puff Jacket
Head Digital Sport Liner Gloves
Outdoor Research Ambit Gloves
Columbia Men's Fast Trek Fleece Hat
HighGear ATF8 Altimeter
Petzl TIKKA XP 2 Headlamp
Olympus Tough TG-1 Camera
Sony HDR-AS200V ActionCam
Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Snow Shovel
Fiskars POWER TOOTH Softgrip 10" Folding Saw
First Aid Kit
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active w/BackCountry Navigator
Suunto A-10 Compass



Craig Gedney, Mon, 12/28/2015 - 13:43

I found this card in our snowmobiling gear and just had to let you know how much of a blessing it was that you crossed our paths this day. My brother-in-law had never been on a sled before and he was the one who crashed into the trees. If you hadn't come along there's no telling how long we could've been waiting down that cliff for help since we didn't have the necessary tools to rescue ourselves. Since our encounter we now have two of those saws you saved us with and we learned a few things. My brother-in-law has almost healed from his knee injury sustained in that crash, and we all just wanted to thank you and let your readers know that you are an awesome guy! Thank you so much for your help that day.

Craig Gedney (Me)
Chelsie Gedney (My wife)
Tyler Smith (Brother-in-law)

jloomis, Mon, 12/28/2015 - 16:12

Craig, Chelsie, & Tyler,

It was my pleasure helping you all out. Hopefully anyone else would have done the same. I am glad to hear Tyler is getting better and hope the event did not put him off of snowmobiling for good.

Those Fiskars POWER TOOTH Softgrip 10" Folding Saws come in very handy. I have added 30' of tubular webbing to my supplies so I'll be more prepared next time as well.

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Disclaimer: You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards of backcountry travel and taking the necessary precautions. Loomis Adventures may not be held liable.