• Snowmobile Sunset

    Snowmobile Sunset

  • Berry Hill February 2017

    Berry Hill February 2017

  • Berry Hill February 2017

    Berry Hill February 2017

  • Tartan Rapids at Prosperous Lake

    Tartan Rapids at Prosperous Lake

  • Cliffs of Blanchette Island

    Cliffs of Blanchette Island

  • Shore of Great Slave Lake

    Shore of Great Slave Lake

  • 2017 Making Trax

    2017 Making Trax

  • 2017 Making Trax

    2017 Making Trax


2015-16 Season – Update

Hi Trail Riders

Another season is son to be upon us. The summer is quickly turning into fall and in 2 months we may be on our sleds.

On Sept. 26 we will join the Ski Club and several other clubs for the clean-up of the Vee Lake Road. Two years ago the GNWT and TerraX Mining sponsored a clean-up of the road. We took several truck-loads of garbage to the city dump. There is still money left over in the bank to be shared by the participating organizations. We will meet at the Vee Lake Parking lot at 10:00 AM and we should finish later in the afternoon depending on the amount of garbage. We get reimbursed by the number of people from the club that show up and the number of quads and trucks used. It will likely be cool and damp so bring warm clothes and gloves and a light lunch and something warm to drink. If the weather is poor we will postpone to Oct. 3.

We will have our Annual General Meeting in late October, probably the 22nd or 29th. Time and place to be determined.

I have not confirmed it as yet but we will likely do the Ice Thickness testing for the Fire Department again this fall. We will need volunteers to test the ice thickness. It usually takes 2 to 3 hours for 3 or 4 Saturdays. Survival suits and safety gear supplied by the fire hall. We usually have teams of 3 – 1 driver and 2 people in suits on the ice.

Kate Hillman-Barnes has updated the Membership application form and it will be on the web site soon. We will be confirming with the snowmobile dealerships regarding club discounts.

Garbage Cleanup – May 12 @ 7:00PM

As mentioned in our earlier email the GSSA Trail Riders are again participating in the City of Yellowknife’s Spring Cleanup.

We have been advised by the City that our area for spring cleanup (garbage pickup) will be the School Draw area. Please meet in the Parking Lot of NACC (across from the Anderson Thompson tower) on Tuesday May 12 at 7:00PM. The City is supplying the garbage bags but you will want to bring gloves and ensure you have appropriate footwear as some of the areas may still be wet. We will have maps of the area for those that come out to help.

Feel free to bring family/friends – the more the merrier!

We hope to see you there!

Snow Drags – Fort Simpson

Snow Drags 2015

If your in the Fort Simpson area check out their SNOW DRAGS event!

For more information please contact Jermaine Gargan at 867-446-8883

Whitecourt’s World Snowmobile Invasion

Both Bruce and Sonia Hewlko arrived home safe and mostly sound from their week in Whitecourt at the World Snowmobile Invasion. A great event and the highlight was participating in the unofficial Guinness World Record for Most Snowmobiles on parade. Total of 1044 snowmobiles of all makes and models from Kitty Cats and Mini-Zs to turbo mountain sleds to two-up cruisers with remote start.

The events were well organized.

The attached pictures were taken from a drone. The Line-up shows all the sleds before the start of the parade. The Loop shows the circuit of the parade route. The pulp mill is in the middle of the picture and the lower area of the Loop is on the river.

If you look closely at the line-up Bruce and Sonia were at the start of the 9th row from the right!

Safety Riders for Frostbite 45

Frostbite 50 – being held March 28, 2015

John Himmelman is looking for Safety Riders for the upcoming Frostbite 50 Race which will be held on March 28, 2015. The basic duties are to monitor the racers and report and racers having medical problems, you are not required to administer first aid.

Generally it is a good day on the sled and help out a good event.

Contact John Himmelman for more details – [email protected]

Trail Report – November 7, 2014

Yellowknifer – Trail Report – Nov. 7, 2014

With the colder temperatures, a little ice on the lakes, shorter daylight hours and the odd flurry of snow it can only mean one thing – its sledding season. Yes, it’s that time of the year to dust off the old snowmobile, dig out the helmet, pants, jacket, boots and gloves.

It will be a few weeks before we can get out onto the trails so it is time to get the sled tuned-up. If you are a good mechanic you can go through the sled yourself following the manufacturers’ suggested checklist. Basically, change the spark plugs and drive belt, check track tension, check slider wear, carbides, oil reservoir, look for oil leaks, clutch operation, make sure the head and tail lights work, kill switch operates correctly and check the tightness of nuts and bolts through-out the sled.

If you are not a good mechanic take it to your local snowmobile dealer, discuss any mechanical issues with the service manager and hand over the keys. Depending on the amount of work required the dealer‘s mechanics can generally go over a snowmobile in a reasonable amount of time and if there are no issues the cost will be approximately $200 to $300. If there are problems with the sled the cost will go up but it is better to find the problem now and get it fixed than have the sled break down 20km from the city in the dark.
Should you be new to the sport and are looking at purchasing a new or used sled the best advice I can give you is to buy a lower powered 2-up touring snowmobile. They are more comfortable, easier to handle and generally have more options. They are a good snowmobile to learn on and you can take other members of the family with you. Unfortunately, there is a high demand for good used snowmobiles at this time of year and good ones are sold quickly.

More experienced riders will be looking at the new sleds on the dealer’s floor. One of the biggest decisions a buyer has to make is what kind of sled am I going to buy. There are 9 different categories of snowmobiles (mountain, freeriding, crossover, trail sport, performance, luxury, 2 up touring, utility and value). Within each category there are many options such as engine size, shocks, windshield height, storage bags and skis.

Now that you have properly working snowmobile, its insured and licenced (if you are going to ride within city limits) it is time to check out your tool kit. The tool kit should be stocked with all the items that came with the sled when it was new, spark plug wrench, spare pull cord, wrenches, screw driver, clutch wrench. It is a good idea to carry a spare drive belt and spare spark plugs.

Now we are almost ready to ride. Next week we will look at clothing, helmet and survival kit.

For more tips on snowmobiling log onto www.gssatrailriders.com

Ride Safe, Ride Sober

Weekly Newsletter – December 18, 2014

Weekly Newsletter – Dec. 18/14

We received a cheque from Polaris as part of their Winning Riders program. Polaris donates $250 to all clubs in Canada and the US.

Dave Abernethy and I spend 2 nights on the groomer. The tracks worked well but are not that great in the fresh snow, they work a lot better on the hard packed trails. We still need more snow to start grooming on a regular basis.

I met with the City of YK and discussed the proposed developments in the Capital Area, which is generally located between Frame Lake, the Old Airport Road, Highway 3 and YK Access Highway. There are two significant trails in this area and they need to maintain for all users.

The Deh Cho Blvd Trail is very rough and will need a lot of grooming to make it reasonable. The ditch between Kam Lake Road and Utsingi Drive has flowing water and as a result is slushy and very slippery. A few snowmobiles have been stuck in the ditch so carry enough speed to make it through.

There open water reported near the School Draw Water Pump House on Yellowknife Bay. Highways Department is opening the Dettah Winter Road. The berms are not very high at this time but they are not marked.

I received the Mileage and Lake signs for the Trail Enhancement Program and we will get crews organized early in the new year.

If you are out riding please send me a note as to the trails you road and the trail conditions particularly if there are dangerous areas. If you are out riding send a note where you rode and the condition of the trail, particularly if there are dangerous area.

Depending on weather we will tray and organize a trail ride early in January.

Arctic Response will be holding another Snowmobile Safety Course on February 8, 2015

Merry Christmas to all and may you all have a healthy and safe 2015.

Weekly Newsletter – December 15, 2014

Weekly Newsletter – Dec. 15, 2014

Mike Burns is looking for a 136” X 1.25” X 15’ track for an older Yamaha Sled. If anyone has one or knows of one contact mike at [email protected]

The Trails are improving with the snow but are still fairly rough and the rocks are still poking through the snow. The trail into Walsh and farther north is in decent shape except for the small creek area which is rough and slippery. I broke the trail into Drag Lake which is half way between Walsh and the Tartan Rapids and from Banting to Likely Lake. We will have to make a plan to cut a new trail around this area. Water levels are low and more stumps are sticking out of the swamps.

There are several winter roads on Walsh Lake and they are not marked. They are not a problem right now but will be an issue once the berms get built up. There are two plowed race tracks at the south end of Vee Lake. The berms are not high at this time and they are not marked. The trail across the Yellowknife River, between YK Bay and the Walsh Lake Trail is okay but stick to the middle of the river and follow an existing track. There is overflow and or open water along the south shore and don’t back off on the throttle. If you are not comfortable take the portage around this area.

The Frame Lake Winter Walking Trail has been laid out on Frame Lake. If you are passing through the area drive slowly along the trail as this will help pack the trail.
The trail west of Range Lake then north to the Old Airport Road is in good condition. There is one large rock adjacent to the airport fence which needs a lot of snow for trouble free passage over it.

The Trail entrance at Back Bay leading to the Old Ski Club Trail is very slippery as this is bare rock.
Dave Abernethy and I will be taking the groomer out in the next couple of days to check out the trails and the new tracks. We will be commencing grooming in early January. We will be looking for groomer operators so if you are interested please send me a note.

Dave Abernethy and I had a meeting with Dennis Kefalas, SAO, City of YK regarding the road crossing. Very positive meeting and once the city starts to clear the streets and parking lots they will be making some ramps up to the roads so that there is space before the road for the snowmobile to stop at road level allowing the snowmobiler clear visibility to check for oncoming vehicular traffic.

If you are out riding please send me a note as to the trails you road and the trail conditions particularly if there are dangerous areas.

Weekly Newsletter – November 30, 2014

Weekly Newsletter – Nov. 30, 2014

A big THANK-YOU to the ice measuring crew – job well done. Darcy Hernblad and the entire Fire Department also appreciate your work.

City Snowmobile By-law says that it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk. Ride on the right side of the road and remember the speed limit is 30 kph.

Also thanks to those that helped out at the dealers Open Houses. We really appreciate your efforts in promoting the GSSA-TR. With all the work we do around the city there are still snowmobilers out there are not familiar with the club.

The Motor sport club has plowed a track out on the right hand side of the winter road about half way down Vee Lake. They will be marking the berm with Reflectors. The new Mattracks were installed on the Kubota this weekend. They ride a little smoother and seems to pull a little easier. We will be looking to sell the old tracks.

On Saturday, Dec. 6 we will work on the Frame Lake Winter Walking Trail (weather permitting). We will meet on Frame Lake near the Tunnel under Old Airport Road at 10am. It generally takes about 2 hours. Bring a snow shovel.

Think Snow!

Weekly Newsletter – November 23, 2014

Weekly Newsletter – Nov. 23, 2014

The Swap Meet was a bit of a bust as there were very few participants; however I did manage to sell a helmet and some pants that I no longer used. There were a few sleds for sale but I do not know if there were any takers. Perhaps if it was warmer there may have been a better turn out.

We will be installing the new tracks on the Kubota on Nov. 29 at my garage located at 226 Utsingi Drive starting at 9AM. If you are interested in helping out with grooming this winter and want to know how the tracks work you are welcome to stop by and help out.

I have marked out a new trail in behind YK Chrysler, near RTL Pond. It will straighten out a number of curves in the existing trail. Once we get a Saturday with warmer weather we can organize a clearing crew. There is about 100 m of new Trail to clear.

We will start grooming operations and work on the Frame Lake Winter Walking Trail as soon as there is sufficient snow coverage on the trails and on Frame Lake.

I was recently in Ottawa for the fall Board of Directors meeting of the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations. The focus of the organization is towards obtaining sustainable funding for trail maintenance and groomer replacement. In this regards we meet with our local MP’s and the Executive met with the PMO to put forward the message that snowmobiling is an important part of Canada’s economy and a winter activity enjoyed by many Canadians.

The club executive met last week and started making plans for the Making Trax Snowmobile Rally which will be held on April 4, 2015. We are working on the same plan as last year with a Ride, Dinner and Dance; more info to follow as we confirm arrangements.

SOME of the lakes are safe for snowmobiling and some are not. Check the ice thickness before you ride.