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Karen Yuckert

Hometown:  Ellensburg, Washington

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Current Sleds

  •  2018 Polaris Pro RMK 800 155
  •  2017 Ski-Doo Summit 850 154

Passions

I grew up riding horses all of my life and have had a passion for the outdoors since I can remember. It was later on in life when I was introduced to power sports and have been hooked ever since.

I have had snowmobiles and quads for many years but this past winter I went feet first, and all in. I signed up for an all women’s snowmobile clinic in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, it was 4 days of new skills and wonderful riders that pushed me to new limits.

I live on top of Manastash Mountain in Ellensburg, Washington at an elevation of 3,000ft. I’m able to leave right from my front door to endless trails and back country terrain.

I also enjoy barrel racing with my horses at rodeos, and managing our 30-acre horse and cattle ranch. During the Spring and Summer, I enjoy riding my quads and side
by-side up to a place called Funny Rocks. It is a popular destination place known by jeepers and rock crawlers for extreme boulder climbing.

Riding

I am defiantly a Back Country rider and love every aspect of that challenging terrain. To side hill on a slope and master the good ol’ “J” hook, well there is just nothing like it.

Picking a line though the trees and coming out on the other side to a big meadow of deep powder is breath taking. Climbing to tops of mountains and working your way back down is just the most challenging and exciting sense of accomplishment I have ever felt.

Plus I am a big sucker for all the wildlife and the beauty Washington has to offer.

Gear

I have to say that my favorite piece of gear is my 509 heated goggles. That is a game changer for me.  I love that with a click of a button I can defrost my goggles and not worry about if I can see or not.  I also love my DSG bibs and helmet. I can rely on both of them to keep me dry and safe in the backcountry.

It is so hard to choose just one piece of equipment. I love it all!

Normal Job

I am a Surgical Veterinary Technician for a 6-doctor practice specializing in orthopedics and rehabilitation.  I love my job because I get to be with animals all day, there is something about their energy that brings comfort to me.

To be able to help them and send them home, to live happy normal lives, is so rewarding.  I have been a technician for over 25 years now and still love it like it was my first day. The variety of cases that we see daily can keep things exciting and it keeps my skill set on point.

Most Fun On A Sled

I am going to say that my trip to Wyoming has far surpassed any kind of riding I have ever done.  It was this trip that introduced me to all the other women that share the passion for snowmobile riding that I do. Girls from all over the world came to ride and explore the mountain.

Up until this point in my life I had only ridden with men and never really knew the fundamentals of riding a sled, I had to figure it out all on my own. It was fast and steep riding and I did a lot of watching and trying to keep up with the guys.

I was in awe to know that so many other women were in the same boat as me and to have them all gather at one location was magic.

We had 2 snowmobile mechanics with us (both women) that when the sleds broke or things went wrong, they were jumping in to help us get them back up and running. Or, if you got stuck, there were 10 girls there to help you get unstuck. It was so awesome to see the support and compassion these women had for each other!

It’s a memory I will never forget.

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Michael Gilchrist

Hometown:  Grafton, Massachusetts

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Current Sled

  • 2016 Ski Doo Renegade Backcountry 800R 146
  • 154 Skid and 2.5” track

 Passions

It is hard to choose one particular thing that drives my passion for the sport when there are so many. From the comradery of riding with friends, family, and people you meet on the trail or in the woods to the challenge of constantly improving yourself as a rider. Pair that with the places you see while riding that others may never get the chance to experience and it’s hard not to be passionate about the sport

Riding

I currently spend the majority of my time riding off trail in the woods of Maine. The challenge of navigating the sled through terrain no one else has touched is very appealing to me. Between that and the maneuvers that you can make these sleds do when you have a couple feet of powder under them has me hooked. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy hopping on a high-power trail sled and going for a good trail ride from time to time.

Gear

Currently I am running all Ski Doo gear and cannot get enough of it. The durability, comfort, and warmth is unmatched by any brand I have used in my 15 plus years of riding. From my BRP Modular 3 helmet, Helium Enduro Highpants, and 8 year old Ski Doo Trail jacket I have yet to have a single complaint. That is not to forget about the exceptional quality of the Ski Doo tunnel Backpack/shovel and numerous other accessories and bags made by Ski Doo that I use.

Most Fun On A Sled

It is very hard to pick a particular ride to call the most fun I’ve had on a sled as every time I hop on one, even if its only for a ride around the yard I have a smile ear to ear. With that said I would have to say that the 2017/2018 riding season, despite the amount of rain we received has been one of the most memorable for a few reasons.

The first part that made this season so memorable is that this was the season that we bought my girlfriend her first sled. It was nothing crazy but it was a nice low mileage Ski-Doo GTX 550f that was plenty comfortable, capable, and light for her to learn both on and off-trail. She has since grown to love the sport as much as I do, has upgraded the sled and rides with me every weekend.

The second part that made this season so memorable was the places we saw. With all of the rain that season the off-trail riding was crunchy and what would best be described as “Hero Snow”, which is fun but gets boring after a while. With that said we stuck to trail a majority of the season and got to see a lot of really neat places throughout the state of Maine, some which I had seen years ago and some that I had never seen before. We saw places such as Grand Falls, the B52 Crash Site, the Ghost Trains, Coburn Mountain Summit, and the Bison Farm. It was a great season with a lot of great riding and awesome times spent with friends, family, and great people that I met along the way.

Real Job

I currently work as a Corporate Accountant when I am not riding.

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