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neksledr

Berniers to Les Escoumins and beyond...

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Molly and I drove up from Vermont yesterday and landed at Berniers in Levis. Plan is to run two days up the Nord side of the St Lawrence, take the ferry from Godbout, and run two days back on the Sud side. The shuttle picked us up at 8am this morning (asked for earlier pick-up, but 8 was the quickest they offered??) At 8 on the dot our ride across the creek arrived. Out of the gate from Colibri the trails were groomed flat and fast. A layer of ice had formed on the newly groomed trail. We were running first tracks for the first 30 or so miles and loving every bit of it. We eventually caught up to a few 'tour' groups, but they were easily picked off and our pace improved. Ran hard all the way to Relais Le Michelieu where we stopped for fuel and a quick snack. Kept east on the 3 trail and was mostly good for another 65 miles until St Simone where we topped off the  tanks. Did see an Iceman sticky on the jct sign before the gas, so I knew we were headed the right way. This is where hell broke loose! The next 45 miles up to the tadoussac ferry were sack smacking, kidney punching miles. Obviously, there is a groomer strike going on in this vicinity. After the ferry, the trail is groomed fresh as far as Sacre Cour, and then the remainder of the ride to Pelchat in Les escoumins is fast, but bumps in every corner. Overall, a pretty good day, but overshadowed by the 45 ass kicking miles! Pulled into Pelchat at 5pm with 261 miles, not bad considering. Plan to be on the trail early headed to the boat in Godbout for the ride across to Matane.

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Up this morning early to check the grooming map, and it didn't look like we were in for a smooth ride! After a quick waffle and bowl of cereal, we are on the sleds at 6:55am, we need to get to Godbout in time for the boat. Much to our surprise.....the trails are fantastic. Ran off 70 quick miles and pull into Forestville for a splash of fuel. From there all the way to the Club Nord neige Relais bridge we we're first tracks, and met the groomer making his return trip. From there to the big bridge before Baie Comeau, the trail was a little used, but still super fast with minimal bumpage. Rolled into the Ski Doo dealer in Baie comeau to grab some oil for Molly's sled. Had 175 miles already and it was only 11:15! Topped off with fuel again, grabbed a quick snack and headed to Godbout. Have never run this section of trail before, and it was a blast! Nice rollers and some great scenery, and the sky opened up with some blue. Rolled into the parking lot where our yacht awaited us at 2:30 with 237 miles. Enjoying a few cold ones as I type on our journey across to Matane. An absolutely perfect day on the Doos!

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28 minutes ago, markusvt said:

Condition looking really good!  We are heading up Thursday night.

Just an incredible day Mark, doesn't get any better! Where are you headed for this run?

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The trail from Baie-Comeau to Godbout may well be the very nicest 85 miles in all of Quebec!! No gas in Godbout, 30 more km, then just keep going to Sept- Ilse, super riding over there, hard to leave!!

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Day 3-.   Slept in a little as we only had to make it to RDL. Had to get some oil at the Doo shop for Molly's 850, which I still think is burning a lot of it. I have explained the whole flipper pressure / oil consumption ratio to her several times, but she rolls her eyes and says that all the horsies under her hood need to be fed. I cannot win this discussion. After feeding the horses we take 5 to 591 then 597 to get to the deeper snow. All fresh groomed and great running with many feet of snow up here. Make no mistake about it, it's still full on winter in these hills. Jump on 597 and I remember how long and straight these runs are on this trail. The horses are being fed well here. On to 5 for a short time, then 35. Take some orange trails to finish up journey to the Universal in RDL where the mayor Mike comes out to greet us! Pulled in at 3:30 with 215 miles. Have a great dinner with Mike along with a few bottles of nice vino. Trailblazer, we were thinking about you!

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Day 4.       Back to the truck day, ugh. Quick breakfast and on sleds at 8am. The snow has not started yet, but we know we're headed into it. Say our goodbyes to Mike and get last minute short cut directions from him. Take right at top of hill, go through 2 tunnels, then take next 3 lefts, except for one that says 'bar'. Got it, we're good to go, thanks Mike! The two tunnels are interesting.....water flowing and lots of rocks, but heaven meets us on the other side. Trail is very smooth and very fast. Morning starts out with racing cars down the 20, I never lost a single race, lots of fun. Throttles were bent all the way to Tourville relais on the 35. Was a super quick 75 miles and we topped off fuel here. The snow has now started and is coming down heavy. Backed off on the ponies just a touch and ran all the way down to the 547 crossover trail to connect with 5 west. It was about here that our vision went immediately to near zero. The snow was very heavy and the wind in these open fields was whipping. We were literally going red stake to red stake hoping not to end up in a ditch or creek. Encountered many 4-5' drifts as we entered and left stands of timber on fields edges. Had the GPS zoomed in tight and needed it several times to locate the trail. Very slow ride back to Levis and the truck at Berniers. We roll in with 213 miles at 1:30 and hit what is supposed to be the black trail to Vermont. However, storm and roads were brutal for much of the ride home, so a long trip it was. Ended up with 900 plus miles in just over 3.5 days of riding. A great trip with lots of great memories, already thinking about the next run!

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Great ride, you are right about the 850 and oil consumption. Ski- Doo definitely was stretching the truth about the 850 being good on oil. On a 1600 mile trip, you need to carry 5 qts and plan to buy 3/4 of a qt every 110 miles. I am totally lost, my Yamaha SRX used a quarter of a quart every 100 miles , it has 10k on it today, was ridden very hard and never broke even once!! I think I have used that much oil in 2300 miles on my 2018 850 backcountry. Some guys are carrying a full gas can of oil with them on saddle bag trips. Only complaint I have about the sled, I love everything else about it. It especially seems bad since I was riding a supercharged 1000 Yamaha since 2005 and never had to add any oil...or anything for that matter....maybe behind the scenes BRP is an oil company!!

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23 hours ago, quebec bob said:

Great ride, you are right about the 850 and oil consumption. Ski- Doo definitely was stretching the truth about the 850 being good on oil. On a 1600 mile trip, you need to carry 5 qts and plan to buy 3/4 of a qt every 110 miles. I am totally lost, my Yamaha SRX used a quarter of a quart every 100 miles , it has 10k on it today, was ridden very hard and never broke even once!! I think I have used that much oil in 2300 miles on my 2018 850 backcountry. Some guys are carrying a full gas can of oil with them on saddle bag trips. Only complaint I have about the sled, I love everything else about it. It especially seems bad since I was riding a supercharged 1000 Yamaha since 2005 and never had to add any oil...or anything for that matter....maybe behind the scenes BRP is an oil company!!

Bob- I'm sure if you wanted better oil consumption with this sled you could get it by keeping the rpm's down but that's not why Molly wanted this sled! It is a blast to drive and so impressive, how can you not use all the horses while having fun! I was planning on snow checking another 1200 to replace mine, but that option is out the door. Really not sure which way I'm leaning, the 850 is a hoot to ride, but I'm not sure I'm ready to going back to carrying oil?

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23 hours ago, revct1 said:

Nice trip.  I like the looks of late season trails.  So smooth and nobody out riding.

Jack & Sandi

We had alot of fun Jack, everything went well. Would still like to sneak Nord of the the border at least one more time, but we'll see what the weather dictates...

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16 hours ago, neksledr said:

Bob- I'm sure if you wanted better oil consumption with this sled you could get it by keeping the rpm's down but that's not why Molly wanted this sled! It is a blast to drive and so impressive, how can you not use all the horses while having fun! I was planning on snow checking another 1200 to replace mine, but that option is out the door. Really not sure which way I'm leaning, the 850 is a hoot to ride, but I'm not sure I'm ready to going back to carrying oil?

No question about it, this sled is an amazing sled, and the c-motion rear suspension is really good, like I said, I love this sled, and you can really feel the weight difference from the 4 stroke, much better balanced, and it carves corners just as well as the 137 r motion, hard to believe all the sled is behind you, and yes it is very hard to not use the power.

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Great itinerary !! Ripping those DOO's through 7 Regions in 3 1/2 days . Just Awesome. Simple fact to 850 oil consumption with Hammer Down relates to the old saying "  If you want to Play you got to Pay " I really  Like your lingo when you talk horses and ponies ! You two have a great passion for sledding . Ride on !              SnoHorse

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On 3/8/2018 at 9:26 PM, neksledr said:

...explained the whole flipper pressure / oil consumption ratio to her several times, but she rolls her eyes and says that all the horsies under her hood need to be fed. I cannot win this discussion.

Brilliant!  There's a keeper!

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Oh oh!!! I think I smell a 900 turbo tailing the 850.

That is such a nice run with lots of regions and diversity in the trail. Great job getting to Gotbout ferry on time and tell Molly there’s nothing wrong with feeding those 🐴 a little, giddy up! 😉

Old man winter hasn’t left the building yet.

Edited by Trailblazer

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