iceman

Team Iceman 2020 #4 Cote Nord

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Saturday 7 March 

after a short week with the ride with the Mrs. 

Snohorse arrived at Chez Ice at 11:30am, I was ready and waiting. Gear packed, saddle bags ready and sleds in driveway. Trailer was here already but, needed to pin it to the truck before loading them up. Done finished by noon. On the road 12:15. Quick stop at ATM in Cap de Madeline and eastbound Autoroute 40. Lots of police out on this fine Saturday for running the black trail. Hammer down with caution. Great ride to Quebec City. Traffic at the junction for Saguenay and then smooth sail all the way to Baie St Catherine and the Ferry to Tadoussac. Perfect timing right onto ferry no lines no waiting. Quick cruise across and up the 138 to L’Escoumins. Touchdown 5pm. Stop at grocery for supplies and to hotel and all unloaded ready to ride. 

Calm before the storm literally as it seems we cannot catch a break. Second run in a row with a storm in the middle of it. Not many options as snow will be here and Gaspe and Saguenay so no matter what it’s gonna be snowing somewhere. We are sticking to our plan and it will be what will be. Up TQ3 direction east. We shall see. 

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Edited by iceman

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No muss no fuss with staging.  It's a good sign for a great ride.  Giddyup Gents!

Speaking of staging, thanks for babysitting Monkers, he loves his Uncle Iceman!

And he was humming this song when I got to Drakkar this evening...

 

https://youtu.be/3D0b5KLpx5k

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We did the Cote Nord couple weeks ago. Started in Sacre Coueur and had a great run out to Sept-iles. Tuesday night in Sept-iles our plan was to continue east to Havre St. Pierre. By Wednesday morning the forecast had changed with snow and high winds by Thursday. 

Thursday plan was to depart Baie Comeau and ride to KM31 on the Pelchat trail. By the time we got to Forestville really started to snow and blow. Arrived at the gas station west of Forestville right on the highway. Gas station power was out so no gas. Impossible to make the 185 km run to KM31 with no gas. 

Time for a team meeting. We called the Pelchat hotel and they had rooms available and we should have enough gas to make the 80 km trip. Off we go in poor visibility conditions. With the aid of GPS made it to the hotel about 4:30 pm. Highway was closed by then and hotel was full.

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Arriving at the Hoteliere Pelchat Hotel Thursday Feb. 27

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Next mornig machines drifted in, clutches were packed with snow. Friend says we have to ditch the spare underware and socks next trip to make room for a nylon sled cover.

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Left hotel Friday around noon heading for Sacre Coueur. Other riders had broke trail out to trail 3. Trail 3 the groomer had already done a pass for the first 20 km then he turned around at the end of his run. From there no one had been further west on #3. We had to break Trail in almost 2 feet of powder. Did that for about 20 km then come over a hill and see the flashing lights coming towards us from the groomer out of Sacre Coueur. Thought we would be golden for the remaining 20 km into Sacre Coueur. The snow was so deep the groomer was having problems climbing the hills and had to often back down the hill and do another attempt. Every place he had to back down the drag left a huge snow pile blocking the trail. Some were low enough we could drive over them . Others were to high and steep and had to go around them. Had a few stuck machines but we finally made it to Sacre Couer. About a 3 hour trip to do the 76 km.

The adventures of sledding.

The seafood platter at Chez Julie in HSP was our goal. That will have to wait for another trip.

Have a great ride.

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We were out west for that storm, same conditions, managed 160 miles during the storm and threw the towel in, next day we went 240 miles, a long ride breaking trail for 150 miles of it, a great adventure for sure, but a big storm on Cote Nord is a whole different thing, being so close to the ocean, big winds can change things real fast, have a safe trip!

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10 hours ago, Fuse6 said:

have to ditch the spare underware and socks next trip to make room for a nylon sled cover.

Our sleds are covered every night. And got plenty of socks and underwear.

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8 March Sunday

Time change good for more daylight but bad for us night owls. We were still chatting away at 11pm last night which mean it was already midnight. So, tired this morning for sure. Breakfast at restaurant across the street, good food here, dinner really good always here. Left at 9:30 knowing we had a big day. Trail 3 from l’Escoumins to Forrestville was marked as acceptable in conditions. It was just that surely a bit choppy for my taste but I seen worse. Gas mileage suffering with the loose trail. Gas and go in Forrestville and off for Baie Comeau. Into shell station easy breezy felt better this section of trail, Leaving Baie Comeau we know what the next few hours have planned for us. Up up up turn left down down, turn right up up up down down down left right left right repeat repeat repeat. Honestly the section closer to Baie Comeau I believe was in better shape than the twistys closer to Godbout. On the way to Godbout saw some scary stuff. Now I realize it’s Sunday and people are coming from their Chalets especially with spring break wrapping up here but, I saw two sleds, mom and dad with the kids on TQ3 Three on each sled one in front one in back of each parent. We catch up to mom and her 2. I see the no helmets and that is bad, then watching her riding full left side and over blind hills on left makes no sense. Craziest thing I seen in a long time. Dangerous bigtime. Finally she sees us and pulls over. A mile up is dad stopped waiting there for her with his no helmets crew. 

To be continued....

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8 March Sunday

on we go through Godbout and to Baie Trinitie for gas. Trail better here. Now it’s been a few seasons since I been this way but surely the next stretch to Port Cartier has been re-routed a bit as it seems a lot less powerline sections to me. Anyway we burn along and into Port Cartier with 315 miles its 6:15 pm. Feels like I rode today for sure. Big first day. Had food delivered to us here at hotel. Eastbound tomorrow we shall see where we end up. 

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Iceman, we must have passed yesterday. We were westbound, sept. Isle to baie Comeau. Nice day to ride. The roller coaster between Godbout and BC seemed to have more off camber turns than in the past. Maybe they had less snow? It always seems that area has more locals than tourists. Have fun.

       Jeff and Sandy

 

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5 hours ago, Northbound said:

 

Iceman, we must have passed yesterday. We were westbound, sept. Isle to baie Comeau. Nice day to ride

 

We surely did. Saw you guys not far from Baie Comeau. Yes, The trail surely was not up to previous times through that section.

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Looks like your having an excellent trip! Amazing scenery in that area, sorry we didn’t make the ride. You guys stay safe out there!

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9 March Monday

 
Left Port Cartier 9:15 Breakfast at Hotel is included and cooked to order, No more continental breakfast. Cafeteria in back all set up nice. Colder this morning nice hard trail. Groomed the day before and still in great shape. Fast run to Sept Isles. We took some time to check some local trails into town to see what went where exactly, just for intelligence gathering purposes. To local trail down to small Depanneur/Gas. Met a local couple out for a day ride one on Expedition LE and the other on a Skandic swt nice bush sleds. We chat and the wife is originally from Mauricie, Saint Stanislas to be exact. It’s a small world. We tell them we are headed east to try to get to Havre St Pierre. The husband says he is not sure as he has heard not much about this trail this year. We are going we are here to try at least. They leave and we get our gas. Coming back out the local trail they are stopped waiting for us. They explain they are taking a short cut and where it crosses TQ3 will save us 20km give or take. They offer to take us. Super let’s go. Sure enough nice shortcut for sure but one I would not take without my two local friends. We part ways at TQ3 close to the Moise River. East we go. Trail super past river and more we go we are thinkng how can this be? Not groomed recently at all but easy to follow smd not rough. Onward and there are spots on Powerlines where the snow has drifted and covered everything so today being blue skies big sun not such an issue as you could look farther ahead and see the trail, just need to hope(for my sake) you are in the right track or it gets deep. Nothing too crazy. In the back of my mind, I am realizing that this trail if it starts to snow tomorrow will disappear in a heartbeat and be very hard to find. In blowing snow. I guess it was not meant to be as getting to Havre St Pierre is truly a challenge. I have serious respect for the amount of shear space there is to get very stuck if you choose wrong. It’s a finicky one this trail. Today it just did not workout. Got 60 miles up. Near Bouleux River. On Powerline trail just vanished. Tried to other bush trails but one was a trapline the other led to the 138 to a parking area. Got back up and I was on my track zoomed right in and I see where tge snow drifted over the tracks. We follow it and see a red stick and some older cedar posts. i am right on it. Down through some trees and it starts to climb. Here it ends. Others have turned around here. In front of me is a 15’ wall of vertical drift. Thats where the trail goes but cannot get around it or up it, if someone came down it or a couple sleds, probably could bang up it. The quest ends here. Just not meant to be. All things for a reason. Not 15 miles back two sleds pass us headed up  I am thinking I will see these guys later in Sept Isles. They are probably thinking like we were. “This is awesome, we are going to Havre St Pierre.” Yeah good luck. Knowing I am going to be tight with gas. Even with my meager 1 gallon can. My Snohorse has 3 gallons if things get desperate. Backtracking to same gas station as we started from. Made it 180km before she quit. Put in my gallon and made it to gas. The Backcountry still had 2 bars of gas at station. 
The gas here by the Comfort Inn is a nightmare with no snow on asphalt. Too busy this road here. Arrived here at 5:15. Not a big day but disappointed. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
45 minutes after we arrive in come the other two sleds who passed us headed north. They are from Massachusetts. They got no further than we did. 
 
Not to be today. 
 
Sorry no pictures today. Phone died from cold had it in wrong pocket. 
 
On to the next day.

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A group of 6 punched through on Saturday and are currently sitting in St. Augustine and enjoying reading and looking at your photos, maybe time to cash in the Yamaha and get on a Skidoo 2 stroke , but we did have to pull along 1 Arctic Cat

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12 minutes ago, Miles long said:

maybe time to cash in the Yamaha and get on a Skidoo 2 stroke , but we did have to pull along 1 Arctic Cat

I surely did not see where it was punched through. We are just two. Riding like that is not my thing. If it was my bag then surely I would not be on my Yamaha for that. 

Strength in numbers is surely a good thing, 

i would never have been to Havre in the first place without Team Vermont. 

Where are you? I am not that familiar at all with what is where after Havre. 

How far up? 

 

 

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9 hours ago, iceman said:

9 March Monday

 
Left Port Cartier 9:15 Breakfast at Hotel is included and cooked to order, No more continental breakfast. Cafeteria in back all set up nice. Colder this morning nice hard trail. Groomed the day before and still in great shape. Fast run to Sept Isles. We took some time to check some local trails into town to see what went where exactly, just for intelligence gathering purposes. To local trail down to small Depanneur/Gas. Met a local couple out for a day ride one on Expedition LE and the other on a Skandic swt nice bush sleds. We chat and the wife is originally from Mauricie, Saint Stanislas to be exact. It’s a small world. We tell them we are headed east to try to get to Havre St Pierre. The husband says he is not sure as he has heard not much about this trail this year. We are going we are here to try at least. They leave and we get our gas. Coming back out the local trail they are stopped waiting for us. They explain they are taking a short cut and where it crosses TQ3 will save us 20km give or take. They offer to take us. Super let’s go. Sure enough nice shortcut for sure but one I would not take without my two local friends. We part ways at TQ3 close to the Moise River. East we go. Trail super past river and more we go we are thinkng how can this be? Not groomed recently at all but easy to follow smd not rough. Onward and there are spots on Powerlines where the snow has drifted and covered everything so today being blue skies big sun not such an issue as you could look farther ahead and see the trail, just need to hope(for my sake) you are in the right track or it gets deep. Nothing too crazy. In the back of my mind, I am realizing that this trail if it starts to snow tomorrow will disappear in a heartbeat and be very hard to find. In blowing snow. I guess it was not meant to be as getting to Havre St Pierre is truly a challenge. I have serious respect for the amount of shear space there is to get very stuck if you choose wrong. It’s a finicky one this trail. Today it just did not workout. Got 60 miles up. Near Bouleux River. On Powerline trail just vanished. Tried to other bush trails but one was a trapline the other led to the 138 to a parking area. Got back up and I was on my track zoomed right in and I see where tge snow drifted over the tracks. We follow it and see a red stick and some older cedar posts. i am right on it. Down through some trees and it starts to climb. Here it ends. Others have turned around here. In front of me is a 15’ wall of vertical drift. Thats where the trail goes but cannot get around it or up it, if someone came down it or a couple sleds, probably could bang up it. The quest ends here. Just not meant to be. All things for a reason. Not 15 miles back two sleds pass us headed up  I am thinking I will see these guys later in Sept Isles. They are probably thinking like we were. “This is awesome, we are going to Havre St Pierre.” Yeah good luck. Knowing I am going to be tight with gas. Even with my meager 1 gallon can. My Snohorse has 3 gallons if things get desperate. Backtracking to same gas station as we started from. Made it 180km before she quit. Put in my gallon and made it to gas. The Backcountry still had 2 bars of gas at station. 
The gas here by the Comfort Inn is a nightmare with no snow on asphalt. Too busy this road here. Arrived here at 5:15. Not a big day but disappointed. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
45 minutes after we arrive in come the other two sleds who passed us headed north. They are from Massachusetts. They got no further than we did. 
 
Not to be today. 
 
Sorry no pictures today. Phone died from cold had it in wrong pocket. 
 
On to the next day.

Ice, I hear you loud and clear, 2 guys, not worth the risk, I love my 850 backcountry, but it also has it's limit, that is why I bought the 850 expedition extreme, I have gone places this season I could never go before, but even then, it is hell digging a big sled out, especially with 2 guys, group of 6, much easier, have a great ride!!

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8 hours ago, iceman said:

I surely did not see where it was punched through. We are just two. Riding like that is not my thing. If it was my bag then surely I would not be on my Yamaha for that. 

Strength in numbers is surely a good thing, 

i would never have been to Havre in the first place without Team Vermont. 

Where are you? I am not that familiar at all with what is where after Havre. 

How far up? 

 

 

Approx. 100km west of Blanc-Sablon

Edited by doonali

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10 March Tuesday 

in Baie Comeau left Sept-Îles late for various reasons. Snow and Blowing snow but not crazy crazy. Not the easiest day but not the worst. 

I will catch up on the rest story.

 

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On 3/10/2020 at 12:30 AM, iceman said:

I surely did not see where it was punched through. We are just two. Riding like that is not my thing. If it was my bag then surely I would not be on my Yamaha for that. 

Strength in numbers is surely a good thing, 

i would never have been to Havre in the first place without Team Vermont. 

Where are you? I am not that familiar at all with what is where after Havre. 

How far up? 

 

 


 

On 3/10/2020 at 12:30 AM, iceman said:

I surely did not see where it was punched through. We are just two. Riding like that is not my thing. If it was my bag then surely I would not be on my Yamaha for that. 

Strength in numbers is surely a good thing, 

i would never have been to Havre in the first place without Team Vermont. 

Where are you? I am not that familiar at all with what is where after Havre. 

How far up? 

 

 

we are currently at the Northern Light Inn , Blanc something or another in Labrador. Thin snow up high as we made our way, signed very well. We left St Augustine this morning, a very busy little village with plenty of amenities. We stayed at Leo Mckinnons B&B lots of Lake running out this way probably 95% once you leave Havre St. Pierre. Fortunate to have had sunny skies since I left Complex Pelchat on Thursday!

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10 March Tuesday 

 
Ok I apologize for the delay. Was just spent last night after concentrating for hours in the storm riding to Baie Comeau. 
 
At breakfast we meet the other team that passed us going east after we turned back for Sept-Îles. Brett and Phil from Massachusetts. 2 experienced riders that have done some big rides. 
They got only as far as we did. We exchanged e-mail and surely will be in touch with them. Turned them on to QR and hope to see them come onboard. We head out with the plan being head to Yamaha to get my Reverse linkage adjusted. Starting not working yesterday. Wind our way from hotel to Yamaha. At first they turn me away. I tried to remain calm. Never really been to a dealer regardless of brand and told no, we have zero time. It’s an adjustment, my bad for not knowing enough about my own gear to just do it myself. But I enjoy not dealing with it and having it handled by my pit crew at Moto Thibault, where by the way, I realize now how spoiled I am by the Service I receive there. 
Anyway back and forth with Manager finally he says you can come back at 2pm. Yeah sorry no. At 2pm I better be getting through Godbout. 
 
I walk out. I am on phone with Pierre from Moto Thibault. There is another dealer in Baie Comeau, great right? Yeah but same owners. Both stores. Hmmm. As I am on phone Manager comes out says, Ok bring it in if it’s just the Adjustment we will do it now. Merci. 
 
In and out of garage in 15 minutes not even. Cost me $40 but try no reverse on an apex all day or so. Works great....for now. 
 
Leaving Sept Isles it’s snowing, yes but a very fine snow and not crazy windy. We realize we are riding west into the storm as it just really started here. Trail easy to see and we do just fine all the way to Port Cartier. Gas and go and we are saying that wasn’t that bad. Oh how things change quickly. Getting tougher to see now, snow a bit heavier but still fine snowflakes. Wind is picking up too. Trail in places is gone so you need to stitch it together as you go. Did a decent job of that for about 50km, crossing at Rivere Penticote its a white out. My fault totally for not remembering this crossing it’s simple really straight across. I am going where I think it the trail on other side but I missed it. Its on my right looked like an opening but it wasn’t. I am in deep snow. I am going just fine till I run out of real estate. Nothing but rubarb to my right and straight ahead and unknow Ice to my left. If i go left I have to go out on river I don’t trust. If I continue straight or go right I will be in the bush. Either way I am done. Got no choice I am not putting her in the Bush and probably the ice is plenty thick. But not testing that theory. I got to lift. Once I do. Think of the Titanic in a sea of snow. But going down with the back first. I have buried her good. Snohorse followed me in and he is just a 30 feet back. We concur by radio communications. This is not gonna be fun. I get off my sled and I am just sinking in snow. Cannot walk almost swimming. I start the process. This Extraction would be simple with a 50 ton Rotator. But we are gonna have to do it ourselves. Snohorse breaks out his snow shovel, if I keep this up he’s going to up the $5 per usage charge. Good thing we had it. I get to shoveling. Phil has waded over and is moving around the areas I clear and packing it best he can. This is gonna require some extra space. We need to get her spun around before we can think of trying to hammer out of this abyss. Its full on wind and snow big now. Of course it is. Wind blowing right up river as we are close to it here. We get the ship pointed the right way. I am thinking I can get out. Now we got to turn Snohorse around but not being stuck and back where he stopped was a bit more solid. We turn his sled. I jump on mine fire it up and launch it our of the deep. Not letting off it until I know its solid under me. I go back to where I missed real trail. Snohorse right on me. We are out back on trail. 
I got a talking to about shifting down a gear so I can take the time to know where I am going. 
Easier said than done. Hey stuck happens. 
 
We get over it and push on to Baie Trinite for gas and some food. Gonna be a long push to Baie Comeau. At gas station the reverse decides no again. It’s refusing to reverse. Sonbitch.
Not happy. Snow is much heavier now as we leave gas station. Right there we see 2 other sleds headed east. Wow now I at least got tracks to look for. We follow their tracks right to Godbout then beyound. This section was pretty fun actually climbing the hills with the fresh snow. Easier to follow in woods. We push through and we make it to Baie Comeau at 6:30 left dealer in Sept Isles 11am. Burnt out but we are in. 
 
Seems tomorrow we will get to see if this Yamaha can adjust the reverse. 
 

Leaving Sept-Îles yesterday 

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