Kick off to snowmobile season - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Kick off to snowmobile season

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SHELDON, Vt. -

Making a snowman is not the only family activity after a snowfall. For John Ross and his family, revving up the engines to a snow mobile is a family affair they live for. Ross is the Franklin County Director of the Vermont Association for Snow Travelers. He says after the recent snow storm, the VAST club is able to kick off their 15-week season.

"My hopes for the season is to have about 6 inches of snow every week for the next 12 weeks. But that's probably kind of high and unrealistic," said John Ross of VAST. After very little snow fall fell last winter season, Franklin County riders barely got their sleds out for more than 4 weeks, this year though, they hope for at least 12.

"If you've never tried it I can highly encourage you to get out and give it a try," said Ross. That was enough to convince this first time rider to hop aboard. These snow mobiles need between six to eight inches just to have solid terrain to ride on. Two groomers are then used to pack nine point five miles of trail. With so much room to ride, troopers urge riders to have fun but follow the rules.

"An operator that might override the trail system meaning going to fast for conditions, losing control of mobile, failing to maintain control of it, leaving the trail, striking a tree or another object, fail to maintain control of sleds on the trail," said Auxiliary Trooper Dan Begiebing of the Vermont State Police. Begiebing says snowmobiles are like sports cars that can go up to 100 miles per hour. And like a car, these vehicles need to be taken seriously.

"There's some very powerful snow machines out there that can access 100 mph but that's not appropriate for Vermont's type of trail systems," explains Begiebing. So for reporter, Melissa Sheketoff's, first try driving a sled, she only pushed 23 miles per hour.

But there's plenty of time to improve, not only for beginners, but everyone eager to make tracks this season.

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