by Ashley Chaffin, Summit Freeride ambassador
The snow is almost gone, the grass is turning green, and my 2011-12 snowmachine season is officially over.
It was my first year as a Ski-Doo Summit Freeride ambassador and what an amazing whirlwind year it was!
Right from the moment I picked up my new 137 Ski-Doo Freeride at AMDS, it started snowing…and it never seemed to stop. My hometown of Valdez ended up with a total of 438 in. (11.1 m) of snow, and Thompson Pass (my favorite place to ride) got 663 in. (16.8 m)! At one point this year ,Valdez had 31 straight days of snowfall! All the powder you could dream of, and my E-TEC 800R Freeride was exactly what I needed — I was loving it!
One of my shots from the 2013 Clothing/Accessories catalog
It was tough to leave Alaska, but a trip to the lower 48 for the Ski-Doo catalog shoot in December and then to Florida in February for the annual dealer meeting for the release of the 2013 sleds and gear kept me busy even when I wasn’t riding. I had so much fun at these events! Getting to hang out with all my new friends from Ski-Doo and BRP was definitely a highlight! Everyone was always so excited about riding and it would get me even more fired to go rip it up in the backcountry.
Spring is usually my favorite time of year to ride and this year was no different. The snow was great and Alaska gets a ton of daylight starting in April. The best part though, was when a 2013 Summit 154 arrived at my front door! The tMotion is incredible – SO easy to carve and maneuver. And with the E-TEC 800R, I felt like I could go anywhere and climb anything. When I would take a break from riding, it was really cool to let others try it out and see their face when they got back. It’s a completely new experience on a sled that everyone needs to try.
Those long sunny days also gave me plenty of time to film for my segment in the new Frontier Films movie. Those guys made the trip up to hang for a few weeks and are always a blast. It’s always fun to ride with old friends and I really started pushing myself. I was throwing my sled around on some big whips and hit a step-up that I’ve been looking at for years. We had a lot of fun and got some pretty epic shots in the process.
It’s kind of sad now that the season is over and it seems like it flew by, but when I look back at all the fun I had, all I’ve learned, and all the new friends I made I cant help but get excited about next year.
Thanks for all your support!
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Chaffin: An Amazing Whirlwind Season with Ski-Doo
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