Unlike last winter, snow has been making a consistent appearance in the southeastern Idaho region this year, which means more people are out with their snowmobiles.
That also means there have been more incidents. In the past two weeks alone, three people have had snow machine incidents. The two that happened on Tuesday resulted in two men’s deaths.
With the snowfall, there’s more potential for avalanches.
“It’s real easy to get in some avalanche areas and you never know when they’re going to slide,” said Jess Burry, co-owner of Pocatello PowerSports. “You have to be real cautious about it.”
When you do go out and have fun with your snow machine, the key is to know where your area and be prepared for things to go south.
Burry advises bringing things to start a fire and make shelter, just in case. He also reminds people to take advantage of the snow machine itself when you find yourself in a bad situation.
“If you’re on a snow machine and you’ve got lights, you can probably ride your way out,” he said. “You can also leave it running with the light on so somebody can be able to see where you’re at.”
Of course, having an experienced buddy with you never hurts.
“The people that have done it for a long time tend to (get into incidents) less because they’ve been through those, so going with people that know the area that have done it before is always a good idea,” Burry said.
Burry also recommends people take an avalanche course.
You can find more snowmobile safety resources here.