Risk Assessment for Snowmobiling

Share this post TFUPM Posted August 19, 2010

Hi Snowmobile Riders,

In my day job I work with a lot of safety systems and I thought I would share a useful on that applies to riding snow machines.  This simple program is the P.A.R Card, or Personal Assessment of Risk. We were reviewing it today and I couldn't help but think how good the questions are to ask when every I start my snowmobile up or when I'm just about to head into the mountains.

There are 5 questions that I should ask myself, according to the card:
1) What could go wrong?
2) How will this effect my family and my life?
3) Can I eliminate or manage the risk?
4) Am I taking unnecessary risk?
5) Would I let my family member do it this way.

My personal favorites are numbers 1 and 5. 1 helps me to make sure I have everything I need packed into my backpack or cargo rack. Food and water, first aid, avalanche beacon, radio, chainsaw, cell phone, extra batteries, snowshoes, etc... what ever I may need for that days activity out snowmobiling.  The list is different if we're blazing a trail from point to point across mountain passes than it is if we re sledding down trails behind the cabin, but there is always a list.

Number 5 is a good one too... if I wouldn't let my girlfriend ride a route or a pass (or a day?) then what about my ride have I taken care of so that I trust myself to do it. More often than not there are precautions I've taken to make sure I have a good plan of attack, it's just good to think about them consciously and have a think about anything I've missed.

Last year I was our riding with a buddy and we decided to go for a tour in the afternoon after a morning of boondocking.  Thinking it was going to be just a short stint, we headed off.  Well of course we found 2 more beautifully untouched playgrounds.  Well before you know it, I was almost out of fuel, and it did no good at that point cursing that I hadn't topped of my jerry can before adding miles to my day.  These would have been good questions to have asked myself when we changed our plan for the day.  Luckily my buddy had enough fuel to get us back, but it could have been a very cold night!

Happy and safe riding!

Ben

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