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April 2, 2007 – Snowmobile Report

April 2, 2007
Filed under Features

Klim USA Will Distribute Avalanche Safety Product
Rigby, Idaho,-based Klim USA will be the first company in the United States to sell ABS Avalanche Packs to the motorsports industry.
The technology uses nitrogen-filled sacks to keep an avalanche victim on top of snow in case of a slide.
If caught in an avalanche, the user pulls a handle that hangs from the left side of the backpack, which triggers the gas to fill two bags that pop out of the pack’s sides.
ABS Avalanche Packs were introduced to the ski market several years ago, said Klim Chief Marketing Officer John Summers.
The packs retail from $870.
Summers acknowledges the product is expensive, but he doesn’t see it as a profit center. Instead, his company wants snowmobilers to have access to the potentially life-saving technology.
ABS Avalanche Packs will be available Sept. 1, Summers said.
Canada Considers Stricter Sled Safety Measures
A string of snowmobile collisions that has killed five young Manitobans this winter is fueling calls for new safety measures, the Winnipeg Sun recently reported.
Five crashes this winter each killed a young male under the age of 21.
The incidents highlight the need to enhance sled safety measures, said Mike Waite, executive director of Safety Services Manitoba, formerly known as the Manitoba Safety Council.
Waite said Manitoba should follow Saskatchewan’s lead in requiring snowmobilers to take a mandatory safety course before operating a sled on public or Crown land. The province has previously said it’s willing to consider the change, which Waite believes would go far in preventing more youths from dying in crashes.
Palmyra, Wis., Dealer Dies In Sled Accident
The man who founded Willson’s Sport & Marine in Palmyra, Wis., and operated the snowmobile and ATV dealership for more than 20 years was killed last month in an accident in Wyoming.
Michael Willson, 60, died while snowmobiling on the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail near Togwotee Pass, Wyo.
The Teton County Sheriff’s Department said Willson failed to make a turn on the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail near Togwotee Pass on Feb. 6. His snowmobile struck a tree and Willson suffered head and neck injuries.
Willson opened his first repair shop in Palmyra in the 1970s.
In 1984, he opened the dealership and with his wife, Lori, built it into the state’s largest Arctic Cat store. psb

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