When many people envision the riders from the West they see in video who are climbing the craziest chutes, launching the biggest jumps and carving through the sickest powder, they probably envision the person behind the helmet and goggles as some wild-eyed 20-something with more guts than brains — and there certainly are a few of those guys out there. But a lot of times the really good riders surprise you when they take off their helmets because, by many people’s standards, they are “old guys” who combine knowledge gained from decades of riding experience with their developed techniques and athleticism to make the sled dance on the snowy surface.
Which brings us to Bret Rasmussen. A farmer by trade but snomwobiler by passion, the 60-year-old Rasmussen has a time- and sun-weathered face, slight build and easy-going, small-town demeanor one might not expect if they saw him ride. But he’s also got a wealth of experience — from professional hillclimb racing titles to fascinating snowmobile development work (including having his name on patents) to running his own, highly respected ride clinics (Ride Rasmussen Style) to being an avalanche safety expert, Rasmussen has done it all.
Here’s a brief Q&A with the Ski-Doo Backcountry Expert Bret Rasmussen:
Other Occupation/Job: Farmer/Rancher, raise cow food!
Snowmobiling Tenure/Years Riding: I’ve been riding sleds since 1968 when my dad brought home a brand new Ski Daddler.
How/When You Got Introduced To Snowmobiling: At age 10 I rode the Ski Daddler in the field below the house for hours on end. It was a very bad sled, I just didn’t know that then. Easy to tip over and get stuck, I had to learn its limits or I would be walking back to the house for help.
My Current Ride (machine, plus any notable modifications): 2019 Ski Doo Summit 165. Rasmussen/Fox/RCS suspension.
Favorite Riding Destination: Anywhere in the world where it snowed yesterday. Priiskovi, Russia, is awesome. Norway has super great terrain and Iceland is so unique without any trees, super big climbs and lots of volcanoes.
My Perfect Day Of Riding Would Include…: Hot tub party with pizza after a day of super deep and steep.
Advice For Western Riding Newcomers: Take a level 1 avalanche class and then take another.
Something I Learned Last Season: Are you kidding? I’m 60!!
Dream Riding Partner: Harrison Ford
Off-Season Fun: Building a log home
A Lesson Learned The Hard Way: Don’t follow Tony Jenkins unless you want to come home after dark.
Why I Love Snowmobiling: Total freedom, no limits!
What My Non-Snowmobiling Friends Don’t Understand About Me: They aren’t my friends!!
What I Carry With Me When Riding In My Backpack or Onboard Luggage: This is a long list…a few items would be avy equipment, saw, fire starter, survival items. Tow rope for the other brands.
If I Wasn’t Snowmobiling, I Would Probably Spend My Winters….: Well it would certainly be in the outdoors. In the snow. Wishing I was sledding!!
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