Darren Berrecloth Backcountry Freeriding on a Motorized Snow Bike

Dec 2, 2019
by Ed Spratt  

Darren Berrecloth hops on a motorizedsnowbike to do some backcountry freeriding in BC.


158 Comments

  • 168 7
 Be careful with the use of "Backcountry"...
  • 4 7
 @COnovicerider : HAHAHAHAHAHAhhhhh!!!
  • 3 1
 That much steeze should be illegal hahaha. My man is ripping the crap out of the backcountry. Can't wait till Feb bc trip , hopefully try one of those.
  • 1 1
 They are called Timber Sleds!!
  • 2 0
 @danrowe: Yaaaaay
  • 71 12
 Rad video. Only thing that bugs me about pro athletes in the backcountry is that they get to ride without a backpack because they know if crap goes down they have an film crew that would save them or someone else who got buried. The rest of us carry 30 lb backpacks with all the avy gear, first aid, etc just in case we come up on someone who got themselves hurt or buried or just as bad one of our crew. I'm glad the snowboard/ski pros now do video segments that show that they are prepared as it really helps educate the viewers that they should be prepared as well when they want to get rad in the backcountry. Not saying Berrecloth isn't prepared and I know that doing tricks is easier without a backpack...I'm just bugged by any pro who doesn't have the appearance of being ready for the actual dangers that exist in the backcountry. It isn't a playground out there most of the time but when it is, it is the best feeling in the world. Anyway, snowbikes are awesome and Berrecloth is so sick to watch.
  • 47 0
 Good insight, my pack is usually beside the camera with all my gear. Been running a rad setup with the pelican case on quick connects for my camera gear so I can have space for safety gear in my pack.
  • 5 1
 @claw: What about avi gear, do you keep your probe and shovel with you or in the pack?
  • 16 1
 Always in pack ???? been through my fair share of avvy experiences unfortunately @Bomadics:
  • 2 1
 @claw: you might have actually caught the yeti if you'd have used one of those!
  • 10 40
flag whambat (Dec 2, 2019 at 12:39) (Below Threshold)
 @claw: really consider running an airbag pack, best insurance helps you never get buried in the first place. I’d say it’s more important than a beacon if you are in real Avy terrain.
  • 2 2
 @claw: I only commented because it would suck to loose a legend to an avalanche.
  • 4 0
 @claw: thanks for the chill response. Be safe and injury free out there.
  • 31 1
 @whambat: Are you saying an airbag pack is the best insurance that helps you never get buried?

This is a highly inaccurate statement, and you don't have to take my word for it. Talk to anyone who guides, performs mountain rescue and trains people on how to travel and survive in avalanche terrain. They will all tell you the same thing, there is no substitute for knowledge and practice of proper route-finding in avalanche-prone terrain and burial recovery skills (which requires a beacon, probe, and shovel).

Further, Airbag backpacks are not a silver bullet. There are plenty of incidents on record where they failed to save the person wearing them when they were buried, and they are not effective in most terrain trap situations.

Additionally, a beacon is a tool with two distinct purposes, to find, and to be found once buried.

Airbag packs, nice to have, sure...
However, they are not a replacement for knowledge, practice and widely accepted avalanche tools (beacon, shovel and probe).
  • 20 0
 @whambat: Please stay in-bounds until you get re-educated.
  • 7 0
 @whambat: have to disagree, a bag can fail, not get activated, tear on a rock etc. No beacon means no survive. Also without a beacon how you gonna find your friend if he's burried?
  • 5 0
 @Hyakian: thank you for saying that. I was just about to say the same thing. Beacon is a must! On At the car off at the bar!
  • 5 0
 @whambat: you really need to be educated if you really think an airbag is more important than a beacon. Pretty ignorant statement, and I hope you don’t go out without a beacon; all you’re doing is putting your friends in danger. How can you save them without a beacon? And airbags fail ALL the time. I’ve been in a slide and I wasn’t able to pull mine, it’s harder then you think when it hits you.
  • 4 1
 @whambat: Yeah, that's some incredibly idiotic and dangerous info. to spread. The best insurance to have is knowledge, experience and reliable partners joining you. Bags can tear and facts are, most avy deaths happen from impacting objects during the slide, not becoming buried which a bag will do nothing to prevent.

On a side note, I'm absolutely loving this progression of Berrecloth ripping on the snowbike! Year after year its just getting better and bigger. Those carves/slashes and tranny snipes are so sick! Next step, superman seatgrab over Pyramid Gap! Wink
  • 1 3
 lol.

Two pairs of socks, a lighter, grass, canned “water” in a back pocket and a death wish is how it’s done. Travel light weight and don’t make a mistake is how y’all’s “back country” is done.
  • 2 0
 Yep. Knowledge, good partners, and a plan that gets stuck to but has room for plan b’s, c’s, d’s etc. Never leave without a shovel, probe and beacon and the practice of using them- but knowledge of terrain/snow/avalanches, experience and planning are way more likely to save you IMO. I love that people are bringing up awareness. I think it’s really important. Motorized snow sport has a crazy high rate of avalanche death and people dying sucks. I’m willing to bet from what we know about @claw and his precision and planning he had that sorted.
  • 2 0
 Turns out he isn’t the only one spreading “incredibly idiotic and dangerous info”...

www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(07)70258-2/pdf07
  • 8 0
 @Hyakian: whoa whoa whoa. I didn’t say that a beacon isn’t mandatory in Avy terrain. As many people who travel and work a lot in the backcountry, airbags have become standard equipment. I wouldn’t choose one over the other at this point. And for those questioning me in terms of experience, I was level 2 Avy certified and on an avalanche rescue team before most people on here even tried backcountry terrain.

The biggest thing to keep you safe is line selection and avoiding real Avy terrain. Followed by knowledge of when your steeper terrain becomes safe.

My point is in terms of equipment, I think the airbags are the thing that is best going to prevent injury or death in an avalanche. Airbags have been saving people by keeping you afloat above the heavy snow debris where a lot of the trauma happens. I spend a fair amount of time in the backcountry, but mostly in terrain I’m never worried about sliding, I just don’t take as much risk as I did 20 years ago. But when I do go in legit Avy terrain, (along with my beacon, shovel, and probe) I take an airbag. Have you ever thought about how long your buddies are going to take to get to you and dig you out if they are all below you and have to skin back up from their safe zone? Give me an airbag any day. Airbags work and have become a standard for many that travel/ work in real Avy conditions. The only downsides to an airbag are weight and cost. And FWT athletes can put up with the weight during their comps doing tricks, so it’s more a weight weenie issue for the climbs.

If any of you have been doing this long enough, you will have known or known of incidents where people died wearing their beacons and their friends couldn’t get to them fast enough. I’d rather take the float above the chunky debris than getting pummeled 3 feet under Avy chunk. So yeah, in my weighing the priority of stuff in my gear bag, I put the air bag priority 1.
  • 2 0
 @Hyakian: Couldn't agree more.
  • 1 2
 @whambat: lose
  • 2 0
 Here’s a good article on airbags:
www.wildsnow.com/3736/airbag-overview

Basically, they will help save your life in 50% of avalanches. However, 1/4 of those are because of terrain traps, so use caution to avoid those. But, also notice the Swiss study that shows 50% of people fully buried do not survive (so, a beacon won’t really help you 50% of the time either).

The part of thinking about an airbag as your most important piece of gear in this circumstance is you don’t take it off for a photo shoot thinking you are safe with just your beacon because you are the only one in the zone, and relying on your crew to come get you.

I don’t know how many of you have ever had to deliver a dead body to grieving friends and family. It’s the worst experience you can ever have.

The only avalanche I ever got caught in was 25 years ago because I was a young dumb 20 year old. Fortunately, I was able to ski it out. Knowledge, training, and experience have been keeping me much safer for the next 25 years of backcountry travel. So, yes, knowledge is the number 1 safety thing you bring with you, but this feels like the arguments we were having 25 years ago getting people to wear beacons. In the next decade, I hope, most people won’t even consider the airbag optional equipment. It already is on the Freeride World Tour.
  • 1 1
 Also a quick quote from the backcountry guru’s at Wildsnow for those that don’t take the time to read:

“ In our opinion here at Wildsnow.com (with caveats, see below) it is time to set priorities and make air bag packs just as important as your beacon/shovel/probe combo (indeed, if forced to choose, in many situations you’d actually be better off with just the airbag).”
  • 1 1
 @whambat: " I was level 2 Avy certified and on an avalanche rescue team before most people on here even tried backcountry terrain. "

Hard to believe given your original post, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt hoping that means that you actually are smarter than you sounded and that you won't become a statistic.

I will say this, your post above points to a heuristic trap, relative to "gear"... I'm not going to get into a dick-swinging contest regarding experience, however, I will say this, the mountains and nature don't give AF about anyone's level of avalanche training and experience, or what gear you are packing.
  • 1 0
 @whambat:

"I’d say it’s more important than a beacon if you are in real Avy terrain."

Again, this statement is a contradiction to your following posts. Perhaps it's an unintentional semantic misstep, I really do hope so.

Have a good Winter, and stay safe and smart out there.
  • 2 0
 @Hyakian: have a good winter as well. Must have just been down to semantics. I’ve also seen too many people with false confidence with beacons.
  • 1 0
 When I typed that late at night, I didn’t think anyone would have read that I was saying a beacon is not necessary with an airbag, because I wouldn’t think anyone would think a beacon is an option. But, the reality is an airbag is at least, if not more so as important as a beacon in terms of death and injury prevention— don’t read that being a beacon is an option, just that going without an airbag is about as reckless as going without a beacon 25 years ago when the adoption rate was low.

“Some studies originally done by ABS and the Swiss government claimed 97 percent positive outcomes out of over 220 deployments.”— Outdoorgearlab

“Snow safety professionals say that out of 100 avalanche fatalities, somewhere between 35 to 70 more people would have survived.”— quote from an outdoorlab article. When you are at a 54% chance of dying when fully buried (based on Swiss studies), the odds are remarkably improved with an airbag.

And of course, the best measure is to never get caught in an avalanche by good decision making.
  • 1 0
 Look we are all responsible for ourselves in the backcountry. If I tell you all, while typing in a bike forum, to go and set off fireworks on a 60 degree slope with 3 meters of fresh pow whilst naked, and you actually go and do it, well then you deserve the results of your actions, airbag or not!
  • 3 0
 @snl1200: I do my best but we all know its still a gamble. Just did a refresher avvy course the other day.
  • 2 0
 @whambat: Im with ya on the airbag and the stats they hold for survival. Been slacking on getting one in truth! but soon!
  • 3 0
 @whambat: if you want to watch a vid of me and my friends digging out a crew of young groms have a gander.
youtu.be/1-4Bh6xPiGc

the one guy was digging randomly with his hands as all his gear was sitting on his sled while he was filming his buddies drop off a cornice directly above him.
The savvy conditions were insane bad that day and we were crossing the lower slope in single file to be cautious and homie drop in on skis and the whole shebang ripped.
  • 1 0
 @claw: that video is intense. I’m very glad that guy survived. That debris pile looked huge and deep with a lot of weight on him.
Be safe out there. With all the money we spend on gear, we tend to be cheap on safety gear (as we think, I could buy another pair of skis for the cost of a bag that I hope to never really use) Probably took me too long to buy one (took a lot of pressure from my peers to make the purchase) especially when I have a wife and kid to support.
  • 36 5
 great footage. music? cheesier than a quattro formaggi.
  • 12 3
 after first few seconds.. wondering if there are comments about how bad this music is
  • 8 2
 yeah watched the last 2:30 with the volume off to prevent my head exploding.
  • 2 1
 Fromunda cheese
  • 9 1
 The music was like a spiked dildo in my ear canal!
  • 25 0
 ????. Yep music is one of the hardest things to nail. I looked on artlist for 8 hours over several days to find a song. Then edited it 5 times with different songs. If I could pick any song and afford to buy the rights it would be a lot easier.
But until then the struggle is real lol.
  • 12 0
 Does anybody know why my laughing emoji comes up as question marks?
  • 35 0
 @claw: pinkbike was made in 1862
  • 6 2
 @claw: The answer is always smooth jazz
  • 1 0
 @claw: Xmas video of the year 2019
  • 1 0
 @claw: I make beats and would be honoured to give you a royalty free track for your next edit. PM me and we can talk if you are interested.
  • 1 1
 @claw: music was fine, give new artists some exposure through a big name. Most of my playlists are from all the mountain bike and moto videos soundtracks!

When was this filmed? This can’t be this year with that much snow already, is it? We’re hurting for coverage in Montana! Gonna be a while before we are riding or skiing much.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I agree. Music performed by a legit band and not some auto-tune program or a person pushing buttons or old man voice overs saying generalized things or mumble rappers that make no sense!? Outrageous! It was a very nice change of pace, if a bit corny.
  • 3 0
 Meh the music is fine only thing I'd change is engine volume from the filming up and music volume down. I'm biased though because I prefer MTB edits that are only trail noise
  • 1 0
 @sledMXer: ya it was last year, dry here as well
  • 1 0
 @claw: What site(s) are you using to look for tracks? There's a ton out there which you can buy individual licenses for. Musicbed is some of the best quality music you can get, I use those tracks daily in edits for Discovery / HGTV. Extreme Music and Firstcom have some great stuff as well.....Another thing to up your quality is not edit with just one song, a combination of tracks with added SFX and nat sound can work wonders, especially in a moto edit, the nat sound will help a ton. Also, if you're not selling anything in these videos and they're not monetized you don't need a music license.
  • 1 0
 @bikeandfish: cheers for that ill peep the musicbed library for sure. Good insight!
  • 29 14
 Ha! Same rider on an e-bike would start massive hatestorm. Pinkbike comment section is so weird and hypocritical...
  • 2 4
 Even though I can easily imagine an ebikehatersnowbikelover arguments and that some of them might be right, you still have a point!
  • 12 15
 Not even a remotely close comparison.
  • 7 3
 If the guy shows up on my local trail riding that thing it will be another story. But until then I am happily watching these videos.
  • 2 4
 This should be tagged with "e-bike". They'll be running e-motos soon enough and e-bikes will get throttles so just lump in in together. Smile
  • 4 0
 my thoughts exactly. I love motorized stuff, non-motorized stuff and e-stuff - it's all great to me. However, I can't help but notice the contradiction in these comments....
  • 3 0
 @leomax89: it's the same logic... it would be like skiers complaining about these because they're worried that some a*shole will rip up the skin track and then cut across their group of skiers in avi terrain. Anyone can be an a*shole and break the rules, it isn't a reflection on the tool used.
  • 2 0
 Wait til his next edit. ‘Claw rides a horse’.
  • 2 0
 ye..cause a snowmobile have the same impact as a heavy e-bike on our trails :S
  • 10 0
 How bad are these things going uphill? Not a single shot of him climbing anything. I know snowmobiles have like 3x the hp and track.

Looks fun either way.
  • 19 1
 They are nowhere near as good going straight up stuff, but they are amazing in tight, technical trees. The big problem however is they are (obviously) converted dirt bikes. Not only does it take a fair amount of money to properly convert one, you are often sitting right up against the rev limiter, with a number of people running nos (like fast and the furious).

Eventually they will be the future...but we're 10 years off...and by that point the e-sled and e-snowbike will have had some amazing mythical baby.
  • 1 0
 haha never ridden one, but i just have to imagine the uphill shots are not as glamorous. Probably just didnt make the video?
  • 4 0
 The main problem is the landing. The extra weight is too much for the stock forks. Biggest advancement is from airprofork. Everyone from weekend warriors (me) to X Game gold medalists run 'em.
  • 9 0
 They don't have the HP to show hillclimbs lol but definitely capable.
  • 2 2
 @JeffreyJim: YESSSS PLEASE - "by that point the e-sled and e-snowbike will have had some amazing mythical baby."
  • 3 0
 I've ridden them a few times, and while they're definitely fun, I've always felt like I'm going to wreck an engine because I'm constantly wringing every bit of power I can get from it and revving the nuts off it compared to the Polaris 850 I usually ride. It'd be fantastic with something like a turbo kit on it or something to get more power. I'm also spoiled riding fairly high end, high power sleds for the most part.
  • 3 0
 @Uberbob102000: You're not wrong...
There is a proliferation of used bikes that look otherwise fresh that hit the market in the Spring that have thrashed top ends and poor compression as they get turned over. Dirt bike engines were not engineered to deliver lubrication in the volume needed to keep up with sustained high RPM's.

I also come from a sled background, got to love large bore 2 strokes!
  • 2 0
 @Hyakian: and @uberbob102000 both nailed it. I work for a turbo company - we've played with the idea of a snow bike turbo but it won't do much until we can figure out a better transmission for snow - You are either lugging the motor (out of boost) or hitting the rev limiter (under boost). Hard to get it setup right.
  • 21 14
 Looks like it could be quite a bit of fun...if I had an extra $20,000 or $30,000 dollars to buy a motor bike and conversion kit and a truck to haul the thing.

But how is this related to bicycles?
  • 28 0
 It has a handlebar
  • 83 5
 Berrecloth is a fucking legend and I would watch him make toast.
  • 15 10
 @Chris97a: I ask the same quesion about ebikes.
  • 25 0
 To be honest ripping one of these is quite similar to shredding trail on a mtb. its been a good training tool for me in the winter time!
  • 9 1
 the claw speaketh. windeth thine neck in.
  • 1 0
 you can get an old 500 2-stroke for 850 bucks. but, if you can't see how timbersleds, and this guy riding them, are related to bicycles, I guess you have bigger problems... and yeah I'm going with timbersled as the device even though I know it's a yeti cuz like nobody says aggressive inline rollerskating they say rollerblade yeah. these are so sick. in two hours on one you can be sidehilling shit that would take five years to learn on a sled.
  • 5 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: claw's toast pops out the toaster. Executes a perfect backflip. Lands directly on his plate. Top marks from judges.
  • 5 2
 @owl-X:
It's not that I don't see a connection, but it is Motorsport, which I love doing as well, but is not bicycling. There are totally relatable skills that cross over from even road racing cars to bikes and from bikes to road racing cars. I just thought it was an interesting choice to have a Motorsport video on pinkbike I guess.
  • 2 0
 @mattg95: Kettle got robbed.
  • 4 1
 @Chris97a: so you see a connection but don't see how it relates. Got it.
  • 1 0
 Ride one and it's the closest feeling you can get to riding bike. It's like ripping on a bike but you can go any direction and they can still haul a$$. I've clocked mine at 59 mph on the trail. I use to snowmobile and snowboard and gave up both because of how fun the bike can be.
  • 1 0
 @Ride406orDie: except backwards Smile
  • 4 0
 @chriskneeland: because many people aren't as narrow minded as you are and enjoy all things rad.
  • 1 0
 The people have spoken CLAW!! Hope to see that toast edit soon. Even if it's got hummus on it with a side of Kale!!!!
  • 3 2
 @d-man: You can enjoy whatever you want, but it still begs the question.
  • 1 0
 @claw: but what are your thoughts on toast?
  • 1 0
 @LuvAZ: i will rip the crap outta that edit lol
love me some good toast
  • 9 0
 claw is a law
  • 7 2
 Can I get this kit for my e-bike? That would lead to at least a minute of fun.
  • 2 0
 Been doing this for a number of years out here in the Kootenays. So much fun and keeps you feeling like you're riding through the winter. Just waiting for a better system that encloses the engine and airbox and puts cooling on the tunnel like snowmobiles.
  • 2 0
 E-MTB access to high alpine trials debate, enter Darren Berrecloth.... Hold my beer! Rad video. This guys is amazing on two wheel and even better on one track and a ski. And now we wait for the e-trolls to come out of their holes....
  • 3 0
 start spewing on dh ski bikes !! it's the best !! never going back to ski's or snowboard
  • 1 0
 Lol maybe in Winnipeg
  • 3 0
 I'm going to shut up about skiing before I even say anything. It's for the best.
  • 3 0
 Where are those legal to ride like that? In California, no where to rip those like that. Designated roads only.
  • 1 0
 Everywhere but wilderness in MT and Idaho. Washington has some permit issues but they seem to have it figured out.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: Anywhere a snowmo goes here but for how much longer? Of course no motorized in wilderness but yeah, lots of motorized users now and non motorized doing all they can to close down the woods on us folk trying to have some 2 stroke fun out there. Ugh Frown
  • 2 0
 Looks like a hell of a fun - would like to try this on Austria’s crowded ski slopes though
  • 10 9
 Upping the carbon game on the launch day of COP25. "Fun" doesn't make it right. Legends should stay legends. Bring on the downvotes.
  • 5 4
 I see you're from Whistler. Do you tell all the tourists that take international flights to get to Vancouver that they should not be flying in and driving up the sea to sky to spend money in your town and come to the resort? Just because people want to drive or fly to Whistler to have "fun", doesn't make it right...
  • 5 5
 @VPS13: I completely agree with you. We all have choices to make. We all make some good choices and some bad choices. Myself included. Public figures should be cognizant of the impacts of the choices they make, but only if they believe in those choices. I personally believe in climate change. We are all going to have make harder choices very soon. Air travel? 2 stroke toys? Vehicle use? Commercial farming? Meat? Carbon or aluminum? We all have an impact. Some people can make impact beyond themselves. So everything you say is correct - 100%.
  • 3 1
 It’s a new sport on Pinkbike where you have power assistance, quick everyone freak out!!!!!
  • 2 0
 I'm still impressed they don't just sink in the snow when he lands some of those bigger hits.
  • 3 0
 There are way too many brands called Yeti
  • 3 0
 Does everything "Yeti" just cost a buh-zillion dollars by default?
  • 2 0
 looks like soooo much fun
  • 2 0
 Happy to see Mr. Claw still shredding, looks awesome!
  • 2 0
 Whats the name of the song in the vid?
  • 3 0
 pinkmotorizedbike.com
  • 3 2
 Where are all the purist hypocrites bitching about a motorised vehicle not on dirt?
  • 2 0
 Is this motorized snow bike enduro specific?
  • 1 0
 Looks like a hoot. Saw these in Missoula at the Pray for Snow event last September. Rad setups.
  • 1 0
 After the snow he needs to get a Rickter Edge 1000 and hit the surf. Mad skills.
  • 1 0
 Bear going big on the snowbike. Looks like a blasr
  • 1 0
 I love the looks of these things, would be fun to try one!
  • 3 2
 This is not mountain bikes.
  • 1 0
 @claw Where the trail ends part 2?
  • 3 2
 would love to see non-motorized snowbiking through powder...
  • 2 3
 Nothing say pro like seeing shots with so much lint on the sensor it looks like the camera was left on a frat house carpet for a weekend sans body cap.
  • 1 0
 LONG LIVE MOTOS WITH SNOWMOBILE PARTS!
  • 2 0
 BRAAAAAAAAAPP!!!!
  • 1 0
 Hey claw dude. Thanks for taking the time to come chat with us mortals.
  • 1 0
 anytime!
  • 1 0
 Why did this edit feel like 2004?
  • 2 0
 cuz I guess im still stuck in 1999 lol
  • 2 1
 Sick video..God awful soundtrack!
  • 1 0
 One of these as a backcountry skiing sled would be sickkkk
  • 1 0
 That does not look like fun at all.
  • 1 0
 Fun fact, Hayes brakes are equipped on that Yeti snow bike kit.
  • 1 0
 Loving how you all hate ebike content but love a snowped ????
  • 1 0
 Yeah Claw!! Looks soooo fun!!!
  • 1 1
 When can I buy a carbon one?
  • 2 0
 Yeti Snow MX kits are full carbon tunnels One of the Claws sponsors
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.040032
Mobile Version of Website