I snowmobiled across the Gaff Topsails two days ago. What an excellent trip! Lots of snow up there and very, very cold. A friend and I took the South Brook-Sandy pond route which sets you up on the plateau between the Main Top and the Fore Top. It was a difficult climb with so much powder but persistence prevailed. When we crested the edge the wind was strong and visibility was about 50 feet. Blue sky above though…just snow blowing around. We both set our GPS and started the 12 KM crossing to the Trans Canada Trail. I felt like I was crossing an ocean stretch during a wild storm at night. We had to stop several times to fix our headgear to prevent frostbite. If you dropped anything it was as good as gone in the wind. I had to wipe the snow off my GPS constantly. I’d say my average speed in the lead was 10 km an hour with the low visibility. We didn’t bother to visit the tops today as we wouldn’t be able to see anything anyways. Once we reached the track we decided to make our way back nearer the edge of the Gaff and spend the rest of the day in the Mary March Brook area. While crossing the quarry stretch we drove upon a bull moose lying down on the track in the most severe winds. He was almost drifted in! He stood up, shook a ton of snow off and stared me down with his ears flat against his head. If I had gotten much closer before he jumped up I’d say he would have charged but as long as I didn’t move closer I don’t think he would have bothered beating through 10 foot deep drifts to get me. I took a few shots, got some frostbite on my fingertips and drove around him. When we reached the brook it was calm, clear and a lot warmer and the brook makes for a fantastic trip with huge drifts all along the way. I love riding that brook!
The Gaff Topsails is my favorite snowmobiling destination. I like the sometimes extreme conditions this time of year. You must have dependable, warm gear and a full-face helmet is pretty much a must. It would be best if each machine had a GPS if conditions are creating low visibility. March and April usually offer nice warm days and often t-shirt weather in the high + side temps. Planning another trip up there next week hoping for better visibility for “top hopping”! I will post a few pics of the trip in the gallery under chalets over the next couple days.