The Mullan handshake agreement- sleds vs skiers

Discussion in 'General' started by Patrick B, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. I recognize I may get beat up for this post... But I have to ask!

    I've always heard of the handshake agreement between sledders and skiers for Stevens Peak area, just south of Mullan. No sledding on the West side, skiers only. Sledding on the East, skiers are allowed also.

    I vaguely remember reading about this handshake agreement, but is this real? I'm not trying to sled all over west willow area, way too good of riding for me to want to sled it. However, I have seen sled tracks going up to West Willow. I have also seen high-point tracks just under West Willow. I've also heard people ripping ahead of me while skinning up to West Willow.

    Again, I am not trying to sled all over that area. I would, however, like to sled up to North Shots on a pow day with my surf board instead of a split, maybe run some shuttles off the ski areas. Sledding up to West Willow wouldn't be terrible either. I'm not saying I am going to, just saying i'd LIKE to :)

    Side note- I hear people complain about skinning in sled tracks, but I actually like it. Doesn't bother me a bit. What's the deal?

    Be gentle
    PowderPanda likes this.
  2. I interpret the handshake deal as “stay out of the Stevens and lone lake basins’” but the ridges are fair game from what I can tell. Others may feel different about this... I’m never too upset about A sled track on the ridge above the jammer and I’m often glad to find it on deep days... just keep the sleds out of the basins! hopefully a forest service employee chimes in here... Being that the north shots are private land I don’t think the agreement has any say on that slope.
    Just please give me a ride or a tow when you pass me with your surf board!
  3. PowderPanda

    PowderPanda Staff Member

    Location:
    Liberty Lake, WA
    I'll just say, I've used sled tracks for skinning many times as I can be lazy. LoL

    As for the agreement.. I don't ever go there nor chat with sledders that do, so don't have any in on that.
    In the early days before I expanded my knowledge, I mostly rode out of East Willow area as the terrain is much better.. just a long slog without a sled to take up the 2 mile-in-road, or if your not paying for the 1-ride lift up Lookout (which is also worth the $$ if you don't have a sled).

    Oh @Patrick B , you're not gonna get beat up over this post. We have a pretty cool group here and everyone respects the other.
  4. Glad to see these two responses... @Caleb waive me down and i'd gladly tow yah

    @PowderPanda thanks for the info. I know you got my back! :)

    Taking the sleds out this weekend for round 2 of exploring... Just watching those runs fill in, CANNOT WAIT TO RIDE. I learned the hard way last season, dislocated my tailbone and broke my back taking a fall in early December right on top of a rock... Won't do that again!
    PowderPanda likes this.
  5. PowderPanda

    PowderPanda Staff Member

    Location:
    Liberty Lake, WA
    @Patrick B For sure.. people rush this early season. Bad skier incident at Mt Baker.. hitting off a 20 footer, guy hit rocks and broke femur and hip.
    Experience will teach ya... chill until the layers build!!
    teledance and Bill A. like this.
  6. Here Caleb, I'll chime in with the FS response. There is nothing official with the Forest Service on the IPNF side. For this to happen, we have to undergo our winter travel planning, which is still a couple years out. They are starting with the Kaniksu first (North Zone). The last meeting about the handshake agreement was when we were on furlough, so I wasn't able to participate. A non-forest service summary here: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/jan/20/snowmobilers-backcountry-skiers-find-uncommon-grou/

    As for the Lolo (Montana side), they have done their over the snow analysis and have a winter map. On the Superior OSVUM, snowmobiling off trail in the St. Regis Basin is good to go. As a side note, this is also the legal document that shows snowmobiling is not allowed in the Bloosom and Pear Lakes area. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/lolo/maps-pubs/?cid=stelprd3824868&width=full

    If you are snowmobiling in the Lookout area, please use one of the designated snowmobile parking lots for loading and unloading. The big ones are Shoshone or Taft, then trail ride back up. Out of courtesy to other backcountry skiers, I'd avoid a trailer at the West Willow trailhead since that overflows as it is with cars. Per their permit with the FS, Lookout is allowed to kick snowmobile trailers out of their parking lot. They will be enforcing this rule more this winter due to higher visitor numbers and people driving separately.
    PowderPanda, idsnowghost and Bill A. like this.
  7. @Mtnbikemelissa thanks for the detailed response. I always appreciate your input, and i'm still a little jelly of your Steven's Peak descent last season :)

    I never even heard of that parking lot, but found it on a map. I'll def start using that, good call. That small area can get jammed up pretty quick, especially with trailers.
    PowderPanda likes this.

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