Super Yurt Sled Action MOVIES!
[Update from 2/2005] Our friend Bob has a yurt up in the northwoods. It's a round canvas tent, about 14 feet across, with a tee-pee-like roof covered in vizqueen, and a woodstove and four bunks. It's a makeshift, no-budget temporary structure that has been partying strong for 15 years now.
Every year there's a New Year's Party there. Bob says he has nothing to do with it. He just shows up. This year so did 30 other people. Most folks set up tents in the woods around the yurt. (It's a mile sled-haul uphill to the yurt in winter.) The yurt and a bonfire outside it are used as cooking and party zones.
...The rest of the terrain is SLED HEAVEN!
Check out the Ultimate Sled Movie! Bob just learned digi-flick making. See his creation! It'll blow you away! (It's 1mb. Thanks, Bob!)
UPDATE! Bob just sent another movie of full-on Team Sledding Action. Everyone on course at the same time! GO!
Bob developed this Yurt Sled concept. You use a regular tub sled---first to haul your stuff into the yurt. You have a foam pad glued inside the bottom of the sled. And you have inner tubes lashed thru the front handles. You kneel to do proper Yurt Sledding and tighten the inner tubes over your thighs. It's basically a decked-C1 whitewater canoe configuration. You then use your arms and body to make dyno moves as needed to keep you stokin'. [I see they're now making these sleds commercially: http://snowsleds.net/madriver.html.]
I'll tell you more about what the yurt is like, but first, here are some pictures, maybe they tell the story well enough, eh?
The yurt is nestled in a tight valley at the highest elevation in lower Michigan. Various valleys branch away from it, making it possible to cut runs for sledding that are about a half mile long. One is a wide two-track. A steeper valley trail drops down and intersects the two-track. We cut a sled run into this steeper valley some years ago, and built tall berms of brush which get covered with snow to make banked turns---to create the ultimate sled run: BURNING SKULL. (Featured in the Xtreme Sledding movie.)
There's a long dirt road winding up the backside of the mountain that isn't plowed in winter. I once rode a tobaggan down it, while snuggled up with a friend, at midnight, with headlamp, in a gentle snowfall. That wasn't a wild run. But it did go on for over a mile of gliding, gliding, gliding along.