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Sno-Cats enthusiasts come together at Big Powderhorn Mountain


Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

THE CAT Clowder at Big Powderhorn, near Bessemer, on Saturday brought together a wide range of Tucker Sno-Cats and their owners. On display were many of the historical models from the 2ski/2track experimental model to the two-track Kitten and the more traditional quad track the Tuckers are most known for. It's one of only four similar shows in the country.


Bessemer - Some like it red, others creamy, but for the Midwest Cat Clowder at Big Powderhorn Mountain on Saturday, conditions were excellent, with intermittent snow and mid-20-s temperatures.

Sno-Cat enthusiasts gathered to show off their machines and talk to other hobbyists, as well as an interested public.

The Sno-Cat is the brainchild of the late E.M. Tucker, Sr., who grew up walking to school through deep snow in the early 1900s near Grant's Pass in Oregon. That propelled in his mind a way to get around on top of the snow, instead of one foot in front of the other, through the snow. His first forays utilized a spiral drive technique, but it proved unsuccessful because he wanted a machine to traverse snow with little mechanical troubles and low operating expenses.

Tucker, Sr., set up the first production line in Grass Valley, Calif., where he was engaged in perfecting over-snow transportation, but packed up and moved the business back near his boyhood home in Oregon and the Tucker Sno-Cat was born.

Tucker Sno-Cat is recognized as the oldest successful manufacturer of snow vehicles in the world. With that history in mind, many vintage Tuckers were gathered at the base of Big Powderhorn Saturday. where history was on display with the shape, track, size, and visual modifications over the years.

The two-track variety of Tuckers, called Kittens, were available for display. While Tucker is more widely known for using four or quad-track technology, over the years he did experiment with different variants. One of those variants, which stood out among the other machines lined up Saturday, was the two-ski/two-track experimental model.

The Midwest Cat Clowder is one of just four shows in the country. Bruce Noren, Powderhorn general manager, told the Globe.


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