Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80Winter 2017 | 23 In & On The Groomer Bert Desrochers Connecticut Valley Sno-Riders By Mike Mutascio In the early days of snowmobiling in the Connecticut River Valley, riders would join multiple clubs and build trails on both sides of the Connecticut River. Clubs would participate in group outings to Vermont and New Hampshire. As the snowmachine trail system grew in the 1970s, everyone was starting to think of how to keep the trails smooth. Forty- six years have passed, and it remains a priority for Bert Desrochers of the Connecticut Valley Sno-Riders (CTVSR). In 1971, the Desrochers moved to northern New Hampshire when Bert accepted a position as the administrator of Weeks Memorial Hospital. His motorized recreation hobby shifted from dirt bikes to snowmachines. He also helped the local Grand Prix race committee and was active with the Lancaster Sno-Drifters. The passion for this hobby blossomed into a fledgling business in 1983. Headed by his son Mark, it grew into the popular North Country 4x4 Snowmobile and Marine. It was located near the Lancaster, N.H. fairgrounds. Bert eventually left his hospital CEO position to assist Mark with the day-to-day operation of the growing Arctic Cat and Yamaha franchise until it closed in 2003. By the mid-1990s, the Desrochers became involved with the CTVSR. The club had already developed over 50 miles of trails in the Northeast Kingdom and were smoothed with a Yamaha VK540 and drag. Years later, PistenBully units were the solution, complimented at first by an “Awesome” grader. Mogul Master drags soon followed. After the family business was sold in 2003, Bert and his wife, Nancy, retired and purchased a beautiful home in the lake community of Maidstone, Vt. Today, arriving guests to the property are welcomed by roadside grooming implements. The grounds are garnished in TMA sales advertisements. Hints of Arctic Cat memorabilia line the property edge. The driveway is outlined in trail stakes being tested for future use.   Elite early operators with the names of Peaslee, McVetty, Rogers, Ed Robbins and Kevin Boswell were well-known in the area and members of both the CTVSR and the Groveton Trail Blazers. Jim quickly knew he had to get Bert into the PB200. After he did, it was a lasting fit. Bert’s grooming experience began by towing a small drag with a Ski-Doo Nordic with an 18-inch track. He later tried the club’s Alpine with a small drag. During the 1980s, he used a Bombi with a larger drag. Even though Bert and his boys Michael and Mark were busy volunteering on the trails, they knew their true love was snowmobiling. It was a family affair that also included his mom and sister Lori. Bert serves as grooming coordinator and assists longtime Trails Administrator Dennis Bacon in all facets of grooming operations, trail readiness and equipment repair. Kyle Bouthillier and Bill Sanborn round out the team of volunteer grooming operators. Bert also keeps in close touch with Lunenburg’s groomer, Dana Nason, other area clubs and forest management staff. Success is evident as reflected by his diverse and varied experience. It is no surprise that he became the go-to guy for the CVRS years ago. Today, the club rolls a 2011 PistenBully 400 and Mogul Master drag. Bert is proud to be a member of the volunteer grooming team. He favors the appreciable torque, handling and traction on the tight technical trails. He acknowledges that operation at night is safer due to illumination. Day