In 1990, Roger Siglin and Richard Hattan attempted their first long distance
snowmobile trip leaving from Fairbanks, Alaska with Prudhoe Bay as the
destination. They encountered very soft, wet snow with a sled design that
had a tendency to get stuck. They gave up within 120 miles at Manley Hot
Springs. The next spring they went back with a new sled design which, with
only minor modifications, is the Siglin Sled you see today. With this new
design Roger and Richard successfully completed a 1000 mile trip from
Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay.
The original idea for a sled made out of a single sheet of UHMW with
overlapping slots to provide a curved front, came from an acquaintance of
Rogers, Tim Milanowski of North Pole, Alaska. That design had a rounded
bottom, two plastic runners, and a welded steel tongue. Roger redesigned
almost all aspects of the sled to make a flat bottom, one single angle iron
skeg in the rear of the sled, a triangular plywood tongue, and a different
The plywood tongues were eventually replaced by UHMW because the wood would
break in rough ice. The current hinges replaced a more complicated design of
Roger's after a test proved they were reliable. The hitch arrangement
attaching the sled to the snowmobile evolved with a variety of changes over
the course of several years. A switch from 24"to 32" wide sleds was made to
accommodate the gas capacity needed for a 3,400 mile trip from Yellowknife
to Iqaluit. On the most recent two trips, sled lengths have been extended
15 inches to allow carrying even more gas. With the current arrangement of
32 inch wide by eleven foot sleds, carrying 12, twenty liter gas cans, the
range of travel is up to 900 miles with decent snow conditions. A big
advantage of the 32" wide sleds has been that they almost never roll over.
The narrower 24" wide sleds would roll on average once every 1000 miles.
To date Roger Siglin and Richard Hattan, accompanied by others, have
traveled about 16,000 miles with Siglin Sleds pulling loads up to 800
pounds. The sleds have proven remarkably durable and only minor repairs
have been necessary. Roger and friends are curently planning a 5000 mile
trip across arctic Canada that would take them from their homes in
Fairbanks, Alaska to within 500 miles of the North Pole.
In 1993 Roger climbed Denali pulling a small pulk utilizing some of the
ideas used in making his larger snowmobile freight sled. That sled design
has also proven popular, and they have been shipped to adventurers around
the world. His original pulk is still in use around his home.
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