Pooly. I think that it's the same risk with any sled. The 97 XCR 600 SE comes with tripple pipes, so it's got great power for long runs on the lake, but it is a rather heavy sled at close to 550 lbs. I think this sled has a fairly flat power curve, so clutching is a little more forgiving. Central MN elevation is around 2000' above sea level, not sure about up North though.