Deep in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, I discover the real draw of snowmobiling.
In This Snowmobile Article You Will Discover:
- The Best Place to Rent Sleds in BC’s Kootenays
- Tips for Driving these Machines
- Why You Should Try It Out!
- A Cool Video
Snowmobiles also have a bad reputation. They’re loud. They’re fast. From an outsider’s perspective, the safety record of big-mountain sledding leaves something to be desired. I’ve been vocal in Ski-Doo-criticism in the past. But I have a most un-Canadian confession: I’ve actually never ridden one.
I’m in Golden, British Columbia, meeting up with Mike Palumbo at Snowpeak Rentals to uncover the attraction behind these high-powered mountain-climbers and determine if responsible snowmobiling is, in fact, not an oxymoron.
I jump astride my 800cc Ski-Doo at Golden’s Quartz Creek, a network of groomed trails maintained by the Golden Snowmobile Club and Golden Snowmobile Trail Society. A group of six virgin sledders, with Palumbo at the lead, we idle past an avalanche-beacon check, then upslope on a groomed trail as wide as two-lane highway. The machines are certainly loud and fast, and, thumbing the throttle, I become a bit of a hypocrite to my self-propelled preferences.
After 14 km, we arrive at the Quartz Creek warming hut, which is maintained by the local clubs, and enter steeper, narrower trails that run near the edge of Glacier National Park.
The riding becomes more challenging—at-speed in deep snow, left is right and right is left—as we weave past krumholtz and into a wide mountain meadow. It’s not long before we’re above 2,000 metres, surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Purcell Mountains, sparse alpine larch and not much else.
However, when I turn the ignition off, remove my helmet and catch a few snowflakes on my tongue, I see the real draw of mountain sledding. Upon these machines, we’re able to access in an hour a region it could take a day (or more) to get to by ski. And we’ve done so with relative responsibility—staying on marked trails and in designated areas.
Like most things, it seems, snowmobiling is all about intention.
Watch the Video Here: