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If you have driven the Sea To Sky Highway this winter then you probably have seen a number of trucks toting snowmobiles around. Maybe you have wondered, what are these people up to and where do they go? The Coastal Mountains may not be as high as the Himalayas but what they lack in height they more than make up for in beauty.
I discovered snowmobiling last year and bought my own machine to enjoy this amazing sport and find out what it’s all about. Since then I have logged more than 5,000 kilometres through some of the deepest powder and amazing terrain. Every day out has been spectacular and there is nothing better than discovering a new area, its breathtaking scenery and sitting back and enjoying it over lunch. Here is how you can get out and try it:
If you are looking to add an epic highlight to your ski vacation at Whistler/Blackcomb, check out Canadian Snowmobile Adventures. They offer amazing snowmobile tours everyday from their base at the bottom of Whistler Mountain and each tour is all about fun. Explore the incredibly deep powder and majestic mountains of the Callaghan Valley with their certified guides who guarantee an epic trip. They also offer evening trips to the top of Blackcomb Mountain at 1,828 metres. Up top you will enjoy an amazing fondue dinner in the Crystal Hut with the bright lights of the village far below you. For more information check out www.canadiansnowmobile.com.
Just across the valley from Whistler/Blackcomb is the incredible area of Cougar Mountain. This awesome adventure area offers 18,000 acres of terrain right from where you park your car. You can choose from a number of snowmobile packages to best suit the size and ability of your group. Their professional and qualified staff will lead you through Whistler’s famous ancient cedar trees on your way to discovering the Soo Valley. After your epic ride you have to try the awesome Skyline Eco Adventure. You will fly through old growth forests in a comfortable harness high above the ground reaching speeds of 100 km/h. It is truly wild! More details are available at www.cougarmountain.ca.
For me, the ultimate trip this winter has been to the Pemberton Ice Cap. This should be one of the Seven Wonders of the World as it is one of the most incredible places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The Pemberton Ice Cap is a high plateau glacier, which reaches on for hundreds of kilometres. Whistler Heli Sledder runs the ultimate helicopter accessed, guided snowmobile tours from their base camp at 1981 metres on the Ice Cap. Their amazing guides will lead you on an untracked powder adventure through the expansive glacial snowfields. This area is so hard to do justice with words. You are just going to have to indulge and discover it for yourself. You will be glad you did! For more details check out www.whistlerhelisledder.com.
Backcountry Access DTS Tracker Transceiver
Description: If you are heading off on any backcountry adventure an avalanche transceiver is a must. The DTS is easy to use and displays digital distance and direction to the buried victim. It offers dual antenna, comfortable compression moulded harness system and efficient, reliable multi-burial search system.
Price range: $320
Where to find it: www.backcountryaccess.com
Fox All Weather Jacket
Description: Protect yourself from the elements with this awesome all-weather jacket from Fox. Waterproof/breathable eVent technology, soft-brushed micro fiber fabric on the collar, and three secure waterproof pockets for your valuables.
Price range: $289
Where to find it: www.foxracing.ca
G3 Avalanche Speed Probe 320 centimetres
Description: Genuine Guide Gear’s collapsible Easton 7075 E9 aluminum probe assembles in seconds ready for snow testing or in an emergency. Specially coated stainless steel cable, foolproof tension mechanism and anodized alternating silver and gold for easy depth determination.
Price range: $85
Where to find it: www.genuineguidegear.com
Cheetah Factory Racing Metal Snowboard Rack
Description: Get away from the crowds by using Cheetah Factory Racing’s Metal Snowboard rack to transport your board into the backcountry by snowmobile. It is easy to install and simple to use. Also available are double ski and snowboard racks.
Price range: $150
Where to find it: www.cheetahfactoryracing.com