The sport of snowmobiling is many things for different individuals. Quite often we are asked “why do you enjoy snowmobiling so much?”. That is a difficult question to answer in just one sentence for there are a multitude of ways to answer this question.
In the depths of winter, nothing is quite as breathtaking as the snow-covered views from up top. When you are high atop a mountain you can see for miles around. Beautiful valleys, picturesque lake views, and meandering rivers are sure to inspire. Meandering through coniferous forests on groomed trails is such a great way to decompress while enjoying the beauty around. Winter snowscapes are ever changing even within the same week. Scenery is at the top of the list for many riders in the province.
In an article published by the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations the findings proved what most riders know. Snowmobiling is great exercise!
“Researchers found that on average, riding a snowmobile used 5.6 METs. This means that a snowmobile rider is using 5.6 times as much energy while riding than if they were sitting at home watching TV. The 5.6 METS used during a typical ride is similar to the amount of energy used during downhill skiing or snow shoveling and categorizes snowmobiling as moderate intensity physical activity. It is recommended that people do 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intense physical activity (at least 3 METs) per week to maximize health benefits and to prevent a variety of health risks (Tremblay et al., 2011). Therefore, a snowmobile ride can contribute to this weekly recommendation, which will reduce the risk of developing a variety of diseases.” Read the full publication here
The bond developed between riders who are in a dedicated sled crew is unlike none other. Sure, there is laughter, antics and zingers flying constantly throughout the day of adventure, but there is also something much deeper than that. Your life is in the hands of your sled crew, and theirs in yours. The level of trust and communication while managing terrain together in the backcountry is intense. Even outside of the winter season, that lasting bond exists. Your sled crew will always have your back no matter what.
Snowmobiling can be as intense or as laid back as you want it to be. Each ride is different, with a variety of unique challenges presenting at any given moment. Do you want to learn how to nail a re-entry? Practice makes perfect! It may take several rides to execute technical moves, but the feeling of satisfaction when you finally get it is incredible! Each ride your muscles become more toned, and you become more in-tune with your ride. Confidence grows each time you face your nemesis, which may be side hilling on the throttle side of your machine, or holding a technical line in the trees. The possibilities to grow are endless.
Unique Wildlife Viewing
Many would be amazed by the abundance of wildlife active in the winter months. It can be so exciting to experience the diversity. Sitting amongst the trees with the machines turned off and suddenly flying squirrels start gliding overhead. The ptarmigan nestled in the snow blending in so perfectly. Wolves, cats and sometimes even grizzly bears who have emerged from their winter slumber can get your heart pumping. It’s important to respect wildlife, and give all animals ample space. To learn more of what to do when you encounter wildlife while out snowmobiling in the British Columbia Backcountry please visit this article from our friends at Let’s Ride BC.
Sharing the sport with others
No matter if your teaching youth how to ride, or introducing an adult into the sport of snowmobiling, mentoring is a rewarding experience. It can be especially exciting to introduce those who perhaps may have never even considered snowmobiling, but ironically find that they are hooked after only one ride out. When you share the sport you grow it in a healthy way especially if you include a safety focus implemented in the outreach.
Families that play together, stay together. Couples that ride together, stay together. There is something solidifying in the bond created while sharing backcountry adventure together. Suddenly kids feel that hey, Mom and Dad are actually pretty cool to hang out with and will beg to be included in the next sled-venture planned. Snowmobiling is epic family time.
Good for your mind
Let’s face it, the winter months can get a bit dreary at times. Low cloud cover, and reduced daylight hours can lead to a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A debilitating condition for many which can be treated with vitamin D. What better way to get some vitamin D than from mother nature herself? Riding high above the clouds under bluebird skies while getting some endorphins flowing is the perfect prescription for SAD. When the valley bottom is muted by cloud cover you’ll be high above the doom and gloom basking in the sun. Your mind will feel clear.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the motivating factors for snowmobilers. We’d love to hear from you! Why do you ride?