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Snowmobile Tour

Travel by Steve Polyak (From GayCalgary® Magazine, November 2016, page 33)
Snowmobile Tour
Image by: GayCalgary Magazine
Snowmobile Tour

I usually don’t get a chance to do any winter outdoor activities since I don’t ski or snowboard. The last time I wanted to do something as part of the travel articles, it was the Super Fly Ziplines, but unfortunately I was over the weight requirements. This year I lucked out. While Rob was snowboarding I got the chance to do a snowmobile tour with The Adventure Group.

Though I have been on snowmobiles several times, each time someone with lots of experience was driving. This was the first time I had to drive myself. It was something I had been wanting to do so I was excited to finally get the chance.

It starts by signing up at The Adventure Group storefront in Whistler Village. I rented a GoPro camera from them, which they had helmets equipped to attach them to. Their shuttle takes snowmobile and Zipline guests to their starting point on the mountain. Once I arrived, the tour guides said I should have worn ski gear, since I would get really wet from all the snow – I had just worn my jeans and a winter coat. They had rubber pants and boots for me, plus heavy gloves, goggles and helmet.  It was a lot to wear, but worth it.

The snowmobiles were waiting just outside the cabin that we got dressed up in. For every five people there must be a tour guide. Our group was just three. They explained how to drive the vehicle, as well as giving us hand signals, so we could let people around us know if we were in trouble or if they could pass.  It is like driving a motorbike or a scooter, but they are very heavy and difficult to get unstuck if you find yourself deep in snow.

We started driving. It took a little bit to get used to the controls and sharp turns. There are lots of bumps on the path, so expected some bouncing. The view was amazing but, since it was snowing very wet snow, I wished there were automatic whippers on my goggles. There is a video of the ride, but you will see what I mean: the snow was collecting on the lens of the GoPro Camera.

As we drove up the mountain you could see the mountain edge where, if you were not paying attention, you could easily drive off of. A couple days prior to me doing the snowmobile tour, there was a death from a snowmobile accident somewhere else in the province. Since this was my first time, I drove as fast as I was comfortable with. When I did speed up, I got stuck in the snow bank and needed help to get out of it.

When we got back to the start point, I asked if there was supposed to be a point for us to stop and do photos of the scenery. They said yes, but since I was driving so slow, they did not have time to allow the group to do it. If I knew that I was holding the group, I would have gone faster, but I either I missed the instruction on how fast we were supposed to go or they just assumed that I would speed up. I overheard other people in the group complaining that we were going too slow. They were skiers or snowboarders, used to fast speed. Perhaps groups need to be formed based on skill level and speed intensity.

I still enjoyed the tour. Having to figure out how the machine worked, plus getting comfortable driving it through heavy fresh snow, and then driving it through a course of sharp turns, lots of bumps, while enjoying the scenery and trying not to get stuck – I did not think I was too bad for the first time. I would try it again without hesitation and wish that we could have gone longer, since the more time you spend on the machine, the more comfortable you are with it and then faster you can go. Plus, if you have gone through the coarse once or twice, you get use to the scenery and then can enjoy the speed of the machine. Check out their website for the right package for you.

VIDEO - Snowmobile Tour

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Contributor Steve Polyak |

Locale British Columbia | Whistler |

Topic Ski and Snowboard | Travel | Whistler Pride |

Photo Gallery Travel | Whistler |


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