Nothing beats a bluebird day of skiing and riding in the mountains of beautiful British Columbia. But sometimes, even the most dedicated rider (moi) is open to trying something new on the slopes. During our visit to Sun Peaks Ski Resort in the British Columbia interior, we had just such an opportunity to try snowmobiling Sun Peaks.
While snowmobiling isn’t the quietest winter activity there is (those motors do make noise), when the opportunity comes to give it a go, seize the moment and do it. After all, for most city slickers, snowmobiling isn’t high up on the activities radar, while in the countrysides of rural Canada the sport can approach cult-like popularity.
But I wouldn’t advise rolling and falling off the machine (more on that later).
Snowmobiling at Sun Peaks Resort
Sun Peaks Adventure Snowmobile Tours
Sun Peaks Adventure Snowmobile Tours offer backcountry tours from 2 to 4 hours in length. Our own 2-hour tour was the perfect amount of time to experience the thrills and fun of riding at somewhat high speed on pristine trails with gorgeous views of the Thomson Nicola lakes and mountains. The cost for a 2 hour tour is $167 per person, with a $68 passenger fee for two riders. A valid driver’s license and waiver form paperwork is required. Kids are welcome to ride as passengers, though it’s up to the guide’s discretion to determine how young is too young.
Is Any Special Clothing Needed?
Your standard winter activity or ski outfit will work just fine for snowmobiling. This should include warm undergarments, gloves and boots, ski jackets and pants, and goggles. Helmets (with visors) should be provided by the operator. My husband swears by his bib-ski pants, as they prevent snow from going up into your jacket. He might have something there…
Best Spots to Eat and Stay in Sun Peaks
A Taste of the Snowmobile Tour
What’s Snowmobiling Like?
These machines are pretty big and loud. Taking charge of a nearly 500 lb machine can be daunting for someone of small stature. But once I got the hang of revving the motor and turning on the speed when I was comfortable, it was really fun. It was surreal sitting down and watching the snowscape go by, when I’m so used to skiing or riding to get the same sensation. I was conscious of slowing down in turns, as I really didn’t want to roll over, and then I did.
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How Did You Fall Off the Snowmobile?
It was the opposite of what you might think. I wasn’t going fast enough doing turns in an open meadow area, and the underpowered machine just tipped over into the powder and I was thrown clear. I was uninjured, our guide righted the sled without a problem, and I hopped right back on and kept going. It’s important to find a speed you’re comfortable with, but do remember to not go too slowly. These snowmobiles were designed for some speed after all.
What Did You Like and Dislike?
I loved being in the open air of the backcountry. There was no one except our guide so we had the trails and beautiful scenery to ourselves. It was also a lot of fun to ride around the open meadows filled with powder snow and feel the winter air rush by. It was also dead quiet, except for the noise of our sleds. They are quite loud so it took some getting used to. The smell of gas from the sleds takes away from the beauty of the experience, in my view. But snowmobiles need gas to move, so that’s a trade off to consider.
Would You Ever Try Highlining?
Go up an insane vertical wall to leave my mark? Hell no.
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Disclosure: The Travelling Mom thanks Sun Peaks Ski Resort and Adventure Snowmobile Tours for the opportunity to try snowmobiling in beautiful British Columbia.
Credits: C Laroye
Have you ever tried snowmobile touring? Share your comments below.