Snowmobiling or ATVing, adventure awaits in Valemount

With snowmobiling and ATVing possibilities, Valemount, B.C., offers wonderful outdoor recreation all year round

by Trish Drinkle

General Manager of Varda, Curtis Pawliuk.
VARDA manager Curtis Pawliuk. Photo courtesy Varda

There are many reasons why Valemount is considered one of the best snowmobiling areas on the planet. Cold temperatures and heavy snowfall equate to plenty of deep-pow bluebird days. Valemount has more bluebird days, in fact, than any other mountain snowmobiling destination in B.C. Riders in Valemount will find themselves plastering on the sunscreen, bracing themselves for yet another sunny, fun-filled day.

In addition to blue skies, the colder temperatures create the much-sought-after dry powder. A little trip to the white room, anyone?

Allan: a key sledding spot 

One of the most popular riding areas is Allan Creek. Staging for this riding zone is 35 kilometres south of Valemount off the west side of Highway 5. This area has it all—lakes, bowls, meadows and steep hills—giving every sledder something to look forward to. Family-friendly snowmobiling can be found around the cabins and lakes, providing safe terrain for beginners. It is recommended that you ride with a local or a guide for safety’s sake. Terrain can become large and challenging, so novice sledders and those new to the area should contact the Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA) with any questions and concerns they may have. The folks at VARDA can point you in the right direction.

Always focused on safety  

Curtis Pawliuk, general manager of VARDA,  is one of the most proactive riders out there. His safety outreach is second to none, and he is ready to provide information and suggestions to help riders of all experience levels stay safe. Pawliuk can be seen in the Canadian Avalanche Centre’s Throttle Decisions, a movie made for sledders by sledders about avalanche awareness. 

More than just snow

The spring and summer months see a multitude of off-road vehicle (ORV) users visiting Valemount to enjoy the undisturbed beauty of the area.

“Leave thoughts of mud and spinning tires at home,” Pawliuk said. “Stay on the forest service roads and help us preserve and protect our area.”

See forever, from the spectacular views from one of the lookout destinations on the ORV trails in the Valemount area.  Photo courtesy VARDA

ATV and UTV riders enjoy riding through epic old-growth forests. Breathtaking waterfalls combined with stunning views leave no rider disappointed.
There are areas where you can stay and play right from your campsite, making vacations easy and enjoyable. Kinbasket Lake is one of these areas, providing ride-from-camp spots such as Yellowjacket, Griffin and Horse Creek campgrounds.

A number of ATVing, hiking and fishing destinations are highlighted on VARDA’s website.

There is multi-season adventure in the Kinbasket drainage.  Photo courtesy VARDA

VARDA is a non-profit association consisting of a range of local businesses and backcountry enthusiasts. The organization focuses on educational outreach to encourage responsible and safe recreation. 

A message from Curtis Pawliuk

The snowmobile community needs mentorship from within its user group. I am very lucky to have the experience and training I have had and I feel as though I have an obligation to reach out to my fellow riders. 

I will never tell someone not to ride; instead, I try to teach/discuss suitable terrain choices in relation to the regional danger rating and ways to add to what you read in the bulletins by utilizing your own observations and quick snowpack tests. 

Sledders learn best from their fellow riders and people they respect from within their community. New initiatives such as Throttle Decisions will go a long way in reaching our target market.

Curtis Pawliuk is the general manager of the Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association and owner/operator of Frozen Pirate Snow Services, a sled-focused company specializing in training individual rider groups.

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