Filled with hidden treasures

Chetwynd is a snowmobiling haven that has stayed vastly undiscovered—until now

a sledder takes a leap over the crest of a hill
At Beaver Creek near Chetwynd, B.C., Fred Wiebe takes a jump off a snowy bank for a soft landing in the powder below. Darin Janzen photo

Chetwynd is a cozy, quaint community in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This region, about 300 kilometres from Prince George, B.C., is gaining in popularity as more outdoor enthusiasts discover that there are many mountain areas that are essentially undiscovered.

Tim Ross, a co-owner of an Arctic Cat dealership called The Cat Shack in Chetwynd, has been snowmobiling since he was three years old in the Chetwynd area. Ross said that over the years, sledding has become vastly more prevalent.

"(Snowmobiling in Chetwynd) has been a little cookie jar for us for a long time," said Ross, "and now lots of people know about it. I am in the business to sell sleds and we let people in our secret spots. It has grown exponentially and there are so many riding areas out there that I haven't even looked at yet."

Sledding pals

Ross makes sure to get out snowmobiling at least once a week. When he was growing up, he went snowmobiling with his life-long best friend, Brent Gerry, and still continues to ride with him from time to time.

"He is still one of my best friends," said Ross. "We have been riding since we were three years old."

The riding around the area may be different from what sledders are used to, since the trails are not groomed in Chetwynd. However, Ross said there are many riding spots available and he had a hard time picking the best spot for visitors to check out.

"It really depends on the people's riding style," said Ross.

For the future, Ross plans to do a lot more snowmobiling with his son, who has inherited his love for snowmobiling.

"(I plan to snowmobile) as much as I can—it is the only way to fly," said Ross.

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