A heavenly ride

These sledders were in need of an adventure. What better place to find one, than McBride’s snowmobiling territory?

Sledding terrain with tracks in the snow
McBride has an abundance of sledding territory. photo by Wayne Hamm

It happens to me so often: a craving to experience the backcountry by snowmobile. In need of a sledding adventure, I went off to Horsey Creek, which is 30 kilometres from McBride on Highway 16, with my friends Trent Hoffman, Don Heberling, Jamie Cook and Dean Shwaga. We weren’t disappointed—wow! I can only describe this trip as breathtaking; I think I have found my own little piece of heaven.

Fortunately for us, SnoRiders hooked us up with local sledder Mac Cochrane. Mac loves to ride—and ride he can. He took us up into Horsey Creek, snaking our way up through the creek bed. The climb up, the huge snow-laden spruce trees towering above us and the eight-foot snowbanks surrounding us were inspiring.

We rode to the origin of Horsey Creek, a huge glacier that I would guess towered 3,000 to 5,000 feet above our heads. The walls were blue with ice and frozen waterfalls—spectacular, to say the least. Mac led us to many places with oodles of untracked virgin snow—you know, the kind that flows over the hood of the sled, enveloping the rider. It was like riding on a cloud.

We rode into an area aptly named The Amphitheater. Sheer cliffs surrounded us on all sides, towering thousands of feet above. This was a time for personal reflection, and it made me realize that I am somewhat insignificant and just a small part of a huge universe.

What a guy—Mac was so considerate on our way down the creek bed that he stopped and took the time to shovel and fill in the trenches we had made, so that others could get up with ease.

If you decide to go to Horsey Creek to snowmobile, keep in mind the area is unmanaged, considered extreme and has a high avalanche risk rating.

I’d like to thank Riverside Honda & Ski-Doo in St. Albert, Alberta, for their support, and thanks also to my sledding buddies for making the trip one to remember.

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