There’s no shortage of trails or powder in the backcountry around Revelstoke, B.C., and whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll be sure to find the perfect snowmobiling adventure.
For the beginners, professional snowmobiler Rob Alford recommends hitting up Frisby Ridge, though he advises that sledders should proceed with caution.
“They have a groomed trail,” he said, “but what people don’t realize is that there’s armpit-deep powder right off the trail. (Beginners) will go off the track and just get stuck everywhere.”
As long as they keep their eyes on the prize and avoid the temptation of exploring the unknown, novice sledders should have no problem getting up into the mountains and to the cabins on the trail.
“It has really nice views as well,” said Alford. “And on a really nice day you can see all of the surrounding mountains.”
It’s not only beginners that will have a good time on Frisby Ridge, though. There are also back areas and deep powder snow that will serve as a challenge to experienced riders.
“It’s kind of the best of both worlds,” said Alford. “A lot of times the snow around here is so deep that you need to stick to the main areas.”
Alford shared that his personal favourite in the Revelstoke area is Turtle Mountain, a route that starts between Boulder Mountain and Frisby Ridge.
This route’s long ride makes for a great combination of varied terrain, though due to a substantial lack of packed trails it is strongly recommended for only experienced sledders.
“It’s not as travelled, and it’s a super long ride through a bunch of different areas,” said Alford. “There are different terrain features that make it a really interesting ride. You’re riding pow, then you hit some jumps, and there’s hill climbs and other stuff along the way, too.”
If you know where you’re going and you’re feeling extra ambitious out in the snow, Alford said that the ride can easily be extended to include Boulder Mountain, another local favourite.
Last year, Alford and his sledding buddies headed out for the first time in the last week of October, but they ventured carefully.
“We usually go up and check it out first, because it’s good to be on the safe side. You don’t want to hit rocks or anything,” Alford said. “There was a good amount of snow—probably about five feet—but not enough to carve, and there might have been some rocks that we couldn’t see.”
In keeping with his safety measures, Alford decided to push back any further treks into the backcountry.
“I went away for five days... and when I came back, it was go time,” he said. “It was like winter up there and we were good to go.”
New season, new areas
As he hopes to every year, this season Alford wants to see if he can find some new untouched spots to sled.
“I’d like to try and explore new areas, if it’s the right time and there is avalanche stability,” he said. “It’s nice to go in areas where people haven’t explored yet.”
Uncharted territory and the carefully packed trails are what combine to make Revelstoke such a great destination for snowmobilers.
“There are just a lot of areas to ride around here,” said Alford. “It’s not like you have to go searching for powder, because it’s everywhere. There are lots of places that people can ride and the snow is really good.”
For more information on Revelstoke’s riding areas, check out the Sled Revelstoke website.