There are several types of snowmobilers. Casual, diehard, hardcore and—in the case of Rene St. Onge—super diehardcore!
“I snowmobile more in a season than most people do in their entire lives,” St. Onge said, presumably from on top of a mountain while chugging an energy drink while doing a flip with his 2018 Ski-Doo Summit X 165.
The snowmobile lodge and shop owner doesn’t just talk a big game. He walks the walk, er, rides the ride. Last season, St. Onge marked his calendar 147 times to keep track of how many days he spent on a sled. It’s an impressive number any way you look at it. Equally as impressive are the feats he undertakes while behind the handlebars. He’s not just trail riding. This extreme sledder is heading to Sicamous’ most daring locations to test his mettle.
As you might expect, it’s difficult to select one best day ever while out riding when you’ve been tearing up pow for the bazillionth time. Somehow, St. Onge managed to select one particular day in Sicamous that stood out among the rest.
It’s a group effort
Flanked by his buddies Team Saskatchtoon, SuperGab, Double Trouble, Shocker and Big E, St. Onge made his way to through various Sicamous mountains. With a metre (three feet) of fresh snow to play in, St. Onge and the fellas made the most of a bluebird day and -4 C (25 F) temperatures.
“I try to observe everything going on when going through Notellum Creek and Nunya Mountain,” said St. Onge. “It’s almost impossible to describe the beauty of the snow-capped mountains. We saw what the majority of the world never gets to see.”
Look out below
As you would expect from someone whose motto is, “Not much living happens in the living room,” St. Onge isn’t just interested in smelling the fresh mountain air and taking photos—although he does that too. What concerns this daredevil the most is getting sick air while jamming out to the likes of CCR, The Eagles and the Steve Miller Band.
“When the sun is out, I always like to look for juicy drops,” he said. “The whole group went ahead for a lunch break while Big Eric and I stayed on the lake analyzing a sweet cliff band. I handed Eric the 5D Canon and headed up on the cliff. The cornice was bigger up top and rolled off hard so I had to squeeze some ponies off the lip to keep my nose up. It was a 75-foot (23-metre) drop between the rocks. I was worried about a couple suspect bumps near my landing, praying there were no landmines on impact. My senses were in overdrive. Vertical landings are often low on snow coverage. It all turned out good.”
Mixing snow and candy canes
After a day of sledding, photographing, laughing and joking with friends, St. Onge made his way to the bottom of the hill where his tired 2006 long box Dodge was waiting for him. “I am always a little depressed when we get back to the truck,” he said in somber tones.
The good news is that it’s never long until St. Onge is back in the alpine doing what he loves the most.
“Well, I’ve never done cocaine, but doing big drops and shoots is probably similar to taking a heart-racing drug,” he said. “It’s my snowcaine.”