Ron Galuschuk has spent the better part of his life snowmobiling in and around Swan Valley, Manitoba, and his love for the sport has never faltered. Even though conditions have been better than in the last couple of years, Galuschuk still speaks highly of the snowmobiling in Swan Valley and the community that surrounds it. We decided to ask him a few questions to learn more about Swan Valley through his eyes.
When and how did you start snowmobiling?
The year would have been 1970 I believe. My first snowmobile was a 1968 Snow Cruiser.
What is the snowmobiling like in your area in a typical season?
In a typical season we would get about two-and-a-half to three feet of snow, which we would like to see, but we don’t very often get it. That used to be average. There are lots of groomed trails to the north of Swan River and to the south. There are two clubs, North Mountain Riders and the Swan Valley Snowmobile Associaton. I really don’t know how many kilometres of trail there is, but it’d take you a day and a half to do them all anyways.
What is the most popular trail or area to ride?
There really isn’t a most popular trail, it’s just wherever the snow is the most is where everyone will go. There is no one trail that everyone goes on—just where the snow is.
What are your favourite conditions for riding?
Fresh snow is very nice to have, but once the snow sets we head for the trails between warm-up shelters and to other towns, basically on tours of the area.
Are there some open fields to do some deep snow riding?
Yes there is—lots of fields and valleys to play in. Lots of river riding.
What ride from the last couple of seasons of riding in your area stands out as your favourite?
You know, there hasn’t been very much snow—I can’t say that anything really sticks out very much right at this moment. There was a day or two come springtime that we had some pretty beautiful snowy days—warmer temperatures and a little bit more snow towards the spring.
What’s your favourite part of snowmobiling?
Seeing all of the other people and snowmobiles at the shelters and on the trails.
Have you ever introduced a friend to snowmobiling? What was that like?
Oh yeah, lots. It was nice getting everybody out there.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention about snowmobiling around Swan Valley?
We have really well-groomed and safe trails. (There is) lots of flatland riding if you want that and lots of small hills and valleys to ride in. We have lots of bush riding where you can see all of the wildlife and trees, so it’s pretty nice that way. There are lots of facilities and places to eat along the way, lots of little towns and stuff like that with restaurants and bed and breakfasts you can sled right up to. The clubs are quite active in the area as well.