Sledding around The Pas means great trails and deep snow

For Robert Vipond, riding the new trail from Rocky Lake to Flin Flon is a great time.

by Karen Kornelsen

An  example of the numerous flat powder lakes seconds off the trail network in The Pas.
An example of the numerous flat powder lakes seconds off the trail network in The Pas. Photo courtesy Robert Vipond

Snowmobiling in The Pas means riding in a winter wonderland. With deep powder, beautiful lakes and treed trails, sledders love coming to the area to explore.

For Robert Vipond, who was born and raised in the area and now lives in Rocky Lake just north of The Pas, snowmobiling makes the winters fly by.

One of his favourite trails to ride is the new section that has been groomed from The Pas to Flin Flon. Now they finally have a link to Cranberry and Portage, which sledders never had before. The trail should be fully completed in the upcoming season. This year, a new restaurant is being built near Cranberry, which will be a nice addition.

Best rides

One of Vipond's favourite rides last year was when he decided to run this new section of trail. It was groomed a little at the time, but not fully completed.

"There is fuel in Cranberry, so you can get topped up there," said Vipond. "Then we headed out on Athapap Lake, where the trail is well marked. You can go play in the powder around there until you run of fuel. Then you can bounce back onto the main trail, which takes you through Millwater, which is a remote subdivision. then you head up towards Bakers Narrows. From there, you go right up to Flin Flon which is a major city with all services."

There, Vipond and his friends stopped for a nice lunch, then followed the trail on Beaver Lake. At Denare Beach there is food and fuel.

"This is a nice forested trail," said Vipond. "Then from Denare, you head towards The Pas again. It's a very nice loop and the round trip is almost 200 miles. From Denare, you can head south and there are a lot of logging roads that are well maintained. You can cross the Goose River. There's a major crossing there that got washed out a few years ago, which was very important to us. After that, you head south towards Rocky Lake where I live. Now you're in the boreal forest. There is excellent visibility and you're protected with the high trees."

Back near Vipond's home, Rocky Lake is another place to play around. The Loppet Trail takes you way up where you could maybe see the Rocky Mountains on a clear day.

Camaraderie is a big part of Vipond's love for sledding.

"It's just amazing, the camaraderie of it all," said Vipond. "It's great enjoying the pristine outdoors and seeing all the moose and different animals out there. You get to meet people from all over Canada and sometimes you meet Americans that have come north. We have a lot of people coming back to the area again and again. Snowmobilers in general are a great group of people and riding in The Pas is the best experience you could hope for."

Meet the rider

Name: Robert Vipond

Lives in: Rocky Lake, north of The Pas, Manitoba

Originally from: The Pas

Age: 61

Sledding since: Age 15

First sled: 1969 Ski-Doo Olympic 320

Current sled: 2004 Arctic Cat Turbo Touring

Favourite riding area: Rocky Lake to Flin Flon

Why is it your favourite? Apart from it being at my doorstep, which makes it unique, it's the best trail riding I've ever been on.

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