Practically born on a snowmobile in Sault Ste. Marie, 32-year-old Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association “Snow Host” and Alpine Country Rentals guide Will Chitty said the rest of his life will be spent on the rides and trails in the area.
“My mother was induced into labour on the back of a snowmobile, so I pretty much started snowmobiling before I was born,” said Chitty. “I bought my first snowmobile when I was seven. I saved up all my allowance money, bought it and it’s been a passion for me since then.”
Born and raised in the Sault, Chitty moved to Valemount 10 years ago and loves the lifestyle.
“I’d say Valemount has the best of absolutely everything: it’s quiet here, we get great snowfall and the terrain is very varied through all of our riding areas, so it’s really pushing your ability level for each different thing you’re interested in.
“It’s got the tactical stuff, there’s great big cliff drops, there’s beautiful tree riding. It’s probably the best place I’ve ever been and I’ll never move, that’s for sure.”
Chitty said two of his favourite spots to ride right now are Keyhole, which is “basically a giant skate park for a snowmobile, with all natural half-pipe features, beautiful rolls and natural pits everywhere so you’ve got beautiful jumps,” and Chappell Creek.
“(Chappell Creek) is a longer trail going in, and we don’t groom it as often so it actually accumulates some snow throughout the week as opposed to some other places that get pounded out a little more. There’s a wide variety of terrain and it’s just a beautiful, beautiful area that is just phenomenal for riding.”
For riding and for making memories; Chitty said some of his best riding has been on Chappell Creek with his father.
“I can remember going into Chappell Creek with my dad when I first taught him how to snowmobile, and watching him learn how to carve and do doughnuts,” he said. “By the end of the day he was so tired that he couldn’t actually even move, and I remember picking him up out of the snow several different times because he’d wipe out off the side of his sled and couldn’t even physically stand up anymore.
“He loves it now. My dad still lives in Ontario and he spends six to eight weeks out here every year.”