A Sledder’s High
Your machine roars to life, you can feel its engine vibrate with every pull on the throttle. Feel the cold wind on your face and breathe the crisp air as you fly through a frost-tipped forest beneath the bluebird sky. Cresting a mountain — an alpine bowl opens up just over the ridge — calling to you, inviting you to test your mettle against its pool of snow. It’s brilliant out here — magnified by the chilled air — crisp, clear and exhilarating. Give that throttle another tug. Feel the snow spray and arc as you hammer through it, howling with laughter. Round another bend to boondock through the backcountry, flying along through timbered passages and snow-covered meadows. There are no limits out here — so go ahead let that throttle out — only then will you experience the adrenaline-fuelled sledder’s rush of snowmobiling in the North Thompson Valley.
Snowmobile the Canadian Wild
The spine-tingling sensation of navigating engine-powered skis through the wilderness is as about as Canadian an experience you can have. The snow in the North Thompson Valley is one of a kind: created by the collision of warm, ocean breezes and the chilly, northern environment, Valemount, Blue River and Sun Peaks Resort each offer their own oceans of powder-fuelled thrills. Engrave the snow by popping the throttle and booming through forested paths, panting for more adventure where snow knows no bounds.
Valemount — Ride at the Doorstep to the Rockies
The drama of the Rockies, the craggy peaks of the Monashees, and the rolling summits of the Cariboos: these three mountain ranges define the rare landscape surrounding Valemount — not to mention the limitless riding possibilities. Pick your pleasure: will you saddle up to ride rolling hills, grasslands blanketed with snow; low-elevation trails for first-timers; or, high mountain passes for the experts? Make sure you try the Crystal Ridge Sled Ski Area, open to the public with a designated uptrack for snowmobile travel; a one-of-a-kind experience. Strike out on your own or play follow-the-leader with a group of friends — you’ll be rewarded with heart-stopping winter panoramas that belong on a postcard and plenty of shots on your own memory card.
Blue River — Nature Lover’s Sledding
Further south along the Yellowhead Highway is a snowmobiler’s paradise, where the mountains reach the sky and the dry, shimmering powder is just waiting to be explored. There’s a reason seasoned sledders flock to Blue River — where more than 60 kilometres (37 miles) of groomed and tracked trails (and even more snow-covered thrills above the ridgeline) combine with up to six metres (20 feet) of annual snowfall, creating both epic and easy-going riding. Suit up. Step outside your door and onto your machine. Point your skis to Groundhog Mountain where avalanche-free trails make for family-friendly rides, or make your way over a frozen creek bed and fly straight up to the alpine. The frozen tundra is calling — will you answer?
Sun Peaks — Family Filled Snowmobile Runs
Glide along a frozen lake. Plow your sled through backcountry bowls of powder. Seek some chills, find some thrills — the sledding at Sun Peaks Resort (Setting/Sun Peaks) is both family-friendly and adventure-fuelled.
Bring the whole family along — Sun Peaks Resort offers guided two, and four-hour snowmobile tours that zoom along frozen routes, over snow and ice-covered lakes, and through a wintry forest. Sign-up for a night ride to experience the winterscape illuminated only by your snow machine and the twinkling stars above; then, warm up at McGillivray Cabin with an old-fashioned wiener roast around a glowing fire. These are the kind of magical experiences that bring out the kid in everyone — which is what Sun Peaks Resort is all about — brazen family fun!