Surely you have verified that, over the years, holidays in the snow have become more famous and in demand by many people. However, although the world of skiing is growing every day, other incredible activities have developed around it, such as snowmobiles. For this reason, in today's article we are going to introduce you to its history, some aspects that you should take into account if you are going to try this modality for the first time, the places of the most famous world where to practice it and the latest influencers to "jump on the bandwagon" of this trend.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF SNOWMOBILES?
The origin of snowmobiles, as is logical, comes from the need to move in rural areas where it snowed a lot, especially for sending letters. The first snowmobiles were Ford T models modified with skis attached. The first is attributed to Carl Eliason, a native of Wisconsin, in 1923. The first company to develop a production line for snowmobiles was Polaris Industries in the United States.
Today, snowmobiles are widely used as a vehicle of travel in these towns in the United States, as well as in areas of the world where the distances are great and the terrain is too snowy enough to go by car. However, most of the motorcycles are sold for recreational purposes and leisure continues to be the main reason for their purchase. There are many ski resorts, both inside and outside of Spain, where we will find schools or companies whose service offer includes snowmobiles, as is the case of our collaborators at Whistler Wander. His team offers customers the possibility of snowmobile routes, adjusting to the level and preferences of the group. The best thing about this type of activity, basically, is to do it hand in hand with experienced people who know the terrain. You will enjoy the day like a real baby!
THE BEST PLACES IN THE WORLD TO GO SNOWMOBILE
- ROVANIEMI IN FINLAND
One of the most fun activities you can do in the city of snow, Lapland, is to grab some motorbikes and ride them through the fantastic white-covered forest. The excursions are always led by a guide who is driving in front, although you can go in pairs of two with another motorcycle and exchange steering wheel control.
The excursions can be from 1 to 6 hours. If you just want to live the experience and get to know the Lappish forest, we recommend that you choose a route that lasts less than three hours. However, if you already control a bit of snowmobiles and want to cover every corner of the slopes, then it will be up to you how much time you want to spend on the snowmobile.
Most of the excursions are in the center of the slopes with about 110 kilometers covered, but we can also go off-piste taking care in maneuvers due to the untrodden snow that can cause us to sink.
- YELLOWSTONE IN THE UNITED STATES
In this case we are talking about a national park, the Yellowstone National Park. Therefore, one of the best ways to get to know it will be by renting a snowmobile. Hundreds of kilometers of incredible trails where we will find cabins where we can have a hot coffee or a chocolate on the way along our route.These landscapes are one of the most incredible to travel on a transport such as a snowmobile, accessing routes and areas that would otherwise be impossible.
- GRANDVALIRA STATION IN ANDORRA
In our country we can also enjoy important services and routes for snowmobile rides. The Grandvalira resort in the Grau Roig sector is one of them that hundreds of people go to during the ski seasons. The circuits are intended for both couples and family or friends. The routes are located in the Valira river valley, an incredible forest landscape typical of Andorran nature.
Before reserving your tour you must take into account a series of indications. The exit is from Grau-Roig at about 2.000 meters of altitude. You can ride the motorcycle yourself, as long as you are over 18 years old. In addition, children over 6 years old can also enjoy the ride as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
- HAUTES LAURENTIDES IN QUEBEC
This Canadian landscape opens up to our eyes and you can discover it at the speed you decide with your snowmobile. In this case, at the age of 16 you will already be able to drive the motorcycle and for tourists they grant a normal driver's license.
In addition, it is a place where if you like animals you can enjoy seeing its wonderful wildlife that lives in freedom among the forests of Quebec.
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN DRIVING A SNOWMOBILE?
Although it may seem easy to drive a snowmobile, it requires certain techniques because it is still an activity with which you slide on a track that can be covered with ice and with more dangerous areas. Not everything depends on us either, since we are on a machine, however, it will be a priority to know how to control the motorcycle to mark the direction and avoid accidents. The three factors that we must take into account when getting on a motorcycle are its maneuverability, speed and acceleration. Mastering these three elements requires a minimum of physical strength and certain reflexes. We are going to leave you with a video below that briefly explains what exactly driving a snowmobile consists of so that you can get an idea.
The goal is to control the bike and not the other way around. It is not characteristic of snowmobiles that they are dangerous, but there are three general causes that can lead to serious accidents. First of all, the collisions with trees or even animals that can come across without you noticing. This usually happens if we ride at night. It can also happen that the pilot loses control and the machine acts by itself until it collides against some element. Finally, and although it is less likely, there can also be avalanches.
We will be able to avoid all these types of risks if we are minimally trained in the use of snowmobiles. In addition, the state of the snow will also be important since some circuits are usually closed because they are not thick enough.
To find out about this we can see it in applications such as Skiinfo Snow Report where information on more than 2000 ski resorts in the world is registered. It teaches you from the weather forecast, through the map of the slopes to the snow forecast, everything you need to know in a moment!
SHOULD I USE A SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT TO RIDE A SNOWMOBILE?
The equipment you need to carry out any snowmobile journey is not far from what is necessary for skiing. However, as you have seen in other articles on Uller's blog, there are always modalities and levels within each white sport, and some involve more risk and, therefore, more specific materials.
Two very important items that you must wear are the helmet, specific for motorbikes and that will protect you in the event of a fall, and a ski mask. The Uller ski goggles that you use for skiing or snowboarding will also be perfect for driving snowmobiles. Because? Mainly because they will guarantee eye care thanks to their UV400 protection index, and the colors and contrasts of the landscape will be much more enhanced due to our X-Polar technology. And that is very worth it if we talk about the landscapes that are seen on snowmobile routes! On the other hand, in the event of a fall, something that can happen on snowmobiles just like on skis, the anti-slip system of the mask strap will prevent it from coming off your face, so you won't have to worry. you are welcome; Focus on living that experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. We assure you that you will want to repeat.
The boots are another important item. Its characteristics are similar to those of snow boots: medium-high shaft, waterproof, breathable and with great grip on the foot. However, there are many professionals who do not recommend the use of snow boots for snowmobile riding . The reasons they give focus on the fact that it is counterproductive: a snowboard boot, by its design, can cause chafing in the person who is placed on a snowmobile due to the position of their leg and foot, in addition to being damaged more because they are not as resistant as those specific for snowmobiles.
Finally, the clothing must meet the characteristics of common ski clothing: waterproof, comfortable, warm and preferably divided into layers that you can take off and put on. And it is that, the snowmobile routes also allow you to get off them in certain sections to simply enjoy the spectacular landscapes. Of course, in the case of taking more dangerous routes, it will be essential to use outer layers that are more reinforced and that can cushion the blows in the event of a fall.
INFLUENCERS WHO HAVE BEEN SNOWMOBILING THIS SEASON
When talking about snowmobiles as the activity of the season, we cannot miss the references to influencers that we know have enjoyed this vehicle to admire incredible landscapes and share it on their Instagram profiles . This is the case of the photographer and public figure Javi Hernández, better known by the name of his account @salvajetravel, who is an adventurer as well as a very special collaborator of Uller. He has gone on a snowmobile tour together with his friends, the influencers Lara Tronti @laratronti and Hugo Pérez @hugoperezcabaleiro, and together they shared beautiful images like these that we show you below. That's nice!
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SNOWMOBILE
- ANY SOME PLACES WHERE TO RIDE A SNOWMOBILE IN SPAIN?
Near the Baqueira Beret Station is the abandoned town of Montgarri. The company Montgarri Outdoor organizes very complete motorcycle tours that include lunch, snack or dinner at their hostel. In Benasque motorcycle excursions allow you to enjoy an incredible sunset in the Posets massif and you can access the Basibé or Sarrau hills with your motorcycle.
On the other hand, if you are in Valle de Tena (Huesca) you can find another company that offers this service called Acción Pirineos. Among the different services, it also offers the snowmobile service, and they have packs that can make the experience even more special by adding a private dinner in a refuge or getting the skis on the motorcycle to freeride from some points.
Finally, in the Cantabrian mountain range we can also enjoy a private snow park with the company Awentur before starting the excursion. The routes vary depending on the state of the snow.
- WHAT IS THE PRICE OF MOTORCYCLE TOURS?
The price of motorcycle excursions will range between 60 and 200 euros depending on what is included in the pack.
- IS IT DANGEROUS TO RIDE A SNOWMOBILE?
Riding a snowmobile does not have to be dangerous, but we do need to prevent ourselves from any possible accident. The important thing will be to wear a helmet and glasses that protect us, in addition to riding the motorcycle safely. Most likely, you will go with a guide who will be able to indicate and guide you, worth the redundancy, in case you need help.
- WHAT DOES IT NEED TO RIDE A SNOWMOBILE?
To be able to drive a snowmobile with your bare hands in Spain you will need to be at least 18 years old and be in possession of a driving license.