Snowmobiling at 6,000 Feet
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Snowmobiling at 6,000 Feet

Discover how Harry Patchett handles the adventure of snowmobiling at night, and gets reflective about the year that has been, in this latest post of #WhisLife.

The bus up to Canadian Wilderness Adventure’s base was tense. Like me, most of the group were first time snowmobilers and we were on the “Night Rider” tour heading up Blackcomb Mountain. We all stuck nervously to our groups on the first leg of the tour, but by the time we returned it would be a whole other story.

We were headed to the Crystal Hut, six thousand feet up Blackcomb Mountain. We stopped on route close to Glacier Creek Lodge for a little obstacle course training. It gave us a chance to rip around and experiment with the machines – I had fun with a few little tail-whip slides. There were moments where I felt out of control, my stomach lurching as I reigned the machine back in.

We make it to the hut. Once the engines are switched off it’s incredibly still and quiet. I check my watch and can’t believe an hour has gone by since we left the base. The ride up here flew by as I concentrated on leaning into turns and controlling the thrust just a tweak on the acceleration gives you. The Crystal Hut hadn’t been open yet this season so the snow was beautifully untouched. I looked down toward the village. Lights shine through soft clouds that shroud what’s below – it created an aurora borealis like show.

It’s near the end of 2014 and as I looked out at the lights my mind started to drift back over the adventures that brought me to this mountaintop. My year will end in Whistler where meeting a Canadian is rare, but an Australian is easy. A place where you spend more time in the air ascending the mountain than you do riding down it. And where experiences can turn a cautious group of strangers into a hooting and hollering band of snowmobilers.

This tour exemplified my year. For me, enjoyment comes from the adrenaline rush of a new experience and the moments of reflection that come in the midst of exploration.

Happy New Year Whistler – may your 2015 be adventure filled.

To find out more about Canadian Wilderness Adventures visit their website.

Harry Patchett