Long Distance Touring... - HCS Snowmobile Forums

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Old 11-22-2015, 02:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Long Distance Touring...

Hiya guys, im sitting here in Australia in the 40 deg heat and fantasizing bout coming up to Canada for some Snowmobile touring...
im completely new to this sport so ive got no real idea about whats even possible.
What id like to do is 5-7 days of flat trail touring and then in a week or 2 try some more mountainous type touring. Guided of course but i dont really know what else to specify...

This would be part of a 4 week trip (mid jan to mid feb)which will hopefully include driving from Whitehorse or Dawson up to Inuvik, and hopefully a little further north. Assuming this is even possible....research is ongoing!!

cheers walrus
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I can help you here and we have quite a bit in common as I was working in Australia Sep-Feb, returning back to the UK on 13 Feb, only to fly to Manitoba on 19 Feb and snowmobile for a week.

First off, the types of riding are very different, that being touring versus mountains. For example, in touring you will ride 175-250 miles per day, try not to get stuck, be dressed in really warm clothing. For the mountains, 50 miles can be a really BIG day, you're not having fun unless you get stuck, and dressing in layers is key as you will be shedding clothing as it warms and as you dig your sled out.

It is not impossible to do both, but you need to recognise they are very different and require a different mindset and equipment.

So with that in mind and given that you are a tourist, then I would suggest areas that cater to you and your group. I'm not trying to insult you, but recognise Canada is roughly the same size as Australia and to properly do these two types of riding styles, you'll need to travel by air between locations for trail riding versus the mountains.

Timing
Let me answer your timing question first since you mentioned mid January to mid February. The biggest thing to consider is weather. In January, the sun is low and the nights are long, with some fairly cold conditions. Minus 30 or colder is not uncommon for the daily high in the flat lands where you would trail ride. For the past 12 years, I've done an annual week-long touring ride in Canada and we always go the last week in February because the trails are great, the sun is higher, and it isn't so cold as in January. We do a saddle bag type trip where we start in one location and don't return for 6 or 7 days, staying in hotels along the way. It is great fun, but it is harder in January when you can see -40 days.

Logistics
You'll probably fly into Canada at Vancouver from Sydney and spend a day or two adjusting to the time zone. I'd recommend you do your mountain riding in British Columbia (BC) as it is fantastic. Then fly to Quebec and do the trail riding. If you go in this sequence, then the trail riding is towards the end of your trip when the weather is warmer (still plenty cold but not bone chilling cold). You can also enjoy some downhill skiing in BC.

Mountain Riding
One of the best places for mountain riding is Revelstoke. You would catch a short flight from Vancouver to Kelowna and then a 2-hour shuttle to Revelstoke. Information on how this works can be found at this web site.

Revelstoke has several outfitters that can equip you with gear and snowmobiles, and a guide. These guys have been around a long time and could sort out your details.

Trail Riding
For trail riding in Canada, Quebec is very special. They have an excellent trail network and there are a number of outfitters that could supply you with sleds and gear, and probably even a guide. Just like the Australian outback, parts of Canada are fairly remote and you need to be prepared as the consequences can be severe. Having a guide would probably help out a great deal. Start with this web site for info:
Discover the Snowmobile Paradise | Snowmobile in Quebec

For Quebec, either fly into Montreal or Quebec City. You'll probably be able to get a direct flight to either from Calgary.

That should get you started.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What Siusse Sledder says is perfect info, he obviously has done this and knows what he's talking about. A few things I would add to the Quebec riding segment are. 1 check out the "Woodrunner Trail " info. 2 get the "I Motoniege" app for your smart phone available on the FCMQ website. 3 Montreal is where to land more English speaking help in this part of Quebec. 4 always have cash in your pocket some remote areas won't take debit or cr cd's. 5 I would stay away from guided groups that are large in numbers, just slows you down and they tend to be a daily return loop type tour so go it on your own and plan your trip in advance best you can or contact a Club and see if they can fix you up with a travelling guide to go with you.
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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cheers guys.... a lot to think about..... ill continue to research and dream!!

i realize that Canada is huge and would quite happily just do one type of riding this time.... this would give me an excuse to come back in a few more years and do the other type.... potentially one coast on this trip then the other on the next trip. i rode my dirtbike 11,000 km across Australia a few years ago and understand the distances involved are paralleled in Canada. As a New Zealander any place that i cant ride the length of in 24 hours is big!!

anyway.... cheers for the help!! ill try to update this thread with decisions (or more silly questions!) as i go along...

walrus..
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