Know before you go: 10 steps for responsible snowmobiling

Alberta Environment and Parks

Snowmobile - stock staff photo in mountains

Albertans are a hearty bunch: we can complain about the weather with the best of them, but we’ve always been good at finding ways to take advantage of our annual deep freeze – and for many of us, there’s no better place to do that than on the back of a snowmobile.

Snowmobile shutterstock 2

There’s no denying that snowmobiling is a blast – but the speed and power that make it so fun can also cause significant damage to the landscape, particularly to areas that are sensitive or protected.

When you’re out on the land, you are responsible for taking steps to limit your impact – and keep yourself safe. Here are 10 things you need to do.

Be Prepared

  1. Before you leave, decide on your route and check public land closures to make sure it’s open. Alberta’s parks and recreation areas have their own snowmobiling rules – check them here.
  2. Check…

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Lucky snowmobiler survives avalanche, captures it on helmet cam

For The Win

A snowmobiler in St. Elmo, Colo. survived an avalanche and captured the whole thing on his helmet camera. The force was enough to flip and bury the snowmobile, but the lucky driver walked away only shaken, not hurt.

The video contains some (totally understandable) foul language. It’s worth starting from the beginning to let the drama build up, but if you don’t have that much time on your hands, skip to about the 0:45 mark.

(Thanks to Deadspin for calling our attention to this video.)

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Snowmobiling Safety Tips

Marsh & McLennan Agency

This is the time of year when frequent snowfalls leave fresh powdered trails perfect for snowmobiling.  Snowmobiling is a lot of fun and you are wise to use a combination of caution and common sense at all times to stay safe on the trails. The following tips can help keep you safe:

  • Be aware. Know the regulations for the area you will be riding in and be aware of conditions. Check weather forecasts before heading out. Keep your speed in line with the conditions and your level of expertise. Slow down in hazardous areas such as around water or in the mountains at night.
  • Be prepared. Have a first aid kit available. Include survival items such as a knife, flairs, flashlight, compass, and a fire starting kit.
  • Dress properly. Make sure your helmet is safety certified. Wear warm gloves and wind/waterproof outer layers.
  • Don’t go alone. It is more fun…

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