Steamboat Springs, CO
I had the opportunity to do my first ‘backcountry’ snowmobiling trip the other day. It was probably one of the coolest things I’ve done in my life.
We loaded up in the heart of Steamboat and trekked North. Four guys, two sleds, one truck.
The parking lot was bare and we unloaded smack dap in the middle. The first half of the trek into the wilderness was all trail, groomed and fast. But the farther in we went, the more remote and the fewer tracks we saw. Eventually, we found ourselves making our own way, in 4 feed of fresh snow, and no one in sight. Two to each sled, one hand on the handle bar the other out for balance, rocking the ‘boat’ so hard as to get our backs dipped in the snow.
The realization of what we where doing really didn’t hit me until we got stuck.
The snow is deep. Like really deep. And we are reaaally far out. If one of the machines was truly stuck, and we didn’t have skis and skins, I have no idea what we’d do. Post-holing for 10 miles wouldn’t be an option. You’d be exhausted after 500 feet. It makes you appreciate the power of the machine, and your ultimate powerlessness in nature.
We dug ourselves out and continued onwards to the top of a crest. We pulled the skis off, geared up and began the journey to the top of Little Agnus, about 2,000 vertical feet.
Three hours later, exhausted, thirsty and hungry, we where back in the parking lot. We grabbed a few beers from the ‘war chest’ and pulled off our boots and resorted to kicking the built up snow off the sleds.
They had carried us 20+ miles though feet and feet of snow, up hills and over trees that where so far buried, we didn’t even know they where there.
Some engineer really know what they where doing.
We cheered that, burped and left.