Snowmobiling Skill Course: ‘From Zero to Hero’

Learn to snowmobile powder!

On a very snowy morning a group from Explore Niseko got to try out the new snowmobile course, opening in Niseko Dec 2017. This snowmobile skill course is designed for those who want learn how to snowmobile and was explained to us as a ‘zero to hero’ course. We arrived to see two monster snowmobiles surrounded by many large fields of snow.

To begin, the basics of the snowmobiles (very powerful and large, 800cc Ski-Doo and Polaris) and snowmobile driving were explained and demonstrated. It was explained that we would follow a progression of skills, working towards being able to take a snowmobile backcountry. Given the large amount of snow the instructors carved out a course we could follow if we wanted. However, the whole field was our playground!

First we were encouraged to go as fast as we dared and get a feel of the snowmobile. The feeling of heading straight through thigh deep powder, snow billowing in your face, tasted of freedom and was incredible. After we had the basic feel the next step was powder turns, which involved your whole weight being moved to one side of the snowmobile. After falling a number of times, cushioned by fluffy powder, in turn we each ‘got it’ (with varying degrees of success).

Following, we attempted a few jumps, bouncing the machine in powder and rocking the snowmobile. By this point we were all thoroughly tired and happy and ready to call it a day. The highlights for us was finally managing to do a powder turn at full speed (resulting in a full donut) and flying full speed across a field of powder.

We can highly recommend this experience for anyone wishing to learn the art of snowmobiling, for those with a need for speed and adventure, and for those looking for something a little more hard core.

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