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skiing versus snowmobiling

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
skiing next month at snowmass for four days, the first day being just 1/2 day.....friends who have snowmobiled(is this a word?) before are trying to convince my wife and I and another couple to shell out $130 per person for two hours of this and delete(too much computer use) a half day of skiing to do this...IS IT WORTH IT??

thanks for your opinion...

[ November 28, 2002, 07:30 AM: Message edited by: eyedoc ]
post #2 of 11
They are two very different sports. Both take place on snow, but that's where it ends. A bit like comparing running or bicycling to motor bike riding. No doubt snowmobiling is fun though, and if you're into adding some diversity to your trip and you like motorsport, go for it! The trails they'll take you on will be tame, but you're beginners... once you've ridden the sleds for a while, it's pretty cool to get up into the vast expanses of powder fields. Don't be suprised if the odd backcountry skier has some choice words for you, though.
post #3 of 11
i use my snowmobile to go backcountry skiing
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by JR:
They are two very different sports. Both take place on snow, but that's where it ends. A bit like comparing running or bicycling to motor bike riding. No doubt snowmobiling is fun though, and if you're into adding some diversity to your trip and you like motorsport, go for it! The trails they'll take you on will be tame, but you're beginners... once you've ridden the sleds for a while, it's pretty cool to get up into the vast expanses of powder fields. Don't be suprised if the odd backcountry skier has some choice words for you, though.
I few seasons ago i signed up for a couple of hours snowmobiling in Park City - it was going to replace my obligatory ski rest morning. It was a beautiful morning, 'blueberry sky' the guide described it as. I had snowmobilled once in Vail, but it was quite tame, there was two of us to one snowmobile and we kept to the winding trails and it was in the evening.
The snowmobile i was allocated I couldn't get started, so the guide gave me his one while he tried to sort out my one, which to my trepidation was twice the size as the rest of the bikes and twice as powerful "No problem," he assured me. "She's very sensitive, so try not to rev too hard and remember to shift your body left and right when turning at bends. I did as he advised me and it was going well. Then after about ten minutes on the trail he suddenly shot off the trail and revved his bike inbetween some trees, the bike behind him followed him followed by the bike behind that bike..and suddenly I found myself facing a vast, deep powder field and in the distance I could see the guide, followed closely by two 12 year old kids, bouncing their machines through the powder with the same skill and panache you would accredit an expert powder skier performing the figure out.
"Go for it!" shouted the guide with unabashed elation. So I went for it. It was fantastic, in the powder, the machine felt as light as a feather. I couldn't believeit but I was taking off over every powder mound. I was bouncing on the saddle like one of those bronco guys. I was shifting my weight left and right. It must have been two hours when the guide guided us off our umpteenth powder field. He turned to us and said breathlessly, "this has got to be better than skiing!" I was the only one in the group that disagreed. It was an enjoyable morning but my thinking was turning towards stopping, having a nice lunch and skiing in the afternoon. Another hour later on the powder fields I had just about had it. My legs felt weak, my stomach felt empty, my motivation was gone. I found it extremely difficult to control the machine. The guide saw my dilemma and reluctantly headed for the trail home. But it was too late. No longer having the strength in my thighs to control the powerful machine at bends, I found myself and the snowmobile hurtling towards the steep tree-lined edge. With panic-stricken strength I managed to throw myself off the saddle before the machine hurtled over the edge. As for me, that was my skiing on hold for 3 days while I waited for my pulled groin muscles to knit. End of Story.. :
post #5 of 11
eyedoc we always take a snowmobile trip in the middle of a ski week for a break & to give the kids & the less gifted skiers another way to enjoy the mountains, hate to hear about Maximus trip from you know were but this would not be the norm, remember that a lot of people that go on these tours have never ridden a snowmobile, I have used several different services in summit county & they all have their niche, some crawl along trails up the cont divide for sightseeing & picture taking others can be more exciting if thats what you want, the one I have found that I like is white mountain tours, they have different tour levels, this season I am going to do the high performance tour with high performance single seat snowmobiles, do a little research & you should find the tour that fits your ability & desires but I would not pass it up. the 130.00 per person sounds a little high, I have been paying 80.00 driver & 40.00 rider total 120.00 but that may be with a coupon for a double sled, the high performance tour I spoke of cost 150.00 for a single & you have to show you can handle it. most if not all the tours have web sites now so do some research, good luck.
bteddy
post #6 of 11
having done both, i would say to try it on a day you want to rest the ski legs(as suggested above), but some advice:
you will probably get on a guided tour and will not have a chance to go wherever you want to, but some of the views will be worth it at not views you would probably be able to get to even if you back-country skied. make sure you pick up driving the snowmobile fast, that way; they may put you on the end of the snowmobile group and you can start and stop more as you wish rather than being stuck in the middle of the group.
post #7 of 11
Do both I say.

I work in groomers & snowmaking so we always go for a blat around the place when no one else is about. Also a good way to get some extra runs in late in the day if the grooming schedule isn't too bad.

Both sports a lot of fun, & one helps the other. A Us ski patroller was telling me that back home at the end of season there is this get together of skiers & beelers. The redneck beelers toe the skiers to the top of some awsome late season corn & then afterwards they get together & have a few drinks. This is what it's all about. Two groups getting along & enjoying the same product differently.

Just like boarders & skiers.
post #8 of 11
I would definately go snowmobiling. It is a blast! I have been skiing for 15 years, worked on a ski patrol for 5 years, and will ski until I die. Two years ago I bought 2 sleds. I am only fair weather skier now. Sledding is way too fun, and is great no matter what the conditions are. Sledding on groomed trails is definately for the beginer, or white trash lazy slob. Get off trail into the powder and it will blow you away. You can spend an entire day riding bowls deep in the back country and not see a soul. Despite what others have said, if you do any real mountain riding, expect to be walking like you soiled your pants for a couple days. I would only go at the end of your ski trip as to not mess up and great ski days. Your quads, arms and shoulders will hurt like they never have before. Mountain riding is way more physically challenging than you would think. Makes skiing feel like a rest day. If there is no powder, or you ride the groomed trails, don't worry it will be a relaxing day, but still quite fun.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by WAPowder:
Two years ago I bought 2 sleds. I am only fair weather skier now
Sell out

I would recommend doing the snowmobiling. It is epic fun, something you have to do, and so much better with a bunch of friends.
post #10 of 11
Good opportunity for a little story here...

I used to live in a very small northern community that had unlimited, and pretty much unspoiled backcountry. There were always major rifts between the sledders and the b/c skiers, the latter who obviously didn't appreciate the obnoxious machines and beer fueled riders. The community, quite green in nature, banned the machines to preserve the pristine nature of the area. They reversed that decision the next year, and began promoting snowmobiling. Why? The sledders would roll into town, fuel up at the town gas station, stock up at the store, eat meals at the restaurant, close down the bar and spend the night at the hotel. The skiers brought a bag lunch, slept in a tent, and bitched about the $5 trail fee.

Sad, but true.
post #11 of 11
Must share this story -

I sledded once at Park City too. I think the outfit was called High Country Tours or something like that. They are just past Deer Valley at the end of the road. My cousin and I took a day off from skiing midweek and took a two hour trip. It was just the two of us and the guide on brand new Polaris sleds.

We headed up the trail and cruised around in an open field for a while, with the guide assessing our riding skill. After concluding that we were somewhat capable, he asked us if we’d like to try HILL CLIMBING. Not ones to shy away from much, we gladly said “Yes”.

Off to the hill we went. It was up in the backcountry, maybe a 1000’ foot slope at some 30-35 degrees. There were a few tracks up it. The guide said “Go for it”, so I nailed the throttle and cranked about 2/3s the way up the hill, looked for a good spot to make my turn, kept my weight up hill and whipped it around. Then came FLYING down the hill and pretty much got whiplash in the big gulley at the bottom.

Not having had enough, I proceeded back up the hill and things got worse. This time, I was timid and made my turn in old tracks, threw my weight off (downhill) and saw a roll coming. Jumped off the sled as it flipped over. The sled rolls over, barely missing me, and then I grab it before it totally flips down the hill.

Now, I’m basically shaking like a leaf. And I can’t get the sled re-started. The guide comes up and helps me get rolling again. And then I go FLYING down the hill and get more whiplash. That was the end of our Hill Climbing……Miraculously, I didn’t break anything (on the sled) when I rolled it. Could have cost me $$$.
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