|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..