Being overly prepared is impossible when sledding in the cold temperatures of Wyoming! Layers are ideal for staying warm and dry in the snow, predominantly water wicking synthetics as the base layers. Be sure to avoid cotton (especially socks) as this will absorb any moisture and stay heavy when moving. Avalanche equipment is also an essential requirement to be suited with when snowmobiling, alongside the knowledge of how to use them, for example beacons, probes and shovels.
Be Comfortable Going Slow: Begin practicing with sled slowly before you feel comfortable to speed up action. Start by practicing carve turns, with a slow curve to one side whilst moving downhill, return to the center with balance and then move towards the other side.
Throttle and Brakes: Throttle and brake control are both highly important when snowmobiling so ensure you are comfortable with both before setting off. Practice with the throttle on the snowmobile before setting off; note the movement of the sled when throttle back against throttling hard. If the sled begins to sink when throttling hard, back off the throttle and the snowmobile should resurface on the snow, at which point throttling can be resumed.
Body Position: Stand with a slight bend to the knee and in an athletic stance to gain balance on the sled.
Counter Steering: When travelling in deep snow steering comes from the back of the skis, meaning if a carve to the right is desired the ski needs start with a steer to the left with a slight use of the throttle, causing a carve towards the right. If a fall to the right occurs, a tip is to steer to the center to gain greater control over the carve distance to the right.
First and foremost, always stop on an area of hard pack or an existing track to ensure a safer and more controlled halt to movement. Inclines are risky locations to stop the snowmobile, but if mandatory, ensure to position the motor facing downhill which causes the starting and movement of the motor to be easier. If control is slightly lost and you find yourself off-track, attempt to circle back and return to the desired track to stop.
Don’t Sit Down
Sitting down on the sled is extremely dangerous when moving through deep powder locations. Always maintain a standing or kneeling position; adjusting the handlebars, brakes and throttle positions allow for this stance comfortably. Control of the sled is only achieved through moving weight from left to right in a standing/kneeling position, control is lost instantly in a sitting position and is impossible to regain unless standing.
Be conscious of your own personal ability as being comfortable and confident in your sledding skills is important. Additionally, the trick with snowmobile powder riding is to keep moving through the snow whenever possible; pick lines through obstacles in advance and always look ahead, be aware of surroundings. Fortunately for visitors, Wyoming has particularly attractive surroundings so being alert is not difficult in the snow, making AdventuresJH the perfect place to book your next snowmobiling adventure!