Sledding in Various Terrain

Driving in Various Terrain and Snow Conditions

One of the most important aspects of snowmobiling in various terrain and snow conditions is to be able to anticipate what lies ahead. Deep snow requires more power to operate the machine since it sinks deeper in loose snow. You must be on the alert to shift your weight because the snow base is unstable and steering may be difficult. If you are in deep snow, turn in as wide an arc as possible and look for a firmer base.


ICE : Ice is as hard and unyielding as concrete and extreme care should be used anytime you're on ice. Snowmobiles are hard to control, spins are common and fast stops are impossible. To stop on ice, let up on the throttle easily, allowing the machine to coast to a stop. Avoid icy slopes as the track will not grab ice even on flat surfaces.


SURFACE SLOPE - UPHILL: Lean forward on the machine, preferably in a kneeling position. Provide enough speed to reach the top, remembering that in heavy or deep snow, more speed is required. Prepare for any hazards which may be at the top. Do not stop when you are pointed uphill, as you may become stuck when you start again.


SURFACE SLOPE - DOWNHILL: Loss of control could be the most serious hazard when riding downhill. Always keep the machine under control and be prepared to stop if necessary. Avoid locking the track up which could cause you to slide sideways and roll. Use the sitting position when riding downhill. To stop the snowmobile, "pump" the brakes, do not hold them as it may cause the back end to "fishtail". Keep the clutch engaged when riding downhill, otherwise the vehicle is "free wheeling"" and it is much harder to stop in this condition.


SURFACE SLOPE - CROSSING A SIDEHILL: This position can be very difficult on hard-packed snow. Ride the snowmobile in a kneeling position leaning toward the hill. Pressure should be placed on the uphill side of the track.