Mountain riding can be very addicting, with lot of fun. There are several types of riding in the mountains. Hill climbing had become a popular sport, mainly from recent advancements with sleds in the last 20 years. Besides just riding on the trails as a 3-point stance, or up a climb on a slope, you can try a "twist" or "tippy" ride by carving your way up. (2 and 1 point riding). The Author can show you a few ways to have fun in the sun with your friends and do a little showing off. Some of these pictures look "easy" however, are not, but don't worry, with some practice you'll be amazed at what you can do. Part of the fun of snowmobiling is the "journey" to learning, not just the "destination". Ask lot of questions to your understanding buddies and they might even show you some tips. As always you are welcome to ask, here and even ask for a ride. Just bring your best attitude and a modern sled and you'll almost be guaranteed to have fun. Some of these pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.
Shown here is carving through the powder in a "swinging" maneuver, similar to power skiing, except going uphill, or at least on level ground. If you look closely (click to enlarge the pictures) some of the turns looks like the skis are pointed in the wrong direction. This is done on purpose and called "counter steering". Sometimes, the tails of the skis (going the opposite direction of the tips) can actually help keep your lean on the turn, thus, turning the handlebar the opposite way, just for a moment makes this maneuver easier, in some cases. You really have to do it several times to get the "feel" of it.
What's happening below the surface is the tails are digging in and pulling you over (just a little) to help your carving.
It's also very safe to bring at least 2-3 buddies to help out, should there be a problem.
Communicate what everyone's intentions are, test your radios and avalanche transceiver and go have some fun!
If it's the straight up climbing that's your bag, there's plenty of areas to do that as well. Most of these type of steep slopes can successfully be climbed, just be aware of the previous warnings about slides. The center picture is the most common type of open terrain for sport climbing and "high marking". It's a real ego booster as well. Cornices, as shown on the right do have potential for both fun and disaster so asses the situation well.
After you become proficient at hill climbing, turning out at the right time and competing with your buddies, you can sit back and feed your ego with a snack/drink and fun talk.
For cornice "reverse" jumping (that's going up into the "fluff", that can be fun as well and produce some spectacular pictures to being home for those summer blues. If you want to get started on something a little safer, try finding a "small" cornice with a "safe" landing, should something break loose. Basting up through them makes a spectacular spray of snow everywhere. Here's the author's trying his abilities at it. With several tries put a nice smile on his face.
"Heavy" carving can be fun, as well. One trick the author likes to do is run circles around the rest of the group, literally, on a lake with a fresh layer of powder. More the better, up to about 2 feet; the rest is waste. This does come with a price, since it's very rough on the lugs of the track, after several seasons of this, a lot of the outside lugs get torn off about 1/3 of the way. Click on that picture for a larger view.
The author's last demonstration and favorite move is sidehilling. This, again takes practice but once mastered makes a cool way to get up a hill, and even has a practical point to it, should this be the only way up, because of the slope being too steep. In extreme angles cases you can hang half you body out for additional weight transfer, or just do it to look "cool". Ether way it's a lot of fun. After a fun day of bust'in the snow it's sure a nice, welcome riding with a well groomed trail as shown here on a nice late afternoon in December.
Want to see more of carving? Karl's done a pretty nice job playing around and showing how it's done. In the group he's riding his own sled; the 1M black/green sled. These files are rather large,(50 MB) so you really need to be on a high speed connection, and running a fast PC, say 700 MHz or faster, with Windows 98 or later will display them properly (Win XP works great). Due to bandwidth limitations only two clips are here. Once the clip starts you can hit alt+enter for full screen.(toggles on-off for full screen).