DJ Osbourne from Tracked Out Adventures recently posted a video on the Boondockers FB explaining why you need to hire a guide for back country riding – especially when you’re visiting a new area. His comments were most useful and were founded on some good solid riding logic. DJ and Justin obviously provide a great riding experience but there are many additional factors that should also be considered when assessing a guide’s true value.
Here’s why we value our guides and the many services they provide;
1. Relax – Riding is supposed to be fun and when you have a good-humoured guide who expresses confidence in their ability, it will put a group at ease and allow them to concentrate on their riding and the comradery that comes from a day on the sled. Just make certain you hire from a competent and reputable company with good customer reviews and online support. Boondockers have also worked with Mountain Skillz , Ride with Rob Alford, Rugged Edge, Burandt's Back Country , Tracked Out Adventures , Ride Whistler
2. Safety – A professional local guide has an intimate understanding of high-risk areas and dangerous terrain. Most specifically, they know avalanche prone regions. It takes a lot of shoveling to understand an areas snowpack and guides are making daily assessments to better advise guests and choose the safest routes. They also boast proper first aid training and equipment in case things should get awry.
3. Comfort – Guides often operate as personal Sherpas, carrying all the food, extra gas, spare clothing, safety equipment, etc. This allows the guest to ride free of any unnecessary encumbrances. No extra weight or bulky packs makes the riding experience more enjoyable
4. Secrets – Guides know for all the secret stashes of powder, the most entertaining approaches, the perfect glades, and of course, the most effective routes to access the best areas. They’ve invested countless hours exploring the terrain and how to get the most out of every riding minute
5. Learning – Guides are professional riders who spend a lot of time in the saddle. They have mad skills that will provide guests with many riding tips and insights. Where to best place your feet, proper brake applications, and how to properly “throttle up” and through a diverse array of snow and terrain. They will make you into a better rider
6. Private Lands – Guide companies often have exclusive access to large terrain areas. Without permits there’s no way for a privateer to gain entry. The companies pay dearly for these rights and assume many additional responsibilities for land conservation and protection. Well worth the price of admission
7. Stuck – Whether you’re a first-time rider or a seasoned hand, if you’re not getting stuck you’re not riding hard enough. While many riders absolutely dread the idea of extracting a stuck sled (especially at high altitudes) your guides will come for you every time. They love watching you try and will work on you as much as the sled
8. Cohesion – Good guides can keep a group corralled and moving together. There’s nothing worse than losing a buddy. Well, maybe spending the whole day racing around looking for him.
9. Local Connections – your snowmobile guide can source just about anything you need locally and quickly – from parts to service, special needs, and the inside scoop on every situation.
10. Equipment – Guides often provide rental sleds which are in good running order; specifically tuned for their specific mountain area. Who knows how your sled will perform so a guide’s rental guarantees more time in the saddle and less time wrenching.
11. After Hours – Guides perform many after hour responsibilities that guests will appreciate; fueling sleds, making mechanical repairs / adjustments, loading trailers, drying out gear, keeping the fires lit, etc.
God save us and guide us with many thanks to all who keep us safe.
Sweat Your Brains Out!