A Beginners Guide to Get Started with Sledding in the Mountains

Here is a couple of basic tips that I could think of to help you gain confidence and start you off on your new snowmobile adventures in the mountains!

  • Take an avalanche course if riding in the mountains and learn how to use all your avalanche and survival gear.  This is the most important intro to the mountains you can have. It will help keep you and others safe in the backcountry.

  • Take a riding clinic or guided adventure with She Shreds Mountain Adventures or any other company with good credentials.

  • Momentum is your friend – The more confidence you have with the throttle the less you will get stuck.

  • Use your body weight – if you are a girl you will need to for sure use your weight a little more!  Swing those hips around; it will help you get that sled over faster.

  • Watch videos and others ride.  Most of us are visual learners.  Watch other riders closely (if you’re a girl – watch other girls) and listen to what they are doing with the throttle.  Its all about throttle control and body movement.

  • Email the pros for tips!  Feel free to email me with any questions you may have about sleds and sledding, I am MORE than stoked to help you out!  info@sheshreds.ca

  • Ride with experienced people (if you’re a girl – ride with other girls, you can learn lots from each other) and make sure that these people have patience to teach you and help you, don't be afraid of holding the group up.  These people you ride with should be happy and encouraging even if you get stuck lots.

  • Get stuck lots and be patient to get unstuck.  Get all that snow out of the track to make it the lightest possible for you to move it around. Here are a couple of Ski Doo & She Shreds tips on how to get unstuck in different terrain: 

  • Commit to anything you do.  If you tell your self you can you will most likely do it, if you tell yourself you cant you will most likely fail.

  • Always wear a teather.  This is your “emergency engine shut off” incase your snowmobile pins you down on top of you it will avoid the track from spinning and hurting you.

  • Don't park uphill always downhill it will save you a stuck!

  • Look where you want to go! If you look at the tree you will go into the tree!

  • Keep it flat in the deep snow at first until you get throttle comfy then move to slopes and tricky terrain.

  • Ride squirrel (in front of an experienced rider and hold onto the mountain bar).  Have the experienced rider scream in your ear what they are doing such as “shifting weight in the right leg, hips to the right, counter steer to the left, etc” and pay attention closely and listen to what they are doing with the throttle as they are moving their weight.  This will allow you to “get the idea” on how to counter steer and move around in deep snow and off camber terrain.

  • There are basic steps to start to learn how to snowmobile in the mountains… If you start with step one and move up it will make your life a lot easier! If you start with step 5 right off the bat, you will get frustrated and maybe hate snowmobiling! 1) Throttle control on the flats 2) pow carving/ counter steering on the flats with no trees or obstacles in the way, 3) side hilling on small slopes with no trees or obstacles in the way 4) downhill pow carving with no trees or obstacles in the way 5) wrong foot forward on the flats then on the slopes. Once you have dominated each step, you can then move onto the next.  Once you have dominated all steps that start to introduce tricky terrain with tree’s and ditches and such in the way!

  • Always choose appropriate terrain and set yourself up for success! Wide open terrain with no obstacles(trees), mellow slopes for a while till you're comfy on your sled.

  • Sled set up is pretty important.  (Click here for a little blog I wrote about sled set up) Lets start with handlebars.  They shouldn’t be any higher than your belly button and you should sit square above the bars with a slight bend in your elbows.  This is the position you are strongest.  If you are petite, think about a narrower handlebar set up.  Another thing is ski width.  Most sleds there are a couple of options for set up.  The narrower the skis are the easiest it will be to get the sled over on its side.  Next could be shedding a bit of weight off the sled if you are not quite as strong (ie: the pipe can easily shed 10-15 lbs). If you have small hands Skinz sells an adjustable break leaver for example that will bring the break leaver closer to the handlebar.  Lots of modifications to help sled set up available out there.

If you have any questions about anything please do not hesitate to email me at info@sheshreds.ca

Happy shredding!!