Like many seasoned riders, we are often looking to find and explore new riding areas, we use a variety of tools, but one of the greatest tools is Google Earth. Google Earth will allow you to scout out possible riding terrain in advance, to find places to drive to and what logging roads to use to get to the goods. You can also determine the slope and foresee other possible terrain challenges, such as drainages, cliffs and shelves that lead to good riding areas. When we are riding on one area you can often see other areas across the valley, or the next mountain range, and using GPS tools, like a Garmin Rhino, we can use our location to pinpoint precisely in Google Earth, where we were and where we want to go. Regarding Garmin Rhino’s, you can connect your device to your computer and overlay your tracks into google Earth, they will show you every place you went while the GPS tracked your location. This is a useful tool to use to help you further extend your riding in an area, as you can now have a birds eye view of the areas you rode.
Recently we found a new riding area we call the Circle, we observed this area across the valley from another favourite riding zone and one of our group members, Homer, used Google Earth to scout it out before we headed into physically explore the area. We choose a better visibility day and headed off out of Revy. We arrived at the sled drop zone and proceeded up the logging road to the open alpine and we began exploring the boundaries of the first area and then searched and found a route into the next and so on and so forth. As we went into each new zone, we spent some time getting to know the area, how to get in, and out, because you never know when the weather will change and you want to be able to safely get back to the truck. As we explored the area we kept finding new areas and also areas that we were stifled on how to safely access the zone, as to access some areas the avalanche risk was too high or the zone required drainage access that, again offered terrain hazards and risks. The ability to go back to Google Earth and overlay our GPS tracks allowed us to find alternative routes for our next visit to the area. The experience of finding new riding zones is one that brings back the early days of our group exploring Boulder and area on our 136 inch sleds. The difference with exploring now is we have greater technology to pre scout areas, far superior sled technology to get into and out of areas and much better terrain safety understanding to help ensure our group arrives back at the cabin safe each day on the hill. Each day we are out sledding, not only are we having fun but we are working on becoming better sledders as we continue to push the boundaries or technology and the mountains we are exploring. What makes mountain riding so exciting is that the landscape is ever expanding, it’s the last free frontier of sledding, we are free to explore and learn and challenge ourselves, all while we spend time with friends doing what we love to do.
So I hope that you too are out pushing your comfort level, finding new areas to ride and explore and that sledding for you is your escape into another world.
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We are people that love sledding in the backcountry, we love getting out and away from the crowds and enjoying the challenge of the deep snow and mountains. We love the Revelstoke area, we believe it to be the best place to backcountry sled. We are people that dedicate a lot of time to becoming better sledders and we want to pass this passion onto others as we believe there is no better sport than sledding in the backcountry.