“All I knew was, I was in the mountains”
In 2011 professional snowmobiler Denver Debes moved to Castlegar from his home in Ontario despite the fact that he knew only one person in the province. “All I knew was, I was in the mountains,” he says. And Castlegar didn’t disappoint. He honed his skills on the peaks and in the valleys near his home and has since appeared in numerous sled movies. There are two reasons Castlegar is renowned amongst snowmobilers: the first is the varied terrain and the second is the perfect snow.
The average annual snowfall in the mountains surrounding Castlegar is 12 metres (40 feet) and because daily temperatures are mild (they average between -1°C and -6°C in the city) riders are comfortable.
As for terrain, sledders can enjoy everything from steep slopes in the mountains to flat, casual rides along the lakeshores and backcountry roads. In other words, adrenalin junkies and families alike can enjoy everything Castlegar has to offer for snowmobilers.
One of the more popular areas is the Bombi Pass, located just south of the city because it’s so easy to access: simply follow Hwy 3 from the city and within 20 minutes you have any number of options and opportunities to pull over, unload the sled and go touring. Other popular locations are the Norns and Ladybird mountain ranges, located a 30-minute drive North of the city and where the Castlegar Snowmobile Association grooms over 70 kilometres (43 miles) of trails.
How to Get Here: Castlegar is centrally located within one of the best snowmobiling areas of the world. Simply follow any compass direction from town and you’ll find excellent trails or untracked terrain within a 20-minute drive.
Weather: The snowmobiling season usually starts in early December and extends all the way to mid April in the higher elevations. The snow conditions in the region are the best in the world and the mountains surrounding the city enjoy an annual average of 12 metres (40 feet) of snow that’s light, fluffy and fun. That said, Castlegar enjoys mild temperatures all winter long (daytime averages are between -1°C and -6°C).
Types of Snowmobiling: Snowmobilers have their choice of riding big mountain terrain in the peaks surrounding the city, or more mellow backcountry roads and trails that are perfect for family outings.
More Info: To learn more about snowmobiling near Castlegar Snowmobile Association via their Facebook page.