The best skiing and snowboarding happens in the backcountry. Therefore, you need the best snowmobile for backcountry skiing. If you’re someone who’s looking for your next new thrill, you may want to look into skiing and even snowboarding. Everyone talks about how fun and adventurous summer can be with activities like surfing, swimming, and paragliding. However, the existence of these fun summer activities doesn’t mean you can only have fun in the summer. If you couldn’t enjoy your summer for some reason, you don’t have to wait for a whole year to pass until you can have fun.
Instead, you can choose to invest in your wintertime activities. Wintertime activities include riding snowmobiles, skiing, and ice sledding. These winter activities can be very exciting and fun for people to do. These are just as adventurous as some of the activities you may engage in during the summer. However, you may want to consider buying your snowmobile if you get into the habit of taking all your winter adventures. Snowmobiles are a way to elevate your backcountry skiing and snowboarding experiences. If you want to have better winter experiences, you must invest in a snowmobile.
In the article below, we’ll look into the best snowmobile for backcountry skiing and some of the best snowmobiles you can buy.
The 10 Best Snowmobiles for Backcountry Skiing
Now that you have an idea of all that you will have to take care of when using a snowmobile, you can have a better idea of the kind of snowmobile you want to invest in. You want something which works for you as best as possible. It has to get you to the backcountry roads and back safe and sound so you can ski in peace.
We’ve already talked about what measures you must take before you buy a snowmobile, and now we’re listing our top picks for you to choose from.
1. Ski-Doo Summit X 850 Turbo 175 with Expert Package
This snowmobile is reaching new heights of what a snowmobile can accomplish. It comes with a turbocharger, which means you have a grave amount of power to forge ahead even when the conditions are unfavorable. You can trudge on ahead and scale new heights on mountains alls because of this one wonderful snowmobile.
It has a horsepower greater than 160 HPW and is completely unstoppable in the right hands. The extreme package comes with an adjustable limiter strap, a short tunnel, and a small seat so that you can have the maximum amount of control. You can pair this snowmobile with the correct kind of gear like a racing cover and mudguard. We could say that with all of these details, the Ski-Doo Summit is maybe the best snowmobile for backcountry skiing.
2. Arctic Cat Alpha One
It is a well-balanced and convenient snowmobiles you can ride for backcountry skiing. It has components like a single-beam suspension which is brilliant for some of the rougher terrains that a snowmobile may encounter. It’s not very heavy, which helps with the weight and requires less energy for you to move through the snow.
You can pivot more easily when riding this snowmobile. It doesn’t have two rails but rather employs only one single sturdy railing, which inevitably reduces the overall weight of the operation and makes it easy for you to manipulate the snowmobile. It has a 397cc, single-cylinder engine, which is extremely quiet and shock absorbent, which means you’re not likely to hear a lot of noise coming out of it.
3. Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX
Contrary to the above two snowmobiles, the Yamaha Sidewinder comes with a 4-stroke engine. The 4-stroke engine also means that it’s heavier and has bigger dimensions. The general heaviness and width could mean that you can’t manipulate the snowmobile as best. Yamaha is now looking to establish more backcountry models, and the sidewinder is one way they’ve gone about doing this.
The 4-stroke engine has impressive mechanics by which they can scale larger altitudes. They’re in the perfect situation to cover larger areas due to the high power of a 4-stroke engine compared to a 2-stroke engine.
4. Polaris 850 Indy Launch Edition
Polaris is one of the best companies you can look at when buying the best snowmobile for backcountry skiing. It has a variety of snowmobiles that provide a Matryx Chassis, and the launch editions also come with this addition. The company has worked day and night to develop better ergonomics, a narrow body frame, and a premium fit and finish, so you feel luxurious when driving around the mountains. This edition also comes with better storage, so you don’t have to worry about being unable to carry any Avalanche or snowmobile gear.
Most Polaris snowmobiles also come with an AXYS frame which provides rigidity to the snowmobile’s operation. It also provides a general balance which is essential for when you’re traveling the backcountry trails. Along with the rest of the features, Polaris has also worked on a calibrated and flexible suspension that lets you move around in the snow, so you don’t have to stop very often.
5. Yamaha Mountain Max LE 165
This model is perhaps the best snowmobile for backcountry skiing and presents itself as an extremely powerful choice. It has a robust, 2-cylinder, 2-stroke engine with a 794cc displacement capacity. It also has a strong rear suspension, which is stable consistently.
You can also tilt and hold the line easily with this model. It has 7″ and 15″ front and rear travel suspensions, which enable you to move through the snow like it’s nothing. You can handle this snowmobile with immense ease, which means it’s also easy to ride. It has a large capacity for movement and power which means you can travel for a long time using this snowmobile.
What is Backcountry Skiing?
Backcountry skiing is generally a term that we use in the United States. In Europe, they’ve embellished it a little more and call it off-piste. Other terms include alpine touring or out-of-area skiing is when you ski in the backcountry on areas that aren’t marked or patrolled. These areas aren’t regulated, so you may need to access them differently altogether. The areas may be within the boundaries set by the ski resort or outside of it. Regardless, backcountry skiing is an adventure that everyone must take on their own.
Backcountry skiing is slightly different from alpine skiing, which involves manicured trails involving ski patrolling, so it’s still more regulated. Backcountry skiing is generally a long affair, and you can spread it out in a large area. The great degree of the area also means you will use different equipment like ski lifts, snowmobiles, snowcats, and helicopters.
Backcountry specifically refers to a special area where skiing is occurring. Whereas terms like ski touring and free riding refer to the type of skiing you can do. Backcountry defines how accessible or monitored an area will be. Backcountry is one of the more adventurous trails you can take while skiing.
Some of the other terms that we associate with backcountry include:
- Frontcountry: This is off-trail; however, chair lifts and emergency services are close by.
- Slackcountry: This area is outside the boundary of what can be easily accessed by the chair lift. You would ideally have to access this area by car or snowmobile.
- Sidecountry: You can access this area with a ski lift. However, you would have to hike a little to access the side-country.
- Backcountry: The area is remote and usually not accessible within ski area boundaries.
Things to Know About Snowmobiling
If you’re thinking about getting yourself a snowmobile, you must know that you’re going to get training before it’s safe for you to drive it around. You have a lot to learn and much terrain to discover. You can’t just buy a snowmobile and drive it up to any mountain and go wild. Snowmobile accidents are rampant; couple this with backcountry skiing, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Snowmobiles require significant investment from your end. You can’t just go about buying a truck, trailer, and sled. You must know what kind of skiing and snowmobiling you wish to participate in before buying a snowmobile. Mountain sleds are the best for deep snow and significant climbing.
If you’re thinking of going backcountry skiing, you must take a tone of safety measures. It would be best if you traveled with someone who’s done backcountry skiing before. You don’t want to go into adventure sports in the winter without having any safety measures in place. Snowmobiles are extremely fast, which means that you can get where you want in a short period.
The advantages of this speed mean that you can get to your destination as quickly as possible. Once you are where you want, you can spend your time focusing on what you’re there for, skiing.
1. Get the Right Sled
It would help if you got the right sled. Newer versions have a 155″ track. Older snowmobiles can last for a long while, but they’re not great for the environment. They release a lot of chemicals and pollutants. With older models, you also need to spend time and money on upkeep. You can balance and maintain a newer sled far more easily. All you need to do is conduct routine checking so that all is in place. These newer sleds are much more efficient and don’t release pollutants into the atmosphere.
Newer sleds are also less likely to break down. SO if you’re thinking of taking your snowmobile out to the backcountry, you want something which has fewer chances of breaking down. Thus, a newer sled is more likely to keep you safe and sound. Under no circumstances do you want to buy a sled that is more than eight years old.
2. Get Training
Snowmobiles cover a lot of areas compared to all the other snow transportation methods we have around. You’re also thus likelier to get stuck somewhere in the snow if you’re riding a snowmobile. You want to know how things can go wrong when you’re in a snow-capped mountain. You don’t want to take anything lightly, as a split decision could be the difference between life and death. You will learn how to manage a group and restrict your chances of getting caught in an avalanche.
3. Buy New Gear
You’re going to have to buy proper gear to protect yourself against all the hardships you may face on a mountain. You will also need avalanche gear. This fact means that you must learn how to work it too. Having avalanche gear will prove useless if you don’t know how you can work it so that it can potentially save you in the case that anything goes awry.
Our Final Thoughts
Backcountry skiing is a fun way for you to get away from the city for a bit. However, you will need snowmobiles for backcountry skiing. You also need to ensure that you buy the right kind of snowmobile. Buying the right snowmobile means you purchase something that will last you for a very long time. You don’t want to buy an old snowmobile as it’s already dangerous in the cold, and you have to ensure that you have everything to save yourself if something goes wrong.
As far as what snowmobile you should buy, you can purchase something that can carry all your gear, is stable, and can get you to the backcountry as soon as possible so you can ski. You will also have to take special training once you’ve bought a snowmobile to ensure that you’re safe. The best snowmobile for backcountry skiing is one that makes you feel the safest. Everything is secondary to your safety, and you must be constantly vigilant about how often things go wrong in the mountains.