Tips for a safe snowmobile outing
The Mountain Safety Council has prepared six practical tips for a safe snowmobile outing on the mountain.
Use a helmet with skiing goggles or visor and wear warm clothes and shoes. Bring a shovel, bivouac sack, ice safety picks and necessary accessories for the snowmobile, such as an extra variator belt and tools. An avalanche probe and avalanche transceiver are recommended if you plan on leaving the snowmobile trail and ride in steep terrain. Learn how the equipment works before departing.
It is important that somebody knows about your planned route and when you expect to come back. Tell a friend, relative or somebody else who can sound the alarm if you were not to return as planned.
The weather can change quickly in the mountains. Study local and current weather forecasts over the radio or SMHI’s website or another weather service. Always respect issued mountain weather warnings.
There are thousands of kilometres of marked snowmobile trails in the mountains, including distance markers, wind shelters and assistance phones. In many mountain areas, riding snowmobiles is regulated and only permitted along special trails. Most people wisely keep to the trails. It makes it easier to find your way, reduces the risk of ending up in areas in danger of an avalanche and is a safer alternative if you for some reason were to need help.
Be sure to bring a map that is up-to-date. A compass is mainly needed outside marked trails. Feel free to use GPS, but remember that batteries discharge quickly when it is cold.
People who often spend time in the mountains can provide important information. Contact them and ask questions about the choice of routes, water levels, ice conditions, bridges and other information that facilitates your planning. There are local mountain safety committees with extensive knowledge of the mountains in their local areas.