For our first official Our Adaptive World adventure we decided to make the most of this amazing place and go on a snowmobiling tour and check out the Continental Divide.
Accessibility of Snowmobiling
Grand Adventures are awesome in that they didn’t bat an eyelid when we told them we were both wheelchair users wanting to ride snowmobiles. Provided your balance is okay, snowmobiling is possible for many people with spinal cord injuries. Previously, I went out with a tetraplegic friend too (C6/7) and he managed fine, although did find his lack of balance prevented him from really going for it. You have to make a transfer from your chair to the snowmobile, which is a pretty big jump. Our guide was more than happy to assist and we were advised this when looking into it.
If you have a higher level of injury or want to go more extreme snowmobiling like getting air etc. then it’s advised to get a backrest with straps to hold you in. Neither of us have got full core, so we were a little worried about how this as well as our poor balance would affect us, but it turned out to not be much of a problem. When the ground got bumpy or we had to make a hard turn, we had to slow down a little more than our able-bodied friends.
Views from above
It was a perfect bluebird day for snowmobiling. Admiring the Continental Divide from so high up was breathtaking. You have views for days! Both of us feel very happy in the mountains and this, combined with an adrenaline rush, is what we live for. The trails are pretty wide open all the way to the top, but on the way back Joe took us through some pretty tight trees. So tight, you had to slow it down and be careful to not run into a tree. We each enjoyed the different types of snowmobiling; I loved going fast on the wide open trails and Beth enjoyed the more technical tight trees.
Because it was spring break, Grand Adventures was booked up, so we had to go in a larger group. Paired with a woman from Florida who insisted on carrying her purse, I was a little worried we would get stuck going too slow. Fortunately our guide Joe got the hint we wanted to go fast and let us take the lead.
Feeling of independence
Despite our wheelchairs being pretty hi-spec with chunky tires, certain terrain is always challenging in a wheelchair, particularly snow. It was brilliant to be able to get around with such ease, and leave our wheelchairs behind. The snowmobiles gave us a huge amount of freedom and independence. While we were riding we were just like the rest of the able-bodied group, just with more need for speed!
Grand Adventures have an ‘advanced’ tour which we are both really keen to do next time. They also run white water rafting trips in the summer for those looking for adventure. Who knows, maybe a trip out here in the summer time for me is on the cards!?
Huge thanks to Joe and Grand Adventures for an awesome trip! Bring on next time!