SNOWMOBILES were originally built to be a utility vehicle that could travel through snow-covered areas where regular vehicles could not go. By the latter part of the 20th century people started catching on that these machines could also be used for recreational purposes, and ever since their popularity has sky-rocketed.
Nowadays snowmobiles are lighter, faster, and more comfortable than ever. The best part is that sledding can be enjoyed by just about anyone; there are different types of sleds and terrain for every level of ability. Some machines are designed to have a passenger on the back, so even if you don’t want to drive your own, you can still come along on the adventure. And if you are more of a speed and adrenalin seeker there are sleds that are designed to maneuver through heavy, deep powder conditions,
and side-hilling mountainous terrain.
All snowmobiles have one thing in common though: giving access to remote areas that would be near impossible to reach otherwise. On a sled in less than an hour you can get to places that would take you days on skis. Just make sure that if you are venturing deep into the backcountry you hire a solid guide who has backcountry and avalanche training, and to also carry your own beacon, shovel and probe, and make sure you are trained on how to use your equipment.
They are many areas in Hokkaido that offer some of the best snowmobiling in the world, and if you’ve never been before, make sure you take the time during your holiday to explore your winter wonderland riding on the back of a sled. If you are looking for somewhere near Niseko check out Niseko Snowmobile Adventures, who operate out of their Kanbetsu base, 15mins North East of Hirafu, and Black Diamond tours, who operate out of their new head office in Niseko Village.