All photos by Shelby Mahon.
Winter is unpredictable, but your snowmobile season shouldn’t be. Many parts of Ontario have experienced above-average temperatures this winter, resulting in a lack of snow and a hard snow base, causing limited OFSC trail availability in Southwestern and Eastern Ontario. But like any passionate and optimistic snowmobiler, I go to where the snow is.
After waiting through a long off-season, I was more than eager to break in my new 2017 Ski-Doo 850 Summit X in deep Ontario powder before heading to BC later in the winter. It was early January and the 2017 snowmobiling season had just begun—time for me and my best friends, Shelby and Ryan, to load up the truck and trailer with our sleds and gear and chase snow to some of the most northern OFSC trails and the Abitibi Canyon, north of Cochrane.
We chose to start out our Ontario snowmobile season with a bang, starting with a nine-hour road trip to Abitibi Canyon Base Camp. Honestly, there’s nothing I love more than road trips with the anticipation of sledding and spending a weekend away with my best friends. Half the fun in the adventure is getting to where you’re going anyway. And the further north you travel, the less traffic.
Base Camp Abitibi Canyon
Sledding Abitibi Canyon and staying at Base Camp Abitibi Canyon is definitely for the snowmobiler who loves adventure. The camp itself currently runs off of a generator and battery power with no running water, cell phone service, or Wi-Fi.
You could say it isn’t for the faint of heart, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I love being off the grid, disconnecting from the outside world, and reconnecting with my friends who share the same enthusiasm for snowmobiling and the outdoors as I do.
Abitibi currently has a few feet of fresh snow. There’s not much of a hard base yet to cover stumps and rocks when riding off-trail or in the canyon, but that base will come as the winter progresses. The snow we chased from Southwestern Ontario was found and untouched.