The secret of Mica Mountain’s snowmobile trails may be out – but that’s a good thing.
Both the mountain and the Mica Mountain Riders Association who care for it have seen an increase in snowmobilers across the Cariboo this winter. Tammy Henderson, secretary-treasurer of the association, said they have 98 members so far this year and she’s confident they will reach their goal of 100.
“We usually see a big increase in people riding over the holidays. Obviously, this year there wasn’t as much, but we have definitely seen an increase of people coming from out of town,” Henderson said. “For example, on Friday, Feb.5, there were 15 vehicles up there. That’s a lot. We’d usually see that much on a weekend, not a weekday.”
Henderson, a member of the club for 15 years now, said they had an early start to their riding season this year thanks to an early snowfall. While it was a bit of a crunch to get their equipment ready, they were able to take advantage of the good weather. Though January was a warmer month, she expects the recent snowfall should make this month good for riding across the region.
It’s very rewarding to see so many people enjoying the mountain, she added, especially considering all the work she and others have done to get the club to where it is. As a relatively small club based out of a small community like 100 Mile House, she said they are happy to see their hard work paying off.
“I think (the membership) is a combination of word of mouth, people finding out about our area and people getting out and enjoying the outdoors,” Henderson said. “There’s that and also the club – we’ve been really hitting it hard trying to groom regularly and keep everything maintained so the riders have a great experience.”
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Evan Burfoot, 25, rides Mica Mountain every Saturday and sometimes Sunday too if the weather is good. It’s “the place to be” if you ride snowmobiles and live in 100 Mile House, he said.
He added snowmobiling is good exercise. You not only have to control the vehicle in two to three feet of snow but if you get stuck it’s up to you to pull the machine out. Burfoot personally prefers doing tree-riding where he can give his all and challenge himself.
“You’re never going to find another feeling like it, that’s for sure. You get out there and you just float on that machine,” Burfoot said. “The winter air, the sun shining, you couldn’t ask for something better to do in the winter, especially during these times of COVID.
“I’ve been on a snowmobile since I could hold the bars and it was something I always wanted to do.”
The diversity of the local area allows for a variety of snowmobile riding, so there’s something for everyone, Henderson said. Both Henderson and Burfoot advise anyone looking to try snowmobiling this season is to make sure they have the right gear, as people can be turned off by a bad experience.
Due to all the snow, Henderson said anyone using Mica Mountain will want to make sure they have a big enough sled to get around in the deep conditions. Anyone looking to join the riders association, meanwhile, can do so at Performance All Terrain and Rentals, South Cariboo Motorsports and the club’s website at http://www.micamountainriders.ca/