Sled into Vermilion

Alberta’s North is filled with winter experiences you should know more about. Why? #SkiNorthAB with us this season, search the tag and use it to show off what you find!

Doc Pow and Raj Sandhu for #SkiNorthAB

Vermilion, AB - Access is everything, whether you are going skiing or sledding and the effort to get there draws the line between a day adventure or an odyssey. For Vermilion local, Jim Zadorozny, of the Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club, there is nothing better than this.

“I leave from my driveway sled for four to five hours and come right back to my house, no trailer involved!” This isn’t just for residents, with an in-town Vermilion trail network, anyone can simply park and ride.

Did you know Vermilion has a Good Life Institute?

Watch Sled into Vermilion on YouTube.

Those that have, remember their first-time sledding, an experience Edmonton-based Raj Sandhu won't soon forget as he went to uncover Vermilion’s sledding access for this SnowSeekers' #SkiNorthAB feature.

What he didn’t realize he was about to walk away with a new addiction and the local sense of community crisscrossing pow-packed fields.

Photo: Raj Sandhu

“Life is so fast-paced, going for a sled in Vermilion is a spot where you can remove all the tech and the distractions, and you can escape at a place like this cabin, unplug and reconnect.”

Raj, with his limited experience, thought it would be best to ride with a woman from Vermilion’s Ridge Rider Snowmobile Club, thinking: “This gal might take it slow and easy.” Instead, Raj was holding on for the ride of his life. “She took off like a firecracker,” he said, not knowing local Shelley Roberts had grown up on sleds, a pastime for the winter outdoors now being passed onto her daughter.

“This is life on the regular around here. They’ll be out there for sunrise, without a destination in mind. For the club members it sounds to me like it’s all about moments to detach from the fast-paced life that we all lead,” said Raj.

The other thing he picked up on is that “the community connection is huge" and that locals treat Baddock’s Power Products, (Vermilion’s snowmobile dealer) as a little home away from home. "In the 40 minutes that we were there, it was amazing to see around 10 locals who came in with high fives all around. Sure, perhaps people are there shopping for a sled, while at the same furthering your community connections. I just do not usually see this in Edmonton.”

Photo: Raj Sandhu

Baddock's Power Products is like a second home for many of the locals.

Photo: Raj Sandhu

A cool getaway about 10 kms out of town is the club’s Charles Townsend warming hut. You can spark up a fire inside or outside with wood available on-site.

Terrain, including river valleys that connect to the North Saskatchewan River, and connect to Edmonton.

“You are kind of away but not really as you are still connected to town," says Sandhu, who spent the day exploring the landscape, including a river valley that connect all the way to Edmonton.

Time to Fuel Up

Read this “Vermilion downtown” story to learn more. The community is not just about sliding through fields of snow.

Raj describes the local hot spot, Hubkins Restaurant, as a place to “take a pause and enjoy each other’s company, thaw out and reflect on the day, over some barbecue!”

Photo: Raj Sandhu

After fueling up on sledding, Raj can’t wait to get back out there. “One hundred per cent! My wife lived out on an acreage and I can’t believe I hadn’t tried this before, but I know I will be back. A city boy like myself I hadn’t seen that before, in terms of a community you can cherish. You will certainly find that when sledders make their way to explore Vermilion.”

When you Go

Search the hashtag #ExploreVermilion for more on what to expect this winter.

Follow The Vermilion Ridge Riders on Facebook for their list of events

Next to unlimited sledding in any direction, did you know the community of Vermilion comes with a Good Life Institute? 

Let us know what you find and use the hashtag #ExploreVermilion and #SkiNorthAB

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