Backcountry Exploration

Snowmobile-accessed ski touring

Sleds unloaded and fully charged, professional skiers Mark Abma and Greg Hill fastened their skis to the Ekko snowmobiles with excitement and set off for a new kind of sled-accessed ski touring.

Quietly and peacefully the pair powered their way through the vast offerings surrounding Whistler BC last spring to explore the backcountry via 100% electric snowmobile for the first time.

Who better to test the Ekko than professional skiers that have built their careers on accessing remote skiable lines.

Abma has painted a name for himself in the ski industry with a specialty of sled-accessed ski touring followed by big technical descents. Hill on the other hand, is known for his human powered “epics” - big traverses and unfathomable backcountry exploration trips.

Two snowmobiles riding up mountain

Mark Abma and Greg Hill near Whistler, BC

Due to environmental impact reasons, Hill does not routinely utilize snowmobiles, but with the right technology he would like to embrace them again for ski-access, making him the perfect person to analyse the Ekko.

Electric snowmobile riding down hill

For a week, Abma and Hill took the Ekko snowmobiles through deep valley bottoms and snowmobiled high into the alpine, over glaciers and through glades for sled-accessed ski touring objectives. Each obstacle was no match for the well equipped Ekko. Abma elaborates,

“The range is more than enough to get you to a place where you want to start touring. For people who ski, they enjoy the quietness - you can enjoy the scenery and the environment so much more.”

Mark Abma

Ski tourers often value the preservation of the backcountry, connection to nature, solitude and the simplicity of the sport. Inhibited by difficult and/or distant access, more and more backcountry enthusiasts are embracing sled-accessed ski touring to further their backcountry exploration with a conflicted mindset.

Electric snowmobile riding on side in mountains

Taiga is motivated to transform how we access the backcountry in a way that offers protection for the environment. Taking the current challenges as opportunities, Taiga is driven to improve sled-access experience by altering the perception of what that looks, sounds and smells like.

The next-to-no maintenance on the Taiga snowmobile means no messy or harmful oil changes, blown belts or clutch replacements - not to mention the significant gas savings when compared with traditional snowmobiles. Nearly silent when operating, users can appreciate and interpret their surroundings peacefully.

“Using a Taiga sled really reaffirmed why I believe they are the ideal sled ski machine. You can quietly access the mountains with the least amount of impact environmentally, while not disturbing the natural setting you are sliding through.”

Greg Hill

Athlete riding electric snowmobile on mountain top

Traditionally hard to communicate while snowmobiling, Abma and Hill found that the quietness of the Ekko enhanced group communication. Taiga hopes that this will aid future Ekko owners in having more conversations leading to thoughtful decision-making while sledding through avalanche terrain for a safer and more enjoyable experience.

Two snowmobilers on mountain top talking

At the close of the testing period, Abma and Hill both welcomed change of pace to their established sled-accessed ski touring routine and are looking forward to joining us moving forward - the feeling is mutual!

Get to know the Ekko’s specs up close and personal to see if it’s your perfect sled-accessed ski touring partner.