Derek Cheng seeks out the best modes of transport for the deep snow of Canadian winters and comes to a conclusion with all his toes intact.
Snowmobiles reek of petroleum fumes, are enjoyed by people with offensively large sums of money and are despised by everyone around you because of the disruption to nature's tranquillity.
Unless you're the driver, in which case you're probably having an uproariously good time. They are the jet skis of the snow.
Those who drive them also seem to be imbued with a false sense of invincibility. I had barely tested our trusty snowmobile - at Sun Peaks Ski Resort, in British Columbia, Canada - when I decided quietly that they were unflippable, and all who ride them cannot be harmed in any way.
The very idea of them is absurd: a seat on top of an engine-powered track, with a couple of turnable skis on the front for steering.
The complex machinery below the hood belies the simplicity of how to drive. Our lesson consisted of being shown the button that opens up the throttle and the brake lever.
The resort, as well as having the second most skiable terrain in Canada, is also peppered with roads and trails for snowmobiles and cross-country skiers.
We had limited opportunity to test out the machines' top speed of about 70km/h on the benign snow roads that lead to McGillivray Lake. But it was a different story when we arrived at an open meadow.
After a couple of test laps, I discovered the key to aggressive driving: standing up. Knees offer far better suspension than the machine, effectively disarming any bumps in the trail.
It was a delight to scream around the meadow at speeds fast enough to change the space-time continuum, even as the terrain became increasingly churned from the constant laps.
It did, however, leave a ringing in my brain, like I had just been to an AC/DC concert.
Decibel levels are an important consideration when weighing up the best modes of transport through the copious amounts of snow that decorate a typical Canadian winter.
While snowshoeing is a far slower mode of travel, it is far friendlier on the ears.
The snowshoe is an odd ambulatory helper that used to look somewhat like an oversized tennis racket but has since evolved into something that makes you look as though you have robot feet.
It disperses your weight over a greater area, lessening the prospects of you plunging into the infinite depths of soft powder.
Our snowshoeing adventure took place under a wintry but clear night sky.
Once strapped in, I launched up a slope at great speed to test them and, when the groomed trails offered little resistance, I veered off-trail and braced myself to be swallowed up in deep powder.
The shoes duly kept my torso above the snow line. This is how Jesus must have felt when he supposedly walked on water.
On pine-forested slopes, I leaped from fallen tree trunks in the full knowledge that a landscape of soft snow is as potentially deadly as a pit of pillows.
On rare occasions when I sunk to my hips, it was with a kind of smooth, slow-motion ease that caused me to release some form of joyful squawk.
We eventually reached a fire pit, an excellent tool for warming cold, wet toes, where talk turned to frostbite and that most Canadian of drinks: the Sourtoe Cocktail.
This is the tradition whereby a severed, frostbitten toe garnishes an alcoholic drink.
The first such incarnation came when a miner lost his toe in the 1920s and decided, as you do, to keep it as a souvenir.
It stayed in a jar of alcohol in his cabin in the northwestern wilderness until, in 1973, a local captain found it and swiped it.
He took it to a place where the toe, entombed for decades, undoubtedly wished to go: the pub, or more precisely, to be dunked in a beverage that is being enjoyed at the pub.
According to legend, it was eventually and accidentally swallowed by someone on his 13th glass of Sourtoe champagne.
By then, it had become fashionable. Several severed toes had been donated to the bar, the only condition being that the drinker's lips had to touch the toe.
Picturing this caused many in our group, myself included, to make sure that all digits were still attached, and to check our warm apple cider to make sure the delicious beverages were toe-free.
Our fire included another North American tradition, marshmallows, which led to discussions about what constitutes a perfectly toasted one.
If it catches fire, perfection is tainted, but the closer it gets to lighting up without catching aflame, the closer it is to marshmallow majesty.
S'mores ensued. A s'more is a fire-melted marshmallow, mashed with oozing chocolate inside a pair of graham crackers. As many North Americans will tell you with a touch too much relish, it is called a s'more because you always want s'more.
The path back to our hotel crossed a steep snow slope, which we were encouraged to run down as quickly as possible as if fleeing a Canadian bear.
The absence of any bear made this riotous fun, but the exertion caused me to seek out more effortless forms of transport.
In Wells Gray Provincial Park, a reserve of half a million hectares of wilderness, we were invited to sit in a sled pulled by a snowmobile.
Our guide for the day, Ray, greeted us by saying that he hoped we were wearing all the clothes we had brought for the whole trip.
The day started at -10C and slowly crept to -20C.
When the sled was pulled, the slight breeze turned up the chill factor and, after about 20 minutes, my toes had gone numb, provoking images in my head of my severed toe in a glass of champagne.
But the question of why anyone would want to venture outside in such conditions was quickly answered with a glimpse of the petrified waterfalls of Wells Gray, including the spectacular 141m-high Helmcken Falls.
Being towed by a snowmobile is slightly more benign on the eardrums than riding one, but these machines were poor conversationalists and left me craving a mode of transport that I could interact with.
Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours has been operating in the heart of the Canadian Rockies since 1983, when Canmore was a small mining town.
The company markets itself on treating its huskies caninely; each kennel has direct contact with at least two other huskies, and they have access to a free-roaming area. Any husky that doesn't want to run is adopted out.
The husky is a magnificent creature, with attentive ears, adorable face masks, and a tendency to lie on your toes as if its primary purpose is as a foot-heater.
They were also far smaller than I expected, most of them only coming up to my knee. But with up to eight to a sled, any doubts that they could pull my weight were quickly dispelled.
They rampaged through the snow, crossed frozen lakes, ripped around bends and generally ran as if they had been starved and a massive elk-roast was awaiting them around the next corner.
During the thrilling hour-long romp through the backcountry of the Canadian Rockies, they showed zero sign of fatigue. If anything, they ran faster.
It was fabulous fun, making the -20C temperatures a little less unbearable.
Also helping at the end of the day were other typically Canadian winter items, including a fire, toasted marshmallows and a hot beverage - with no sign of any amputated toes.