I have never done snowmobiling before, being from a tropical country, and I found this a great idea to share with the family. I went with my mom, sister, and niece.
We found the operation to be perfectly safe and professional. For me a snowmobile was something only hard guys would drive, and it would be more difficult, but after the basic and very handy instruction they give you at the start of the tour, it seemed like a very good idea to have chosen this tour. When you sign up you are equipped with a helmet and snowshoes, and that is great as we weren´t ready to walk in the snow. They also have snow pants for rent if you need them, and that is very clever.
First thing after getting all the safety instructions they get your picture, I thought that it would be like the one they take of you before boarding the boat to Alcatraz, just a ripoff with bad scenario, but at the end of the tour it came out to be a good looking picture; a little bit expensive, but it was good quality and came in a nice picture holder along with a great panorama of Lake Tahoe taken on a clear day from the top of the mountain... a nice souvenir.
The ride of course is for novices, the guide will take predetermined routes and won´t go too fast. You have to chance to experience the ride at your own pace, as there is another guide at the end of the convoy to make sure everybody arrives with the group in a safe way.
The scenario is breathtaking, literally, not just because of being in a cold place at medium-high speeds, but because of the beauty of the area. You get to go to the top of the mountain and you have to get off the snowmobile and climb to the very top, and you get an unobstructed view of all the surrounding area—including of course the majestic Lake Tahoe, and if you get a clear day it is amazing. After getting down from the summit you are driven to another spot where you get a really cool vista of the Lake to have pictures taken. There is no big hurry to leave, and the guides are there for your safety, not to rush you out fast.
Before the end of the ride, you get a break to enjoy some hot cocoa. Be careful, it is very hot!!!
Definitely it wasn´t an extreme sport, but it felt like one for a newbie. Great experience and completely safe.