It’s a pretty rewarding experience to be part of a group of 14 women traveling through the backcountry on snowmobiles through diverse terrain covered in deep snow and actually cover some ground! That experience becomes even more rewarding knowing that we (as females) overcame a few mechanical issues and found our way out of the backcountry in the dark (not on a marked trail)!
When Susie Rainsberry (a DSG Legacy Ambassador) asked me if I’d be willing to help lead a group of ladies around McCall, Idaho just after Christmas – I didn’t hesitate a second! Now, I know to most men it sounds like a daunting task! Not to me! Thanks to my previous “Ladies Ride” experiences (the original ones hosted in McCall and then Halfway, Oregon by Brandy Floyd), I’ve learned that riding with women can actually be far less of a hassle and much more predictable than riding with a group of men a third the size! I’ll explain more on that later in other article but first more about our ride (we called it the “Ovaries Only Ride”)…
Fourteen of us meet up at Franci Wallace snowmobile parking lot north of McCall, Idaho on Monday Dec. 28th. The group included my daughter, DSG Youth Ambassador, Cassia Whipple; DSG Pro Rider – Nicole Sullivan; and DSG Ambassador – Tammy Shoen, DSG Legacy Amabassadors – Susie Rainsberry and Tonya Brooks. We headed up into the mountains to the east into terrain that would allow all ability levels to have fun. Lady riders could choose to stick to a single file snowmobile track created by the leader or they could boondock within range, freely making their own lines and taking on their own challenges! (All could learn new skills or hone in old ones!)
The end goal was to visit a particular high mountain lake before having to head back to the trucks and trailers. We made it to that lake near sunset after carving up meadow after meadow, zig zigging up treed hillsides, and traversing a mountain side with knolls, rocks and fun land contours. The powder was perfect – soft and deep enough to set you up for a graceful carve but also easy to get stuck in! Sometimes the snow swallowed our sleds but there were always a few women near by who gathered and efficiently worked together to get each other’s snowmobiles unstuck. At one point during the ride while a few of us tried to find a clean line for the group up a thickly treed hillside, I wondered if we were going to get rejected but after several stabs at it and a couple good stucks, we broke through and many props were given to each member of the group at the top!
Back to the lake… we arrived to it untouched and just beyond it, a beautiful setting sun into the foggy valley below. It doesn’t take long for 14 women to tear a small powder covered lake up but we needed to start heading back anyway and the sun was setting fast so a few more pictures were taken and then we were off again. We got in quite a few more carves and a couple more stucks in before dusk. A few of us knew the area well but once the sun set and with only faint light, the terrain didn’t look as familiar as before and the tracks we made in, were not easily recognized! But instinct, GPS and some old tracks helped us find our way back to the groomed trail in the dark! (Many “yahoos” and “woo hoos” were made upon it’s sight!)
It was a fantastic ride full of smiles, laughs and beautiful sights that surely gave a few of the girls an experience they’ve never had before! We all woke up with more great memories in the memory bank as well as sore muscles and I think that many of us also felt a new sense of achievement!
DSG Pro Rider
Photo Credits to: Sarah Whipple, Tonya Brooks, Me’Chelle Jones, Julie Marquart