The professional backcountry freerider Stephanie Schwartz from Revelstoke, Canada, has a far-reaching impact in the world of female snowmobile riders. Spreading her skill and positive, upbeat attitude over the ocean, Schwartz was inspiring girl riders at the XX Women’s International Freeride Camp in Sweden this season.
The XX Freeride Camp is a women’s snowmobile clinic for all female riders out there. The aim was to teach women to progress their skills at snowmobiling in a fun and safe setting – but still take them out of their comfort zone in an easygoing way to encourage women within the world of sledding. For all participants it was a unique opportunity to develop their shredding skills and encourage each other to improve.
– Basically, the most important thing is that each and every one felt that they advanced to their own “next level”, said the organizers Erika Lindblad and Caroline Ohlsson.
The clinic was held in Saxnäs located in South Lapland, nearby the town Vilhelmina. Ladies arrived from all parts of Sweden, Norway and even from Switzerland, all of them super pumped for the weekend ahead of them. Arrival evening started with goodie bag give away and a nice dinner together at the Mountain Lodge, followed by two full days out in the backcountry with free lunch. The main focus was pow carving, uphill and downhill turning, tree riding, how to get unstuck and sidehilling. Also, Stephanie spoke a lot about technical tip and avalanche safety.
Three advice from the coach;
– Relax and breathe, make sure to have the right snowmobile that works for you and your body type, and practice, practice, practice. Give it time and be dedicated just like any other sport. There are going to be challenges – but embrace them and never give up Stephanie stated on her Ski-doo Summit XM.
The girls really appreciated the relaxed learning atmosphere on the snowmobile; with no pressure what so ever. Watching each other push their limits made many ladies try out stuff they wouldn’t have done by them self – the mountain around Saxnäs definitely became a stunning playground. The mantra throughout the whole event was that sledding is about having fun together, wanting each other to succeed shredding that wicked line or doing that turn – nevertheless enjoy the time on the sled.
Happy hearts between all the stucks, try’s and smiles
The camp was designed in a way that allowed the girls to boost their confidence and refine current skills – and so they did! The difference between the first and second day were just mind-blowing. Day two everyone started out with more confidence and really knew what they wanted to work on. All of a sudden, after doing some backcountry tech talks the girls were all killing it in the deep pow. Everyone showed an amazing courage, learned new skills and improved tenfold!
Also, the attendants had the possibility to try out 2014 Ski-doo and Lynx models from the deep snow segment – arranged by the local Ski-doo dealership Lindblads Motors and BRP Sweden – and let us tell you, this was a real hit! The girls ended up being so stoked after experienced the Ski-doo Summit XM and Lynx Boondocker, so they ride the BRP products all day.
Happy and with soar arms after way too much ski-pulling and digging, a hot tub and warm sauna was more than welcome when the riders returned with big smiles on their faces. Afterwards, dinner was arranged and prices was handed-out to “best equipment”, “best try” etc. Also, giving some shout-outs to the guys in the “XX-camp crew” that helped out during the days made the evening epic.
There’s a reason that it’s two X
If you give it a though, you might figure out that the two X in “XX” stands for the female chromosomes. Not surprisingly, there are two spirits behind the event, which means it’s another good reason to put two X in XX Freeriders. The organizers Erika Lindblad and Caroline Ohlsson are both basically grown up on BRP products.
Erika’s family is running a Ski-doo dealership, ‘Lindblads Motor’, established since 1967, and Caroline is working for BRP Sweden, which means that the BRP playground is a natural part of their day-to-day life. A clear pattern is that these girls’ lifes revolve around the snowmobile industry, so they are really doing what they love, for sure. Having people doing what they love always have great outcomes – so did this camp since the attendants were stoked when leaving and many already signed up for next year.
– We are amazed of all positive feedback received after the event. A huge thank you to all of the powerful girls that rides and to Stephanie who is a wonderful role model within this sport. The three of us were the perfect match to pull this thing together for the first time. Right now our hearts are full of sled-happiness and we can’t wait to do this again next year, Caroline and Erika stated.
Caroline and Erika
Schwartz and her world of sledding
Stephanie started riding snowmobiles at the age of 5. Being from one of the most popular snowmobile destinations in the world means that she is lucky to have that area as her “backyard”. But, it doesn’t mean that she don’t enjoying to ride in other places, happily she loves to travel and have ridden a lot both in the US and Canada.
Any of those days when the sun is out and blue bird skies and deep snow appears she totally loves being on her Ski-Doo Summit XM. However, in her opinion it’s the people she rides with that makes the day’s epic. A big part of her work life is to helping coach ladies clinics in BC.
– It’s hard to really put into words the experience and joy of my trip to Sweden for XX Women’s International Freeride Camps. So much to be thankful for and amazing new friends and memories are made. My heart is full and I can’t wait to come back My cheeks are sore from smiling and laughing soooooooo muchCan’t wait to come back – Stephanie
More popular than expected
The first thought was one Camp with 12 participants, but, due to growing demands in the market, the organizers decided to include 20 ladies and run two Camps. Camp 1 took place during Wednesday to Friday, Camp 2 during Friday to Sunday. Still, the girls were split up with a maximum of six riders in each group out riding, which gave them the possibility to having one on one time with Steph rather than staying as a whole. They really appreciated it when she came up to and told them what she noticed about their riding and gave advices. This means that the personal needs certainly was center of attention.
Still, this couldn’t been done without all the ladies that signed up for the clinic, and the support from all sponsors. The main partner backing up the event were BRP Sweden and Lindblads Motor (local dealership, Vilhelmina). Other sponsors; HMK, Ruco Sweden, The Betties, Octane Jane Store, Marsfjall Mountain Lodge and SCS Unlimited.
The event proved a great success, providing a terrific opportunity to encourage female riders within the world of sledding – with a sparkling BRP atmosphere all around.
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/Erika, Caroline, Stephanie