She Shreds: Why Women Sledders Rock

Ladies killing it at a Revelstoke clinic
Ladies killing it at a Revelstoke clinic

Ladies, start your engines.

Snowmobile engines, that is. Pemberton, BC-based She Shreds Mountain Adventures is bringing women and snowmobiling together like never before.

For Julie-Ann Chapman, owner and operator of She Shreds, introducing women to the sport is a no-brainer. To say she’s a passionate sledder is a gross understatement: “It tickles my fancy because it’s challenging, it’s physically exerting, and there is always a new adventure around the corner. The sport has taught me avalanche safety awareness, first aid, mechanical stuff, and how to overcome any tough situations – and keep calm doing so.”

Julie-Ann sending it. Photo Credit: Manouanne Deschenes
Julie-Ann sending it. Photo Credit: Manouanne Deschenes

Inspired by the good times she’d had at all-girls mountain bike and snowboard clinics, Julie-Anne decided to launch her own women-only snowmobiling clinics when she realized that none were offered in the area. It turns out that she wasn’t the only woman in the area who wanted to shred: the first clinic sold out within a week, with a healthy waiting list to boot.

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Though she now offers adventures for men, too, her women-only clinics remain a popular pick. “Let’s face it, when it comes to sledding, women and men learn differently. We have different strengths, skills, and mindsets,” she says. “The 500 pound full horsepower sled can sometimes be intimidating for women. Teaching a girl how to side hill a 500 pound sled requires a bit more in-depth teachings and tips on how to distribute her weight efficiently to get that sled on its side!”

“I find that most girls learn quicker and more comfortably when they are surrounded by other girls,” says Julie-Ann. “They are just more at ease with no competition around. Ladies are always out to help each other, too.”

Good times at a Squamish clinic.
Good times at a Squamish clinic.

She Shreds offers everything from a single day beginner clinic in Squamish to multi-day advanced clinics in Scotch Creek. There is a snowmobile avalanche skills training weekend, as well as a 90-hour wilderness first aid course. Women who are new to the sport will find that the She Shreds clinics fast-track their progression in a big way. “She Shreds crates a comfortable, safe, and fun environment for women to learn at their own levels. We have mastered the tricks, tips, and suggestions to give women who want to progress their skills on a snowmobile.”

As for the clientele? Well, it varies. “Some women take the clinics to meet other women who snowmobile, some take the clinics to learn to sled to be able to take their snowboards into the backcountry, some take the clinics to be able to ‘keep up with the boys’, some take a clinic to try something new!” says Julie-Ann. And Pemberton happens to be the perfect place to do it all: “Pemberton has some pretty rad gals that sled – everything from the momma that just has a couple hours to shred to the die-hard that called in sick to work because it’ s a pow day. There is no shortage of ladies to call up to go sledding, that’s for sure.”

Julie-Ann and her beloved sled. Photo credit: Conrad Petzsch-Kunze
Julie-Ann and her beloved sled. Photo credit: Conrad Petzsch-Kunze

If you’ve been thinking about learning to sled or taking your skills to the next level, check out She Shreds clinics. If you’re a little hesitant, don’t be. “You only live once!” says Julie-Ann, “Do it! You won’t regret it. It will be an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.”

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