A group of 12 women were treated to an epic weekend March 11-12 at Yank’s Peak under the tutelage of professional snowmobile rider of Revelstoke, Stephanie Laroy Schwartz.
One of the most recognizable names in the women’s snowmobile scene, Schwartz was contacted by Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club director Laurie Snowball in September and asked about hosting a clinic, which ultimately was named the Off the Grid Yank’s Peak Ladies Clinic 2017.
“I had this crazy idea but hadn’t figured anything out so I took it upon myself to start phoning pro riders,” Snowball said.
“I took a look at our membership and went through a list of 12 riders, we started talking about it, and everyone was into it.”
Schwartz, along with another coach, Clayton Drer, travelled for the clinic which included intensive aspects of snowmobiling including what to pack for a day, key riding skills, finding balance, carving, reading terrain, sidehilling, controlled descents, downhill U-turns and progression.
“Basically we broke down into two groups of riders and they were really able to engage in different fundamentals with each group,” Snowball said.
The group stayed Friday evening at the Likely Lodge and were ready to start riding Saturday morning, before retreating inside the Yank’s Peak Safety Cabin for a luncheon.
“The conditions were great,” Snowball said. “One-and-one-half to two feet fresh powder.”
Saturday the group again stayed at the Likely Lodge where each of the women who did the clinic were presented a Divas SnowGear shirt by Schwartz, the company she works for.
“In return we gave her a goldpan with the sticker of the clinic and pieces of Likely gold,” Snowball said.
Sunday, again, the group ascended Yank’s Peak for another day of riding.
“You always hope everyone’s going to take one thing out of the weekend,” Snowball said, noting her expectations were completely shattered on how well it went.
“Everyone was so excited. We learned so much. At least five of us went out the next weekend to practice.”
Learning from another woman was also a much-welcomed experience, Snowball said.
“She goes all over the world,” she said.
“In February she was in Sweden doing a clinic. Having another woman to teach is better, made it easier to understand and just made the entire thing incredible.”