Gangs all here! // p: Erin Hogue
Picture this: a long Easter weekend, a bunch of rad women with their snowmobiles, ski’s and snowboards, and you have the first-ever Sled-N-Shred event. Now, take all of that and drop it right in the dark heart of the North Cascades. What do you get? A gathering of adventurous women bridging two worlds of the winter sports community. Imagine 15 women, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, revving up powerful snowmobiles, but it isn't just about the sleds; it's about getting into remote terrain where skiing and snowboarding interweave with snowmobiling. Each a compliment to the other. And hey, it's not just about the adrenaline rush of 850cc’s. This event is a paradigm shift— a mix of empowerment, education, and a whole lot of fun. These women aren't just riders; they're learners and leaders. They are passionate about being in the mountains, whether that’s on boards or snowmobiles. Throughout the event, they're not only chatting about mechanical skills, eyeballing lines and geeking out about avalanche safety but also forming connections with other like-minded adventure-loving gals. It's not just about snowmobiling and sliding down the snow-covered slopes; it's about building friendships, learning new skills, and feeling that sense of community long after the snow melts away.
Mandatory Morning Meet-Up // p: Erin Hogue
Now, let's rewind to Friday evening. Picture the crew gathering at one of the local hangouts, Chair 9, for a meet-and-greet. As the ladies kicked back after their travel day with drinks and bites, they got to know each other. Some were long seasoned sledders, others had only been out a few times that year, but all were stoked to ride with a crew of new friends. A lot of these gals usually hit the trails with their partners, so linking up with other women was a refreshing and empowering twist.
Come Saturday morning, the gang met up at the trailhead, around 8-ish, with excitement in the air. Girls helping each other unload, checking out each other's rigs, and making sure everyone was geared up for a day of mountain madness. Sleds were prepped, oil topped off, snacks stashed, and then a quick trailhead discussion covered everything from etiquette to avalanche safety. Ready, set, go! Despite the soggy weather down low, we found some decent snow up in the alpine, so the gals quickly got to rooping around and playing on the snow covered lake and meadows. Some tried out the new Ski-Doo Gen 5 Demo sled provided by Lifestyles the local Ski-Doo dealer, others ventured into the limited visibility, and a few brave souls attempted some snowboarding laps (conditions permitting). It was all about shit-hooks, wheelies, and making the most of the day. After the first roop sesh, Kelsey Fay from Elevated Backcountry started up a fire for some lunch time story-sharing and laughs. A few of the women got curious and started digging around in the snow. Lucky us, Irene Henninger from NWAC (Northwest Avalanche Center) came out for the day and was happy to answer any questions about avalanche forecasting and snow science. Oh, and there was this hilarious downhill race on blow-up novelty snowmobiles that ended with a spectacular wipeout (yours truly). Laughter echoed, stories flowed, and even though the weather wasn't perfect, the vibe was.
Brap vibes are high! // p: Erin Hogue
After a day in the clouds, the crew headed back down, loaded up sleds, and hung in the parking lot for the ultimate snack session before heading back to our lodging and freshening up for the night. Back at Chair 9 around 7, the gals snagged raffle tickets and dove into some tasty appetizers provided by Lifestyles Ski-Doo. The raffle was one for the books, with tons of prizes from sponsors like Backcountry Access, Nixon, Vans, 686 and more. Leg wrestling for a new Ride Snowboard? Why not! The night turned into a karaoke and dance fiesta — a perfect way to wrap up a day full of excitement.
And guess what? The fun didn't stop there. Despite a relatively late bedtime, there was another day of sledding ahead on Sunday. A bit more mellow, a slightly smaller crew, but the enthusiasm was still sky-high. Another day up in the clouds with surprisingly good conditions, equals more ripping around before a pit stop at the warming hut to dry off and snack up. Then, it was time to bid adieu to Glacier and for the gals to say their goodbyes.
Mission complete! Great success // p: Erin Hogue
Everyone walked away with cool raffle prizes, a new karaoke anthem, and a bunch of new riding buddies. Big shoutout to sponsors Ski-Doo, Backcountry Access, and Lifestyles Ski-Doo for making it all happen. And let's not forget Ride Snowboards, Vans, 686 Outerwear, Nixon, Von Zipper, and Yeti for adding that extra flair to the weekend.  Sled-N-Shred 2023 — a weekend filled with snow, sleds, shreds, and lasting memories. Until next year!
2024 Sled N' Shred happening this year March 29-31st in Glacier, Washington.