Girls Breaking Trail in Snowmobiling: Meet Stephanie Sweezey


Deep powder, untracked terrain and a rally truck called “The Pussy Wagon”, it’s all good times for Whistler sledder Stephanie Sweezey.


The backcountry is a beautiful place, but it’s not known for a plentiful abundance of women, let alone petrol loving chicks on sleds. Maybe because sledding is not an easy sport to just pick up and get going. It takes serious investment. It’s tough on the body, the wallet and demands determination. But put the hard-yards in and you will reap its many rewards: plentiful terrain, untracked powder and your choice of any line you’ve got the ‘balls’ to access. Snowmobiles open up a new world of possibilities. For some riders they give you opportunity to push your backcountry skiing or snowboarding but for others like Stephanie Sweezey, sledding offers just enough stoke. For her, there is no need to snowboard anymore.


I met Stephanie Sweezey over ten years ago in Whistler, snowboarding. At the end of one season she bought a sled, bought a truck and then asked me to teach her to drive. We stalled that truck all up and down Squaw Valley Crescent! That’s what I love about Steph. Even back then she had her priorities straight: sled first, truck second and then get a driving license. The rest she’d figure out along the way. We spent that late spring running laps in the Whistler backcountry on her Mountain Max, dropping each other at the top so we could snowboard down. Last year I was in Whistler and asked her to come snowboarding with me. She doesn’t do that anymore. She gets all she needs from sledding… and she’s got damn good at it too!


Related article: Living off the grid- One girl’s solo snowmobile adventure to Alaska


Stephanie Sweezey from Whistler shreds on her sled

Steph on her Arctic Cat. Photo by Nadia Samer



Hey Steph, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do for fun?


I’m 30 years old and live in Pemberton, British Columbia (just up the road from Whistler). Snowmobiling is my main focus in life but in the off season I do lots of skydiving and have a rally truck called The Pussy Wagon that I race a couple of times a year.
Stephanie Sweezey and her truck

Photo by Julie-Ann Chapman



You’re one of the best female sledders around, what got you into it?


Well I originally got into snowmobiling just to access better lines on my snowboard but it didn’t take too long before the snowboard got left behind and the snowmobile proved to be the dominant sport in my life. I found it to be the sport where I progressed the quickest and most naturally of all the past activities I’d taken up, so I rolled with it. And it’s ridiculously fun! I believe it was 2006 when I got on my first sled. A ’98 Mountain Max, absolute gem!
Stephanie Sweezey is a female snowmobiler and she goes big on her sled

Photo by Nadia Samer

Stephanie Sweezey is a female snowmobiler and she goes big on her sled

Photo by Julie-Ann Chapman


You ride in quite a crew – a mix of both girls and guys. Is there a notable difference in how they approach the sport?


Difference, yes and no. I really don’t believe that we (women) have a disadvantage in the sport. That being said we tend to attack the sport a little differently. We think about things a bit more before doing them which can be an advantage and disadvantage. I find that all females can push each other a bit more when one starts stepping it up. It almost makes things seem more possible and realistic when another girl throws down.
Stephanie Sweezey from Whistler shreds on her sled

Photo by Nadia Samer



Sledding is a tough sport which involves lots of preparation, planning and knowledge as well as serious physical strength. How do you plan for an expedition to the backcountry?


It depends on the kind of excursion you are going on but there’s definitely some basic things you need to bring every time. Regardless of the trip you need a small tool kit for emergencies breakdowns: a spare belt (they can go at any time), a couple spark plugs aren’t a bad idea and water.


If you’re heading into the mountains you’ll need avalanche gear. A transceiver probe and shovel are the bare minimum but these days there’s all sorts of other fancy live-saving devices such as avalanche air bags and avalanche lungs to help keep you from going under. Along with having all that gear it’s super important to learn how to use it first. A basic two day avalanche awareness course is a great start. After that the mental and physical part is all a matter of how much the sport grabs you. There’s no real preparation for it.

Stephanie Sweezey from Whistler shreds on her sled

Photo by Nadia Samer



What is it like for a women in the sled world?


We’re definitely a minority in the sport but growing fast. Every year I’m more and more impressed by the increasing number of females getting into the sport and stepping it up! Girls are ripping these days!
Girls That sled

A bit of fun with the girls. Photo by Julie-Ann Chapman



Is there a trick that you are focused on learning this winter?


I don’t really do tricks, but I would love to get some whips down this year. I just aim to attack technical lines and drops with finesse.



What is your proudest moment sledding?


It was on a trip to Revelstoke in British Columbia a couple years back with Bradley and Dan. At the end of the last day I ended up on top of my biggest drop to date without any real intention of hitting it… until I did. I felt like a million bucks after!


Stephanie Sweezey knows how to snowmobile and she is pushing the sport of sledding for all women.

Steph dropping a huge cliff in Revelstoke, BC.



Do you have any specific goals in the sport?


Just to continue progressing and bettering myself in the sport and never stop loving it.



What do you wish you knew when you first started out & what advice would you give to another girl wanting to get a sled?


No matter how good you get you’ll always get stuck and get into quite questionable predicaments. So just learn to embrace those times and love them!



Sledding in one word?





Thanks Steph! Keep pushing it and can’t wait to catch up with you again this winter!

Alexa x


Stephanie Sweezey dropping bombs in “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Snowmobiling in Whistler BC”



About the author


Hiya, I'm Alexa. Always on some sort of adventure! I'm excited to share my stories & introduce you to other rad women, also living the dream.
I'm here to inspire you to do the same :-)