Lady Ripper: Jo-Ellen Chaulk
SW: Who introduced you to snowmobiling ?
I’ve been snowmobiling since I was a child. My parents took my brother and I snowmobiling quite often, whether it was for a day trip in the woods for a boil up or a weekend spent at the cabin. Snowmobiling became an important part of time spent with family. I’ll never forget my first snowmobile, a white and red Yamaha Snow-Sport, it was the best Christmas gift ever! A few years later I stepped up to the short track Enticer, and then upgraded to the Yamaha V-Max 600, man could that thing ever go! Let’s just say I’ve been riding since I can remember, all thanks to my parents
SW: Why did you become attracted to backcountry riding?
While I’ve always felt comfortable and experienced riding snowmobile, the idea and thought of backcountry riding was a foreign concept. Having seen my brother and friends ride in the backcountry and perform many amazing maneuvers I was instantly attracted to this type of snowmobiling. Being up for any challenge I thought there was no time like the present to give it a shot.
SW: How do you think more ladies could be introduced to backcountry riding?
Women’s backcountry riding clinics are a great way to get started. It’s comforting to know that along with yourself there are other women who want to learn the skills necessary for backcountry riding. The techniques and skills that are gained from riding clinics should be utilized not only during the clinic but when riding with friends. Try not to feel intimidated, tag along with the boys, test those new skills and ask for advice, that’s how you learn, you’ll never know if you don’t try!
SW: You attended a Sledcore ride clinic, tell us about that experience?
I’ve attended two riding clinics, a mixed clinic in 2017, and a women’s clinic in 2018. Attending these clinics was an amazing experience, made possible by the incredible Sledcore instructors. From the start to the end of each clinic they made everyone feel welcome and comfortable regardless of their skill level. The instructors had incredible knowledge and skills that they passed on to each and everyone at the clinics. I have learned so much and came away with good basic skills that made me feel confident when riding in the backcountry. Every rider had so much fun, especially when sitting around the fire eating our lunch, we had many laughs and new friendships made. Looking forward to attending the next clinic!
SW: What are your 2019 riding goals?
My overall goal for the upcoming 2019 winter season is to improve upon the skills I have learned and my confidence in those areas. Particular skills that I will focus on are side hilling, conquering steep inclines, and who knows maybe even the elevator.
SW: Tell us about your sled?
I currently ride a Polaris Pro RMK 600, she’s a feisty little thing, powerful, and easy to maneuver. No trouble to keep up with the big guns!
SW: Where do u presently live and what are you presently working at?
I was born and raised in the town of Deer Lake, where I currently reside. I completed my bachelors degree in nursing and I currently work as a critical care nurse at Western Memorial Hospital.