Lady Ripper: Roma Barron
SW: Who introduced you to Snowmobiling?
RB: My dad introduced me to snowmobiling when I was just a year old, so I started young and I have loved it ever since! Every weekend was spent in the country having boil ups and checking rabbit snares. I grew up riding Elans mostly, waiting for school to end every day so we could race home to get on the snow. I remember my dad every Saturday morning calling around to all the parts places looking for belts and bogie wheels to keep my brother and I going! He did whatever he could to make sure we were on the snow and enjoying it. My very first sled that I bought myself was a 380 Legend, I was so proud of that machine, however I quickly discovered that it was near impossible to keep up in the backcountry and the deep powder so I started to move up to more powerful and nimble machines. From a 380 to an 800 and have loved every challenging minute of it.
SW: Why did you become attracted to backcountry riding?
RB: Growing up, we didn’t have the luxury of groomed trails, we had trails that people used for cutting wood, or to get through a tuck of trees and stuff like that, but mainly it was do what you could to find a way down to a pond or bog where we could ride freely, which is pretty much what we do now when we are backcountry riding. Since I’ve started riding on the west coast I’ve been very fortunate to have an awesome group of family and friends to ride with who all love backcountry riding. So if I wanted to ride with them, I had to follow them, it was as simple as that. Thankfully, they were always willing to help me when I got stuck! That’s how it all started for me. You also get to see a vast expanse of the backcountry and see the beautiful sites that normally wouldn’t be found when sticking to the trails. In the backcountry you can go to the same place two days in a row and it will not look the same, it’s amazing how the snow changes the landscape. I also love the idea of making new trails and exploring new places. And you’re almost always guaranteed to find fresh powder in the backcountry if you look hard enough! Nothing beats the feeling of making the first tracks over the landscape either!
SW: How do you think more ladies could be introduced to backcountry riding?
RB: I think social media is certainly playing a major role in getting the word out to lady riders. Word of mouth is also great; I personally love to tell potential lady riders about my experiences in backcountry riding and encourage them to sign up for a ride clinic. Maybe some public information sessions would be beneficial as well.
SW: You attended a Sledcore Ride Clinic, tell us about that experience.
RB: The first Sledcore Ride Clinic was an amazing experience. The instructors had me doing things that I never ever thought I had the confidence or skill level to ever achieve. I had spent a lot of time trying to powder carve and even get the skis of the sled off the snow, all attempts usually ended up with me going one way and the sled going another. And side hill? I would have told people they were crazy if they expected me to do that! I still have a way to go on that one, but I’m confident and I’ll get there. After the ride clinic, I had mastered some of the basics and felt much more confident and in control of my ride. The feeling of being able to make that machine go where you want it to go and do what you want it to do is unbelievable. It was an adrenaline rush for me for sure. Even learning how to get “unstuck” was a major milestone for me. Another plus for me about attending an all ladies event was that I never, not once, felt like I was under any pressure to complete a skill or technique on the first go around. The ladies were amazing, lots of cheering for successful maneuvers and lots of laughs over missed opportunities. I made a whole crew of new friends that all have one common goal: become a better backcountry rider. No doubt I still have some hurdles to jump and skills to learn and improve on, but I definitely feel more confident in my ability after attending the clinics.
SW: What are some of your 2019 Riding Goals?
RB: Definitely want to conquer the side hilling technique this year. And would like to maybe get a little more “air time” on the sled.
SW: Tell us about your sled?
RB: Currently riding a 2017 Freeride which I love, but rode an 850 summit at the 2019 Ladies Ride Clinic and am definitely taking a liking to that machine.
SW: Where do you presently live and what are you presently working at?
RB: I currently live in Portugal Cove, but we have a cabin on Bonne Bay Big Pond and my heart is definitely there. I currently work as a Response Specialist with the Canadian Coast Guard’s Environmental Response Unit.