Sledding fun for the whole family

A small family in Saskatchewan pleads guilty to their snowmobiling addiction

by Breanne Massey

Kelsey Gudmundson drifting at Owl Head. Photo courtesy Craig Gudmundson

Kelsey and Jordin Gudmundson started riding snowmobiles with their dad before they were teenagers.

Despite the fact that the girls are pioneering a niche that not many girls from Wynyard, Saskatchewan, participate in, their father, Craig Gudmundson, is extremely proud of their athletic efforts. Most fathers worry about their daughters, but Craig focuses on the positive—spending time with his family.

“I am a proud father,” said Craig, “and feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to spend these years and this time riding with my girls here on the Prairies and out west in the spectacular Rocky Mountains of B.C.”

Kelsey, 16, rides a 2011 M8 Snow Pro, and Jordin, 14, rides a 2010 M8. Both girls enjoy being active, but their reactions were identical when they were asked what their favourite part of riding is—the time they spend with their dad. This family adores getting out together and they eagerly anticipate their snowmobiling trips in B.C.

“I like spending time with my dad and it’s just really fun,” said Jordin. “I really enjoy it. We usually spend the whole day out.”

Safety first

Both of the Gudmundson daughters earned operator certificates at a safety course when they were 12 years old. They have also completed courses in avalanche awareness—avalanche packs are only one part of the safety gear that they utilize.

“We always look for powder and places to boondock, carve and enjoy whatever we find on any given day,” said Craig. “Roasting tube steak lunches in the prairie forest, staring out over the vast expanse of the Rocky Mountains and sometimes even the painful 12- and 16-hour drives we endure are all part of an amazing experience that I hope to share with my family and friends for many years to come.”

Riding with the boys

The Gudmundson family adores Prairie culture, but they’re always eager to go sledding in Sicamous, B.C., during the winter break from school. They usually ride with family friends in a pack of four to six riders.

“I go with my dad all the time, and mostly it’s just his friends,” said Kelsey. “I’m not really with any other girls. It’s different, but I like it better than being around a bunch of girls—it’s a nice change.”

Kelsey will be announced as a Junior Bettie this year and her father is optimistic that she will make time to ride with the Sled Betties during the 2012-13 season, but she isn’t worried about who she rides with.

“I think Kelsey enjoys riding with the guys because she is a very aggressive rider and loves the challenge of doing what we do,” said Craig.

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