Snowmobiling: not just for men. File photo: Eric Hylden/TT

Swedish women challenge male dominance in snowmobiling

A group of women hoping to challenge male-dominance within snowmobiling are arranging a women's-only snowmobile camp in southern Lappland this weekend, Swedish Television reports.

Camp organisers said there is growing interest in snowmobiling among women and a need for a special camp where they can practice backcountry riding and freeriding in woods and deep snow, away from male riders.

"We learn more and we have more fun when there are only girls around. One easily gets repressed with guys around and then you don't dare try things out," Caroline Olssson, one of the organisers, told Swedish Television.

"When you ride with the guys you don't want to be a burden. They're often better and so then you don't want to be a burden," said camp participant Malin Lindgren from Stockholm.

Several of the women travelled far to take part in the camp in Saxnäs, some from Norway and Switzerland. Canadian Stephanie LaRoy Schwartz, who is one of the world's top female freeriders, is taking part as a coach to help develop participants' techniques. She says there are differences between the way men and women ride snowmobiles.

"Women must find their strength, while men have a basic strength. We must adjust and ride a bit differently. Our psyche also plays a part here. Men just get on with it, while women think things through first. Women must get over the idea that they can't do it, because they can," said LaRoy Schwartz.

View a video from the camp here.

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