January 2015

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42 SNOWEST JANUARY 2015 Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." His words strike at the heart of what true mountain sledding is. There is no greater feeling than veering off the groomed trail into fresh powder and breaking your own way. However, doing so takes courage, confidence and a developed skill set. Last February, seven other ladies and I left the designated trail—in more ways than one—at Dan Adams' first women's Next Level Riding Clinic. My dad and boyfriend convinced me to sign up for the clinic. They both attended one of Adams' first clinics a few years back and hadn't stopped rav- ing about it since. As their riding level increased afterwards, however, so too did my frustrations when I rode with them. As soon as they heard Adams was hosting an all-women's clinic, they practically filled out the sign-up sheet for me. Before I knew it, I found myself nestled in a truck with my dad and boyfriend bound for Togwotee Mountain Lodge in Moran, WY. The farther we drove, the higher the snow piled and the more nervous I became. I met Dan Adams our first night at the lodge on the way to dinner. My first impression of the man was that he looked like an over-sized action figure. His arm muscles looked like he did burpees for a living instead of riding sleds. I understood how he could throw around a 500-pound sled so easily. But how was I going to? THERE FOR SIMILAR REASONS Day one started at 9 a.m. We con- gregated in the main lodge fully geared up and swinging our helmets and back- packs at our sides. Adams, along with his assistants Levi and Jason, gave an overview of the clinic and the skills we would work on. They inquired about our riding levels and our incentive for attending the clinic. Surprisingly, we were all there for similar reasons. "I hit a learning plateau and needed to learn from someone other than my spouse," said Vickie Saewert, from Indiana. "I wanted to gain some knowledge and confidence in riding," said Terri Arnold, from Wyoming. "I figured the fewer times my family has to dig me out Several Women Tackle Adams' Next Level Riding Clinic BY LACEY MIDDLESTEAD Photo by Andrew Galen Photo by Vickie Saewert

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