What kind of highlights you have experienced with snowmobiling so far?
Minttu: When I realized that having more speed makes riding smoother and much more comfortable. If you ride too slowly, riding feels jerky and heavy. When I saw how my husband Sampo hit the bumps, I learned that you can ride that way too – and finally dared to try it myself.
Inari: As an entrepreneur I meet my work coach regularly. He advised me to go to a sled journey by myself and take luncheon with me. During that journey I got a feeling that nothing can stop me in this world. I survive anything. Afterwards, I’ve managed to reflect that feeling to everything I do. I feel I get empowered by snowmobiling.
Have you noticed any prejudices against snowmobiling?
Inari: I’ve always been a nature person and spoke strongly for moving in nature, conservation and vegetarianism. For many, that doesn't fit in with snowmobiling the same way as hiking, for example. I think you can move in nature by many ways. I equate snowmobiling with boating. I think a snowmobiler and a nature person fit well in a same person. In the village I live in, I've hardly seen other females on snowmobiles. In the beginning I faced an attitude “let’s see if that lady from south can even start a sled, let alone reverse it with a sleigh.” I’ve shown that I can!
Minttu: I also thought that snowmobiling is a very masculine sport. Then I realized that with the right equipment and certain confidence you can make it – age or gender doesn’t matter. Thanks to snowmobiling, I’ve noticed that even I can enjoy nature and powersports. I've had the habit of underestimating myself and that was again an example of that. I've proven myself that I dare!
What has been your best learning in snowmobiling?
Minttu: A sled lady’s sandwich – foil covered sandwich heated on stove in a wilderness hut. I also heard that you can heat a small frozen pizza next to the sled’s muffler. Just a great innovation, which I’m going to try! I’m also surprised about how many different ways you can do snowobiling. Inari tows a trail groomer, you can have an off-trail adventure or do long journeys on trail.
Inari: I’ve learned that having a speed with snowmobile can also be a good thing. For example, if there is slushy water on the frozen lake or river, you have to have enough speed to pass that to avoid getting stuck. I learned that this season and made that several times too in Saariselkä. Sometimes I get a feeling of great achievements when I overcome myself on a sled. Here I am, a woman originally from Helsinki, towing a trail groomer in the woods of Lapland, in the middle of polar night.