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December 14th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 49
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Full throttle ahead for the PowderQueenz group
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald Contributor Photo
Crystal Monteith, the creator of the PowderQueenz social media network, next to her snowmobile.
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
If you’re a gal who wants nothing more than to hit the petrol-perfumed deep powder runs of pristine backcountry terrain on a snowmobile, then maybe you should join the PowderQueenz.

Crystal Monteith started the PowderQueenz social media network in defiance of its male counterpart PowderKingz to show that whatever men can do, women can do just as well. After being the only girl in the PowderKingz group, Monteith resolved to create a space to highlight female riders.

On a mission to connect with snowmobilers and other riders in Western Canada and in the northern United States, Monteith posts, re-posts and re-tags images of girls sledding via Facebook and Instagram. “It’s to show that it’s not all dudes,” she explains.

Monteith encourages snowmobilers to come ride in the Pass, saying that many people underrate Alberta’s mountains, favoring those in British Columbia. “The Pass is such a hidden gem. No one really rides here because they don’t realize the riding opportunities and mountains in Alberta, giving preference to B.C. In reality, we’re pretty much the same. We have the same snow belts, same riding train, and it’s beautiful and half as busy.”
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As for PowderQueenz promoting female snowmobilers, Monteith says it’s important to create a place for women in the sport. “I’m trying to get more women involved because it’s male-dominated. When you think of snowmobiling, you think Brett Turcotte, Paul Thacker or other men riders, not so much the female riders. We’re just such a small demographic.” While snowmobiling is still a male-dominated sport, Monteith says that there has been an increase in female participation and gear companies supporting female athletes.

The only requirement to ride out with the PowderQueenz is that you’re a girl who has her own gear. “As long as you can ride and you know basic backcountry safety, you’re more than welcome to come with us.”
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Monteith has been enthusiastic about snowmobiling since her first ride at the age of two, a passion passed on to her by her father. “I lived at the Inn on the Border, which was a restaurant right on the Alberta/B.C. border. My parents did sled rentals in the winter and quad rentals in the summer. When I started getting old enough, it was something that would keep me busy while they were working.”

The feeling of total freedom is what drives Monteith to hit the powder. “You go out and you can do practically anything. You can just go to the beautiful scenery and have a great day with your friends.”

A lot of big ideas are in the works for establishing the PowderQueenz as a valuable informative resource to snowmobilers. A PowderQueenz feature video is in the works that will spotlight members riding. “I really want it to be a brand,” says Monteith.

Although Monteith started the PowderQueenz network this past November, the Facebook page already has 830 “likes” and 327 followers on the Instagram account.
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December 14th ~ Vol. 85 No. 49
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