Monday, March 09, 2009

Skijoring at the Mount Massive Mush
in Leadville, Colorado

Skijoring is not for the faint-hearted. If you do it with one dog, the course is nearly 4 miles. And no, the dog is not necessarily going to be pulling you the whole way. You need to ski pretty hard, too. This at 10,000 feet of elevation.
The oldest contestant did the course in 48 minutes. He got a big cheer.
The fastest guy did it in under 15.
Here's how the dogs get around when they're not mushing:
The insertion process is interesting to see!
The lucky dogs have a hole big enough to stick their snoots out and catch some rays.
Here are some other dogs I met:

Pointers make surprisingly good mushers.
Most of the dogs were eager to be petted.

Some of them were there for the sled-racing. More dogs, longer course.
Here's Gunda the Australian shepherd crossing the finish line.
Skijoring season is over for Gunda, and now sheep season begins. His owner told me she lets the sheep wander at will in the forest. At nightfall, she tells Gunda to go bring them home, and he does.
Gunda is a good dog! And ready for some belly-rubbin'.


  1. OH MY GOSH!!! all those dogs...being so cute and happy...
    what fun that must have been!
    the aussie is too cute...

  2. Kitt,

    These dogs are all beautiful and extremely talented. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Now I understand the dog in hole photo. When are you going to try it?

  4. Talk about a good work ethic! "Skijoring season is over for Gunda, and now sheep season begins. His owner told me she lets the sheep wander at will in the forest. At nightfall, she tells Gunda to go bring them home, and he does." Great report. Thanks!

  5. I had no idea there was something like this in Leadville! My daughter is a huge fan of Alaska's Iditarod ever since they did their Ikidarod version in 2nd grade. We're going to have to make it up to Leadville for this next year!

  6. Wow, I had never heard of this and am putting it on the calendar for next year. I have a dog who (while probably incapable of focusing that long) is never happier than when she is pounding pavement/trails/snow.

  7. Looks like a good time. It's gotta be fun to drive dogs at altitude.

  8. Hi Kitt! Followed you over from feral bee project. We have a GSP down here in sunny Texas who's teeth chatter when it gets around freezing! Poor thing has next to no hair! But seeing your pictures gives me hope that when we do move back up north, our GSP won't become a permanent hearth warmer!

  9. Whoops, I got behind on responding to comments, sorry!

    Kimchi, the dogs were having a blast.

    Marina, you're welcome! Some of the dogs were more talented than others ... one of them even ran away while on the course. But they got him back.

    Betts, not me! I'm not a big cross-country skier, at least not competitively. And it would require a different dog than my geriatric gal.

    Pam, that's a pretty well-rounded dog!

    Manisha, definitely plan to go. It's all weekend, and they have horse ski joring, too, that's crazy.

    Laura, give it a shot! It might give your pup that focus.

    Fonzie, it's got to be quite the workout for everyone. Your heart's racing before you even get going!

    Hi moat! Do you have bees, too? The pointers did surprise me, but apparently they're good pullers. They wouldn't do in Alaska, I'm guessing, but here it's not so cold all the time.

  10. Neat! I had never heard of this sport before. I'm such a wimp on skis, I don't want to go any faster than my legs can move me. But would be very interesting to watch.