Annual Doggie Skijoring Race Brings Humans and Hounds Together in West Glacier
Glacier Outdoor Center is hosting a unique event that adds a fun challenge to Nordic skiing by allowing dogs to enjoy ski trails with their owners.
It is well known among Montana dog owners that K9s get cabin fever too. When the days are short and the weather is cold, it’s hard to give a dog his/her daily dose of outdoor exercise. When folks finally do get their hounds outside it seems like Fido’s walking them, rather than the other way around. Well finally, exacerbated owners of hard-pullin’ White Fang wannabes will have a chance to harness their beast and let him/her put that energy to work. And this time, instead of being yanked head long down an icy sidewalk, owners can join in the fun, enjoy the ride and help a great cause.
On Saturday, February 19th Glacier Outdoor Center will host its annual Doggie Skijoring Race, a fundraiser for the Northwest Montana Humane Society. Doggie Skijoring is a fun, adrenaline-inducing pastime that joins hound, in harness, and master, on Nordic skis, as they race through the woods on freshly groomed trails. Picture a spaniel-powered dog sled… minus the sled.
The competition is open to racers of all ages and dogs of all sizes.
“A lot of breeds can participate in skijoring,” says Karsten Carlson of Glacier Outdoor Center. “It’s easier on the skier if the dog has a strong desire to pull, but you can definitely encourage them along as you go. It might take a practice lap or two to get them used to it, but most dogs pick it up pretty quickly.”
There will be timed heats and categories for small, med and large dogs, as well as the ever popular drag races and the double dog race.
“Things are coming together for the 5th Annual Doggie Skijoring Event, Saturday,” says Sally Thompson, one of the Glacier Outdoor Center’s owners. “We’ve got great sponsors, lots of prizes and giveaways for participants and spectators”
Prizes include two all-day alpine ski passes from Whitefish Mountain Resort, a gift certificate from Blackstar Brewery, one night cottage stay at the Belton Chalet, outdoor gear from Glacier Outdoor Center, a half day raft trip from Great Northern Resort, a dog skijoring setup, including harness, from Adanac Sleds and Equipment, t-shirts from the Coram-West Glacier Fire Department, goody bags from Tailwaggers, and a $25 gift certificate from the Glacier Grill. There also will be a veterinarian on site throughout the race sponsored by the Whitefish Animal Hospital.
Burgers and hot dogs will be served as well as hot chocolate, Pepsi and coffee from Montana Coffee Traders.
Registration is $25 and includes use of a specialized skijoring harness. Racers may use skate or classic-style Nordic skis. Participants may use their own Nordic gear or rent equipment on arrival. The course will open for practice laps at 10:30am on February 19th and racing will begin at noon. For further information and to register your team contact Glacier Outdoor Center at 406-888-5454 or reach them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org