Want a fun way to recreate with your dog in winter? Try skijoring. Stop by the Aspen Animal Shelter’s retail store, and director Seth Sachson will outfit you and Fido in the proper gear—harness, tug line, bungee cord, and hip belt—and help you get going with proper technique.
Sachson, an avid skijorer, loves the sense of unity the sport promotes between skier and four-legged companion; “it’s like dancing together.”
Though skate skiing is the preferred mode, classic kick and glide works just fine, too. And no husky or other wintry breed is required. “Your dog doesn’t need to pull you,” notes Sachson. “If he’ll trot far enough out so you don’t run over him, you can skijore.” dogsaspen.com
You may have heard them from the lower slopes of Snowmass—215 sled dogs yipping and yapping in a cacophony of canine anticipation. Meet some of them up close during a dogsled ride at Krabloonik, the 68-year-old operation in Snowmass Village, and let 8 to 10 hearty huskies do all the work as you zip along some 6 miles of trail through forest and meadow. At the halfway point, while the dogs get a chance to rest, you can nosh on soup or charcuterie and warm up with a hot beverage.
Two things set apart Krabloonik from other local outfitters. Mushers must negotiate several downhill sections of trail and a hairpin turn, giving your ride an extra surge of adrenaline. And the handmade, hickory dogsleds are replicas of those used by the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division troops; they’re designed to navigate steeper terrain, and mushers use their whole bodies, including a lot of footwork, to steer the sled.
New this year: rides are offered “a la carte” rather than packaged with lunch or dinner at Krabloonik’s restaurant (though dining on site, where a more casual menu has been introduced, is still a treat). Three rides ($315 per adult/$195 per child) hit the trail daily. krabloonik.com