Dogs, mushers head for Redstone
Aspen, CO Colorado
REDSTONE, Colo. ” Mush!
Some of Colorado’s top dog mushers will make tracks to Redstone this weekend for the town’s 24th annual sled dog races, testing their skills on the 5-mile trail behind the Redstone coke ovens at Chair Mountain Stables. Plenty of others will head to Redstone, the small community south of Carbondale on Highway 133, just to watch.
“It’s a beautiful venue for the race,” said Lisa Wagner, of the Redstone Community Association, co-coordinator for the races.
Forty-five teams are expected this year, competing in a host of divisions ” three-dog mix, three-dog pure, four-dog mix, four-dog pure, six-dog mix and six-dog pure. In addition, there will be junior, rookie and open-class divisions.
Races will start at roughly 9:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and end at about 1 p.m.
Even with the big kahuna of winter snowsports spectacles going on concurrently in Aspen ” the Winter X Games ” spectator turnout for the dog sled races has been on the rise, according to Wagner.
“Obviously, a lot of people like to go to the X Games, but most of those X Games people like to go in the evening; so, you can come check out the races during the day and go up there later,” Wagner said.
And, for those who don’t plan a trip up the valley for the real X deal, new to this year’s event in Redstone are the Doggie X Games, hosted by the Crystal Club on Saturday afternoon. Immediately following the Dog Days of Redstone parade, daring canines will be put to the test in doggie cross, hill climb, big air and best trick contests.
The weekend begins Friday with a beer tasting on Friday, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Fire Lounge at the Redstone Inn.
Following the races on Saturday is the annual dog parade at 3 p.m. The procession begins at the Redstone Inn and ends at the Crystal Club restaurant. All dogs are welcome; costumes are encouraged.
Snow sculptures in Redstone Park and along the town’s main boulevard will also be on display for the weekend’s festivities.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.