Four-legged frenzy Saturday at Buttermilk |

Four-legged frenzy Saturday at Buttermilk

Ben Husband

Break out the pooper scoopers and the doggie bags, it’s time for Sundog’s third annual K-9 Uphill.

Men and women and their best friends will flock to Buttermilk Mountain Saturday for the unique human-canine race.

The event was founded by Erik Skarvan, owner of Sundog Athletics. Skarvan established the race as a tribute to his dog, Rasta, who died three years ago.

Skarvan and friends decided a fitting tribute to the popular pup would be a special doggie uphill – with owners, of course. They also decided the race should be a benefit for Aspen Animal Shelter/Valley Dog Rescue and the Canine Companions for Independence.

Last year, the event attracted some 220 human-canine teams.

“This is just a fun event for everyone to come out and do,” Skarvan said. “But it’s also a great way to spend the day with your dog, and what better way to do that than with a hike up Buttermilk.

“Buttermilk is notorious for morning hikes. And this way, it gives the dogs a chance to enjoy to hike as well.”

The course up Buttermilk climbs more than 2,000 vertical feet to the summit.

Competitors can register at the Ute Mountaineer in Aspen through Friday during normal business hours. The registration fee is $25 in advance. Race-day registration, which will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., is $35. The race is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

This year, the event will have two divisions: recreational and competitive.

“The recreational division is probably the more popular of the two,” Skarvan said. “A lot of people who come out for this event don’t really want to compete. They do it for the fun aspect and it has really turned into a social event.”

Redfeather snowshoes will be available for competitors at the starting line. And, as always, dogs from the local shelters will be on hand to accompany people without four-legged companions.

“Last year, two dogs were adopted right after the event,” Skarvan said. “So this event is beneficial for everyone involved. And if we can raise money and get dogs into a home, then it’s a great day.”

Last year, Skarvan said the event raised more than $3,000.

More information is available by calling Skarvan at 925-1069.

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