Of the many times we’ve been to Lake Tahoe, we’ve never skijored with our pups–until now!
What is skijoring you ask? Well, it’s basically cross country skiing with a dog attached to you. The dogs are equipped with a special X-Back Harness made for pulling, and they are attached to the skier by a Hands Free Dog Leash.
The place where we (my sister, friends, and I) skied at was the Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Resort and our accommodations were at The Inn at Truckee. You can read more about the Inn on our travel destinations page. The cross country area is a separate entity from the downhill ski area with their own tickets and rentals (so they are not interchangeable). They had a buy one get one deal on Tuesdays (in April) so we paid $34 for two passes, $29 for equipment rentals, and $5 per pup for a day pass.
We came on a Tuesday and the resort was actually very vacant! We were pleased with how well the paperwork, rentals, and payments went. The staff were very kind and patiently taught us how to use the skies. After a brief tutorial, we went on our way!
At the starting point, we took some time to hook up our shoes to the skies… it has a locking mechanism that looked a lot easier to do when the guy was showing us… then the pups were attached and off we went! For about 2 feet, then we all fell… It was probably a bit ambitious to think we could handle skiing with the added speed of a husky, considering it was our absolute first time cross country skiing. It was basically a continuous go/stop/fall process for about 30 feet. We realized that the pups had too much energy to follow commands (even though we went on a 2 hour hike the day before!!) so we let them off leash until we could get our bearings on the skies. The pups did great off leash and met lots of other dogs skiing with their owners.
After about an hour, I personally felt like I got the hang of skiing and was ready to hook Lilo up to me. I chose an uphill area and she did amazingly well! She was doing a slight trot and always looked back to check on me. She remembered her commands (right from left and stop) from bikjoring. Infinity also did amazingly with my sister.
It was a wonderful feeling skiing through the forest on nicely groomed trails. It made me feel extremely lucky to be able to experience these wonderful things, and it was even better with our pups. It was an added bonus that the trails were very low in traffic. And of all the people we met, many also had their dogs in tow! At one point, it started lightly snowing. It seemed like the world just stopped and we were in this incredible moment in time. Very breathtaking to say the least. If you are visiting Tahoe with your pups, you have to try skijoring at least once! Best of luck to skijorers new and old!