Dog Gone it.
Touring with your dog. Some people love it. Some argue against it. I happen to be a big fan of meadow skipping in some low-angle terrain with my three-year old golden retriever, Murphy. We try to get out together in the mornings before each resort day. I need to keep up on the tour training, and Murphy is more then happy to be my partner. She loves the snow more then I do. Sometimes, Murphy proves to be a better tour partner then some of my human friends. She listens well and stays right on my heels when I need her too.
^Murphy and I are headed up the skin track to one of our favorite spots that I have named "Murphy's Knob". It is a nice low-angle, vegetated, and sheltered knob in the low-lands not far from our home in Ogden, Utah. We have a variety of cool little areas that we discovered around our home resort's low lands that very few people frequent. Almost no one downhill skis in this area, but Murphy and I have had a fare amount of success in finding skiable slopes there.
^Murphy is running back from her scout mission of the skin trail up ahead. She seems convinced now that I am still leading us the right way.
^The big payoff. When the snow is good this little knob can actually provide some nice mellow turns. Gets a little tougher when the sun gets to it later on and the low elevation temps start to go to work on it. It doesn't get a whole lot better then this for her. This is probably her favorite thing in the world to do, and I rather enjoy the relaxed pace and chill workout of some meadow skipping over my usual hard-charging ski tours in my professional ski adventures.
^We usually stop at the creek after a run and Murphy gets a drink while I put my skins on. It is really nice chilling out with your pup by a little mountain creek in the wilderness on a day like this one. This kind of adventure is not an ambitious one in terms of steep and deep, but can prove to be just as much fun. I don't really like to take Murphy up into more exposed terrain, but that is not what these kinds of adventures are all about. Sometimes it is just nice to get out with your best buddy and take a little cruise around in nature.
- J.T. Robinson -