Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

Darby Dog Derby – January 19, 20

Sled dog racing is on the agenda this weekend at the Lost Trail Pass cross-country ski area at the Montana/Idaho border right off Highway 93.

The Bitterroot Mushers are running their 12th annual sled dog races with the first skijor race starting 9:00 Saturday morning and wrapping up with the 4-dog teams finishing around 3:00. Sunday will be a repeat of that schedule with the addition of the Awards Ceremony after racing is complete.

This all takes place adjacent to Montana mile marker ZERO. It is as close to you as whatever your nearest Highway 93 mile marker indicates. That is to say, in my neighborhood sled dog racing has practically come to you so you don’t have to go to it.

This is the fifth time I am spearheading radio communications throughout the course for this event. We all learn from experience, and we have had several teaching moments for the comms team in gear, setup, deployment and use.

We have also become a highly prized part of their race organization. Other partners include the Bitterroot Ridgerunners whose snowmobiles deploy our radio operators to key locations around the various race courses.

Visitors and spectators must park across the highway as the small Gibbons Pass parking lot fills up completely with dogsled teams and gear.

Darby Dog Derby Schedule of Events 2018

If you are interested in how long the various races take and how many teams are involved, last year’s results are representative of what I have seen in previous years.