Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mushing into the New Year

Cheers from the top o' the Hill from the Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer perfectly legal dog sled poker run.

Prepared in our bulky parkas to be blasted out of our skins, we had a great time picknicking by the fire on the only calm day ever witnessed on Mt. Mac. The sun came out for Kyla Johnson, the first musher over the top. Here she checks the contents of her t-shirt.

Click on the clip to watch Darrell Otto lead four teams to the top.

Gaeten Pierrard's four dogs worked hardest for their t-shirt, compared to Crispin Studer who rode the runners all the way to the summit behind his 10 dogs. "They're just so fast," he said, compared to the smaller Copper Haul teams.

Debby Knight was a little flustered at the top, as she juggled her t-shirt and poker card into her basket. "Which one is more important to keep," she laughed and pulled her snowhook. Congratulations Debby on your decision. With it, you won the best hand.

Santa's elf Harvey van Patten delivered gifts to all the volunteers along the trail.

As Germans say at New Year's "Guten Rutsch" or good slide into 2010.

Happy trails to all the local dog drivers and our generous sponsors
Hot Hounds Dryland Dogsledding, Air North for hundreds of dollars in flight coupons, First Mate Extreme Dog Food, Icy Waters, and Yukon Brewing

There's a crowded calendar in the new year with teams meeting on January 16 for the Carbon Hill Race. Then, on January 24 2-6 dog sledders and 2-4 dog skijorers can meet again at the Oscar's Electric Race Day at 10 a.m. at Icy Waters km 4 Fish Lake Road. On February 6 the Yukon Quest starts from Fairbanks, and on Rendezvous weekend, February 27 and 28 is the Road Runner 100 organized by the Dog Powered Sports Association. Check this site for updates from trail chief Mike Simon.

photos and video by Mike Simon
posted by Jessica Simon

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Those Official Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer Poker Run and First Mate Freight Pull results in full



1 - Zoya - Canadian Eskimo Dog - Janet Keller - 240lb
2 - Cash - Husky - Dave Desmarais - 160lb
3 - Ribs - Husky - Ray Zaidan - 120lb


1 - Asha - Rottweillor - Jon Lucas - 480lb
2 - Aklak - Bouvier - Dave Desmarais - 440lb
3 - Keno - Husky - Heather Desmarais - 320lb
4 - Timber - Husky - Debbie Last - 200lb


1 - Puck - Rottweillor - Laura Jane Lucas - 200lb

Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer Poker Run (4-12 dog sleds)

1 - Luc Tweddell - 8 dogs - 1.51.02
2 - Martine Lelevier - 8 - 1.52.09
3 - Maren Bradley - 8 - 1.59.36
4 - Marcelle Fressinau - 8 - 2.00.28
5 - Darrell Otto - 10 - 2.04.40
6 - David Mason - 8 - 2.05.34 - - - - First in the money
7 - Crispin Studer - 10 - 2.06.54
8 - Pierre Duc - 7 - 2.07.02 - - - - -Second in the money
9 - Susie Rogan - 6 - 2.09.08
10 - Ryan Kinni - 10 - 2.14.32
11 - Kyla Johnson - 6 - 2.19.34
12 - Roxanne Mason - 6 - 2.21.08
13 - Gaetan Pierrard - 4 - 2.21.30
14 - Alexandra Rochat - 6 - 2.23.00
15 - Deb Knight - 10 - 2.24.00 - - - -Third in the money
16 - Tim Currie - 7 - 2.28.10
17 - Bertrand Bellencourt - 9 - 2.28.40
18 - Claudia Wickert - 6 - 2.30.35
19 - Matthieu Renner - 8 - 2.30.57
20 - Rene LaPierre - 10 - 2.30.58
21 - Trevor Braun - 9 - 2.52.46
22 - Brian Wilmshurst - 7 - 2.57.01
23 - Harvey Van Patten - 5 - 3.06.29

A most excellent day, many thanks to everyone who volunteered, and also to the Sponsors - First Mate dog foods, Yukon Brewing, Air North, and Dryland Hot Hound Racing, we all rasied over $330 for the Dog Powered Sports Association of Yukon, who need every penny to plough into their Road Runner 100 Whitehorse to Haines Junction race 27-28th February.

Next Yukon Brewing Copper Haul Twister League race - Sunday 24th January at 10am Icy Waters Ltd - 2-6 dogs for the sleds, 2-4 for the skijorers and the trail (even the by-pass section) was very nice on Friday (after our small snowfalls and a good packing) when Jon skijored at and crashed a lot less than he did at the last race - which could still have been quite a lot, but at least the trail is better. The nasty, whippy willows in the new by-pass have been well trashed by the public's snowmachines :)

Remember volunteers always welcome and needed. If interested please call Jon on 667 4138, thanks!

Have a great Festive Season!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer Poker Run photos from LONE TRAILS photography, Stefan Wackerhagen

"Phew that was a big Hill!", "Aye, and having "oh oh Mr Trevor, I've got a sore shoulder, honest," in the basket didn't make it any easier"

Trevor Braun reaches the high point of the race, just as his "passenger" remarks "Thanks Ladz, hey Trev, it's all downhill from here right? Funny thing, this shoulder feels ok now ..."

"Lovely view eh?", Stuff the view, where's that beer?"

Harvey Van Patten "and a very Merry Christmas to you, and Yukon Brewing" leaving his empty T-shirt with the Mt Mac volunteer card stop

Darrell Otto "heeey! Where's my beer?"

Congestion on the mountain top

Gaetan Pierrard and his 4 dogs marching to the top

"phew, whatta climb, worth it for the Beer though!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reach for the Sky and Take the Beeer photos from Clark Rodgers

Harvey Van "Santa" Patten, frosted up his beard and was the image of Saint Nick by the time he got back - thanks for getting in the festive spirit Harvey!

Pierre Duc, Carmacks Musher, takes second and $250 of Yukon Brewing and Hot Hound's money, and a $100 certificate from Air North with a Queen high flush

Claudia Wickert trades in the skis for a sled for a chance at the big hand

Martine Lelevier racing to second in time (not prizes), just 7 secs short of the fastest time set by the Echoes Kennel

Alexandra Rochat, heavily muffled

Susie Rogan "Heeey, what's this? a sled? where are the skis? That's the last time I let Hans pack for me"

Darrell Otto from Mendenhall poses for the newspaper

Tim Currie, down from Dawson for the Race
These photos were courtesy of Clark Rodgers, many thanks Clark; more Photos from LONE TRAILS photography, Stefan Wackerhagen coming soon

Monday, December 14, 2009

Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer, First Mate Freight Pull, attract biggest field yet

Quick Results - 23 4-12 dog teams raced round the 22 mile firm trail Sunday, whilst 8 stalwart pullers battled it out at Icy Waters Ltd.

Winners of Air North, Yukon Brewing, and Hot Hounds Dryland Racing's cash and certificates on LL2009-123 were:

David Mason - $450 cash + $100 Air North Certificate
Pierre Duc - $250 cash + $100 Air North Cert.
Deb Knight - $100 cash + $200 Air North Cert

First Mate Freight Pull

Lightweight - Zoya the Canadian Eskimo Dog - Janet Keller - 240lb

Mediumweight - Asha the Rottie - Jon Lucas - 480lb

Heavyweight - Puck the Rottie - Laura J. Lucas - 200lb

A big thank you to the sponsors, and all the volunteers at the start/finish, and those of you standing out at the card pick-ups.

More details and photos later!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

First Mate Freight Pull - ON! Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer DPSAY Fundraiser Poker Run ON!

With thanks to First Mate Dog Foods, Air North, Yukon Brewing, & Hot Hounds Dryland Racing...
...and also to all you volunteers who the racers will see tomorrow, and the three hardy trail markers and checkers this afternoon.

Probably the coldest day in December (again) will greet our 3rd Annual Freight Pull and Poker Run

The trail is good, the card stops are in place, RM Laura J.Lucas and timer Simi Morisson are all revved up and ready to go; the firepit is even in place.

8 places remain after Gaetan Pierrard and Susie Rogan signed up (swopping their skis for sleds for this one), and Rene LaPierre signed up his Malamute Heavy Brigade.

See you all at 10am - Poker Run, and 11.30-noon for the Freight Pull - km 4.2 Fish Lake rd, Icy Waters Ltd.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer update

Marcelle Fressinau of Alayuk Adventure registers as 14th team; 11 places left on the start roster.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

First Mate Extreme Freight Pull and Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer all set for Sunday 13th!

First Mate Extreme Freight Pull
Meet 11.30-Noon at Icy Waters Ltd; Heavyweight 100lb+; Mediumweight between 60 & 100lb; Lightweight 0-60lb.

No treats (food or other items deemed to be unfair by the judge eg clickers, targets etc) - at any time whilst your dog is competing.

Start may be slightly delayed until the last of the Poker Run teams have left, please be patient.
Prizes in all categories 1st = 6 bags First Mate Extreme dog food; 2nd = 4 bags; 3rd = 2 bags.
Entry fee $20.

Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer Poker Run (Lottery Licence 2009-123)

Meet 10am Icy Waters Ltd. $20 Entry Fee, all proceeds to DPSAY.

4-10 dog teams. 4-6 dog teams planned to leave at 11am; 7-10 dog teams will leave 10 mins after last 4-6 team leaves.

Purse $800 cash (Yukon Brewing and Dryland Hot Hounds) and $400 Air North Flight Certificates.

Trail to be checked and flagged on Saturday 12th.

Volunteers for dog yard and start line urgently needed - and you'll thank them for getting to the start line so press gang some friends and relatives. Everyone who helps gets some delicious Arctic Charr fillets!

One card given out as follows:
Start line
Jackson Lake (Brian and Tanya)
Sunshine Valley Ranch (Wendy, Rock, and Ingabritt)
Sky High Wilderness Ranch (Jocelyn, Gary)
Guillaume will ensure you get off Fish lake - but he isn't a card stop
Shoulder of Mt Mac - the High Point - Jessica and Mike Simon - card and T-shirt
Finish Line

All cards embossed with Icy Waters Ltd seal

Make the best 5 card poker hand and make sure the Timer/RM agrees and notes it down when you finish.

We will be timing, but prizes are awarded to the best 3 poker hands only. All finishers receive an Arctic Charr dog food block, courtesy of Icy Waters Ltd.

This is an unsupported race, there is no snowmacine support, sweeper, or cover over the 22 miles.

And...the 13th is predicted to be the coldest day in Decmber - wrap up warm!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oscar's Electric CHT Race Day DATE CHANGE

Due to conflict with Carbon Hill race date, Oscar's Electric CHT is now Sunday Jan 24th.
2-6 dogs for sleds, 2-4 dogs for Skis.

Sun 13th - 22 mile Poker Run + Freight Pull

10am at Icy Waters Ltd: Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer Poker Run + at 11.30am Icy Waters Ltd First Mate Extreme Freight Pull.

Icy Waters Ltd, km 4.2 Fish Lake rd, Whitehorse.

Poker run: 4-6 dog teams will leave approx 11am, larger teams leave 15 mins after last small team. All teams leave at 2 min intervals
Due to Lottery Licensing regulations race limit is 25 teams max; 12 teams have already pre-registered. To register call Jon at 668 7012/667 4138.

Freight Pull: Dog weight categories Lightweight 0-60lb, Mediumweight 61-100lb; Heavyweight 101lb+.

Both competitions $20 entry fee. Poker Run proceeds to DPSAY, Freight Pull proceeds to CHT Org.
Note, Poker run is an unsupported trail - trail is flagged, but there is no snowmachine support, nor sweeper snowmachine - if you lose your team, you are on foot till you find them.

Trail final check and flagging, 12 noon Saturday 12th Dec. Anyone with a snowmachine welcome to come and help, please call Jon at the numbers above.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alpine Vet Race Day - more teams, more thrills, and a few more spills

Photos courtesy of Stefan Wackerhagen, . To see more photos of the race go to - Thanks Stefan!

Karine Grenier's 9 month old youngsters pound home

Cynthia Corriveau encouraging her team

Erin Spicer leaves the start chute to victory in the Kid's 5km race

Bertrand Bellencourt leans into the curve

Kiko looks happy in the Pet Dog, but Cynthia Friedrich doesn't look so sure

"No, No Hanah, don't jump on the nice cameraman" shouts Kam Davies, Hanah didn't jump on him, she leapt over him!

With the trail very hard packed and slick, the skijorers had some difficulty carving the corners - after Jon (Snowpigs) lost the edge, smacked down and slid almost into the landfill electric fence, observing volunteer Jocelyne LeBlanc commented "And that is why I will never skijor". The sleds also had some "fun" carving the turns, Quest Veteran Kyla Boiven commenting "I wiped out three times, in eight miles, I havn't crashed like that for 2 years!".

Despite the spins and crashes, the leading times were significantly faster than last race, and with the 5th dog for the sleds and the skate skiers, well, unable to effectively skate with much confidence, the sleds finished pre-eminently in the top five.

Thanks to all the Pet Dog Racers, this was a good field, and all the dogs had a good time. Congrats to Erin Spicer, for hanging around for 2 hours to run the kids 5km alone - a great race time, $25, and 10 points for the Kid's league were in the bag for her.


8 Copper Haul Twister

1 - Tony (the Bandit) Radford - 26:17 - Drag n Fly - 5 dog sled - Jocko & Turbo
2 - Crispin Studer - 27:18 - no name - 5 dog sled - Witch & Becks
3 - Jon Lucas - 27:37 - Snowpigs - 3 dog skis - Tutshi
4 - Dave (Tagish Tornado) Johnson - 29:57 - Dead Broke Kennels - 5 dog sled - Chub & Julie
5 - Kyla Boivin - 32:03 - Doggone Racing - 5 dog sled - Pebbles & Posie
6 - Kyla Johnson - 32:25 - Doggone Racing - 5 dog sled - no name leaders
7 - Alexandra Rochat - 34:18 - no name - 5 dog sled - Big Bear & Suomi
8 - Cynthia Coriveau - 34:59 - no name - 2 dog skis - Sugar & Nahanni
9 - Gaetan Pierrard - 35:18 - no name - 3 dog skis - Ibex & Bertha
10 - Ian Stewart - 35:26 - Skinny Puppy - 5 dog sled - Walker & Logan
11 - Bertrand Bellencourt - 35:53 - no name - 5 dog sled - Taro & Skoute
12 - Claudia Wickert - 35:57 - no name - 2 dog skis - Hydro & Ultra
13 - Trevor Braun - 36:32 - My Dog - 3 dog skis - Bella & Finger
14 - Karine Grenier - 37:39 - Casavant - 5 dog sled- Anis
15 - Jeff Diment - 37:40 - Grandpa Campbell's - 5 dog sled - Toot & Echo
16 - Kate Weekes - 45:11 - Skinny Puppy - 5 dog sled - Bungee & Trooper
17 - Wendy Morrison - 45:13 - The Zoo - 2 dog skis - Wilson & Guru
18 - Stephen Reid - 47:12 - no name - 3 dog sled - Cruz
19 - Grant Simpson - 47:20 - Skinny Puppy - 5 dog sled - Kikoyo & Lulu

5 km Kid's Race

1 - Erin Spicer - 12:21 - Dogged Pursuit - 3 dog sled - Freckles & Maisie

5 km 1 Pet Dog

1 - Tiramasu - Pippa Lawson - 13:47 - skis
2 - Asha - Jon Lucas - 14:53 - bike - Snowpigs
3 - Hanah - Kam Davies - 19:01 - skis
4 - Kiko - Cynthia Friedrich - 22:01 - skis
5 - Tarka - Kyla Johnson - 24:08 - skis

Thanks again to all you volunteers, and to the Chocolate Claim (take your own mug and save 50c on a coffee) for the cash, and our merchandise sponsors - Yukon Brewing, Yukon Honda, Yukon Grain Farm, Drury's Elk Farm, Icy Waters Ltd, First Mate Dog Foods, Midnightsun Alpacas, Grizzly Pigs Farm.

See below for Jessica Simon's write up, and details of Sunday 13th's Poker run and First Mate Freight Pull!

December Pooper Scoop

Chocolate Claim Race Day
8-Mile Twister

This month's Twister on a trail of glazed snow was fast and slick. Mike Simon said teams sent up plenty of spray banking around his corner. Watch Crispin Studer's team, below, pounding down the trail.

In a nifty spin, Tony Radford's team wrapped around Marianne Gregoire's legs and pulled her off her feet. "Sorry to the volunteer I accidentally took out," he said upon collecting his first place winnings.

Being bowled over by dogs is nothing, according to a volunteer from the Australian Dog Trainers Association. A dryland driver herself, she's seen kangaroos leap out of nowhere to jump a team in gang.

In the videoclip below Grant Simpson demonstrates a Lesson from the Trail: Tell the dog driver in human language what they need to do (left, right, straight ahead) and let them translate into dog (gee, haw, on-by) for the team. Then hope the team reacts before they flatten you.

On the home stretch, left, Dave Johnson's team passes Jeff Diment on his debut Twister. Willkommen ins Club, Jeff!

The Copper Haul coyotes were spotted trailside by Mike and Jessica Simon. A race so thrilling even the wildlife come out to watch.

5-k Kids
Erin Spicer was the only entrant in the Kids' Race, and flew down the trail until she landed on her side. Here, she keeps her gangline taut and rights her sled.
5-k Pets
Pet dogs pull all kinds of equipment down the trail. Here's Tiramisu having far more fun skijoring with Pippa Lawson than Asha's having bikejoring with the serious-looking competition, Jonathan Lucas.

Thank you to all our sponsors

Chocolate Claim
Yukon Brewing
Yukon Agriculture Assoc.
Icy Waters Ltd.
Midnight Sun Alpacas
Drury's Elk Farm
Yukon Grain Farm
First Mate Dog Food
Yukon Honda

for letting us have so much fun.
The next Twister meets on at January 24, 2010 at 10 a.m. at Icy Waters, km. 4 Fish Lake Road. Note the date change.

This coming Sunday, December 13, mushers can Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer in a totally legal race 2200' up Mt. Mac for a nice fresh t-shirt and down for a with a handful of cards. Prizes include airfare vouchers from Air North, and cash donated by Air North, Yukon Brewing and Hot Hounds Dryland Racing for the best poker hand. For those hardworking pack dogs, the First Mate Dog Food Extreme Freight Pull starts at 11:30 a.m.

On the same weekend, the Yukon Quest is organizing a work bee at McCabe Creek, the unique checkpoint shared by the Yukon Quest and Arctic Ultra. The original building was lost to fire in February and the Kruse family are hard at work to make the replacement shop ready for this year's Quest. Anyone with skills on the tools is invited to contact Wendy Morrison at the Quest office at 667-4411 or for details.

See you next week or next year! Merry Christmas and Happy Trails from the Copper Haul Twister.

photos, film and words by Jessica Simon

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chocolate Claim Race Day ON!

Trail checked and polished today between 3.30 and 5pm.

All looks good, even the new section. Extra flagging put up. The Moose had destroyed the red warning Xs, now replaced, hopefully moosey will be elsewhere tonight.

See everyone at 10am, at Icy Waters Ltd tomorrow.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Race details for this and next weekend!

Dec 6th - Round 2 - Chocolate Claim Race Day - Trail good even after extensive remodelling thanks to City grader in the old landfill - we've bypassed the gravel - you'll love it, really, crash test dummy Jon armoured up (even used a helmet) and didn't fall once skijoring with 3 dogs - well not in that new section.

Meet 10am Icy Waters Ltd. km 4.2 Fish Lake Rd, on Sunday - spectators and volunteers very welcome. NOTE:
1 Pet dog - is ONE PET DOG with you using anything unpowered over 5 km
The 8 mile Twister is 2-5 dogs for sleds and 2-3 for Skijorers
5km Kids Race is 2-4 for sleds and 2-3 for skijorers

Carolyn Campbell is Race Marshall - or Supreme Ruler for the day

Dec 13th - 10 am Icy Waters Ltd - Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer Poker run - LEGAL GAMBLING on Fish Lake Rd - hey let's turn the fish farm into an aquatic nightclub and casino - it'll make more money to sponsor more dog races!! ok back to reality- $20 entry for the chance to win $550 cash and certs - and that's just first prize - 2nd and 3rd aren't too shabby either. To register simply call Jon at 668 7012 (and leave a message if he's busy with his second job at Icy Waters Ltd) and promise to turn up with $20, warning - if you take a place and don't show, then unfortuately Puck will come and chew you, and you don't want a Puck chewing you, seriously.

Meet Puck - "me? chew? no, never, honest - what sofa?"

And, for the second year running Veteran Harvey Van Patten has already registered FIRST, with a promise of a crisp crunchy $20 for DPSAY (that's where all the money's going), for the chance of that 1st prize and the certainty of a refreshing Yukon Brewing cool T-shirt at the High Point (geographically, and imbibingly) of the race - on the shoulder of Mt Mac, looking out at the vast expanse of snow covered plains and valleys below (alright, Fish Lake, but it is spectacular up there). 4-12 dogs, complete the 22 mile run in 4 hours or be scratched - c'mon even that Mr Schnuelle can go faster than that (just)!

Dec 13th - 11.30am - yep, the same day that the athletic monkeys are climbing 2000 feet for a T shirt (it's amazing what people will for a free aluminium wrapped pressurised t shirt)- Icy Waters Ltd, bring your Freightpuller for a chance to win up to $250 worth of FIRST MATE EXTREME dog food - or simply go buy it at Duffy's Pets and Tanzilla Harness Supply!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

LEGAL - Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer Poker Run is....Legal

With threat of being hauled off to jail for organising a dog race lifted, all the organisers have to worry about is various plough operators being bored by the lack of snow and "having a larf" ploughing trails and minor roads they don't usually go near.

Air North, Yukon Brewing, and Dryland Hot Hounds' Poker run is legally on (thanks DPSAY!)- meet 10am at Icy Waters Ltd, km 4.2 Fish Lake Rd Sun Dec 13th, for the race and at 11.30 for the First Mate Extreme 3/4 tonne Freight Pull!!