Skijoring: Blending Wranglers and Skis
What in the World is skijoring?
We want to take a second to highlight one of the craziest and coolest sports you will ever see! Skijoring is one of the growing winter sports that has gained a lot of popularity across US mountain towns. While the concept of the sport is derived from a form of Nordic travel, it has transitioned into a highly competitive sport that is celebrated widely. It has especially gained popularity within Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana. In the early 20th century, it began to be included in many more sanctioned events and even made it into the Winter Olympic games of 1928 as an exhibition event. Now it is popular enough to have a nationwide circuit that travels all across the west to mountain towns.
The term ‘skijoring’ refers to the act of riding or racing on skis while being pulled behind a motorcycle, dogs, or most commonly a horse! This sport combines the culture and passions of skiers and cowboys which creates one of most interesting things to watch out there. It takes a certain type of individual who is willing to hop on a pair of skis and get pulled at 35-45 mph while hitting jumps and acquiring rings. The goal is to have the fastest time down while catching rings with a baton.
The Skijor USA circuit has many events in both Montana and Colorado as each state has a high population of cowboys/cowgirls and skiers. The circuit will be passing by both of our store locations this year. It first goes through Pagosa in January and then Big Sky in February. For dates and info follow the circuit at Skijor USA. This is the second year that our hometown of Pagosa will be hosting part of the circuit this upcoming January 22nd and 23rd. We are super stoked to be one of the sponsors of the Skijor Pagosa event in our hometown of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Skijor Pagosa is something that we are super thankful to be a part of as the event truly represents the culture and heritage of our town. The event is hosted by a volunteer board of committed locals and business owners that put in all the work to make this happen. All the information you need can be found at the Skis and Saddles website.
Not only will we be sponsoring again, but one of our badass staff members will be participating in the event! Sami, our Pagosa Springs Rockstar, participated in Pagosa’s first year hosting (as can be seen in the picture to the above) and is planning on it again! She describes the whole scene as an “Adrenaline rush, action packed taste of the old west” and recommends that if you come out be sure to grab a good friend, a warm drink, and be sure to say what’s up!”
If you do plan on coming out to the Pagosa event here are a few side tips to get the most of it!
- Bring your cheering voice – Crowd participation is half the show.
- Layer up! It looks like it will be a cold one and it can be a long day out there.
- Good socks and waterproof boots can go a long way. With all the people, it turns to slush and mud quickly (also the occasional horse dropping).
- If you want to sit, bring a fold up chair with a blanket (you will thank us later).