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MailTribune.com
  • No snow forces change for sled-dog races

  • The annual Chemult Sled Dog Races are the latest victim of the dearth of early-winter snowfall in Oregon.
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  • The annual Chemult Sled Dog Races are the latest victim of the dearth of early-winter snowfall in Oregon.
    Organizers of the race, set for Jan.18-19 in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, have tentatively rescheduled the event for Feb. 15-16.
    "We have virtually no snow, like 2 inches, so we're postponing it," says Erin Sutton, the race's organizer. A similarly low January snowpack in 2012 led to the cancellation of the entire Oregon dog-mushing season. That year, the Chemult Sled Dog Races Association did not attempt to reschedule the races like this year, Sutton says.
    "We've never tried to postpone it," Sutton says. "We decided to give it a month to see if winter changes."
    The race, in its 20th year, features six sled-dog races and two Skijoring races over a two-day span.
    Skijoring is the discipline of having a musher on cross-country skis get pulled by one or two sled dogs.
    The races are centered around the forest's Walt Haring Sno-Park along Highway 97 about a quarter-mile north of Chemult, which is about halfway between Bend and Klamath Falls.
    Mushers from as far away as Arizona, British Columbia and Michigan were scheduled to be at January's event. The races are free to the public, but winter Sno-Park passes are required for vehicles.
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