Skijoring

Rosslander takes trail less traveled

Rossland resident Dana Luck is one of Canada’s top skijors.

Hard work, dedication and a passion for his canine companions has vaulted a Rossland resident into one of Canada’s top skijors.

Dana Luck has competed in skijoring—a combination of skate skiing and dog sled-racing—for three years and following last season was ranked number 1 in Canada and seventh in North America by the International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA).

“For me the best aspect of the sport is by far the amazing relationship and bond with my dogs,” said Luck.

“Skijoring is amazing because, as the musher, I try and work as hard as my dogs and we are truly a team together.”

The 33-year-old Courtenay native moved to Rossland to work with Big Red Cat Skiing in 2003 after completing the Ski Resort Operations and Management program at Selkirk College in Nelson.

But his first sojourn into skijoring came as a result of a dog-sled tour with Salmo’s Al Magaw and Spirit of the North Kennels.

“I went on the tour with the hope of learning to run a dog team and teaching my pet dogs how to skijor,” said Luck.

“However it turned into so much more.

“It was an amazing experience and I ended up building a great friendship with Al, who, like most mushers, loves sharing his passion for the sport.”

In his first race, Luck hitched his golden retriever and malamute to the harness, and was immediately hooked. In his second year, he raced with two Siberian huskie mixes from Quebec, and has since expanded his kennel, and improved every year.

“That season I started to meet more mushers at races and ended up with the opportunity to adopt a couple of Alaskan huskies from another racer. Alaskan huskies are generally a mix of huskies and other breeds that are generally faster than traditional huskies.”

The Alaskans he races now have greyhound and German short-hair pointer in their bloodlines, built for speed and distance.

This past winter Luck had an opportunity to head north to Grand Prairie to be a full-time dog handler and race full time.

“I quit my job and headed off racing for the winter. It was an amazing experience and I had the opportunity to race some of the fastest dogs in Canada, not only in skijoring but I also raced four-dog, six-dog and 10-dog teams.”

Luck, however, focuses primarily on skijoring four-to-six mile sprint races with two dogs. Last season Luck competed in three ISDRA-sanctioned races, and others in which he had five podium finishes.

The biggest challenge for Luck is the expense of maintaining a small kennel and travelling up to 1,000 kilometres to compete in events in Northern B.C. and Alberta.

“Most mushers will tell you that it is an addiction. It can be hard to find others who will share or even understand the passion associated with racing dogs.”

Nevertheless, he will continue building his kennel from four dogs to six or eight, and improve his skate-skiing technique, in hopes of becoming the top skijor in North America.

“In 2017, the IFSS World championships will be in North America again and I hope to be competing there,” added Luck. “I have some very fast dogs already, but the better my skiing technique is the easier it is for my dogs and the faster we will work together.”

 

Just Posted

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

Warfield elementary school celebrating 70 years

Webster Elementary School officially opened April 23, 1949; open house and events planned next week

Exhausted Rossland skateboard volunteers pass torch to city council

Organization asks council to take over project

Rossland council split on arena fix

Rossland council approves band-aid for arena, while its future is debated

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read