Backcountry Tips and Tricks

The Roaming Retriever: Adventure Partner in Training

Sauvie the Ski Pup (Almost) A couple weeks ago I took the Roaming Retriever back country skiing with me. Full of excitement we both piled into my car and drove up to Castle Lake in Northern California. I chose this place for first time canine skier for a few reasons:

  1. Dogs are allowed.
  2. The route is short.
  3. It’s familiar.
Despite the total slush fest, Sauvie did amazing. Never have I seen this pup so enamored and elated. So up we climbed and when we got to the top of the ridge I thought for sure he would be exhausted. Nope, he wanted to play fetch. Seriously? Eff you, Sauvie. I’m exhausted. What I wouldn’t give for boundless energy. But because he’s new to this whole outdoor adventure thing, I thought it wise to make him rest and drink water, even if it was forced (thus began the battle of making him lay down next to me). Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset So then down we skied, and let me tell you, it was hilarious. Sauvie prefers a combination of sliding and running and seeing him ‘spread eagle’ can only bring smiles.  I quickly learned, however, Sauvie wanted to run RIGHT next to me. This of course presented a dangerous problem as my skis’ edges are sharp! As my first solution I decided to ski fast and let the pup follow behind, this worked great…until I got too far ahead. If I were to guess at what I heard next, in human language, it would go something like this: MOM! WAIT!!! SLOW THE F*CK DOWN! DONT ABANDON ME HERE!!!! Yelping Ensued until I stopped and let him catch up. I guess I need to reinforce I won’t leave him on the mountain. So, with hopes of firmer snow, we headed up to Bunny Flat on Mount Shasta to practice just that… as well as getting him to run a safe distance from my skis. After a morning of constantly checking his paws and hydration levels we headed home about mid day, not wanting to over do anything. Though not a day filled with tons of turns or elevation, who needs that when you have an adorable retriever frolicking in the snow next to you. I have a feeling ski days are going to be so epic when this pup is a seasoned ski partner. Sauvie seemed pretty stoked (and totally exhausted) for his first ski day. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Sauvie the Trail Pup  A huge reward for this running partner is water. Puddles, creeks, lakes…if it’s visible standing water, he’s there. Right now we’re practicing the command ‘wait’ in highly exciting situations. I’m pretty sure he was in agony as I took this picture. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset But like some things in life, it’s just worth waiting for. With the ‘okay!’ command, sheer, unencumbered joy is released. I mean, look at that face. Everything is right with the world. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset Sauvie the Technology Police Pup RuffWear Has an ongoing hashtag category called #mydogismy… (enter noun or adjective). Well, the last few weeks Sauvie has been my forced technology detox. If I’m on my phone for more than 30 seconds with him in the vacinity, he maneuvers his head in between my phone and my face, even if it’s about him. It doesn’t matter if I’m taking a picture of him, editing a picture of him, or writing about him (like I’m currently attempting to do, Sauvie disagrees), he doesn’t give a shit. He would much rather I just love on him in the moment rather than on social media. Yours probably does too. #mydogismy tech control.
Photo Credit: Anni Graham Redding, CA

Photo Credit: Anni Graham
Redding, CA

That being said, The Roaming Retriever officially has its own Instagram. Get your puppy fix and Follow @theroamingretriever to see regular highlights of our adventures together.

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Wendy Ewing

Wendy Ewing is a Washignton native and Northern California transplant. Growing up at the base of the North Cascades, her entire upbringing revolved around the mountains. With her family, Wendy spent most of her childhood backpacking, mountaineering, skiing, and mountain biking. With a strong passion for wilderness ethics and personal growth and development, she decided to pursue building Wild Beginnings Adventure Co. Wendy has written gear reviews for Trek Tech, Innovation & Tech Today, and Active Junky. In the winter season you can find her back country skiing and both trail running and mountain biking the rest of the year. Wendy lives in Shasta Lake, CA with her husband, John, and their adventure retriever, Sauvie.