The Ride: Wilderness Adventure Dog Sled Tours – The Owner: Brian and Deanne Mass | SierraSun.com
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The Ride: Wilderness Adventure Dog Sled Tours – The Owner: Brian and Deanne Mass

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunWilderness Dog Sled Tours gives a tour of Squaw Valley meadow Tuesday.
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How long have you been running the operation?

Ten years.

Where do you operate?

The Resort at Squaw Creek.

How long are the tours?

About 45 minutes, we have about a six-mile loop in the valley.

When do you operate?

It depends on snow, but usually seven days a week December through April.

How many dogs do you have?

One hundred.

What breed are they?

They are Alaskan huskies, they’re a mix for distance running.

How old are they when they start pulling a sled?

They start off running but don’t pull any weight until they’re two years old.

Where did you get the dogs?

I got a handful from Alaska and I breed them myself. A few were in the Ididarod.

What makes a good lead dog?

Just their personality traits. They’re easy-going, not alpha dogs, and have the confidence to run in front of the team.

How many dogs run per sled?

There are 10 dogs per sled and we run up to six sleds at a time.

How did you get into the sport?

I started really small and basically fell in love with the dogs.

Do you ever compete?

We hope to do some distance racing. There are a few races in Montana and I hope to do the Yukon Quest and Ididarod some day.

Where do you train mostly?

Little Truckee summit.

How far do the dogs run a week?

It all depends, but we’ll usually do 30 to 70-mile runs twice a week. They’ll do 3,000 to 5,000 by the end of the season.

How fast do the dogs run?

Out here (Squaw Valley) we’ll go 7 to 8 mph but when we’re training we’ll go 12 mph.

What do you do in the summer?

Starting in August we’ll pull on four wheelers to build them up so by the time they start to tow they have 300 miles on them.

What do you like most about dog mushing?

The relationship with the dogs ” and I see how much they love it. It’s like we’re a team and I’m the coach and I’m always trying to pick the best athletes. With the tours I’m able to educate people and show them the dogs do love it.

” The Sun’s Emma Garrard conducted this week’s Ride of the Week interview and photo shoot. Send suggestions to for future interviews to egarrard@sierrasun.com.


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