Chemult Sled Dog races canceled due to lack of snow

The annual Chemult Sled Dog Races are the latest victim of the dearth of early-winter snowfall in Oregon.

After rescheduling January's races for next weekend, organizers of the races set for Feb. 15-16 have canceled that event and plan no new attempts at rescheduling.

It's the second time in three years that the races, planned annually for 20 years on the Fremont-Winema National Forest near Chemult, has been canceled due to a lack of snow.

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, organizers said.

The races feature 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 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.

— Mark Freeman

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