A Dog Peed On My Leg – TR #244

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Yesterday, headed for backcountry skiing near Ashcroft above Aspen. We knew we were entering the Aspenfluf zone and joked about stopping at the Pine Creek Cookhouse and dropping a few hundred on beers.

It’s quite a scene up there on weekends. The snowcovered county road that continues up the valley from snow closure is a good place for towing your baby sled (as in $1,000 “Chariots”), and dogs are legal so it’s canine heaven as well. On top of that, Ashcroft Ski Touring center has a hippy tooling around on a snowmobile giving people lectures on how to use our public road — as many of you know, just that kind of thing I love.

Colorado backcountry skiing.

So, despite all that I’m standing to the side of the trail, feeling the love, and gazing up at the beautiful alpine we’d soon be getting closer to. My reverie was shortlived. “Lou, that dog just peed on your leg,” I hear Lisa say in a bewildered voice. Sure enough, I look down and see the proverbial yellow beads gracing my new OR Tremor pants from the knee down.

I’m more amazed than anything, but when the dog owner only mumbles something about how it’s just on my plastic boot, without any adamant apology, I become indignant and get in a bit of back-and-forth with the guy. I wasn’t really all that angry, just amazed and stunned, with words to that effect. The conversation ended when the guy stepped up, handed me a bill and said “here, get your pants cleaned.”

I pocketed the dough without looking at it, thinking it was a few tens or something. A short time later, while reaching for my chapstick I grabbed the money and checked it out. In my hand was a Ben Franklin!

The rest of the day went quite a bit better.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Louie’s skis kept floating up off the snow. That’s Star Peak in the background.

The bucks were like Prozac — or at least a double shot of espresso. With a big smile on my face and three people in tow I drove the Nytro upvalley and parked at Kellog Cabin, intention being a tour up into Pearl Basin. With avy danger rated Considerable and all slide paths loaded above what we call the “Valley of Death” (otherwise known as upper Castle Creek), instead of Pearl we opted for trying a new (to us) zone of glades and west facing snow you access by skinning above the road leading to Lindley Hut. The skiing was reminiscent of doing timbered powder laps in the Wasatch. We’ll be back — though it was interesting how much weaker the snowpack was in this zone in comparison to farther west in the Elk Mountains.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Setting the skin track was an aesthetic wander up through forests and clearings. This lightning tree is one of the weirder we’ve seen.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Colorado Fourteeners such as Castle Peak form the backdrop in this area.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Scott enjoying the goods.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
You link up the glades by busting a few thickets. More time up there would result in memorizing the best way to fit things together. Thus, it’s not the kind of place you should visit only once.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Throughout the day we joked about how to spend the windfall. Pine Creek Cookhouse was indeed tempting, but I was afraid of the dogs. We ended enjoying commodious sea food platters at El Horizonte in Carbondale — with enough change to buy some Valentine’s treats (or laundry soap?). As for canines, I’m wondering if they have some sort of cosmic communication, and getting my leg hosed was dogworld retribution for my avy dog comments of just a few days ago? If so, apologies to all doggies out there. I’ll mend my ways. Just stay away from my legs.

Comments

23 Responses to “A Dog Peed On My Leg – TR #244”

  1. Mark Burggraff February 11th, 2008 11:29 am

    Lou

    A dog can pee on my leg anytime as long as the owner forks over a hun’ everytime it happens. That snowmobile will get paid off soon if you go there every Sunday

    Congrats on the score.

    Mark B

  2. Chase Harrison February 11th, 2008 12:30 pm

    Hey Lou,
    Dude, some dog just peed on your leg. Man, thats so funny.
    I would have gone to the Cook House for beers and food.
    You are taking gear testing to new hights.
    Chase

  3. Lou February 11th, 2008 12:45 pm

    Indeed, the OR Gore Windstopper Softshell pants repelled the canine urine quite nicely, and the plastic of the ZZero boots seems not the worse for wear. One person said they would have kicked the dog. That would have been an interesting evaluation of ski boots, and also some fun with a court date and some rich guy’s expensive lawyer. Glad that didn’t happen… instead we got a laugh out of it and the meal at Horizonte, which was just as good as Cook House and 1/5 the price.

    But don’t get me wrong, I still like the Cook House when I get in there one way or another…

  4. mj February 11th, 2008 1:39 pm

    Nice to see the Tremor Pants held up in the “variable” conditions….
    Plus the cash bonus puts you almost 1/2way to another pair. Hope you are enjoying all the great snow out there as much as we are out here in WA….that is when the Passes are open…..

  5. Jay J February 11th, 2008 2:37 pm

    Lou; Ben Franklin once said – amongst his many sayings – that anyone who can’t train a dog to sit and stay for 10 mins. shouldn’t be allowed to have/raise children! This should/could be extrapilated to dogs/children peeing on people too; either literally or metaphorically – as well as some of their other behaviors in society!!

  6. Larry February 11th, 2008 2:52 pm

    Lou: I hope that beast wasn’t expressing his displeasure with the green boots,

  7. Sky February 11th, 2008 2:55 pm

    I’d happily let someone’s dog pee on my leg for a Franklin. Maybe there are some good things about A$pen. ;)

  8. dave downing February 11th, 2008 3:25 pm

    i wish i got paid to go skiing. good job lou.

  9. randosteve February 11th, 2008 3:59 pm

    Be glad it wasn’t a…number 2!!! :wink:

  10. Arch February 11th, 2008 4:42 pm

    Don’t know Steve – maybe the going rate for a number 2 is $500…..

  11. Lou February 11th, 2008 4:45 pm

    Now that’s what I’m talkin ’bout!

  12. AJ February 11th, 2008 4:57 pm

    Steve, watch out for those St Bernard dogs in Switzerland :-)

  13. Mark Worley February 11th, 2008 5:26 pm

    Bad dog; WORSE owners! In the end they almost made up for their bad behavior. People often treat their dogs as saintly regardless of how they behave.

  14. randosteve February 11th, 2008 5:41 pm

    Way to share the wealth Lou…and thanks for the donation!!!

    Steve

  15. snowbowler February 11th, 2008 5:48 pm

    Weird indeed that a dog peed on your leg. Most dogs pee only where they smell other dogs’ pee.

    Weird that an Aspen yuppie would own a dog that pees on legs, I’d think most Aspen yuppies would own bioaccessory lapdogs or Afghans or Greyhounds or other house-sitting beauty parlor dogs… not outdoor dogs.

    Sure is nice to get $100 for a bit of dog pee. Hell, I never give myself any money when I accidentally pee on my own pants when taking a piss on a windy ridge.

  16. Lou February 11th, 2008 5:53 pm

    Hey Rando, yeah, 1/2 of the pee windfall for a few Swiss pastries! Enjoy! We love rando racing and love that you and the other Americans keep going after it.

  17. phil February 11th, 2008 6:37 pm

    Hippies and dogs are an unfortunate combination. I was climbing with a friend once, when a powerful, muscular dog starts getting really aggro with my bud, as he’s belaying me. My friend protests. The owner says “Man, you must have an impure heart –he senses it.” My friend explains that he had other things on his mind.
    There really aren’t many bad dogs. There are a lot of bad owners. And nobody gave us any money. dam!

  18. Lou February 11th, 2008 7:55 pm

    LOL

  19. scottyb February 12th, 2008 12:40 pm

    So it is better to be pissed on than be pissed off?

  20. Lou February 12th, 2008 4:16 pm

    Scotty, indeed!

  21. John W February 13th, 2008 7:13 am

    This snorts of an urban legend in the making.

  22. Jeff Prillwitz February 13th, 2008 10:20 am

    Every lift operator and busboy in Aspen will be lined up at the trailhead yelling “here Rover” and hoping for a little something to help pay the rent.

  23. scottyb February 13th, 2008 3:48 pm

    atleast your good nature and/or the owners embarrassment allowed you your reward.

    I recently spotted a fellow getting dressed at the local ski area cafe when he dropped something he did not notice. I told him about it and he bent over to pick it up. It was a thick money clip with a $100 showing on the outside, the guy did not even say thank you.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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