Colvin enjoying summit success...(Huntington Ravine)
...with hoards of auto road tourist, following his successful ascent of Mount Wasington's Huntington Ravine "trail". They -having no concept of the terrain- thought he was cute, I thought he was bad ass.
My dogs don't play fetch, they don't do tricks, they do climb mountains.
Mount Washington's most technical non technical route (sections of harder 3rd class, with -rare- potential for long falls) to the summit has now been climbed by both my dogs, one in summer and winter, and in Colvin's case, summer alone -for now. In winter this becomes Central Gully, a technical snow climb that under the right conditions can be ascended by K9's with limited assistance.
By no means was this easy for him, he isn't a naturally good climber and is definitely afraid of heights to some degree, add in the fact the rock was soaked from rain, mist and fog, it got no easier. But once above the technical terrain and on the talus fields of Mount Washington's upper slopes, I kid you not, he was a determined little machine to make the summit.
As a matter of fact, while I intended to bail after the ravine trail -due to his nails being cut at the quick from the steep slippery terrain- and bleeding all over the route, he actually led the way to the summit.
People ask me why no boots on the technical terrain? Simple, Vibram soles work just like your boot soles, sometimes they have good traction, sometimes not. If it's a case of him falling do to lack of traction from the vibrams, he goes bare paw till easier terrain, then the boots go on. On this day, Vibrams were not gripping, and he was safer bare pawed.
In hindsight, going for the summit was a bad idea, and against my initial judgment. In the future, I'll be bowing out at the first sign of paw distress, which we've largely eliminated thanks to Ruff Wear Bark'n Boots. Of course, I was prepared with K9 Vibrams and the ability to carry him out via his Ruff Wear Doubleback harness, if need be.