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CopperDog 150 - Stage 1

The CopperDog 150 is perhaps best known by spectators for its fabulous downtown start. Fifth Street in historic downtown Calumet is pumped full of energizing music through a half mile of speakers with pre-recorded musher bios and music picks. Generally 4,000 to 5,000 fans line the snow road and the energy in the air is unbelievable.

Musher's who have run the CopperDog 150 often call the Friday night stage "technical" due to the more than 25 road crossings staffed will volunteers. Lead dogs can often be spooked by the number of people present at crossings or by volunteers that are a little too energetic. 

Starting in 2014, CopperDog planners implemented measures to reduced the stress caused on dogs at road crossings. This includes re-education of volunteers concerning "mentally stressing dogs", reducing of the number of volunteers assigned to crossings and a liberal use of snowfence at crossings.

CopperDog invested in an additional 3,000 feet of snow fence for 2014 and beyond. Half of this fence will be set up at the Traprock Bridge (Crossing #90) and the remainder cut into 25 and 50 foot segments, fitted with dowels, and distributed to volunteers for use at crossings.  Because the snow fence is support by dowels at either end (and sometimes in the middle), two to three volunteers can simply hold and stretch the snow fence in and out of position as mushers come through crossings.

Stage 1 is 49.7 miles and is typically composed 100% of groomed snowmobile trails. In 2013 mushers averaged 11.4 mph to 14.6 mph to the Traprock Bridge (Marker #90) then dropped to an average of 10.5mph to 12.75mphs for the remainder of the stage.

Looking at the elevation map (see below, see Google Earth data), mushers will see an initial drop in elevation between Calumet and Traprock, than 25 miles of relatively flat ground, followed by some good climbs to get over the hump into the Eagle Harbor Checkpoint.

Despite the high number of crossing, Stage 1 has been reported to be an exciting night run on well maintained snowmobile trails with friendly volunteers cheering teams forward. The Eagle Harbor Inn will have hot chili simmering on the stove and pulled pork sandwiches ready to serve. 

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