Yes, people really do it, and yes, it’s as badass as it sounds. Mushing, aka sled dog racing, puts both rider and canine through tough winter conditions over difficult trails, with little to no support for miles. To compete, you must be in killer endurance shape and be wilderness survival savvy. But everyone has to start somewhere. Various sled dog clubs around the nation foster teams, teach classes, and host competitions—especially in areas like Colorado with heavy snowpack six to seven months out of the year. If you want to bag the holy grail of all races, try the Yukon Quest, North America’s epic 1,000-miler that runs between Fairbanks, AK and Whitehorse, Yukon every February.