By then I had moved Paluk into swing because she was causing Flier some confusion, he couldn't keep his pace, she kept tugging him backwards. Flier single lead and he did great for a while but seemed to need a co-leader with him after some time. Nicki came up on us when I was going to put Tank in lead with Flier, Nicki suggested passing us and running in front of us. We did that, and Flier found a new motivation and kept the team right behind Nicki's (in fact I had to ride the brake a ways). At the Hogan's cabin turn off we swung back around and headed back. A mostly uphill slog though! We kept with Nicki until about 2 miles to go. A few of the dogs started limping because they had ice balls gathering in their feet.
We stopped, I cleared their paws and we had lost sight of Nicki by then. We had a bit of a tangle when we passed a group of xc skiiers with free running dogs. They moved on and I decided to spend a bit of time with Flier on "line out." He has a tendency to wonder back to the swing dogs when I head back to the sled. He's a quick learner so it didn't take him long to figure it out. All in all, it was a very successful run! The team did great!
Happy New Year from ByDog Siberians!