Sunday, April 5, 2020


As usual, the happy sled dog trio towing me to the end of a fun "Spring Crust Run"!
Whee - fun, fun, fun!
We went back to the same general area as yesterday's skijor outing. The basic rules for the National Forest during the COVID-19 shutdowns are "If it's not busy/full of people, then it's open for use!" Well, you will note there is virtually no evidence of other human beings in any of the photos from yesterday or today. We have a few "hidden gems" we typically use to avoid weekend crowds and now we are using them to avoid humans altogether :)  Notice I have not given a trail name to where we have been the last two days and, NO, I'm not telling :)

We started the outing with Zorro in the team again this morning and did a short out & back in the forest before going to explore the spring crust in the open meadows. Well, "out & back" - oh  those kids:
"Hey, 'out & back' - you expected different at the turnaround?" says the snow rolling goofs.
"Oh those kids!!!" adds Zorro checking in on the goofballs.
After a lap in the forest, we transitioned out into the vast meadows with a solid spring crust. Yesterday we were one Rudy foot shy of a triple hover husky (e.g., we had 11 of 12 feet off the ground). Well, back to the same meadow as yesterday and Practice Makes Perfect!!!
Synchronized Triple Hover Husky!
Here we go for a BEAUTIFUL video of the perfect spring crust. We start out flying along the firm snow. All tracks you see in the crust are actually our own tracks from yesterday - complete social isolation for our social distancing on this terrain :)  Eventually we near the edge of the meadow and need to transition through some trees and into the next meadow. A quick "left" and then "right" from me to align the team and we transition through the trees perfectly! Once through the trees it is open meadow crust skijoring again until we meet up with Nancy at the end of the meadow. Perfect listening and execution from my partners!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Once meeting with Nancy we paused to drop elder Zorro before continuing on with young Jack and Rudy. How's everyone enjoying the morning?
"Oh my, I'm having a BLAST! I love skijoring!" says ecstatic Rudy.
"So much fun on my part of the outing!" adds happy Zorro.
"Yes, yes, but I need MORE!" says happy, but wanting to continue Jack.
Zorro came along for over 1/2 of yesterday's outing, so today he joined in for just the first 1/4 of the outing. After dropping the fun elder off with Nancy, Jack, Rudy & I went out and up high to get some additional distance and views. Here's a cool shot of the perfect crust as we head north:
Perfect crust for Jack & Rudy.
Nice view of Buffalo Mountain dead ahead of Rudy.
Peaks 1 & 2 of the 10 mile range are visible in the upper left.
The crust tour we were on above eventually ends at a steep drop off. Time to turnaround at the edge and look at the two upright & mature kids :) Also, a real nice view of Buffalo Mountain between Rudy's ears and Peak 1 directly above the end of Jack's tail and Peak 2 above the base of his tail. The "10 mile range" is a stretch of 10 miles with 10 different mountain peaks (Peaks 1 through 10). Pretty cool that 10 peaks naturally formed within a 10 mile span!
"We're UPRIGHT at a turnaround! Let's go, go, go!" says the happy pair.
We did turnaround and continue onward and upward. Eventually it was time to head back towards the trailhead and get a wonderful shot of Breckenridge Ski Resort:
Jack & Rudy cruising along the crust as the mountains and
ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort are in view across the valley.
The ski runs are on Peaks 10, 9, 8, 7, & 6 of the same 10 mile range
containing Peaks 1 & 2 above :)
Our original plan was to take Zorro along for a short stint at the beginning and then continue on with Jack & Rudy for a long, long run. But, I could feel the temperatures rising and feel the crust softening. As a result, the kids & I went out for a "long run" instead of a "long, long run" before it got too warm to stay afloat atop the crust: 7.1 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 140 days on the trails covering 955.6 miles with 87,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Perfect Crust

Perfect day for a skijor atop the solid spring crust, right guys?
"PERFECT indeed!" says the happy, happy trio!
With low temperatures in the 20s (F) this morning, we had hopes of a firm & frozen Spring Crust in vast meadows this morning. Oh boy were our hopes satisfied:
Beautiful shot of a perfect crust with my fun partners
flying along. Just a toe or two from Rudy shy of a triple hover husky :)
We started the day with the whole group and did a full lap around the meadow you see in the photo above and then 3 laps out & back across the middle of the meadow. The shot above is our first lap through the middle. All of these "out & back" laps required turnarounds, of course, right Jack?
"Turnaround, roll around!!!!!" demonstrates 'always rolling' Jack :)
"Look at the mature elder and younger!" says the Zorro & Rudy happy pair.
Come along for a quick glimpse of our 3rd pass through the crust in this wonderful meadow, You'll see some ski tracks here & there during the video - those are our tracks from the 1st and 2nd pass through this meadow. An endless meadow of solid crust all to ourselves this morning! Woo Hoo!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Eventually we turned out of the big meadow above and into a side meadow to meet Nancy and hand off elder Zorro for the end of his outing. Smaller meadow below, but still endless crust as far as the eye can see:
"Woo Hoo - endless crust!" declares the happy trio towing me to the end
of Zorro's leg of the outing.
After handing Zorro off to Nancy, the kids and I went out, up and back to higher meadows. Here's a nice shot of the crust higher up with the ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort coming into view across the valley.
Higher up, still the same perfect crust!
Nice views up high too!
You may have wondered about "upright Rudy" in the 3rd photo above while Jack was rolling a snow angel. Well, have no fear, Rudy roller was here :)
Really nice view of Breckenridge Ski Resort and the town of Breckenridge
at our turnaround point with the kids. Phew, Rudy is back into normal
"turnaround form" with Jack ;)
A day of crust, crust, endless crust  - what fun: 6.1 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 139 days on the trails covering 948.5 miles with 86300 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Angel View

Slightly blurry "shot from the front" as we end our first leg with Zorro, Jack & Rudy.
Despite being a little blurry, you can still make out all the smiles :)
Whee, whee, whee says the happy three!
We started the day as a full team on the trails of Peak 7. We got a few inches of fresh snow overnight and everyone knows that this time of year you get out early to use fresh snow before it gets tracked up and/or melts. As a result, there were a handful of existing tracks at the trailhead. But, we quickly left the busy main trail and took one of our favorite side trails. Once on the side trail, we were second tracks on the new snow with the trail wide enough for us to ignore the set track and make our own :)
Whee - fresh tracks for all 12 feet!
You can see the single pre-existing track to our left.
We spent most of the first 1/3 of the outing on this lesser used side trail and had a great time flying through the forest and whipping around bends in the trail.

Come along and watch the fun. But, pay attention to all the tight corners my pals take me through. They cut every corner very tight and I have to stay just as tight to keep pace behind them. Just watch how close the camera seems to cut by some of the trees and, remember, the camera is on my chest! A fun time winding through the forest and some good exercise for me to work the skis behind the tight cornering trio!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After having elder Zorro along for the first 1/3 of the outing, we dropped him with Nancy (you'll see her waiting for us at the tail end of the video above). We then took the kids, Jack & Rudy, out for some additional exercise higher up on the mountain. Once we got out of the dense forest, it was a beautiful sun shining morning!
Nice shot of "hovering Jack" and "flying Rudy" as we are back on the main
trail (notice all the pre-existing tracks). Despite existing tracks, there
was still enough powder to tickle our toe in the freshies :)
A little further along and I paused to take in the nice view and check our time out on the trails. Well, a pause is a pause...
Pretty view for me.
The patented "stop, drop & roll" for the goofy kids.
Ok, the kids are upright again, time for some more speed & views further along the trail:
Fast Jack & Rudy as you can make out the tips of the snow
covered Rocky Mountains beyond the trees front
and left of us.
Once we were done exercising the kids, it was time to rejoin Zorro for 'end of run' treats for all:
"Glad you are back! Ready for treats!" says Zorro.
"All smile all around!" adds the happy kids :)
Some nice "early morning fresh snow" for an April 3rd fun run: 8.4 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 138 days on the trails covering 942.4 miles with 85,700 feet of elevation climbed.