Saturday, April 29, 2017

Synchronized

Rolling synchronized snow angels to show the snow gods our appreciation of the recent snow!
"Rub a dub dub, we approve of this snow tub!" demonstrate the silly pair stopping to roll
synchronized snow angels on the trail.
It was overcast with light snowfall and temperatures around 15F for this morning's outing. That is one indication that the snow angel event was to show appreciation of new snow this late in April (as opposed to the usual rolling to cool off :)

We have been in this wonderful pattern of "nightly light snow" for the last 10 days with a big dump of 18+ inches Thu through Fri at higher elevations. Our hope this morning was that the recent snow had been enough to bring the lower French Gulch Trail back to life. The lower elevations of French Gulch were dry (not even muddy) with no snow just 12 days ago. Could we get one last run in the gulch with the recent snow?

Yes!!!!
Just enough snow cover in lower French Gulch for one last outing in the gulch this season. Yay!
Why is French Gulch one of our favorite trails? Moose! There is a growing moose population in the gulch and Max & Zorro love to go "moosing". You do not always see moose on French Gulch outings; but you are pretty much guaranteed to either get a "whiff of moose" or encounter moose tracks. Today had the wonderful aroma of moose filling Max & Zorro's noses.
The only thing that can bring Max & Zorro to a halt on the trail is moose. Both stopped in unison
here as I could see their noses twitching as they stared into the trees and gulch to our right.
Synchronized Moose Seeking! Talented :)
We did not see any moose; but Max & Zorro's actions told me the scent was strong and I did see moose tracks to our right in the prior photo.

Moose is the primary treat in French Gulch. The secondary treat? Well, if the lower elevations have enough snow for us to get to the upper elevations then we get to enjoy the incredible conditions up high!
Happy tails in the air as we trot along laying fresh tracks in 6+ inches of snow in upper
French Gulch.

A successful return to skijor French Gulch (for probably the last time this season): 8.7 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 140 days on the trails covering 1173.5 miles with 124,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Breaking Trail

Breaking trail in 12+ inches of fresh powder on April 28th! Woo Hoo!!!!
Max & Zorro the professional snowplows powering through 12+ inches of powder as they
tow me along the trails on Peak 6 at Breckenridge Ski Resort!
We may have finally had the "spring snowstorm" to set us up to skijor into June. We have been waiting all of March and almost all of April for one of Colorado's famous spring storms to arrive. Well, this was it! Breckenridge Ski Resort has a snow stake that gets cleared every morning around 5am. They publish a photo of the stake at 5am before they clear it for the day. So, the stake reports the 24 hour snow total from 5am to 5am. Here is the stake at 5am this morning:
12 inches of fresh powder fell on the ski resort from 5am Thu to 5am Fri. Woo Hoo!
We had a very entertaining outing combining trails from Breckenridge Nordic Center with Breckenridge Ski Resort (both of which are closed for the season). We started on the nordic center trails laying fresh tracks in 4-6 inches of fresh powder:
Whee we go hopping along laying fresh tracks in about 6 inches of fresh snow.
After doing a fresh tracks semi-circle on the nordic center trails, we hopped onto the summer service road that connects onto Peak 6 of Breckenridge Ski Resort. This was a fun climb in snow increasing from 6 inches to over 12 inches as we transitioned onto the Peak 6 ski trails. Once on Peak 6, well look at the first photo again... The snow stake was accurate as we were breaking trail in 12+ inches of powder on Peak 6 trails!

After doing an aerobic up/down of Peak 6, we connected back onto the nordic center trails to complete the morning's outing. By the time we reconnected with the nordic center, a few others had been out on the trails so we had set tracks to follow. Set tracks leads to zoom, zoom, zoom!
Zipping along as Max & Zorro are sharing a "set track" so we can go FAST!
Today's short video is a fun sequence... We start with a single set track and about 4 inches of side powder. Max has politely let shorter Zorro have the single track to sprint as Max and his long legs can easily sprint in the side powder. We round a corner to find more/wider set tracks but also a downed tree covering most of the trail. Max & Zorro so perfectly keep the speeds low until they get the human by the downed tree and then it is OFF WE GO as there are multiple set tracks for all to use and sprint. Fun!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Laying fresh tracks, breaking trail and sprinting in set tracks - all in one outing: 8.2 miles traveled with 1200 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 139 days on the trails covering 1164.8 miles with 124,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Woo

Fun day laying fresh tracks on narrow backcountry trails!
Weaving through the trees on a tight trail. About 2/3 of the outing found us on
narrow backcountry terrain like this - fun!
You have probably noticed by now that Max is famous for "rolling snow angels" on our skijor outings. Occasionally Zorro joins in, but Max is almost guaranteed to roll at least one snow angel per outing. This morning Zorro decided he wanted to take lead in rolling snow angels. Well, Max objected :)
"Woooooo - whoooo gave you permission to roll snow angels first?!?!?" woos Max at Zorro
when he stopped us all on the trail to roll a snow angel.
When it comes to "snow angels", Max has short term memory :)
"I'm stopping to roll angels, I'm the lead dog, rub a dub dub!!!" demonstrates silly Max.
"Talk about the 'pot calling the kettle black'! I got wooed at for doing this!" says all business
Zorro waiting for Max so we can get restarted on the trail.
In between snow rolls and woos, we did do some skijoring :)

We toured the seldom used backcountry trails connecting Baldy Mountain to Boreas Mountain. This is a fun sequence of narrow trails winding through dense trees.
Laying fresh tracks all morning long!
Eventually we landed on Boreas Mountain and then it was time to drop out of the forest and onto the wide Boreas Trail at Bakers Tank:
Still laying fresh tracks as we transition from "tight trees" to "open trails" at Bakers Tank.

I wonder what Max would say if I stopped to roll a snow angel? Maybe I'll have to try :)  8.9 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 138 days on the trails covering 1156.6 miles with 122900 feet of elevation climbed.