Sunday, December 26, 2010

18mph in French Gulch

Nothing like snow on the head!
We hit our top speed of the season today: 18mph on a sprint run up and back in French Gulch!

A beautiful, sunny morning in the high country and we had some Christmas dinner to work off (ok, I did maybe not "we"). Max, Zorro and I did a "sprint run" from the French Gulch winter trailhead 3.4 miles up French Gulch and back.

Keep in mind it has not snowed (other than light dustings) the last few days as we skijored through 4 types of terrain (and then back the same route):
  1. Packed, sprint track: French Gulch winter trailhead to junction to Little French Gulch. Most people take this trail as a way to Little French Gulch, so this section of the route was a well-traveled and hard-packed sprint track. We surpassed 18mph on the return route in this section!
  2. Packed powder, narrow track: from Little French Gulch junction (up French Gulch) to the last of the private cabins sprinkled in the gulch. This section is lightly used, but still "used enough" to be packed powder as you traverse past the last of the private cabins in the gulch.
  3. Wind-blown, parallel track: from the last of the private cabins to the fringes of the next open meadow in the gulch. Rarely traveled, you can see a past skiers parallel tracks that have been lightly covered by wind-blown snow over the last few days.
  4. Fresh tracks: through and to the edge of the last "open meadow" in French Gulch (it's all forest and up from here to tree-line, should you proceed ;-)  Guess the humans could not make it this far, we tend to always out-ski the established trails as a Siberian powered skijor machine and blaze fresh tracks & trails on our outings. 
Vital Stats: 6.8 miles; 80 minutes total; 69 minutes moving; 5.9 MPH moving average; 18 MPH top speed (and we maintained a 16-18 mph clip for a significant stretch)!
The "3rd leg": following a infrequently used, wind-blown parallel track from a recent skier. 
The "4th leg": no more tracks, the trail is ours to blaze.
Looking back at where we've been blazing our own trail through the open meadow.
The meadow ends... Beyond this point would be thick forest taking you up until you pass tree-line.
I chose to turn around at this point.
Max says, "what do you mean we are turning around here?!?!! I see all kinds of trails to blaze forward!"

Max says, "fine! But if we must turn around, then I must dig to China in the snow first!"

1 comment:

  1. YEAH! I especially like that "digging to China" part!
    Play bows,