|Deepening snow, no tracks in front.|
The trail is OURS to BLAZE! Woo!
Friday (Jan 14th) found Max, Zorro and I exploring new terrain in Little French Gulch. Highlights of the exploration:
- Swooshing up & down through untouched, waist deep powder in the backside of Little French Gulch! Woooosh!
- Remembering that if it is "steep up" then it will be "steep down" and driving all my weight into alternating legs to keep the Siberian vehicle under control!
- Discovering Max has just as much a problem as Zorro with being passed. NONE SHALL PASS is the official motto of my Husky pair!
- Hitting 19 MPH on the way down - our fastest recorded backcountry time yet!
|Satellite view of our path (click to enlarge).|
- "Whoa, this is steep [down] in areas!" In places this was some of the steepest terrain we have descended (the ascent part, as always with my Siberian Husky engine, was a breeze). Determined to prove my improving intermediate skills, I refused to fall - I was alternating driving all my weight into each leg to keep our skijor vehicle under control. As one leg began to scream I would switch to the next and drive it hard for control. Max & Zorro, you ask, well they have expert skills and simply said, "you give us slack and we'll go fast - woooo!" For most of the ride it was a smashing success - I was exhausted, but we conquered expert down terrain without issue. Except...
- At the steepest point, I paused to get us under control and slowly maneuver this one ultra-steep point. We descended this short section just fine; but, as fate would have it, another back-country skier caught up to us (the lucky soul did NOT have the "fine" Siberian Husky downhill assistance I had ;-) To be nice, I moved Max, Zorro and I to the side and let her pass (planning to rest while she got sufficiently far ahead before we restarted). Unfortunately, Max & Zorro took this act of kindness differently - both had serious issues with BEING PASSED! The Husky motto of "None Shall Pass" came into full affect. Once I released us to start, the 2 of them bolted at FULL SPEED to catch skier in front - such a bolt that I went face first right into the snow. We then proceeded to perform the following act: Max/Zorro waiting at the end of the gang line, but leaning forward wanting to GO; I start to rise from the snow and Max/Zorro feel a little slack in the gang line and lunge forward; I, once again, go face first into the snow; I "discuss" the situation with my partners and how they need to wait for me to get up and release before going. Repeat this act about 4 times! Finally I was able to get upright without the "lunge brothers" help and off we went (believe me, it was "pedal to the metal" once I did give them the release to go!)
|Lower sections of Little French Gulch Trail.|
Note the path is clearly marked, although we are the fresh tracks in the recent snow.
|Taking a short break as I survey the route & landscape.|
Notice "no tracks" in front of us, we are beginning our blaze into waist-deep powder.
Notice Zorro taking advantage of the break to roll & cool himself in the snow!
|Our original "high point" (LF-CLRNG in the map above).|
With deepening snow & unclear path, I decided to turnaround at this point.
|Look closely and you can see our "fresh tracks path" we blazed up the ravine.|
We skied down just to the right - blazing a full sprint, downhill trail through waist to knee deep powder!
|We progressed down from LF-CLRNG to LF-XP and then up to this "Final High Point".|
This is a shot looking down at what was our original high point before ascending up to this poing from LF-XP.
|At our high point, Max and Zorro say, "What do you mean we are turning around?!!!??|
Come on, let's continue onward and upward!"