Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thank Dog

Breaking trail in lower section of Indiana Creek.
Note the "forest service road" marker sticking about
3 inches above the snow in front of us.
These are 3-4 foot markers in the summer...
Sunday ... FUN day - what a powder day!

What untouched powder! The forecast called for a light dusting, instead we got a real treat of inches and inches of new snow. Max, Zorro & I hit the trails to cruise up Indiana Creek, connect with Boreas Pass Rd and sprint down to the Boreas Pass winter trailhead. Here's what we found:

Untouched powder! Zero tracks at the Indiana Creek trailhead (not even car tracks coming to the parking lot). About 4 inches at the trailhead, as deep as 18 inches as we made the climb to Boreas Pass Rd. An then... Boreas was untouched too!

We met up with a group of 8 backcountry skiers on Boreas who had spent the night at Section House and were on their path down. On their route up yesterday, it was well-packed and the path was clear. They woke to a ton of new powder on the upper sections of Boreas and were struggling to make their path down. On meeting the group, one asked me, "Do you know the path down [to Boreas trailhead]?" I responded, "Yes, that's where we are headed from here." His response, "THANK DOG! You can break trail for us and lead us down!!!" They had been seriously struggling to make progress themselves (they were quite shocked when I told them they were barely over a mile from Section House and had over 5.5 miles to go). Deep powder? Trail covered? No problem - hop in behind the Siberian Huskies and we'll lead the way :-)

This was quite the exercise day for Max & Zorro: (1) Indiana Creek to Boreas Pass Rd is 3.5 miles with an elevation gain of 1,300 feet - we broke trail in 4-18 inches of powder this entire route! (2) The initial 4.5 miles down Boreas Pass Rd was untouched terrain again - breaking trail in 4-18 inches of powder again! That is 8 miles of breaking trail in 4-18 inches of powder (and, remember, they are under 2 feet tall themselves) - amazing Siberian Skijoring Machines!

Vital Stats: 9.3 miles; 2h 15m total time; 2h moving time; 4.7 MPH moving average; 12 MPH top speed. Remember: breaking trail for 8 of the 9.3 miles - that's an impressive 4.7 MPH given the conditions and terrain!
A shot of the "no trail here" terrain in front of us in the lower sections of Indiana Creek.
The entire day had us breaking trail with powder up to 18 inches in the upper elevations!

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