Saturday, April 30, 2011

Closing out April - Siberian Style!

About 1/2 mile from the Indiana Creek trailhead.
No tracks, breaking trail - we would not encounter
any tracks for the next 7.5 miles and we'd be breaking
trail in up to 18 inches of powder! 
What a wild April! Miles skijored in the month of April = 72.8; miles breaking trail in 6+ inches of powder = 58.2 - that means serious trail breaking exercise 80% of the month!!!

Max, Zorro & I closed out April doing a 9.6 mile tour from the Indiana Creek winter trailhead; out & up to Boreas Pass Rd; and then down to the Boreas winter trailhead. After the first 1/2 mile, we were breaking trail in 6+ inches of powder. This continued for the next 7.5 miles reaching up to 18 inches of powder at times! The last 1.5 miles had us on packed powder trails and the Siberian Engines had enough juice left in the tank to hit 16 MPH on this final sprint leg!

Highlight of the outing: NO DUCKS. When a typical cross country skier encounters steep or steep-and-deep uphill terrain, the skiing form is to fan your ski tips outward and do a "duck walk" like motion to propel yourself upward without slipping downhill. Max, Zorro & I have an agreement: I will never "duck walk" - all steep and steep/deep uphill terrain will be conquered with parallel skis and pure Siberian power...

In the upper portion of Indiana Creek we hit a steep section of trail where the powder was deeper than Zorro's shoulders (about 18 inches or so) and extends on a very serious grade for about 100 yards. A few yards into this section and I felt my skis slipping backward and saw Max & Zorro starting to slide backwards as well. No Duck Walking!!! I planted my ski poles to anchor us and called out to Max, "Ok Max, let's go - come on, forward, let's go!" Max is the lead dog in our configuration (e.g., the listener) and Max is also the stronger of the two. Zorro, though, has no backdown in his personality, if he sees Max exerting himself he is going to try and "one up" him - thus giving us a powerful V8 engine combining the 2 of them.... Lift my poles a little and feel the backward slip starting again... "Let's go Max - come on Max, let's go Zorro" - see Max plant his legs, lean forward with his shoulders and feel a forward slide... Zorro immediately tries to "one up" Max and I feel a little more forward slide. "Woooo, good forward Max, good forward Zorro!" We then proceed to power up this 100 yard steep incline while breaking trail in 18ish inches of powder and my skis remain parallel! Woo Hoo! What Siberian Power!

We had about 3 episodes like the one above - steep inclines that normally cause us no problems on this trail, but throw in 12-18 inches of powder and we needed some real Siberian energy to power up these inclines with the human's skis remaining parallel (and apt to slide backwards at the slightest loss of momentum). What good boys! It is moments like these that have me addicted to skijoring with Max and Zorro.

Vital Stats: 9.6 miles; 2h 25m total time; 2h moving time; 4.8 MPH moving average; 16 MPH top speed; 1300 feet of elevation gain (and loss); breaking trail in up to 18 inches of powder!
On Boreas Pass Rd - a look back at the trail we ascended out of
Indiana Creek to connect with Boreas.
On Boreas Pass Rd - looking at the direction we will break trail down.
You cannot see it, but there really is a trail Max & Zorro know how to
follow. It was head down and skijoring straight into a growing wind
and increasing snow for the next 1-2 miles until we got back into the
protection of trees.
Max & Zorro sharing a snowcone before we start down Boreas Pass Rd.

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