Monday, April 25, 2011

Skijoring the Ski Resort

Cruising up Four O'clock Run on Breck Ski Resort
It has become an annual tradition for Max, Zorro and I: the day after Breckenridge Ski Resort closes for the season, we set out to Skijor the Ski Resort!

Closing day for Breck was April 24th, so the morning of the 25th found us setting out to tour the mountain. Who needs those silly chair lifts to enjoy the ski resort when you have Siberians to power you uphill!

Remember now... A ski resort is designed for downhill skiing. Siberian Huskies are designed for full throttle sprinting. Humans are not designed for reckless abandon. Something had to give...

Our Route: We started on the Four O'clock Ski Run at the base of the Snowflake Lift; skijored up Four O'clock run until intersecting with the top of 5-Chair: climbing 1050 feet in 1.6 miles - a 12% grade in 29 minutes! Take a break at 5-Chair and then skijor down the Swinger Ski Run to the base of Peak 8: descending 800 feet in 1.2 miles - a 13% grade in 7 minutes!

As we started down Swinger, Max & Zorro said (and did), "Oh boy - downhill - full throttle, reckless abandon - let's SPRINT straight down!!!!" Stop... Team organization meeting, let's rethink our approach to this downhill section. I offered a great idea, "Let's ski on diagonal sweeps across the ski run - swing to the right, swing to the left, wouldn't that be fun?" Ok, restart and try a sweeping angle to the right, perfect, now a sweep to the left - Zorro says, "Boring... Think I'll bite and tackle Max!" Stop... One more team organization meeting to explain that I am not capable of sprinting straight down a ski run at reckless abandon. Ok, sweep to the left, call out "right turn", perfect form and sweep to the right, call out "left turn", perfect form and sweep to the left - this is working!!! Repeat the left/right wide sweeps and calls to turn for the next 1.2 miles without a single issue! Fun, Fun, Fun - what perfect Siberian pals. We got some good speed going with the left/right sweeps and Max & Zorro seemed to realize, "Hey, we are going fast, these turns are kinda fun!" Thank you, what GOOD, listening boys!!!

Vital Stats: 2.8 miles (1.6 up/1.2 down); 42m total time; 36m moving time (29 up, 7 down); 4.7 MPH moving average; 16 MPH top speed; 1050 feet ascent, 800 feet descent. Chair lifts are for wimps - so says Max & Zorro ;-)
Starting out to skijor up Four O'clock Run. Note the parallel skis
on uphill terrain - powered by Siberians!
Couple of yards up from the last shot, making a left to head
out onward & upward.
Taking a break where Four O'clock run intersects with the top of 5-Chair.
Swinger is the run we chose to take down.
A look at the path we will take down. A little Siberian cooperation and we did
perfect sweeps left & right to cut diagonally across the run all the way down.
Before we started down, Max says, "Whew! We towed you up 1050 feet in 1.6 miles,
I need to roll around in the snow and cool off!"

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