Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Powder Workout

Intersection of Sally Barber trail with French
Gulch trail. About to restart after a slight equipment
adjustment for the human. Max says, "Conditions
are GREAT! Let's GO!!!!"
Wednesday night brought the beginning of a nice Spring snowstorm. Thursday morning found the snow continuing & increasing! Powder day - Max, Zorro & I hit the trails for some skijoring.

The snow was a heavy, wet Spring snow. The depth ranged from 2-8 inches. Moving your body (4 legged or ski legged) through the heavy snow, while breaking trail, is quite the Siberian workout - WOO!

First Section: starting at the Barney Ford trailhead and skiing up to Sally Barber Mine and then down to French Gulch. One set of existing tracks on the way up, breaking trail on the way down, 2-6 inches of heavy, wet powder. FUN!

Second Section: connect with the French Gulch trail after descending from Sally Barber Mine - hang a right and head out & up to the last private cabin in the gulch. Take a break (for the human) and return back down the gulch to the French Gulch winter trailhead. No existing tracks after the first 1/4 mile up the gulch - breaking trail in 4-8 inches of heavy, wet powder. Snowing/blowing hard enough that our "up tracks" were covered almost as soon as we started down - breaking trail again in 4-8 inches of heavy, wet powder. MORE FUN! What a workout.

It is hard to imagine this is the same "French Gulch trail" that left me beaten and battered just 8 days ago. What a difference a little fresh powder has on the dynamics of skijoring!

Vital Stats: 8.0 miles; 2h total time; 1h 40m moving time; 4.8 MPH moving average (while breaking trail in 4-8 inches of heavy, wet snow); 14 MPH top speed; 1,300 feet of elevation gain (and loss).
Beginning the serious part of French Gulch - zero tracks in front of us.
Breaking trail in 4-8 inches of heavy, wet snow.
A glance at the "trail" in front of us. Good thing Max & Zorro instinctually
know how to identify and follow a buried trail :-)
A look back at our tracks from our turnaround point in French Gulch.
About 5 minutes into the return route and our "up tracks" were already
covered in fresh/blowing snow - so it was breaking trail down too!
Still at our turnaround point. Zorro says, "Hold on a sec, I think there
is a Siberian treasure buried in the snow right here!"
Back home and a "zonked out" Max. Spring Powder is quite the Siberian Workout!!!

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