Monday, April 4, 2011

Wind Beaten

Max says, "I'm soooo hot - 10 degrees and 20-40 mph
winds, need to cool off!"
It snowed most of the day Sunday - so Max, Zorro & I hit the backcountry Monday morning to skijor in fresh powder.

The route was Indiana Creek winter trailhead up to Boreas Pass Rd and down to the Boreas winter trailhead. The last 1/2 mile of the up route and first 1/2 mile of the down route is above tree line. The temperature was around 10 degrees and the wind was blowing at a constant 20 MPH with gusts in the 40 MPH range for this 1 mile stretch above tree line.

This may be the coldest I ever felt in my life! I was wearing my midweight gloves and both pinkies froze solid during this stretch. I contemplated changing into my heavyweight gloves, but that required two things: (1) stopping (BRRRR); and (2) taking my gloves off to put the new ones on (DOUBLE BRRRRRR)! So the 3 of us sprinted to get below tree line. Phew - once below tree line the wind was not as strong and the pinkies of my gloves started to thaw. Were Max & Zorro cold, you ask? Ha! No - see the picture above of Max rolling around to cool off in the "husky hot" 10 degrees and 20-40 mph winds!

The Conditions: (1) Existing tracks for the first 1/2 mile. (2) Zero tracks the next 7 miles breaking trail in 4-9 inches of fresh powder! (3) Existing tracks the final 1.8 miles to the Boreas trailhead. That 7 mile stretch of breaking trail was a real Siberian workout...

Vital Stats: 9.3 miles; 2h 15m total time; 2h moving time; 4.7 MPH moving average; 16 MPH top speed; 1,200 feet of elevation gain (and then loss). Not a bad moving average given that we were breaking trail for 7 miles in 4-9 inches.
Lower section of Indiana Creek. We just skied past the only other person
on the trails - it's trail breaking for the next 7 miles - wooo, fun!
As they say - if you aren't the lead dog the view never changes - fluffy white butts ;-)
A look back at the path we ascended out of Indiana Creek and onto Boreas Pass Rd.
The "haze" in the picture is blowing snow. Where are our "fresh tracks" you ask?
Well, our tracks are already covered in wind blown snow - it took less than 5 minutes
for all evidence of our path to be blown over and invisible!

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