Saturday, May 21, 2011

Breaking Trail ... In LATE MAY!!!!!

Starting out from the French Gulch winter trailhead.
Look closely - both of Zorro's back legs in the air,
Max putting it all into his shoulders. Siberian Power!!
We don't often go out skijoring 2 days in a row. It is a "preserve the human" decision as Max & Zorro would go every day if it was their vote.

But, it is late May (the season has to end soon) yet we got a blast of snow Thu through Sat. We were out skijoring on Fri... Saturday morning Max & Zorro convinced me to hit the trails again, "What are you saving it for? You can rest in June!" they both exclaimed.

What a treat - we were breaking trail in 6-9 inches of untouched snow for about 1/2 of our route in French Gulch. Breaking trail through 6-9 inches in late May - I must be joking, you think... See the pictures below!

In addition to breaking trail, we modified our typical "French Gulch route" and did some skijoring exploring as we followed French Creek past the last meadow in the gulch and up into the forest. We usually turnaround at the edge of the last meadow in the gulch. We were having too much fun today - knowing the season really must end soon - we extended our route by skijoring alongside the creek, weaving in & out of trees until we found a narrow clearing to take a break before heading back down.

Vital Stats: 7.5 miles; 2h total time; 1h 40m moving time; 4.5 MPH moving average; 15 MPH top speed; 850 feet of elevation gain (and loss).

Why such a "slow" moving average? Wet, sticky, slow spring snow. Temperatures were in the 32-36 degree range - so, even though it was snowing, it was a very wet & heavy snow. Breaking trail in wet, heavy snow + skiing in wet, sticky snow = lots of energy exerted for only modest speed...
No tracks, fresh snow - breaking trail in about 6 inches of heavy spring
snow in the mid areas of French Gulch.
Continuing up into the thick trees past the last open meadow in the gulch.
Breaking trail in about 9 inches of heavy spring snow with an occasional
dip into 12+ inches of snow to power through!
A look back at our path. We followed French Creek through the thick trees below
until we came upon this narrow opening in the trees to take a break before
launching ourselves back downhill.
Taking a "break" before turning around to head back down. Max & Zorro are
clearly recharged and ready for more. "Either we start skijoring again or we'll
start a wrestling match right here in the forest!"

1 comment:

  1. LOVE that last picture!!!! (All of them, actually!)