Monday, May 2, 2011

Equipment Failure...

Cruising down the French Gulch trail, approaching
the winter trailhead after 8 miles of skijoring fun!
Top Speed Skijoring today: somewhere WELL over 20 MPH, but we don't know how fast :-(

I have a 13 year old GPS that we use to track our elevations and speeds when skijoring. This old GPS often "loses" us in heavily wooded areas and other remote parts of the backcountry. When looking at the GPS info after an outing, it will have no data for these areas - according to the GPS we disappeared for a while and then reappeared.

The bummer of today's skijoring outing: we were sprinting at incredible speeds in the heavily wooded upper areas of French Gulch. As we were flying, I thought to myself, "This is the FASTEST I have ever seen Max & Zorro in front of me. We have to be breaking our all time speed record!" When we finished our outing, I was disappointed to learn the GPS had lost us in this section of French Gulch and had no data. Instead, it tracked us at 20 MPH in the lower (less wooded) section of French Gulch. There is *no question* we were going significantly faster in the lost section of French Gulch than the lower area. Given that our top recorded speed of the season is 24 MPH, I am convinced we were doing somewhere in the 27-30 MPH range today. This upper section of French Gulch has many dips in the trail - I felt like I was catching air flying down and then up some of these dips. All we can report is "Top Speed somewhere well over 20 MPH, but we do not know how fast." Darned GPS equipment failure... Oh well, we still had an incredibly fun time!

The Route: Sally Barber winter trailhead off Sally Barber Rd; skijor up to Sally Barber Mine and then sprint down to French Gulch; hang a right onto French Gulch and cruise up the gulch until the last private cabin in the gulch; take a short break; then sprint down the gulch to the French Gulch winter trailhead.

Vital Stats: 8 miles; 94m total time; 82m moving time; 5.9 MPH moving average; (somewhere well over) 20 MPH top speed; 1,300 feet of elevation gain (& loss). This is a pretty steep route (1300 feet up in 4 miles), so that is an impressive 5.9 MPH moving average.
Skijoring up the Sally Barber Mine trail - 2-4 inches of fresh, fun powder.
Another shot of us skijoring up Sally Barber Mine trail.
Shoulder to Shoulder Siberian Skijoring Engine!
Taking a break at our turnaround point in French Gulch.
A look back at our fresh tracks.
Notice how heavily wooded the trail is in this area - it was not far
back down from here that Max & Zorro were going faster than I have
ever seen - but the GPS lost us :-(
Max making a serious snow angel as he cools himself off.
Hey Max - where's your head????
Done skijoring at the French Gulch winter trailhead.
Max & Zorro patiently and intensely waiting for me to hand out the
hotdogs they get as a skijoring reward at the end of every outing.


  1. You got me to suck in a breath until I realized it was just your GPS. I think your GPS is a God of GPS- mine loses me in the driveway so you are far better off with your machine! We had an equipment failure a year ago at Christmas- 20 minute tromp through the woods with my truck (sorry park service but it was an emergency). The leader just kept the group running in the same circle until I caught up to them- all tangled in the gangline but no worse for the trek. Of all the places she could have taken them and to just keep running the same circle was just awesome!
    Redwood Siberians

  2. How scary! Glad you caught up with everyone. That *was* a scary blog title, wasn't it, especially knowing our breed. :)

    Nancy (it caught my breath too, and I KNEW the boys were all ok, but was still surprised by Brad's choice of words).