Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crowded Trails

Happy Huskies nearing our
finish for the day.
We are still waiting for our first "big snow" of the season to open up all the backcountry trails. As a result, the few trails that are well shaded are the only trails with adequate snow to ski. Yet, even these trails are all interrupted by exposed rocks in the sunny patches you encounter every 1-3 miles...

The Sally Barber Mine trail is one of these few, well shaded and skiable trails. But, everyone in Breckenridge knows this fact - the result: the trail is packed. Today's crowds included 5 different sets of loose & annoying dogs. Think about it people - Max & Zorro are in harness and hooked into a working setup - they DO NOT want your loose Fluffy running into the middle of their hookup! I always say, there are not stupid dogs, just stupid people. Oh well, Max & Zorro are good; we just stop and move to the side of the trail and wait for Fluffy's human to get a clue and come move Fluffy along...

Today's Route: (1) Barney Ford/Sally Barber trailhead and skijor up to Sally Barber Mine; (2) hang a right at Sally Barber Mine and connect onto the Nightmare on Baldy Trail - heading towards Baldy Mountain; (3) eventually connect with Baldy Road and skijor up to the Iowa Mill Mine; (4) take a short break and return back down Baldy Road to Nightmare on Baldy; (5) skijor down the Nightmare trail until it got too icy, narrow and steep for me to skijor comfortably (I'm not going to try to slalom between trees being propelled down a narrow, icy and steep trail!); (6) shed the skis and jog the remaining section of Nightmare back to Sally Barber Mine; (7) cruise down the Sally Barber trail towards the French Gulch trailhead - stop 5 times for loose, annoying Fluffies; (8) finish at the French Gulch trailhead.

Conditions are still very "early season" and we are still waiting for the first "big storm" of the season to open up our typical 10-15 mile trails. Pray for snow, Pray for snow, Pray for snow.....

Vital Stats: 6.2 miles; 100m total time; 60m skijoring time (15m hike/jog time; 25m stopped time - including far too many "Fluffy avoidance" stops); 16 MPH top speed; 1150 feet of elevation ascended.

Skijoring up the trails on Baldy Mountain.
Exploring the snow off the trail at the Iowa Mill Mine.
Hey Max - how deep in the snow can you bury your head?
The Iowa Mill Mine (established 1935), still semi-operational...

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