Extreme Trail Breaking - Up to 24 inches of untouched powder at Vail Pass!
Looking for some exercise? Looking for some fun? Looking for some Extreme Trail Breaking (which is both exercise & fun)? Well, today we found it skijoring around the Vail Pass Recreation Area.
Our total outing was just over 2 hours; but we spent just over 1 hour breaking trail in untouched powder from 12-24 inches deep! When we skijor, Max & Zorro are typically attached at the collar by a neckline (along with the gangline attached to me) - this setup keeps Max & Zorro skijoring shoulder to shoulder. Take the conditions to 18 inches of powder and a new setup comes into play - remove the neckline and skijor in a single file line. The front Husky takes more of the trail breaking exercise; so you switch out the "front leader" regularly to share this extreme workload. As you can see in the picture above, Max is the taller of our skijoring team - we refer to his long legs as "snow stilts", so he is the primary trail breaker in these super deep conditions and Zorro & I swap in to carry the load when Max gets tired. Today's front leader trail breaking distribution:
- 70% - Max in front plowing through the powder.
- 25% - Zorro in front plowing through the powder.
- 5% - Brad in front plowing through the powder (slacker human! ;-)
Today's Route: (1) Start at the Vail Pass Rest Area winter trailhead and begin up Shrine Pass Rd; (2) quickly break off Shrine Pass Rd and onto the backcountry ski trail that hugs West Ten Mile Creek up Shrine Pass; (3) within 10 minutes reach 6-12 inches of untouched powder; within 20 minutes reach 12-24 inches of untouched powder for the next 60-65 minutes of exercise; (4) eventually reconnect with Shrine Pass Rd and take this "easier" route down.
Vital Stats: 6.9 miles; 124m total time; 94m skijoring time; 18 MPH top speed; 1200 feet of elevation gain. Not a particularly fast outing, overall, but you try breaking trail in powder almost as tall as you!
|We just transitioned off Shrine Pass Rd and onto the backcountry trail.|
Shallow powder, "this is going to be a fast day," I mistakenly thought...
|Within 10 minutes, we are out of shallow powder and breaking trail in 6-12 inches.|
"Hmm, guess this will slow us down a bit," I foolishly thought.
|Within 20 minutes, 12 inches is the new shallow and we are breaking trail in |
up to 24 inches. "Ok, single file skijoring, take turns breaking trail" becomes
the reality of our next hour of extreme fun!