|Zorro with a face full of snow - aaahhhh....|
We started at the Indiana Creek winter trailhead and skijored up the Indiana Creek trail to the Pennsylvania Creek trail and then up to the high point of this trail. Then a return on the same route.
The Ugly: The first mile was a windblown ice track: very little actual snow with exposed rocks in the worst windblown areas. Slalom skijoring between the rocks on the way up and a "skis off" jog on the way down.
The Bad: The next 1/2 mile was a series of water obstacles: (1) skijoring over a frozen patch of Indiana Creek and hearing the ice crack as we crossed; (2) cruising over the creek on a skinny, one ski width bridge; and then (3) removing the skis to jump over a large exposed portion of the creek to get to the Pennsylvania Creek trail system. The Siberians frolicked in & through freezing Indiana Creek - only the human needed to long jump it. On the return, the same course in reverse: creek jumping, one ski bridge traversing and ice cracking.
The Good: As we crossed out of the Indiana Creek gulch and onto the Pennsylvania Creek trail, we transitioned from windblown terrain into heavily wooded and steep terrain. We immediately got into 6 inches of untouched powder and continued to break trail, all the way up, in powder increasing to 14 inches in depth! Continuing with the "obstacle course" theme, we had 3 downed tree obstacles going up this trail: (1) one small tree across the trail, just slow down and make sure the skis go over & not under; (2) one medium tree covering 3/4 of the trail, just slow down pass through on the narrow 1/4 portion; and (3) one large tree blocking the entire trail (see image below) - necessary to remove the skis and climb over this large obstacle. Of course, the same 3 obstacles on the return path down this trail.
The Incredible: Our route up the Pennsylvania Creek trail traveled about 1.4 miles while climbing 1000 feet in elevation and breaking trail in up to 14 inches of untouched powder - that's a 14% grade in extreme, deep conditions! Woo! Consider that Max & Zorro are under 2 feet tall - they powered me up a 14% grade while breaking trail in 14 inches of deep snow! That's a Siberian workout... Then we got to truck down this same grade, bunny hop sprinting through deep snow - fun, fun, fun...
Vital Stats: 5.7 miles; 100m total time; 65m skijoring time (15m "remove skis, obstacle avoidance" time and 20m jogging down the ugly sections of the trail). 14 MPH top speed; 1300 feet of total elevation gain; breaking trail in up to 14 inches of untouched powder!
|We just transitioned from the windblown Indiana Creek trail and onto the heavily|
wooded and increasingly deep Pennsylvania Creek trail.
Breaking trail in deep, untouched powder - woo!
|Getting Deeper and Steeper - Keep on Truckin!|
|The worst of the 3 "downed tree" obstacles we encountered.|
Wondering, "how will we cross this?" as we approach.
Notice the fun set of wildlife tracks in the snow just in front of us;
wonder if that animal was in the tree when it fell?
|Max & Zorro say, "Hey, we can cross just fine over here to the left, let's keep on going!"|
Human said, "Sorry fellas, the left isn't skiable - I need to shed the skis and climb over."
|Nice shot of our "fresh tracks" coming up through the trees on the|
Pennsylvania Creek trail. It was beautiful on this trail, too bad we had
to return ;-)