Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Obstacle Course

Zorro with a face full of snow - aaahhhh....
Today's skijoring outing was sketchy at the lower elevations and nirvana at the higher elevations - with a whole Obstacle Course of fun along the way.

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 ;-)

1 comment:

  1. wow, this is pretty cool! never heard of skijoring! I'm looking for unique Breckenridge blog posts to feature on our site. if you're interested in having this post featured, you can email me at brenda (at) dwellable (.com).