Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things to Remember

Returning to the French Gulch trailhead.
Happy Hauling Huskies!!!
A little snow Tuesday night and into Wednesday got Max, Zorro & I itching to test the trails in the backcountry.

It was still "early season" conditions (e.g., shallow snow and some exposed dirt & rocks here and there). But, enough snow to get a good early season training run under our belts. Only our 3rd outing of this season, so we are still shaking the cobwebs from the summer time off. Three things to remember from last season that we forgot today...

(1) Brad: remember to place your skis in a snowplow position when you are bent over to pick up poop on the trail - this position is your only brake or snow hook. When you forget ... the Siberian engine lurches forward (while you are bent over) and you do a face plant (luckily not in the brown stuff! :-)

(2) Max: remember to cruise past deer tracks crisscrossing across the trail - you are the lead dog and if you veer right (or left), the whole crew gets off kilter. When you forget ... <poof> our skijoring 3 pack is tangled in the rough!

(3) Zorro: remember to "maintain speed & ignore distractions" when operating at high speeds (15+ mph). When you forget and get distracted by a squirrel off the trail while sprinting ... <bam> you stumble and the human has to cut a hard, emergency right to try and keep a ski from smacking you in the rear!

3 things we had perfected by the end of last season - still refreshing our memories and re-honing our skills this season...

The Route: Start at the BnB trailhead on French Gulch Road. Skijor up French Gulch Road to & through the French Gulch winter trailhead. Continue on the French Gulch trail until reaching the last of the private cabins in the gulch. Take a short break and then sprint back down to the French Gulch winter trailhead.

Vital Stats: 6.8 miles; 88m total time; 73m moving time; 1050 feet of elevation gain over the first 2/3 of the outing; 17 mph top speed.
Cruising up the mid sections of French Gulch. A nice 2-4 inches of
fresh powder and no existing tracks.
Our "turnaround point" - Zorro looking ahead and saying, "Turnaround? Why?
Look at the fresh, untouched snow ahead of us!!!

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