Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Steep Ride

Heads down, shoulders forward, breaking trail ...
Siberian Fun Time!
Today was a skijoring exploration day on Bald Mountain (affectionately known as "Baldy").

This is a section of trails that I have been meaning to test for skijoring. We have hiked much of Baldy in the summer and briefly intersected with it on some of our other skijoring outings. But, today was the day to tour the entirety of Baldy and explore some of the trails it has to offer.

The Summary: Steep and occasionally deep! We skijored up 1600 feet in elevation in just over 3 miles - that's an 10% average uphill grade! We were the fresh tracks, breaking trail in 4-12 inches of powder for just over 2 miles of the route. That's steep and deep - what a Siberian workout!

The Review: We will certainly be skijoring more of Baldy in the coming weeks! Baldy provides a wonderful network of extremely exhilarating trails to explore.

The Route: Start at the Baldy Mountain Rd winter trailhead and skijor up the Baldy Mountain 4WD Rd (open in the summer for 4 wheeling, closed to vehicles in the winter). Follow this 4WD road up the entirety of Baldy - passing by many abandoned mines. Take a break near the top of Baldy and then skijor back down about 1/2 way to hook up with the Nightmare on Baldy trail to take us to Sally Barber Mine. Hang a right at Sally Barber and sprint down to the French Gulch winter trailhead.

Vital Stats: 7.6 miles; 110m total time; 95m skijoring time; 20 MPH top speed; 1600 feet of elevation gain. The total distance may sound "short" for the total time - but factor in breaking trail up (and even down) extremely steep terrain and this was quite a "fast" outing...

Approaching our high point on Baldy. Note the barren terrain around
us - easy to understand how the mountain got the name "Baldy".
Max says, "Must roll in the snow to cool off!"
Zorro, on the approach, "I think Max wants me to jump him, why
else would be be upside down in front of me?
" Of course, Zorro
proceeded to jump Max and start a Siberian wrestlefest...
A look at the Breckenridge Ski Resort from our perch on Baldy.
A glimpse of Keystone Ski Resort from our same perch atop Baldy.
Look down the middle/left of this shot and you see 3 ski runs of Keystone.

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