Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Using the Snow Stilts

Today was Backcountry Exploring in up to 30+ inches of Untouched Powder!

Going single file as we all use Max's snow stilts (his long legs) to break trail!
Today's skijoring was, well, how to put it.... DEEP DEEP DEEP! Breaking trail in untouched backcountry powder up to 30 inches deep in places (I was in snow 3/4 the way up my thigh - that's 30 inches deep)!

Our goal today: start on Baldy Mountain and use "paths less traveled" to connect over to Boreas Mountain. The first 1.5 miles was well traveled trails on Baldy with 2-4 inches of powder. The next 3 miles were on non-standard trails: immediately starting in 10+ inches of untouched powder and quickly turning into 20 and then 30 inches of untouched powder! The last mile was again well traveled with 3-5 inches of powder.

3 miles of breaking trail in 10-30 inches - wow, that's a Siberian workout. As usual, once we got over 18 inches, this was too much for short Zorro to keep up side by side with tall Max. So, we switched to single file skijoring (Max, Zorro and then me) so Max's long legs could break trail and Zorro & I could glide behind the leader. Max is tall & skinny, so we always refer to his long legs as snow stilts - perfectly suited to breaking trail in extremely deep conditions.

Vital Stats: 5.6 miles; 85m total time; 65m skijoring time (20m of breaks and studying the GPS to figure out which way to proceed); 16 MPH top speed; 1100 feet of elevation gain; extremely deep & untouched powder to break trail through!

The initial transition from the well traveled trail on Baldy onto our untouched,
breaking trail route.
Still breaking trail, getting deeper...
Too deep for Zorro - single file and use the snow stilts to break trail...

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