Friday, December 30, 2011

542 miles in 2011

High up on Boreas Pass Rd - nice deep snow. We just
finished our quick break and the Siberians are raring to go!
Today was our last skijoring outing of 2011. What did we accomplish for the year? Well, between Jan-May 2011 (of the 2010/2011 season) and Oct-Dec of this 2011/2012 season:

1) Days on the trail in 2011: 68.
2) Miles skijored in 2011: 542.7 - Woo!

2011 was a good year, just ask Max & Zorro.

Today's outing started a little on the slow side. We did an intense 9 miles with trail breaking and almost 1800 feet of elevation climbed yesterday; and Max & Zorro clearly started out pacing themselves for another intense day. I had a much easier route planned, but still let them set their comfortable pace. About 1.5 miles into the outing and the "pace" took a 180...

Cruising uphill on Baldy Mountain, a snowshoe hare popped out of a cluster of bushes and sprinted parallel with our trail. The silly rabbit was only about 10 feet off the trail and not very far in front of us. He sprinted parallel with the trail for maybe 10-15 yards before disappearing deep off into the woods. The Siberians, you wonder - BOOM, pedal to the metal! We broke out into a sprint for that 10-15 yards and then a dive off the trail. It took all my strength to reel them back onto the trail by the gangline. We then had a short discussion about "forward" and "stay on the trail" and I was able to get the hare focused pair going forward again. But, our pace was now changed from "pace yourself for a long day" to "bunny alert, pace yourself for rabbit food!" The next 6-7 miles of our outing was run with the Siberians on "bunny alert". See for yourself and watch the video below of our final approach to the Boreas Pass winter trailhead - we are flying!

video

Today's Route: (1) Start at the Baldy Mountain Rd winter trailhead and skijor up Baldy until intersecting with Forest Service Road 5281B; (2) Take FR5281B up & across the front side of Baldy Mtn until taking a side trail to connect us to Bakers Tank trail on Boreas Mtn; (3) Skijor up Bakers Tank trail until intersecting with Boreas Pass Rd; (4) Sprint up Boreas Pass Rd for about a 1.5 miles before taking a break in some nice deep snow; (5) Turnaround and sprint all the way down Boreas Pass Rd to the Boreas winter trailhead.

Vital Stats: 8.2 miles; 92m total time; 72m skijoring time; 22 MPH top speed; 800 feet of elevation gain.

The 20 minutes of "stoppage" - well, my darned phone was acting up again. I intended to text Nancy when we were 40 minutes from our end point. I ended up having to stop about every 10 minutes to try and get a text to go through (they kept failing) - so, 4 stops to take off the glove, dork with the phone and hope for a successful text. Argh... "Why is this dumb phone is causing such interruptions in our downhill sprints!?!" signed, Max & Zorro.

Near the start point on Baldy Mountain - quite a difference in snow depth when
compared to the first photo above with us in deep snow high up on Boreas!
"Here little bunny, come this way. Nothing but us gentle huskies on the trail."
"I love deep snow!" signed Max.
"I love burying my head in deep snow!" signed Zorro.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Little Mount Everest

Max & Zorro looking at an old abandoned mining cabin off
to the left of the trail; both thinking, "Hey, what a nice cabin,
can we live here? Great snow, great yard!!!
"
I noticed that we passed 29,100 feet of uphill skijoring this season on our last outing. The significance of 29,100, you wonder? Well, Mount Everest is 29,029 feet tall. So....

Max, Zorro and I skijored the equivalent of going up (and back down) Mount Everest in our first 25 days on the trail this season! 

Is this a formula for scaling Everest? One set of cross country skis, one pair of Siberian Huskies and skijor 1.5 to 2.5 hours a day - do this and you will have scaled Everest and traversed back down in just 25 days. Cool... ;-)

Back to today's outing, we did quite a bit of climbing around Indiana Creek - skijoring up a total of 1750 feet in elevation on the route.

(1) First Leg: start at the Indiana Creek winter trailhead and skijor up to the high point between Indiana Creek and Pennsylvania Creek; do a little loop at this summit and then sprint back down the same route.

(2) Second Leg: as we reconnected from the Pennsylvania Creek trail into Indiana Creek, take a right and shoot straight out & up the gulch containing Indiana Creek. Continue out the gulch until we arrived at the abandoned mining cabin in the photo above. We were breaking trail in 6-12 inches of untouched powder this entire leg! Take a quick break at this cabin and then sprint down to the Indiana Creek winter trailhead.

(3) Third Leg: our typical outing involves us sending Nancy a text when we are 20-40 minutes from the finish point; she then brings the warm Jeep to pick us up. We sent the text today, but it never arrived on her phone... Thus, we got to our intended finish with no ride home. No problem, it was snowing pretty hard as we arrived at the trailhead and (the normally plowed) Indiana Creek Rd was skiable! So, send Nancy another text to confirm we are "done" and then ask Max & Zorro, "Anyone want to continue down the road?" Ha, ever heard a Siberian turn down more exercise!?! Nope, so we reset our gear and skied another mile or so down Indiana Creek Rd until meeting Nancy and the Jeep coming up the road. What a nice "bonus leg" to finish the outing!

Vital Stats: 9.1 miles with 1750 feet of elevation gain! 130m total time; 110m skijoring time (20m of breaks and futzing with the phone to secure a ride home); 22 MPH top speed.

A real nice video of our start today. Swoooosh - off we go!
video

Fun shot of our "fresh tracks".

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

9 Trails in One

Back home after our extreme, crazy outing. Look who's
not tired!!! Silly Max glancing at the camera, "Well that
was fun, now what?" The human, on the other hand,
is exhausted!
Today is my birthday and Max & Zorro decided to give me an extreme skijoring outing as a present.

Extreme would have been nice, it turned out to be an ultra-extreme, exhausting & crazy outing!  Thanks guys ;-)

Our goal was to do a 10+ mile tour and stay at elevations over 10,500 for as much as the way as possible. Why 10,500? Well, elevations at/above 10,500 is where the snow is best. Below this, the trails are worn over and in need of some fresh snow.

How did we accomplish this goal? By connecting 9 different backcountry trails. Each trail by itself is an "outing" - how did I let these two talk me into doing 9???

The Route: (1) up Sally Barber Mine trail [packed/moderate]; (2) up Nightmare on Baldy [packed/difficult]; (3) across Baldy Mtn [packed/easy]; (4) up Forest Service Rd 5281B [powder/moderate]; (5) break trail up unnamed trail to hop from FR5281B to Bakers Tank trail [deep powder/difficult]; (6) up Bakers Tank trail [packed/moderate]; (7) up Boreas Pass Rd [packed/moderate]; (8) break trail, via the path to Dyersville ghost town, down to connect to Indiana Creek [deep powder/difficult]; (9) sprint down Indiana Creek trail to the Indiana Creek winter trailhead [packed/easy].

That's 9 different trails with 3 extremely difficult sections sprinkled throughout the route. All the moderate sections - well, those were all uphill. Suffice it to say that I am beat. Boy do Max & Zorro know how to throw a wild birthday bash!

Vital Stats: 11.1 miles; 135m total time; 115m skijoring time (20m of breaks and studying the GPS for route alignment); 21 MPH top speed; 1350 feet of elevation gain.

We just broke trail out of Dyersville ghost town and onto the Indiana Creek
trail - Max is lined up and ready to sprint down this last leg. The 3 of us classify
this as an "easy" trail, so if it looks hard to you, then imagine what we traversed
on the other 8 legs of our outing!
Same view as above, but a different husky in the photo. Zorro is now ready to
sprint down the last leg, Max is getting one last "sniff" in the deep powder to
the left before rejoining Zorro on the trail for the final sprint.
A fun "takeoff video" at the Sally Barber trailhead. 
video

Monday, December 26, 2011

Takeoff!

On your mark, get set... GO! (see photo below ;-)

Max & Zorro clearly heard today was going to be a short sprint day. Here we
are at the takeoff - (1) Notice Zorro's tiny little waist as he lunges forward with
all his might to "Get Going!" and the harness reacts to his force - (2) Notice Max's
back right leg launching as he leans into his shoulders to get a good push! And OFF
we went!
Today was intentionally a short outing in Indiana Creek. Clearly Max & Zorro got wind that the plan was for a tiny little 90 minute outing - so they pushed extra hard and packed the 90 minutes into 75...

We explored a new twist on Indiana Creek on this outing. After starting up the Indiana Creek trail from the winter trailhead, our typical route involves either (a) cutting a left and shooting up the side of the gulch to connect to Boreas Pass; or (b) cutting a right and shooting up to crest at the high point between Indiana Creek and Pennsylvania Creek. Today, though, we instead bypassed both of these lefts & rights and continued to hug and follow Indiana Creek all the way. This route took us on a gentle 900 foot climb deep into the gulch until we ran out of "human skiable terrain".

The Siberians wanted to keep going, but eventually we hit a point surrounded by steep avalanche prone terrain or heavily wooded, low branch terrain. Max & Zorro's take, "What's wrong with this heavily wooded path? We see 3 foot high openings amongst the branches!" You try explaining to them that I am much taller than 3 feet...

The last 1/2 to 3/4 miles of the "out direction" found us out-skiing all existing tracks and breaking trail in about 10-15 inches of untouched powder. We were then able to happily sprint through 10+ inches on the return path down. A Siberian Good Time!

Vital Stats: 6.6 miles; 75m total time; 65m skijoring time (10m for a break at our high point and waiting for misbehaving loose dogs back at the trailhead); 23 MPH top speed; 900 feet of elevation gain.

Stopped at our "turnaround point" - Max & Zorro see no problem with
continuing forward into the thick trees. I looked every direction and saw
heavy branches 3-4 feet off the ground with no path to continue. Darned
human always makes us turnaround!
A look back at our final ascent along Indiana Creek before we ran out
of skiable terrain. Having a blast galloping through 10-15 inches of
untouched powder!
I "set the ski poles" as we were to take a break before turning around. Love
that feeling of driving your ski pole into the snow and watching it proceed
to sink 2/3rds of the way down!
Zorro the headless Husky exploring the depths of the snow at our break point.

Friday, December 23, 2011

25 Siberians - What a Party!

Approaching the finish at the trailhead.
Look at all the fun dog sled equipment
and Siberians spread around the lot.
Today's skijoring outing was a Super Siberian Sledding Party!

We joined up with a group of mushers from Sno-Magic Siberians and Iceberg Siberians to skijor with them on their sledding outing. In all, we had 25 Siberians at the trailhead raring and howling to GO!

We broke down into 3 sets of "6 dog sled hookups", 1 set of "5 dog sled hookup" and one set of "2 dog skijor hookup" (Max & Zorro). Then, one by one, we sprinted off up the trail to have fun in the winter wilderness.

Overall, Max & Zorro kept a pretty good pace with the 5 and 6 dog sets. We could not keep exact pace uphill, but we did maintain a pretty good pace. The 5 dog hookup that started behind us took about 3 miles to catch and pass us; so you could say we were able to keep a pretty good pace with less than half the Siberian power! On the downhill leg, we were able to match the pace of the 6 dog set in front of us for about 3/4 of the way down; then we dropped back a bit in the last 1/4 as everyone was clearly tiring (Max, Zorro & Brad).

This was a fabulous training outing for Zorro as we had to do 4 "on by" events with the other teams. Max is perfect at ignoring other dogs and going "on by". Zorro, on the other hand, needs some practice at this activity. Since most of what we run into in the backcountry is misbehaving loose dogs, we do not get much "on by" practice. We were not 100% in our "on bys" today, but I'll give Zorro a B (and Max an A+) - practice makes perfect and Zorro is improving!

Vital Stats: 9.8 miles; 75m skijoring time (we did not take any breaks - a 4.9 mile sprint up and an immediate 4.9 mile sprint down the same path); 21 MPH top speed; 750 feet of elevation climbed on the uphill leg.

Arriving back at the trailhead. Happy faces
after an exhilarating 10 mile run.
Some of the Siberians who went out with us today. Max & Zorro are currently
getting their "hot dog" treats after finishing the outing. These 3 Sibes look on
wondering "Hey, what are those two getting!?!"
A fun shot of sleds and Siberians spread around the trailhead after we all
finished the outing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

All We Want for Christmas is MORE Snow

Zorro, looking up to the sky, "Santa? Is that you coming
early? I've been a good boy and all I want for Christmas
is MORE SNOW (and lots of it). Thanks and Wooooo!
"
We were supposed to have a big dump of snow last night and into today. What did we get? A measly 3 inches at the lower elevations and around 6 inches as you went up in elevation. Boo!

All we want for Christmas is MORE snow!

It was a chilly & fast outing today. The temperature was 3 degrees when we started with a brisk wind. As our route was a climb up, that just meant dropping temperatures and more exposure to the wind. As a result, we do not have any "skijoring action" shots or videos today - none of the human hands were willing to shed a glove for camera operation.

The "Siberian viewpoint" on the day? Beautiful conditions! Not too hot, not too windy - just a perfect, cool & breezy 3 degree (and below) day... The conditions made for a nice, fast sprint outing. Although, the wimpy human shortened it to under 1.5 hours - "Why didn't we go for 2 to 3 hours?!?!" asked Max & Zorro.

 The Route: (1) Start at the Barney Ford trailhead to the Sally Barber Mine trail; (2) skijor up to Sally Barber Mine; (3) sprint down the other side of Sally Barber to French Gulch; (4) hang a right and skijor up and out French Gulch into the last open meadow in the gulch (just past the last private cabin); (5) feel the bone-chilling wind gusts in this meadow and quickly backtrack for shelter to take a quick break and turnaround; (6) sprint back down French Gulch to the French Gulch winter trailhead.

Vital Stats: 7.8 miles; 85m total time; 75m skijoring time; 23 MPH top speed; 1000 feet of elevation climbed.

We retreated from the windy open meadow in the upper section of French Gulch
to take a break here. Max & Zorro are unimpressed, "You can't possibly mean we
are turning around already? Let's go this way, it was beautiful Siberian conditions!
Nice collection of "natural Christmas trees" with light snow cover.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.....
Finished at the French Gulch winter trailhead. Max & Zorro patiently
waiting for their "hotdog treats" they get after each outing. Such patient
good boys!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Siberians at Rest

Happy Huskies approaching the finish line.
Notice the nice form - both front right legs
forward in unison, both front left legs back
in unison!
Finish this sentence: Siberians at rest tend to ...

Standard physics: Objects at rest tend to stay at rest.

Siberian physics: Siberians at rest tend to exponentially build their energy supplies.

I caught a bad cough Saturday morning, so we took Sat, Sun & Mon off from skijoring. Of course Max & Zorro got a daily 1-2 hour walk; but that is "at rest" for Siberians in the winter months. "We got snow - need to go!" they say. The consequence: the Siberians "at rest" built a 3-day skijoring reserve. The result: we hit 24 MPH skijoring out on Vail Pass today!


The Route: (1) Start at the Vail Pass winter trailhead to the Vail Pass Recreation Area; (2) skijor up Shrine Pass Rd; (3) hang a left and follow the Shrine Bowl trail for a while; (4) take a break; (5) return the same path.

The Conditions: We kept on the established snowmobile trails today - I did not want to overtax the recovering human. Snowmobile tracks are a Siberian sprint track. We were flying around the trails all day.

Vital Stats: 7.3 miles; 95m total time; 75m skijoring time (20m of short breaks and navigating all the skier/snowmobile traffic near the trailhead); 24 MPH top speed; 1150 feet of elevation gain.

Max doing his typical "snow angel roll" in the snow to cool off at our break point.
Notice the nice hole in the snow just in front of Zorro (in front of the "V" in
the gangline). Zorro just dug this quick hole and then stepped back to
admire his work.
Zorro exclaims, "Nice work self, time to dig deeper!"
In comes Max, "Hey bro, what ya got down there? Let me help!"
On the approach back to the trailhead. I had stopped to send Nancy a text that
we'd be arriving soon. Max & Zorro, "Well, if you are going to be dorking with
that silly phone, we've got some serious exploration to do in the deep snow off
the side of the trail. Digging for Rodents!!!!!
"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Takedown

Today's Skijoring outing was just a hare short of Perfect!
Yes, a "hare"...

We were cruising along the Bakers Tank trail - having a blast going up this heavily wooded trail, swooshing in & out and through the trees. Whee, our skijor team was in perfect form. And then, as we approached a tight cluster of trees ... a snowshoe hare popped out of the cluster and darted across the trail. The silly rabbit was no more than 5-10 feet in front of Max & Zorro. Well, I can get Max & Zorro to ignore fresh tracks intersecting our trails - but FRESH FOOD! Oh my... Off the trail they shot after the bunny lunch. I saw the gangline whip back towards me, forming a lasso - "reverse, reverse" I tried to do. But, I'm not as fast as a bunny juiced pair of Siberians. They lassoed my right ski as they dove to the left and took my leg right out from under me. A perfect lasso & takedown, they'd make a rodeo rider proud...

Aside from the takedown event, the rest of the day was a beautiful 10 mile cruise on Boreas Mountain. Below is a nice video of our finish to the Boreas winter trailhead Yes, we are going this fast after 2 hours!
video

The Route: (1) Start at an abandoned mine near the Boreas winter trailhead and connect onto the Bakers Tank trail. (2) Skijor up to Bakers Tank on packed powder with 1-3 inches of fresh powder on top. (3) Connect onto Boreas Pass Rd at Bakers Tank and hang a left and skijor up Boreas. (4) Take a quick break and then skijor back down Boreas Pass Rd to the Boreas winter trailhead.

The Conditions: Siberian fast track... Boreas Pass Rd had been recently ridden by a group of snowmobilers (even though they are disallowed on this section of Boreas!). Typically Max, Zorro & I are breaking trail on our route; skijoring in snowmobile tracks is as close as we get to "groomed trails". What happens on groomed trails: FAST!

Vital Stats: 10.3 miles; 125m total time; 95m skijoring time (15m hiking over 2 sections of exposed dirt and rocks; 15m of break and wait for loose dogs time); 22 MPH top speed; 1000 feet of elevation gain.

High up on Boreas Pass Rd with a parallel set of snowmobile tracks.
Hop in the tracks and sprint - the Siberian view of "groomed" tracks.
Looking down into the Indiana Creek basin from high up on Boreas.
Pretty shot of the blue sky and surrounding mountains. Beautiful day!

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...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Angel Max

Sunny day + temperatures reaching the low 20s +
skijoring up a steep 1650 foot trail = Max was
on fire - gotta "snow angel" in the snow to put
out the fire.
We had a very energetic day skijoring up, down and around Baldy Mountain today.

As you can see from the pictures to the left, Max was quite into "snow angeling" at our high point to cool himself off before heading back down.

Our outing consisted of 4 distinct phases of activity:

(1) Skijor up Baldy Mountain, ascending up 1650 feet in about 3 miles - steep & exhilarating!

(2) Skijor back down about 1.5 miles of the same path. If it was steep up, well then it was steep down! Luckily this upper section of the trail had some good powder to help slow down the Siberian downhill sprinting machine!

(3) Cut off the main trail and go exploring an untouched side trail. This found us breaking trail in 10-20 inches of untouched powder for the next mile - deep & exhilarating!

(4) Connect back to the main trail for the final 1.5 miles back down. This part of the trail is well-traveled - hard packed powder to ice to exposed rocks the whole way down. Try skijoring down a steep & frictionless (icy or hard packed) trail with 2 Siberian sprinters... I was in a full snowplow the whole way down to keep under control. Needless to say, my thighs and knees are burning! Phew, need a hot bath this afternoon ;-)

Vital Stats: 7.1 miles; 115m total time; 85m skijoring time (15m break/equipment time, 15m hiking over exposed terrain on the lower parts of the trail); 18 MPH top speed; 1650 feet of elevation gain!

Zorro taking a break and snacking on the snow. He did not catch on fire
like Max today, just needed a big snow cone at our break point.
Starting out on the untouched & deep side trail. This section found us
breaking trail in 10-20+ inches of powder!
A look back at our last stretch of terrain high up on Baldy Mountain.
A shot of Breckenridge Ski Resort from our high/break point on Baldy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oh My God

Spectators say... "Oh My God!"

video

The video above has a nice action shot of Max, Zorro and I flying down Boreas Pass Rd today. The spectators, who just happened to be on the trail, talking in the background are hilarious (you may have to max your computer volume to hear them).

Spectator 1: "Look at these dogs!"
Spectator 2: "Oh My God!"

That pretty much sums up the reaction we get when people encounter us skijoring out on the trails, especially when we are cruising at a good speed like above -- "Oh My God!" ... or something very similar to that.

Today was a 10 mile sprint day up and down Boreas Pass Rd. The majority of the trail was packed powder to 3 inches of fresh powder - a Siberian Sprint Track. The only bummer section was a swath of exposed rocks on the lower section of the trail - this required me to hop off the skis on the way up & down and hike over the exposed terrain until we could restart.

Annoying encounter of the day: We were flying down Boreas, nearing the last mile of trail, and came around a blind corner to find a dumb, stupid, annoying loose dog far down the trail. What did ole Fluffy do upon seeing us: (1) bark, bark, bark! (2) charge at us; (3) bark, bark, bark; (4) charge to about 10 yards in front of us - hackles up, teeth baring. I quickly moved Max & Zorro off the trail and put myself between stupid Fluffy and Max & Zorro. Look around - no human in sight... Sit there listening to Fluffy bark and growl... Eventually the dumb, stupid, annoying human comes around the corner. "Come Fluffy!" he calls - Fluffy doesn't budge - repeat this for the entire time it takes stupid man to walk up to Fluffy. As he finally arrives he says, "Sorry, Fluffy always comes; but it's ok - he is friendly." Friendly????? barking, hackles raised, teeth baring? Hmm, guess I don't understand friendly. Oh well, Fluffy and stupid man finally went by and Max, Zorro and I were able to restart down the trail.

Vital Stats: 10.1 miles; 115m total time; 75m skijoring time (40m of hiking the exposed section up & down, taking a quick break at the halfway point, adjusting equipment and way too much time sitting on the side of the trail waiting for stupid man); 19 MPH top speed; 1000 feet of elevation gain.

Cruising up the upper sections of Boreas Pass Rd.
2-3 inches of fresh powder over the packed trail to enjoy!
We stopped about 5 miles up Boreas to take a quick break, adjust the human's
gear and then sprint back down. Apparently the human took too long to do his
thing. I looked up to find Max & Zorro with their heads BURIED in the deep
powder off the side of the packed trail! 
Nice view of our "fresh tracks" coming up Boreas. Fun, fun fun...

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.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tebowing while Skijoring

Tebowing while Skijoring
(or Teboworing)

Clips of Tebowing while Skijoring as we approach the French Gulch winter
trailhead. Action video of Tebowing while Skijoring below:
video

Today's skijoring outing was an action packed outing of a whole array of activities.

1) Tebowing while Skijoring on the return approach to the French Gulch trailhead (see clips & video above). For those not in the know... Tebowing (vb) to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.

2) Another day of breaking trail in 20+ inches of powder (see images below). Similar to yesterday's extreme outing: when we got to the back meadows of French Gulch, we were breaking trail in 12-20+ inches of untouched powder for about 2 miles of skijoring! Lots of Siberian powder power in the 12-18 inch areas and lots of Siberian "bunny hopping" (or "dolphin cresting") in the 20+ areas.

3) Hilarious Max doing a "snow angel" to cool off after skijoring up the gulch at a "siberian comfortable" 3-5 degrees outside!

The Route: Start at the French Gulch winter trailhead and skijor up French Gulch (packed powder to 4 inches of powder for the first 2 miles); continue up the gulch and slowly transition into 12+ inches of untouched powder as we got into the last of the open meadows in the gulch; increase to 20+ and perform the Siberian dolphin cresting to continue to tow me around the last open meadow; take a break and return the same route.

Vital Stats: 7.1 miles; 80m total time; 60m skijoring time (20m of break and tebowing time); 21 MPH top speed; 800 feet of elevation gain up the gulch. Keep in mind we where breaking trail in 12-20 inches for about 2 miles of the outing - factor that into the time and we were really flying in the packed to 4 inch powder sections!

Powering through the deep meadow of untouched powder. Look closely
at Zorro - he is "airborne" in this shot. The snow is deep enough that he
needs to be doing bunny hopping/dolphin cresting actions to propel forward.
Taller Max is not yet into cresting depth...
More breaking trail in about 12 inches of untouched powder.
"It's 3 degrees, I've just been plowing through 12-20 inches of powder, need
to roll around in the snow to cool off,
" exclaims Max. We are stopped under
the protection of a set of trees to take a break before heading back down.
A look back at the deep open meadow we powered through.