Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pole Fault

Cruising up & along Indiana Creek. Note some of the trees
close to the trail - they played a central role in today's outing!
Another day on the trails, another "that's never happened before" moment...

If you ever watch professional downhill slalom skiers, you notice how their poles often strike the "slalom flags" as they go by (as the skier is cutting tight corners during racing). When Max, Zorro & I are coming down narrow trails, we often have this same situation. My poles will often lightly brush against trees very close to the trail as I am maneuvering to keep up with the Siberian sprinting engine. This has never been a problem in all of our skijoring outings - I just occasionally feel the pole bounce off a tree as we fly by - same as a slalom racer. Until today......

Coming down a very narrow section of the Indiana Creek trail and my left pole brushed a tree right next to the trail. Next thing I know my left arm is yanked backwards and the pole comes out of my hand (and I spill to the left). Gather myself and look back and "Whoa!" my ski pole is stuck in the tree! The basket at the bottom of the pole apparently caught itself against the tree and lodged itself in place - no wonder it yanked out of my hand! Laugh off this "one in a million" event, go back to collect my pole and off we go down the trail again. Not more than 10 minutes later, we are still navigating through and along a narrow section of trail when what should happen? Coming around a slight corner and BAM - again my left pole catches & lodges itself in a tree close to the trail and yanks my left arm backwards until the pole releases from my hand. "You have got to be kidding! Twice in one day!?!" This has never happened to me in all my days skijoring by trees close to the trails and TWICE in ONE DAY!!! Wow. Go back to collect my pole, no longer laughing at this "twice in one day" event and restart down the trail again. Needless to say, I was now cognizant of every tree near the trail - bad things come in 3s, which tree is going to grab my pole next?

Luckily, the 3rd never happened, although I was subconsciously slowing down around tight corners and swaying away from trees close to the trail. How can something so odd never happen before and then happen twice in as little as 10 minutes? Weird...

Anyway, minus the "pole faults", we had a great time cruising around Indiana Creek today. Two very nice videos of our start and end below:

At the Indiana Creek trailhead. Zoom, off we go...

Returning to the Indiana Creek trailhead. Zoom, here we come!

Vital Stats: 7.4 miles; 97m total time; 82m skijoring time (15m for a short break and 2 "pole collection" incidents); 21 MPH top speed; 950 feet of elevation gain.

At our "break point" before returning back down. Max has clearly found
something VERY INTERESTING under the snow!
Max & Zorro saying, "Let's go this way, we don't want to go back down yet!"
A look up from the last shot. There is an opening up into the trees, must be
where Max & Zorro are thinking we should go. Nice find boys, maybe we'll
go explore up this opening some day soon...

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