Thursday, February 23, 2012

Deep Powder Day!

Midway up our route in French Gulch. The snow is as deep
as Zorro's shoulders - Siberian Trail Breaking Power!
Love it when the weatherman is wrong (in our favor)! The forecast was for only a few inches of new snow overnight. We awoke to 6+ inches at our house - meaning the backcountry trails would have even more! Woo!

We were not disappointed as we had the French Gulch trails all to ourselves today. Breaking trail in fresh, untouched powder from 6 to 20 inches deep! What a Siberian workout...

We started at the BnB trailhead and skijored up French Gulch Road. We were able to follow some existing 4wd tracks for the first 1.5 miles until reaching the French Gulch winter trailhead. After transitioning from French Gulch Road onto the French Gulch trails: wheeee - no existing tracks and we started breaking trail in about 6 inches of new snow and progressed as deep as 20 inches. All in, we were breaking trail in 6-20 inches for almost 5.5 miles straight (with the majority being in the 12-20 inch range). Quite a workout when you are under 2 feet tall - just ask Max & Zorro...

Vital Stats: 7 miles; 105m total time; 95m skijoring time; 15 MPH top speed; 1200 feet of elevation climbed. The first 1.5 miles was an easy incline on existing tracks; the next 5.5 miles was nonstop trail breaking in deep, deep snow! Thus the reason we did not hit a very fast "top speed" - some days are defined by strenuous "trail breaking depth" instead of speed and distance...

Still climbing, snow is getting deeper. Zorro's gangline is starting to show some
occasional slack. "You try keeping up with tall Max in deep snow!" he exclaims.
Too deep for "shoulder to shoulder" trail breaking on the narrow trail hidden
deep under the fresh snow. Zorro happily hops in behind Max as we use the
"snow stilts" (Max's long legs) to break trail. "Phew, I can keep up back here!"
says Zorro.
But, it's not all fun & games dropping in behind Max. Zorro's head down as
he still has to power through the snow - just not as deep as Max is breaking.
Keep on truckin in the deep snow - Zorro peeking around the big red trail
breaker to see what the upcoming terrain holds for us...

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