Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Now that's DEEP!

"You mean this day only happens once every 4 years? Aw Man!" exclaim Max & Zorro.
"Thank Dog this day only happens once every 4 years!" mumbles the exhausted Brad.

Now that's "Trail Breaking"! Max in lead has snow up to his shoulders. Zorro in back actually
has his chest up on Max's butt to get a view of the terrain. Look at the incredibly deep snow
trench behind Zorro.
Here is a puzzle for you... What would cause Max, Zorro and I to skijor only 6.7 miles in 2h 25m time? Note that a typical outing of this time would have us covering upwards of 15 miles and over 1200+ feet of elevation.

The answer: Extreme trail breaking up steep terrain is the only thing that could slow us down this much.

Our extreme terrain today... (1) Ascending up 1800 feet in about 5.7 miles; (2) Breaking trail in 8-36 inches of snow for the first 4.3 miles! (3) Breaking trail in 12-36 inches of snow for 3.5 miles straight! Now that's extreme...

More extreme trail breaking. Doesn't it look more like Max & Zorro are swimming through the
snow? Especially Zorro - just swimming along behind Max's lead... There really is a trail under
all this snow. If you deviated from the "hidden trail", you sink into 4-5 (or more) feet of snow!
It started snowing hard yesterday morning and it kept falling all day & night long. We had a winter wonderland to skijor today. We started right out of our garage (no need to drive to trailheads with this much new snow) and took a steep set of trails from home up to Sally Barber Mine. Within a 1/10th a mile from home, we were already breaking trail in 20 inch drifts with the "shallow sections" breaking trail in 8 inches. This continued for about 4.3 miles with the depth reaching about 36 inches of untouched powder to plow through!

Max and his snow stilts (long legs) are usually in front during extreme trail
breaking. But, every so often, Zorro (or I) need to take the load and break
trail for a while. Here we have short little Zorro doing his best as Max is riding
his butt to go faster!
Restarting after a quick "catch your breath" break. Zorro thinks he has the better
trail - a few steps more and he sunk past his head, popped up out of the snow,
declared "Oops, I'll follow Max" and dropped behind the snow stilt lead.
Max's harness when we got home. It's been 20-25 minutes since we
finished skijoring and he was in the heated car ride home. Yet, the harness
is still covered in snow! The life of the trail breaking lead dog: a harness
full of frozen snow - Siberian Good Time!
Vital Stats: 6.7 miles; 145m total time; 125m skijoring time (lots of quick "catch your breath" breaks during the extreme trail breaking); 18 MPH top speed; 1800 feet of elevation climbed.

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