Monday, February 6, 2012

Short, Steep and Sweet

Getting our "end of run hotdog treats". "Yum, yum!" says
Max (notice the nice tongue slurp he's doing).
We only had about a hour to commit to our skijoring outing today - so the run was short, steep and sweet!

We traversed about 6.1 miles and climbed about 950 feet of elevation. On the steepest section, we ascended up about 350 feet over just a 1/4 of a mile - that's a 27% uphill grade! Now, most cross country skiers do what is called a "duck walk" to ascend such steep terrain: that is fanning your ski tips out and waddling uphill like a duck to keep from sliding back down. Max, Zorro & I have a "no duck walk" agreement - why else do I have Siberian Huskies if for nothing else but uphill propulsion? I'll help uphill by driving my ski poles into the ground, but it is up to Max & Zorro to tow me uphill - no duck walking. It takes some "Good Forward! Good Forward!" encouragement on my part and they will dip their shoulders & power up the steep grade. What fun!

Today's Route: (1) From the Sally Barber trailhead up to Sally Barber Mine; (2) down from the mine to the main French Gulch trail; (3) u-turn and head 1/2 way back up to Sally Barber Mine; (4) hang a left towards the True Romance mine and ascend up 350 feet in 1/4 of a mile; (5) hang a right onto the Trail of Tears and go up, across and then down to Sally Barber Mine; (6) sprint back down to the Sally Barber trailhead.

The final ascent to Sally Barber Mine (in leg #1 above) is also pretty steep - it covers about 200 feet in 1/3 of a mile (a 13% uphill grade). But, read the route carefully and you'll discover that leg #6 of our route took us back down this section of trail. Try putting yourself behind 2 Siberian Sprinters and then launch yourself down a 13% downhill grade... My right ski was close to perpendicular to the trail to keep under control (an "extreme snowplow" move); yet we still hit 22 MPH. That's the definition of Siberian Skijoring: 22 MPH during extreme snowplowing!

Vital Stats: 6.1 miles; 64m total time; 57m skijoring time; 22 MPH top speed, 950 feet of elevation gain.

Starting out from the Sally Barber trailhead and skijoring up to Sally
Barber Mine.
Max doing his patented "cool off" snow angel in the snow when we took a
quick break.
Zorro chomping down on some snow to cool off at our break point.
The camera was too slow to catch him with a nice chunk of snow hanging
out of his mouth - darn!
A nice shot of "Sally Barber Mine" - I am always amazed that this structure is
still standing given the amount of wind it is exposed to.

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