Saturday, March 31, 2012

Groomed Elevations

Hot day... Max cooling off by rolling a snow angel on
the trail.
Today's skijoring outing found us exploring the higher elevations of the Breckenridge Nordic Center.

We do not visit the nordic centers around town that often; but every once in a while we will take a spin on the few trails they have designated "dogs allowed".

After a hot & dry March, our typical backcountry trails are in very poor condition. Conversely, a nordic center does constant packing, grooming and other maintenance of their trails. So, when the unmaintained backcountry trails start to really deteriorate, it is time to switch to the well-maintained nordic center trails for skijoring fun.

So, what's the big difference between backcountry trails and nordic center trails? Two things you find at the nordic center: (1) groomed, groomed & groomed; and (2) wide trails. Groomed trails are easy trails - you are never breaking trail and you rarely hit any ice or slick/hard-packed surfaces. Wide trails are easy trails - no worry of maneuvering through tight trees or veering off trail into deep snow and plenty of room to swing out right & left to keep control.

Another typical feature of nordic centers versus backcountry trails is "flat". Most nordic centers have little elevation gain and you are skiing around pretty flat terrain. But, this is where the Breckenridge Nordic Center differs - they have great elevations on their upper trails.

Thus our outing today - groomed, wide and steep. Wheee, what a Siberian fun time! We scaled up (and down) about 2150 feet of elevation over a course of 12 miles. Our skijoring time to cover this distance & elevation was only 105 minutes - groomed and wide means fast, even if steep!

Hallelujah Hut - one of the many "warming huts" sprinkled throughout the
Breckenridge Nordic Center.
"What? A warming hut?!? You've got to be kidding, I've never been so
" demonstrates Max.
"No really - what's in that building? I've never heard of something as
silly as a 'warming hut'!
" ponders Zorro as he surveys the hut.
Groomed & wide - a Siberian Speed Track!
Vital Stats: 12 miles; 125m total time; 105m skijoring time (we took one 10m break to cool off at the warming hut and had 2 sections of exposed terrain to shed the skis and walk over); 21 MPH top speed; 2150 feet of elevation climbed.

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