Saturday, March 3, 2012

Half and Half

A nice "half and half" day skijoring in French Gulch. (1) The lower half of the trail was well-traveled: a wide, well-used trail with 0-2 inches of fresh snow. (2) The upper half of the trail was all to ourselves: breaking trail in 4-8 inches of fresh snow over a very narrow "hidden" trail. The established trail in the upper half is only one Siberian wide (or one pair of skis wide), so we had to skijor single file through this section. As usual, if you stepped off the established trail, you sunk into a couple of feet of snow.

Breaking trail in about 6-8 inches on a narrow "one Siberian wide" trail. Max
and Zorro glancing back at me to say, "Hey dude - narrow trail, breaking trail -
put that camera away and keep in sync!
Max out in front leading the way. You cannot see the trail - but it is there as
a well-packed base under the fresh snow. It always amazing me how well Max
and Zorro can stay on a hidden trail and not fall off the edges into much deeper
snow. As soon as the hidden trail gets too narrow to skijor shoulder-to-shoulder,
they automatically drop into single file configuration. Smart Guys!
A look back at our tracks ascending up the Little French Gulch trail. We took
a quick break here before heading back down. The sun was nice enough to
break out of the clouds to warm me a bit during the break. It was 4 degrees when
we started with a strong, gusting wind - so, the brief sun was much appreciated!
Apparently I took too long taking a break in the sun. Max and Zorro, tired of
waiting for me, decide to go "head dunking" and exploring off the trail. Wonder
who found the best buried treasures?
Ah - apparently Max's treasure hole was the most interesting. Here comes
Zorro to help explore. Don't worry, I flipped the gangline over the poor little
tree behind Zorro before he could snap the tree in half!  :-)
Vital Stats: 7.1 miles; 95m total time; 85m skijoring time; 19 MPH top speed; 1100 feet of elevation gain. That might seem like a "slow outing", but factor in 1/2 the time spent breaking trail over a narrow path and it makes sense...

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