Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sloshing to the Season Finale

Friday morning our 2011/2012 skijoring season came sloshing to an end on Baldy Mountain.
625.1 miles for the season!

Laying fresh tracks between Baldy and Boreas mountains. The snow looks
great in this shot and it was as we were above 11000 feet elevation and about
30 minutes into our outing. We looped back to this same path about 45 minutes
later and it had already degraded to a sloshy wet & sticky surface.
We had a few inches of new snow Thu night (and a few inches Wed night). Sounds promising, but the snow at home was a wet & sticky mess - barely even snow. So, we decided to take our fun to much higher elevations on Baldy Mountain. The higher you go, the more the new snow transitions from wet & sticky to soft & fluffy. Usually...

1) The first 30 minutes found us laying fresh tracks in 2-4 inches of new powder! So much fun, but we noticed the temperatures increasing and the snow quality deteriorating, even at elevations well above 11,000 feet.

2) The next hour or so we witnessed the terrain quickly turning from "fresh powder" to "slush above mud" as we cruised around the West and North faces of Baldy Mountain. Temperatures approaching 40 degrees and slushy, sloshy terrain started to slow down the Siberians; but we kept going, having fun at slower speeds. I let Max & Zorro set a pace that was comfortable to them in the heat & slush.

3) The final 30 minutes found us returning to elevations below 11,000 feet (to get back to the trailhead at around 10,600). Yuck! A shallow wet & sticky layer of slush over a trail of mud. Yuck! I had to remove the skis twice to cross over areas where the top layer was too shallow and my skis were cutting (and sticking) into the mud.

The day's total: we skijored up over 1400 feet of elevation, looking for "better snow higher" without much luck. Our total mileage was a modest 8.4 miles (heat, elevations and slush impaired ;-)

A fun day.... But, with the "10 day forecast" showing all sun and highs in the upper 50s/low 60s - well, we officially declared our 2011/2012 skijoring season over today.

Dreaming of October, pray for snow! Max & Zorro.
It's hard to see in this photo; but that is a trail of fresh bunny tracks going downhill
in front of us. The *last* thing the human needs is bunny juice to energize the
Siberians downhill!
Did I mention the "Siberian hot" temperatures? Max rolling a snow angel to
cool off in the snow.
Siberian Snow Cone Party.
Max & Zorro enjoying tasty snow cones during one of our breaks.
Fallen tree obstacle along the way to the True Romance Mine.
Back at the trailhead getting our "end of run hot dog" treats.
Very intense Max & Zorro watching my hands closely!

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