Friday, December 28, 2012

Climbing Machines

Today's skijoring outing had lots of elevation gain packed into short distances - an exercise in Siberian Climbing Machines...
A glance at the 20% uphill grade Max & Zorro towed me up! Woo - what fun!
What is my favorite part of skijoring with sled dogs? Being propelled to 20-25 MPH is fun, but that is not my favorite... Going distances 2-3 times the normal cross country ski route is fun, but that is not my favorite... My favorite is:

Being able to ski (or rather be towed) up ridiculously steep grades that a typical cross country skier could not even attempt - now that is FUN!

Today's outing had lots of elevation to climb, highlighted by one extreme section traveling straight up 800 feet in just under 3/4 of a mile - that's a 20% uphill grade. This short section of trail is not considered part of the cross country ski trails in & around French Gulch - nobody can ski up such steepness. Instead, this section of trail is viewed as a one of the snowmobile trails in the area. But, add two sled dogs to a cross country skier and no terrain is too steep.

The best part is watching and feeling the Siberians tow you up such steep terrain. The common technique to cross country ski up steep inclines is to fan your ski tips out and walk in a "duck like" manner - very slow and very strenuous. My agreement with Max & Zorro is "no duck walking" - if it is steep, then you two pull me up. I'll assist by driving the poles hard and pushing forward on each ski, of course; but the Siberians get it and put their drive and shoulders into any steep uphill terrain we encounter. Such fun to "ski uphill"!

It was overcast and 5 degrees below zero when we started at the trailhead today. Needless to say, we did not encounter anyone else out on the trails... Photo highlights below:
Cruising along in 1-3 inches of fresh snow. We had the trails all to ourselves today, so were happily
trotting in 1-3 inches all day long!
Um.. It was 5 BELOW zero and look who needs to roll a snow angel to cool off at our midpoint break!
Crazy Siberian!
Trotting along a mild downhill grade as we all begin to lean into a tight right turn...
Out of the turn and into a straight away - opening up into an 18 MPH sprint. Woo!
Stats for the outing: 8.8 miles, 1650 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

No comments:

Post a Comment