Sunday, December 16, 2012

Powder High Up on Baldy Mountain

A few more inches of new snow overnight - a few more miles of breaking trail for Max & Zorro! A Siberian blast skijoring up & down Baldy Mountain today...
Powering up Baldy Mountain, setting our own trail as we have long out-skied any existing tracks.
Our plan for the day: (1) skijor up Baldy Mountain, seeing how soon we could out-ski any existing tracks and have the mountain to ourselves; (2) sprint back down the same path until the midpoint; (3) explore the abandoned mines to the north before heading back to the Baldy trailhead.

The reality: (1) perfect - 2-3 inches of fresh powder on existing tracks for the first 2 miles, then breaking trail on untouched terrain for the next 1.5 miles; (2) perfect again - retrace 2 miles down from our high point; (3) bad dog disaster... As we approached the midpoint of the down route, suddenly 2 loose dogs came barreling up the trail at us - not a human in sight to call them back. Both dogs proceeded to circle us as they started barking & barking - ARGH! Where are the idiot owners to call their dogs off??? Get the attention of Max & Zorro (well, ok, get the attention of Max :-) with a "leave it, let's go" command to abandon the current trail and get away from these barking dogs. Thank Dog Max is such a good listener - talk Max into a "left, let's go" to head south on a side trail. Give Zorro a "left, let's go" - no response, Zorro is posturing between me and the bad dogs (STILL no human to control their loose dogs)... Give Zorro an "ok, see ya Zorro" and start to ski down with Max. The "see ya" command is the last gasp that almost always works with Zorro - it means, "ok fine, Max & I are going this way, see you later." Thank Dog Zorro snapped to attention and starts down trail with Max & I. We start skijoring down our escape route from these horrible dogs (NOTE: still no owner in sight to call these dogs off). What happens next? Well, the 2 dogs start chasing us down this narrow trail! So, I called to Max & Zorro for a right through some trees, a left through some trees and then another right. Finally, this weave through the trees got us distance from the bad dogs and we were back to a peaceful skijoring team. By the way, as we cut out of sight down the escape route, I finally saw the owner of the dogs waddling up the trail, calling to the dogs to "come back". Why do people think it is ok to let dogs run wild, loose and out of sight in the backcountry?!?

Oh well, we had a great time skijoring today outside of this horrible interaction. We will not let bad dogs cast a shadow over our fun. Some more shots from the mostly fun outing:
More breaking trail high up on Baldy Mountain.
Entering into a trail breaking sharp right turn.
Max rolling a snow angel at during our break.
Zorro chomping down on snow cones during our break.
Stats for the day's outing: 6.7 miles, 1500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

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