Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weaving through the Trees

My "4 foot tall poles" planted in the deep snow
just off the side of the trail. Only about 1 foot of
the pole is above snow.
Today's skijoring outing was an excursion on some of our "private trails" - the paths not published in any of the guides. You have to know the backcountry to know your way.

Since these are "paths less traveled", the trail was typically narrow and weaving through heavily wooded forest. About 1/2 the way the trail was "2 Huskies wide" for Max & Zorro to skijor side by side. The other 1/2 was on trails only about "1 Husky wide", so Max & Zorro had to go single file and alternated taking the lead. If you tried "side by side", then one would be off the primary trail and in 2-4 feet of snow (and, thus, unable to keep pace with the one on the trail).

The outing covered about 6.2 miles and climbed about 1250 feet, winding through the trees on Baldy Mountain. Since the trail was rarely more than "2 Huskies wide", at best, we did not hit any typical sprint speeds. This was caution by the human, the Siberians were perfectly willing to open up the throttle and sprint through the trees - the cautious human was unwilling to put the skis parallel and fly through such tight terrain...

Vital Stats: 6.2 miles; 94m total time; 84m skijoring time; 16 MPH top speed; 1250 feet of elevation gain.

We could continue on the established trail ahead, or.....
Or, we could hang a right into the deep snow off the trail and blaze our
own path following those snowshoe hare tracks just in front of us! Bunny!!!

Notice how deep the snow is in this path started by Max. The vote was 2-to-1
to "follow the Bunny tracks"; but I used my veto power to overturn this decision.
We just emerged from a "1 Husky wide" section of trail in the trees and are
resetting ourselves to "side by side" before continuing on.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Busy Day - Narrow Trails

Trucking up the "one lane" trail in French Gulch. Step off
the trail and you sink in over 3 feet of snow.
We are in the height of "tourist season" in Breckenridge; so "weekend skijoring outings" tend to be "crowded skijoring outings" on the trails.

We set out to do a quick skijoring sprint up & back in French Gulch. As you can see in the picture to the left, the terrain was a "one lane ski trail" most of the route. We have had some good snowfall recently; so, stepping off the packed one lane trail puts you in 2-4 feet of powder. As a result, when we encountered crowds on the trail, Max, Zorro & I hopped in deep deep snow to let others pass (not that anyone ever catches us from behind - all the passes were head-on encounters with groups going the opposite direction ;-)

It is always nice to yield to others and Max & Zorro certainly don't mind jumping in 3 feet of powder! But, it does lead to lots of "stop & go" on crowded days like today. The result: each "go" (or restart) is 2 Siberians shooting out of a cannon!

Vital Stats: 5.5 miles; 62m total time; 41m skijoring time (21m "stop, yield to others & go" time on crowded trails); 20 MPH top speed; 650 feet of elevation gain. Doing a little math shows that, when moving, we were averaging an 8 MPH pace! So, it was really a day of "stop, yield to others, go & sprint" and then repeat many times...


Another nice shot of the one lane trail. Siberian heads & shoulders down
while powering uphill.
Max just finished doing a "snow angel" to cool off at our turnaround point.
The human was too slow with the camera to catch any of the snow angel; but
Max's back full of snow gives you an indication how much he enjoyed it!
Zorro preparing to "torpedo dive" into the deep snow (notice the tail straightening
out as he gets into aerodynamic "dive form").
A look back down the trail and French Gulch from our turnaround point.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Boreas Gallop

Taking a break at our "high point" on Boreas. Max (top) is
lined up to continue South; Zorro (bottom) is lined up to
continue North (note the opposite angle of the shadow on
each of them).
A fast fun day skijoring on Boreas Pass Rd.

The trail was well packed with 1-2 inches of new snow. I took out my "fast skis" for the outing and combined this with the fast huskies. The "fast skis" are great for packed conditions with at most a little powder (this pair of skis is terrible for breaking trail). So, pair the fast equipment with the fast Siberians and you have a quick gallop up & down Boreas Pass Rd. Wheeeee!

We raced up Boreas Pass for about 4.3 miles, took a break and then raced back down Boreas Pass. An 8.6 mile gallop with 800 feet of elevation gain. The conditions were 2 degrees when we started with sunny skies and no wind; this is ideal conditions for the Siberians. When we arrived back at the trailhead Max acted as if he'd had no exercise yet today - walking & looking around the trailhead and not even breathing hard. What a skijoring machine!

Vital Stats: 8.6 miles; 95m total time; 85m skijoring time; 21 MPH top speed; 800 feet of elevation gain.

Max doing a little "head dunk" to explore under the snow at our break point.
Ditto for Zorro - who needs a break, we must be stopped to bury our
heads in the snow!

Bright blue skies, no wind and temperatures in the single digits - that defines
"perfect conditions" for Max & Zorro!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cheeeese!

Beginning climb up & out of Indiana Creek towards
Boreas Pass Rd. Shoulders down, powering forward!
Max, Zorro & I spent a lot of time posing for the cameras on the trails today.

We started at the Indiana Creek trailhead and took the steep incline up & out of Indiana Creek to Boreas Pass. This is a 4 mile trek climbing about 1250 feet; and the last mile was breaking trail in 12-18 inches of snow. Quite the power track to start our route. When we connected out of this steep trail onto Boreas Pass Rd, we stopped to take a quick break.

As we were about to conclude our break and start down Boreas Pass, a group of 6 snowshoers came upon us. They were on their way down from a night spent at one of the backcountry huts at the Boreas Summit. We talked with the group for a bit, Max & Zorro flirted with everyone and the group took pictures of Max & Zorro. Fun part of the end of the conversation:

- Showshoer: "So, how long does it take you to get back to the Boreas trailhead [same place they were headed]?"
- Me: "Oh, about 40-45 minutes from here."
- Showshoer: "Wow, no way, we have 3 to 3.5 hours planned for our descent!" [I could sense the skepticism in his voice, but we have done this route many times and 40-45 is true]

I then got Max & Zorro ready to go and said bye to the group and then, "Ok guys, lets go!" Now remember that we had just finished our short break after climbing out of Indiana Creek and then we extended the break for quite a while talking with these folks. Well, the Siberian engines were recharging this whole time. After my "lets go" command, Max & Zorro took off sprinting down Boreas. All I heard from the group was the doubter exclaiming, "Wow! Look at that!" He surely believes our 40-45 minute estimate now ;-)

About 1/2 down Boreas we ran into a group of 8 well-outfitted backcountry skiers coming up the path (well-outfitted meaning they had overnight gear and rations for a long outing). They all stopped and wanted to meet Max & Zorro. So, we obliged and gave them some Siberian love while I explained the concept of "skijoring" to them. As with the snowshoe group, they also wanted pictures of Max & Zorro. They even wanted a picture with me at the end of the outstretched gangline so that they could show friends this crazy guy attached to 2 huskies and prove they were not making it up.

All in all, a fun little outing on Indiana Creek & Boreas with a lot of tourism advocacy with all the groups we encountered.

Vital Stats: 9.1 miles (with about 1 mile of extreme trail breaking); 135m total time; 100m skijoring time (35m of "tourism advocacy"); 19 MPH top speed; 1250 feet of elevation gain.

"Untouched" Boreas Pass Rd - we are about to start down this route and wow
the group of snowshoers with our "take off" speed.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Finally, Feet not Inches!

"Hi! We're having a GREAT time!" declare Max & Zorro
We finally got our first storm of the season to measure the snowfall in feet instead of inches! It's only about 2 months later than normal; but it's here!

With this great snow overnight, Max, Zorro & I decided to head out to French Gulch this morning. We found ourselves breaking trail in 12-20 inches of fresh, beautiful powder for about 3.5 miles of the outing - what a treat.

In years past, French Gulch has been one of our favorite trails. But, with the lesser than normal snowfall this season, French Gulch had turned into a hazard track - including: (1) one busted binding from catching an exposed rock; (2) one bent pole from catching an exposed rock; and (3) one twisted knee from catching an exposed rock. I had declared French Gulch "off limits" before today. But, with over a foot of fresh snow, we gave it another try. What a hit! We were breaking trail in 12-20 inches of fresh powder over the same sections that had beaten and battered me. French Gulch is officially (and finally) back in our selection of skijoring routes! Today's Route:

(1) Start at the BnB trailhead and skijor up French Gulch Rd, following the tracks from a 4wd vehicle that had braved the terrain before us (no plows - yeah!). Continue to and past the French Gulch winter trailhead.

(2) Proceed onto the French Gulch trail and follow existing ski tracks for the first 50 yards or so and then we were on our own (the existing tracks transitioned off French Gulch towards Sally Barber Mine). We were immediately in 12+ inches of powder and breaking trail in 12-20 inches for the next 3.5 miles!

(3) Eventually connect back to French Gulch Rd and follow the 4wd tracks back to the BnB trailhead.

Vital Stats: 7.5 miles (3.5 breaking trail in 12-20 inches); 105m total time; 95m skijoring time; 21 MPH top speed; 800 feet of elevation gain. As usual, breaking trail at this depth for this distance lead to a slower than normal outing; but a more tiring than normal due to plowing through the powder!

Within a 1/8 a mile of the French Gulch trailhead, we were deeper than a foot!
Time to remove the neckline from Max & Zorro - they cannot maneuver in snow
this deep if they are connected. The neckline is for control on packed trails and
snow less than a foot deep.
Over 18 inches deep far back in French Gulch - time to switch to single file
skijoring and let Max and his snow stilts (long legs) break trail for Zorro and I.
Still in single file mode - Zorro straining his neck to see over the tall snow
around him and white butt in front of him.
A look back at our "trail blazing" tracks and the snow covered trees along
the trail. What a beautiful powder day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Breaking Trail in 4 Feet of Powder!

"Max shoulder deep" and getting deeper. Time to switch to
single file skijoring and take turns breaking trail.
Max, Zorro & I were breaking trail today in snow from 20 to 48 inches in depth for about 2 miles straight!

I marked the deepest point (midway up my chest) and then measured to discover we were in 48 inches of untouched powder at our deepest point. Breaking trail in 4 feet of snow - wow.

As is our usual pattern, when the snow gets too deep (over 20 inches), we switch into "single file" skijoring mode with Max and his snow stilts (long legs) breaking trail in the front. Zorro happily drops in behind Max and lets him plow the way. But, we cannot ask Max to do this much  work for 2 miles straight. So, when I see Max tiring, I move Zorro to the front to break trail (Max will accept this as he needs a break). When I see Zorro tiring, I move myself to the front and break trail for the 2 of them. The fun thing is, as soon as Max gets his wind back, he'll come right up behind me and head butt my legs in a statement of, "Ok slowpoke, I got my rest, now move out of the way so we can make some real progress again!" I'll let Max then move to the front and we start the cycle over again - rotating Zorro and myself to the front when Max needs a break. All in, when we are breaking trail in 20+ inches for long distances, Max will typically lead the way 65% of the time, Zorro 20% of the time, and the slow human 15% of the way. I was in the front when we hit 48 inches deep today - smart Max & Zorro saying, "Go ahead dad, you take this section!"

Today's route was a true example of extreme ends of the spectrum in conditions:

(1) The first 2.5 miles was an established trail going straight up a 900 foot incline in 3-6 inches of new, fresh powder.

(2) The next 2 miles was our attempt to connect the ghost town of Dysersville down to Indiana Creek. There is a jeep road for this connection in the summertime. But, this route is clearly unused in the winter as the snow was untouched and, thus, 20-48 inches deep the entire 2 mile stretch!

(3) Once connecting with the frequently used Indiana Creek trail, we were on a packed sprint track with only 1-3 inches of new powder the final 2 miles. We hit a top speed of 23 MPH on this section.

What a day: from breaking trail in 48 inches to sprinting at 23 MPH!

Vital Stats: 6.5 miles; 105m total time; 85m skijoring time (10ish minutes of stopped time to catch our breath in the deep snow; 10ish minutes of stopped time to wait for the 5 loose & misbehaving dogs to get semi-collected by their bad owners); 23 MPH top speed; 900 feet of elevation gain. Not a particularly fast outing - but you try breaking trail in 20-48 inches for 2 miles!!!

Video of our final approach to the Indiana Creek trailhead. Contrast
this heavily used (thus heavily packed) fast track with our 20+ inches
of trail breaking on the unused section of the backcountry!
video

A fun "action shot" - Max is airborne as jumping to make progress in the deep snow!
Good picture of the deep snow as we began to connect from Dyersville to Indiana
Creek. It got deeper & deeper for the next 2 miles!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Longest Mile

Nice shot of Max & Zorro enjoying the deep snow and taking
in the scenery around us.
It was the longest, most painful mile of skijoring we ever experienced....

We began at the Baldy Mountain Rd trailhead this morning and started skijoring up Baldy Mtn. The first mile or so of this route has only one trail; after the first mile you then start to encounter lots of alternate trails to explore. During this first mile, there are 4 blind corners to go around. Here's the tale of our painful first mile:

(1) Come around the first blind corner and see a loose dog with another skier about 1/2 way to the next corner. "No problem," we thought, "we'll just approach, he'll collect his dog and on by we'll go." HA! Oh boy... We quickly closed the gap to this pair. As we got within "passing distance" he did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and his dog jumped in the middle of the trail leaving us no place to pass. He did say, "come Fluffy," but, of course, Fluffy did not come.

(2) So I stopped Max & Zorro and we stood there until the guy went around the blind corner and his dog finally decided to leave the middle of the trail and run after him. I then talked with Max & Zorro, telling them how good they are for listening to me and putting up with stopping. We waited for what seemed like an eternity and then started forward again. As we come around the next blind corner... DOH! He's still there, less than a 1/4 way to the next corner (and Fluffy is still loose and not listening). Could this be the slowest cross country skier in history? Has to be.

(3) So, we repeat step #2 above (stop and wait for him to disappear around the next corner and then wait for another eternity). Ok, start again and come around the next corner... ARGH! He is the slowest skier in history, does this person ever make progress? Does he ever gather his dog to let people pass? ARGH.

(4) So, we repeat step #2 AGAIN... Ok, start again and come around the next corner... BOOM - he and Fluffy are right there again! I could run backwards uphill in the snow faster than this guy skis - and still no control of Fluffy to let us pass. Luckily we are almost done with the first mile; Max, Zorro & I had already agreed to go whatever direction this guy did not as soon as we intersected a new trail. To test this guy's lack of consideration, we rode his ass all the way from this last corner to the first trail intersection. We stayed right on his butt, wondering if he'd collect Fluffy and move - nope, never occurred to him.

(5) Finally arrived at the first trail intersection up Baldy - called to Max & Zorro, "Right turn, ok, let's go!" Ha, they didn't need to hear that twice, a hard right and we SPRINTED off  onto a new trail without Fluffy and Slow Joe. Oh my, that was the slowest and most painful mile of skijoring we ever experienced!


Needless to say, all 3 of us were skijoring at a pretty good pace the rest of the day.

The Route: (1) Start at Baldy Mtn Rd winter trailhead and skijor up the longest/slowest mile in history; (2) Leap for joy upon encountering FR 5281B and hang a right onto this trail to sprint up & across Baldy; (3) Break trail in 4-7 inches of beautiful untouched powder most of the route across Baldy and onto the Bakers Tank trail on Boreas Mtn; (4) Connect with Boreas Pass Rd and sprint up the road for a mile or so just because we could! (5) Take a quick break and then skijor down Boreas Pass Rd to the Boreas winter trailhead.

Vital Stats: 8.2 miles; 105m total time; 80m skijoring time (25m of stoppage with about 20m of that happening in the first painful mile); 21 MPH top speed; 800 feet of elevation gain.

Freedom!!! We just turned right off Baldy Mtn Rd onto FR 5281B. Pedal to the
metal - we are finally free of Slow Joe and Fluffy!
Video of our final approach to the Boreas winter trailhead. The
gate and the end of the video is the trailhead.
video

Max playing in the deep snow high up on Boreas!
Zorro hopping around in the snow too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Weather Alert?

After powering through 40-50mph wind gusts and the
occasional wind-made snow drifts, Max exclaims, "Never
been so hot, must roll in the snow to cool off!
"
It was around 15 degrees when we left the trailhead this morning and we were heading up into terrain currently under a "high wind warning". Yes, we had the occasional 40-50 mph head on gusts to power through; but take a look at the picture to the left. Max needed to douse his body in snow at our midpoint on the trail - "Never been so hot!" he thought...

It is really fun to watch Max & Zorro take on the challenge of head on wind gusts. They both lower their heads a bit, lower their bodies a bit and power forward - never a thought of stopping because of the wind, just an obstacle to power through. I, on the other hand, am cowering in my wind proof coat and ride out the gusts via Siberian power.

We did our "Shrine Pass Route" at the Vail Pass Recreation Area today: (1) From the Vail Pass trailhead, skijor out & up Shrine Pass (constant wind with 40-50 mph gusts); (2) Skijor across Shrine Pass through heavy winds and gusts; (3) Dip into a more heavily wooded section of trail and get a slight break from the winds; (4) Take a break at the Turkey Creek/Lime Creek trail junctions; (5) Repeat the same route back. Weather Alert, Shmeather Alert - it was just some extra wind to challenge the Siberian muscles - piece of cake ;-)

Vital Stats: 8.1 miles; 93m total time; 86m skijoring time; 21 MPH top speed, 1350 feet of elevation climbed.

More "Max Snow Angels" to cool off at our midpoint.
Zorro is not as into snow angels as Max. Instead, his "cool off" tactic is to gulp
snow by the gallons - send freezing water down his pipes to cool his jets. Look
closely in this picture, Zorro is chomping down on some snow.
One of the nice after effects of doing snow angels - your head is covered in
snow once you are done. Max looks quite content and happy with his snow head!
Another favorite activity at our "break point" - hop off the trail and dig & dive
into deep, deep snow!
Max takes over Zorro's "snow hole" from the previous shot while Zorro starts
and investigates a new hole in the snow.
The threat of storms were all around us today; but nothing other than big
wind gusts materialized while we were out & about.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where is Everyone?

Very attentive boys at the trailhead as I get out their "end
of run" hotdog treats. And, yes, that exposed right hand
got cold fast!
The temperature was zero degrees with a gusty wind when we started out skijoring today. It was probably around 10 to 20 below zero when you factor in the wind chill. A beautiful day for the Siberians - Max & Zorro were wondering why we did not encounter another soul on the trails today. "Such wonderful Siberian temperatures, where is everyone?" ;-)

Today's route involved a lot of steep hill climbing - the human needed the aerobic effect to keep the blood flowing to avoid getting too cold. We traversed up (and down) 1400 feet in just 6.1 miles. That's a short but very steep course.

We started at the French Gulch winter trailhead and then: (1) Skijored about 1/2 way up towards Sally Barber Mine; (2) Took a left and made a steep ascent all the way up and past the True Romance Mine; (3) Cut across the thick forest to the front side of Baldy Mountain; (4) Started up Baldy until the trees started thinning and the wind was too cold; (5) Looped back to Sally Barber Mine and then down to the Barney Ford/Sally Barber trailhead.

Needless to say, not too many pictures taken today - too cold to stop & too cold to shed the glove to operate the camera!

Vital Stats: 6.1 miles; 82m total time; 74m skijoring time; 21 MPH top speed; 1400 feet of elevation gain. A short & steep route to keep from getting too cold!

Nice shot of the fresh, untouched snow on the trail we are about to
embark upon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

On Your Left ... Oops...

Approaching the Indiana Creek
trailhead. Increasing snowfall with
big flakes - gonna have some good
powder tomorrow!
We were cruising down a narrow section of the Indiana Creek trail. As we came over a little hump we saw a solo skier in front of us. She was going downhill too, so we were closing fast on her from behind. This section of trail is "one pair of skis" wide, so we would be doing a tight pass.

As we got closer, but not too close, I called out, "On your left," to let her know we were coming and intended on passing on her left. She casually started to glance back and then was clearly shocked to see two Siberians closing fast. The shock of two charging Siberians was too much and she fell over on her right. Oops... We weren't that close, yet, but we were coming... I slowed Max & Zorro and guided them as far to the left as the trail would fit and we stopped to help the poor woman up. She was good natured and laughing at her shock & fall; I gave her a hand to help her up and Max & Zorro gave her some happy faces and accepted head pats once she got up. "Wasn't expecting to see that behind me!" was her first laughing comment once she was up. I suppose I might fall over if I ever looked behind myself and saw two Siberians charging fast :-)

Today's Route: (1) Start at the Indiana Creek winter trailhead and skijor out & up the trail towards Boreas Pass; (2) Stop about 1/3 the way to Boreas and turn around and sprint back down to Indiana Creek; (3) Hang a left and skijor out & up along Indiana Creek as far as the terrain allows; (4) Take a quick break and then sprint back down to the Indiana Creek trailhead.

Today's Obstacle: As we were approaching the finish at the Indiana Creek trailhead, we were suddenly closing fast on a couple of cross country skiers with 5 (yes FIVE) loose dogs. Two started barking at us and gave zero acknowledgement of the skiers calling "Come Fluffy". So, Max, Zorro & I just skied off the trail and stopped to share a few hotdog treats as we waited for this very slow and very poor behaving group to move onward. There was no chance of passing them given their dogs were barking feverishly and showed no sign of having any listening or obedience skills. Oh well, we'd rather wait than deal with such annoyances.

Vital Stats: 7.4 miles; 95m total time; 75m skijoring time (20m for a short break, helping the shocked skier up and waiting forever for the bad dogs to clear the trailhead); 23 MPH top speed; 900 feet of elevation gain.

Lower sections of Indiana Creek, before we started up toward Boreas Pass.
Taking a quick break before heading back to the trailhead. Zorro's idea of a
"break" is burying his head as deep in the snow as possible!
A look back from our break point. Snow starting to fall! Woo!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Zorro Caught in the Act.


As we fly by, Zorro must be whispering in Max's ear, "Hey bro, lets go faster!" He wouldn't be nibbling at Max - no, not Zorro ;-)


I've mentioned Zorro and his "Planet Z" moments in past posts. Today we caught him on video. Forever immortalized in video, Zorro from Planet Z can no longer give you those deep brown eyes and say, "Who me? What are you talking about? I didn't do anything!"

The image to the left is a frame from the video below of our fast approach to the Boreas Pass winter trailhead today. Zorro just gets sooooo excited having skijoring fun that he needs to give Max "affectionate" nibbles to show his appreciation. He sure is fun & cute; but what a pest ;-)


video

We had a fun 10 mile outing on Baldy and Boreas Mountains today. Mostly packed powder with a few sections of "fresh tracks" in 2-4 inches of powder. A nice fast track for the Siberians. We started at the Baldy Mountain Rd winter trailhead and then: (1) skijored up & across Baldy to connect with Boreas Mountain; (2) skijored up to the high point of Bakers Tank trail (on Boreas) and then down to Bakers Tank; (3) then skijored up Boreas Pass Rd - as we were nearing treeline I could hear and feel the wind increasing. Not wanting to be wind battered above treeline, I stopped just before we crested out of the cover of trees and took a quick break in the deep snow off the packed trail. (4) Then skijored all the way back down Boreas Pass Rd to the Boreas winter trailhead. All around, a very peaceful and beautiful day.

Vital Stats: 9.8 miles; 112m total time; 98m skijoring time; 21 MPH top speed; 1000 feet of elevation gain.

Taking a quick break in the deep snow off the side of the trail. Nice way
to cool the Siberian jets before starting back down.
Max & Zorro saying, "Hey, this deep snow needs some Siberian exploration
and exposure!
"
Done! Deep snow explored and exposed!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Frolicking in the Snow

Approaching our finish at the French Gulch
trailhead. Happy huskies with snow covered
heads! Bundled up human with no body parts
exposed!
The forecast was for light snow falling this morning as we headed out to the trails. The reality was heavy, constant snowfall! A Siberian Treat...

There were 2 sections of "repeated trail" during today's route. Both times our original tracks were already buried in new snow within 10-15 minutes of our first pass. Highlights of the day:

(1) Sally Barber/Barney Ford trailhead up to Sally Barber Mine - existing tracks for the first 1/3 of the route and then just the 3 of us laying fresh tracks the next 2/3.

(2) Sprint down the Sally Barber trail towards French Gulch laying fresh tracks the whole way. About 1/2 way down, hang a right and ski up the steep True Romance Mine trail (laying fresh tracks again).

(3) Partway up to True Romance and hang a right on the Trail of Tears - laying fresh tracks all the way back to Sally Barber Mine.

(4) Reconnect to the Sally Barber trail towards French Gulch and notice all our "first pass tracks" are already invisible and covered in snow. Sprint all the way down to the French Gulch trail, again laying fresh tracks the whole way.

(5) Skijor out & up French Gulch to the last of the private cabins in the gulch. Following existing tracks for about 1/2 the route and then laying fresh tracks the remainder of the path. Take a quick break and then back down to the French Gulch winter trailhead.

Vital Stats: 9.2 miles; 114m total time; 97m skijoring time; 22 MPH top speed; 1000 feet of elevation gain. Lots of fresh & still falling snow!

Heading up to Sally Barber Mine. Trees filled with snow, laying fresh tracks
in the 2-4 inches on the trail.
A look behind us down the Sally Barber trail we just traversed.
At our turnaround/break point in French Gulch. Clearly Max thinks we should
keep cruising forward instead of turning around. "It's a beautiful day, why not
keep going?
" he ponders...
At the French Gulch trailhead - patiently (and intensely) awaiting our hotdog
treats we get after each skijoring outing.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cool Down

Zorro says, "Who says I'm small? Look, I'm wider than
a ski!
"
We followed up yesterday's deep snow/trail breaking outing with an 8 mile "cool down" today.

We started at the Baldy Mtn Rd trailhead and skijored up & across Baldy Mtn to connect onto Bakers Tank trail on Boreas Mtn. Most of the route was following one set of tracks - our tracks from yesterday :-)

We then skijored up to the high point of Bakers Tank trail and then down to Boreas Pass Rd (again, reusing our tracks from yesterday). Once on Boreas, we skijored up for a little ways before taking a break and cruising down to the Boreas Pass winter trailhead (Boreas is a well traveled route, so lots of existing tracks).

All in, a short little "jog route" to nicely follow up yesterday's "big route".

Vital Stats: 8.2 miles; 94m total; 82m skijoring time; 17 MPH top speed; 700 feet of elevation gain. A nice, gentle 8 mile "cool down" outing.

Taking a break in the deep snow off the trail before starting back down.
A nice look down Boreas Pass Rd. Fresh snow with a few existing tracks
at this high elevation. Few go as far/high as us, once we got back down to
the "civilized" parts of Boreas, the trail was quite used and beaten down.