Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cruising on Crust

We spent most of today's skijor outing "riding atop a thick crust of snow". Any day now, the warming temperatures are going to shrink that crust to the point that we break through and can no longer skijor such terrain. So, we'll enjoy it while it lasts...

12 miles later and Max & Zorro still have plenty left in the tank as they sprint
to the finish...
Our outing took us on a tour of the South Fork of Swan Valley Rd as well as various side trails along this path. The majority of the day found us in the following two conditions:

At the higher elevations, the top layer of snow crust was solid enough for all of us to
cruise along without breaking through. It was a gentle glide through the meadows in
these conditions.
At the lower elevations, the crust was too thin for Max as he would poke through the top layer.
So, we stayed on established snowmobile tracks at these elevations. The tracks are packed so
Max did not bust through. Little Zorro, though, being about 10 pounds lighter than Max was
able to keep trotting along on the "out of track" crust. I was also able to glide along "out of
track" as my skis kept me from breaking through. 

But, look at the occasional "snowmobile trench" we encountered at the lower elevations:
A snowmobile has recently busted through the snowpack and cut a 1-2 foot trench in the trail!
Max continues to cruise along "in track", just lowering into the trench.
Zorro continues gliding along the crust still able to hold his weight.
I continue to glide along the crust as well.
It was wild to see Max dip down 1-2 feet without breaking stride as we cruised along.
Totals for the day: 12.1 miles with 1200 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 17 MPH. Our season total now stands at 994.2 miles... Check back tomorrow as we we top 1000 miles for the season! Woohoo!

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