Sunday, July 21, 2013

Annual "Breck to Copper"

Today was our annual hike from Breckenridge, up & over Breckenridge Ski Resort and down the backside of Breck to Copper Ski Resort.
Taking a break to pose for pictures at Wheeler Summit. This summit is at 12,400 feet and
takes you between peaks 8 & 9 of the Breckenridge Ski Resort.
We do this hike once a summer, having a great time scaling up Breckenridge Ski Resort and then a wild ride down the steep backside to arrive at Copper Ski Resort. Today's configuration of the hike traversed 10.4 miles with 2500 feet of elevation gain and 2700 feet of elevation descent.

A fun compilation of pictures from the big hike below:

Max & Zorro stalking a furry little rodent off the side of the trail.
In the upper center of the picture is Peak 8 - we will be very close to the top of this peak
before we start the hike down the backside...
The Siberian Highlight of the trip is always finding snow high up on Peak 9.
Max is entering into one of his patented snow angels while Zorro is doing his patented
"chomping down on snow cones".
Frisky Zorro hopping up & down in the fun snow as Max begins another snow angel roll.
The far right of picture is the top of Peak 8 - we are quite a bit closer than 2 pictures ago!
On top of the world - it was a cool & breezy Siberian Paradise!
And down we begin... You can see the upper runs of Copper Ski Resort to the left center
of this picture. It turns into a very steep hike down until we meet with these ski runs at
the base of Copper.
A great time had by all! :-)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crystal Lakes

A great hike today to both the Lower and Upper Crystal Lakes.

8.5 miles roundtrip with 2000 feet of elevation climbed. Lots of water, a little snow and a surprise skeleton. Photo highlights below:

"I smell something yummy - do you see it?" asks Max.
"I do, I do - I do see something yummy!" demonstrates Zorro.
What is that hanging from the dead tree.....
Yes - that really is an actual skeleton (spine & ribs) of some animal hanging from atop
this dead tree! Max & Zorro wanted to check the ribs for any leftover meat :-)
One of our many long & deep water crossings of the day. Max loves water, so you know he
will happily trot through the freezing creek. Zorro does not like water. But, sometimes you have
a choice: get wet and keep going or no going. Keep going always wins for Zorro. So, trotting
through the freezing water we go...
Approaching Lower Crystal Lake in the center of this photo. I have used the little cabin to the
right to "huddle inside and thaw out" when skijoring this trail and encountering extreme winds.
And this water crossing is even deeper than the one above. What to do...
"KEEP GOING!" exclaims Zorro as he proceeded to plug his nose and hop in to keep trucking.
"Ah, snow bath!" says Zorro.
"Yum, snow cones!" says Max.
Approaching Upper Crystal Lake and almost to the top of Crystal Peak!
We are just over 13,000 feet elevation at this point.
Upper Crystal Lake behind us and an old cabin next to us.
"Look -walls! Can we move in here?" asks happy Max.
"Look marmots - free food!" says fixated Zorro.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Exploring Herman Gulch

Well, it is July, so of course we do not have any "skijoring posts" for the month.

But, one of our fun "summertime activities" is to explore & map new terrain for skijoring potential once the snow finally comes back...

Today we explored the Herman Gulch trails. For reference, Herman Gulch is near the Loveland Ski Area and Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70. Herman Gulch was on our "to explore" list for 2 reasons:

(1) It is fairly close to Breckenridge (an hour or so drive).
(2) It is on the other side of the Continental Divide from Breck. Sometimes a winter storm will dump more snow on one side of the divide versus the other. So, it is good for us to have some close but "other side of the divide" trails in our list of trails.

Well, Herman Gulch is definitely on our "skijor-able terrain" list... Highlights of our 8 mile hike/run below:

A nice, wide trail at the start. This is definitely skijor-able...
Our destination is the terrain above treeline just to the right/center of this photo.
"Look - a potential right turn onto another trail!" expresses curious Max as he inspects our
upcoming junction. Going straight continues on to Herman Lake. Going right is the Continental
Divide Trail. Terrain was skijor-able either direction - we chose to continue exploring straight.
"Look what we found - SNOW!" declare the snow angel rolling brothers...
"We don't care how dirty the snow looks - IT IS SNOW IN JULY!!!!! roll, roll, roll!"
Arriving at Herman Lake... We explored around the lake for another 1-2 miles before heading
back down.
A little cleaner (but still dirty) snow at the side of Herman Lake. Max is investigating the
terrain to our right while Zorro is locked on the Marmot he saw scurrying around in the rocks!

A nice, new trail for our list... Now we just need snow :-)