Friday, April 11, 2014

Stale Snowmobile Tracks

A joyful 9.3 mile skijor up & down Boreas Pass today.

"Having a great day!" express the happy faces coming around to the right at our turn around
point high up on Boreas Pass.

People often ask me if we enjoy running in snowmobile tracks on the trails. Well, the answer is "it depends on the freshness":

(1) We enjoy skijoring in fresh snowmobile tracks. Fresh, or recent, snowmobile tracks chop the terrain into a soft powder that is enjoyable and soft to run along.

(2) We despise skijoring in stale snowmobile tracks. Stale, or old, snowmobile tracks will turn into hard and uneven ice flows. That is, the "soft powder chops" left behind by the fresh snowmobile will turn into "hard ice chunks" within a day or two. It is hard terrain for all 10 feet and ankles in our skijoring team to be on this surface; so we avoid this terrain or keep the speeds very low to minimize impact if we have to enter a stale track.

Today found the route up & down Boreas Pass polluted with stale snowmobile tracks. But, the Boreas Pass trail is wide, so we had shoulders to use for the entire route - yea! Here's how we prefer to deal with stale snowmobile tracks:
Pfft - hard & choppy ice in that track to our right.
"We'll happily jog on the hard & smooth shoulder next to the track!" say all 10 feet and
ankles in our team.
Correction: "We will happily run on the smooth shoulder next to the track!"
You cannot go this fast in the choppy ice track without hurting your feet!
"Actually, we will happily sprint along the smooth shoulder and ignore the choppy track!"
demonstrate Max & Zorro showing how fast they can move by ignoring the stale track.

Smart boys - they completely understand the difference between fresh & stale snowmobile tracks and will adapt their behavior based on the conditions!

Luckily the Boreas Pass trail is wide so we did not have to spend time in the stale (and, thus, slow) snowmobile track: 9.3 miles with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2013/2014 Season to Date: 127 days on the trails covering 1097.4 miles with 127,150 feet of elevation climbed. 2.6 more miles to reach 1100 - woo hoo!

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