Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's Better Than Summer

The theme for today's "sled dog" outing:
Well, it's better than summer!
"What do you mean 'sketchy conditions'? We could go all day!" say the happy pair simply
excited to be on snow at a beautiful 21 degrees.

We expected degrading conditions for our outing today as Sunday's snowfall was not enough to hold up against multiple days of rising temperatures.

If we are expecting degrading conditions, then we follow two rules: (1) Use the dog sled instead of skis as the sled can handle hitting rocks or dirt and skis cannot; and (2) Get an early start so that any mud from yesterday is frozen ground today. The downside of the sled is that we cannot go as far as our typical outing on skis as 2 sled dogs cannot tow a human uphill like they can when I am on skis. Yet, it is an outing on snow!

How to summarize today's outing... Well, it's better than summer! But, oh my, were the conditions really degraded in areas. Follow along below for the good, the bad and the ugly of the outing:

The Good. Laying fresh tracks in 3-4 inches of untouched snow!
The Bad. Eek, look at all the exposed ground! Thus the reason we were on the sled and not skis
today. But, do notice the "sled frame" at the bottom of the image and you can see I was still
able to keep the sled runners on snow - it just looks really bad.
The Ugly. Egad, not enough snow to keep the runners off ground. But, notice the shininess
of the ground - we are on frozen ground and ice, so the sled keeps going. Pretty ugly, but
it's 21 degrees and it's not summer!
The, um, well... <insert your most distressing word here>... Dog sledding without snow (but
on a sled). Thank dog for frozen ground or we would have been carrying the sled on the poor
human's back at this point!

Max & Zorro's opinion of the day? "Well, it's better than summer! A cool 21 degrees to let the sled move across frozen ground and we are able to run much faster with the human on the sled runners instead of feet!"

A 6 mile sled run today with 850 feet of elevation climbed and the good, the bad, the ugly & the "oh my god" of trail conditions.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 3 days on the trails covering 20.7 miles with 2850 feet of elevation climbed.

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