Friday, March 27, 2015


The Sally Barber section of our outing this morning was packed & fast - zoom:
The packed & fast (and on/off icy) Sally Barber Trail. Almost too fast a trail :-)

Our goal of the day was to skijor up/over Sally Barber Mine and the out & back in French Gulch. We knew the Sally Barber portion would be perfectly skiable, as shown above, although it was a bit icy in places. We were hoping the lower portion of French Gulch was still skiable so that we could get to the incredible terrain in the mid & upper gulch.

Well, so much for the "hope" for lower French Gulch. It took some real creativity to keep the skis on as we cautiously moved up the trail to get to better conditions. See for yourself:
Egad - look at that exposed ground on the trail! Neither the skis nor Zorro wanted dirt on their
toes as we moved onto the narrow plow wall to make progress up the trail.
"My toes are made for snow, not dirt!" exclaims Zorro riding the wall with me.
"I'll let you know when it gets better down here on the trail!" says Max.

Why continue on a trail like that above, you ask? Well, because we know how good the terrain becomes once you get past the lower atrocity...
Aaahhh - a mile or so past the exposed ground and we are on nice & safe terrain in the mid
portion of French Gulch.
Perfect conditions! Another mile or so up the gulch and we are gliding along on perfect
conditions in upper French Gulch. The snow is soooo nice on the upper trail!

The number one reason to continue attempting to skijor French Gulch - MOOSE!!! No moose sightings today, but the next best thing - fresh moose tracks to dip your nose into:
"Sniff, sniff - love the smell of fresh moose tracks!" state the moose sniffing brothers.
We followed the tracks to the left for a bit (as Max & Zorro pointed me that way for increased
freshness); but we never found the owner of the tracks...

Failed to find a moose, so time to turnaround. But, first...
"Must roll a snow angel to cool off!" demonstrates Max.
"Must dig a snow hole to submerge my head into!" says silly Zorro.
The water in front of Max is French Creek. It is always sad when the creek starts to expose
itself every Spring.

As nice as the terrain is in upper French Gulch, this is probably our last visit to this trail unless... Unless we get a great April snow dump or unless we get so desperate to sniff moose that we hike (instead of ski) in & out of lower French Gulch. Pray for Snow...

All except for lower French Gulch, a fun day covering 9.2 miles with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 109 days on the trails covering 941.8 miles with 99,950 feet of elevation climbed.

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