Monday, November 23, 2015


The terrain on the Wilder Gulch Trail at Vail Pass is almost set for the season.
Beautiful wide angle shot of the beginning of the outing. Bright sun, blue sky, wide packed
trail and sprinting sled dogs. It sure started perfect!

We usually will not try the Wilder Gulch Trail until later in December as it is typically the last trail on Vail Pass that gets full snow coverage. But, when we arrived at the trailhead today, we saw groomer and snowmobile tracks heading out the Wilder trail. "We should try it!" we all declared. Besides, looking at that previous photo of the conditions at the trailhead, how could we be wrong? Famous last words as here is what most of the day looked like:

The "wide & groomed" trail at the start quickly turned into a single, bumpy snowmobile trail.
"Not a problem, just keep the speeds in check and ride the narrower trail!" we all thought.
Oops! The first of many cautious mud & water crossing we encountered in Wilder Gulch.
"Oh yeah, this is why we usually wail until mid/late December for this trail!" is what came back
to us. Look closely in this shot and you see we are crossing the exposed mud/water via a large,
flat boulder laid over the crossing. Many scenes like this today. Oops!

But, the Wilder Gulch Trail climbs quickly and the upper elevations are always extraordinary even in November - you just have to have the patience to get there!
Now this is more like it! This is the Wilder Gulch Trail we are used to!
Zoom, zoom, zoom we go once we finally got onto good snow coverage up high.

A tricky trail for most of the way, but still a skijoring blast:
"I'm having a great time!" declares happy Max at our turnaround point.
"Down in front! I'm having fun too!" declares happy little Zorro eclipsed by tall Max.
I could see Zorro's big smile myself, but the GoPro (attached to my chest) could not see over Max.

We will be back on Wilder Gulch in a month or so and sprint some impressive mileage. But, today's tricky terrain kept us to 7.8 miles with 900 feet of elevation climbed.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 19 days on the trails covering 155.3 miles with 16000 feet of elevation climbed.

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