Friday, March 18, 2016

Let it Snow

It has been snowing since Monday with no signs of stopping yet! Yay!
Breaking trail up the Sally Barber Mine Trail.

We spent the majority of this morning's outing on the Sally Barber Mine and French Gulch trails. As of 5am Friday morning, Breckenridge Ski Resort had received 39 inches of new snow since Monday and it has continued snowing since then! As a result, even though both Sally Barber and French Gulch are heavily used terrain, each day has required a new effort of setting the trail in the day's fresh snow. Typically these two trails will have a set "dual track" (i.e., an up vs down track) so that Max & Zorro can each occupy a track and run side by side as shown in the photo above.

But, when the snow has fallen as much as recently, the dual tracks tend to degrade into a single track (nobody but Max & Zorro want to break trail, so people use the same track for both directions). Today found us in this configuration - a single track (only one Siberian wide) with 12-24 (or more) inches of powder if you stepped out of the track. When this happens, Max & Zorro will take turns running lead as we single file skijor in the single track as it is not possible for either to keep up with the in-track partner if they try to run out of track in the deep snow. It is a little slower, but still a lot of fun...
Max running lead breaking trail in 8+ inches in the single track (with respect to 24 or more if
you step out of the track!)

My job in single track skijoring is to widen the trail for another day. I will ski with one ski in-track (the glide ski) and one ski out of track (the trail making ski). This serves to widen the trail and it will become 2 Siberians wide again for the next use. Widening the trail is the least I can do given all the sled dog propulsion I get up & down the trails :)
Zorro's turn... This time the single track is a little clearer in front of us as it has about 6 inches
of new snow vs the shoulders which still have 18+ if you step out of track.

Almost all of Sally Barber and French Gulch was a single-file skijoring, single track today with 6-12 inches of trail-breaking fresh snow in the single track! That is quite a fun Siberian Workout! Everybody ready to turn around?
"I'm game!" exclaims happy Max.
"Seems a little early to be turning around!" declares forward-focused Zorro.

Zorro was right, it was 'early' to turnaround, but I had a plan... With this much new snow, French Gulch Road (open to vehicles) would be packed by cars but still have enough snow to open the throttle. Max & Zorro were quite happy with my early turnaround once we got to the road and found snowpacked tire tracks to let us add a fast 1.5 to 2 miles to end our day!
Zoom we go along French Gulch Road! It may not look like it, but the road has packed & wide
tire tracks enabling us to get back into our preferred should-to-shoulder skijor sprint! Wheeee!

A lot of trail breaking this morning and then a fast road sprint to end the day: 7.3 miles traveled with 550 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2015/2016 Season to Date: 98 days on the trails covering 830.6 miles with 89700 feet of elevation climbed.

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