Friday, January 6, 2017

What Cold

The human thought it was a wee bit chilly this morning. Just the human...

As we drove to the trailhead, the thermometer in the Jeep hit -18F and then "warmed" to -16F once we finally parked and got started. What does a Siberian Husky do at -16F?
"So hot - rolling to cool off!" demonstrates silly Max in the upper clip.
-16F shows the Jeep thermometer in the middle clip.
"On fire! rub a dub dub!" displays silly Zorro rolling in the snow in the lower clip.
What a silly pair! I, on the other hand, was wearing every bit of layered "cold weather gear" I own and I was still chilly (but, at least not freezing :)

Here is an interesting compare & contrast from the trail conditions today:
Flying along in Lower French Gulch - zoooooom!
From flying on the trail above to snorkeling in 2 feet of powder below:
Launching ourselves through 2 feet of powder. What trail breakers!

Landed from the launch and now swimming in 2 feet as we prepare for the next launch!
How could there be such a difference from lower to upper French Gulch? Well, there are a couple of private cabins in lower/mid French Gulch and the trail gets "top plowed" to these cabins. But, once the cabins end, it is pristine terrain only touched by backcountry skiers. Top plowed means "remove enough snow for 4WD vehicles but leave enough for backcountry skiers" and that is what you see in the fast photo above.

Given the temperatures, the human cut the outing short. But, we were flying along the top plowed lower & middle French Gulch. I thought we were going to hit 8 miles at the pace we were setting and then we hit the 2 feet of untouched powder to break trail in upper French Gulch. A fun combination of "fast down low" and "breaking trail up high": 6.6 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 52 days on the trails covering 399.9 miles with 41,600 feet of elevation climbed. Had I realized we were 0.1 miles from 400, I certainly would have gone another 0.1. Max & Zorro were perfectly comfortable, after all, and saw no reason why the unnecessary human was turning around earlier than normal :)

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