Sunday, May 21, 2017


A fun day cruising the upper elevation trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center next to Peak 6 of Breckenridge Ski Resort.
"Hehe, look - untouched snow in front of us!!!!" say my happy partners as we out-skied
existing tracks on the trails.
It was an interesting outing on the trails today. With all the new snow we had last Wed-Fri, we decided to return to the upper elevation trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center. We had declared these trails "done for the season" until this recent blast of 2+ feet of new snow. The trail we took is also a popular trail for people to "skin up" to get onto all this new snow on Peak 6 of Breckenridge Ski Resort. We completely expected to find a narrow single track from people skinning up - and this is exactly what we had:
Trotting along a single track from skinners. Just wide enough for Max and Zorro to trot
While the previous photo looks very nice, we ran into one problem - soft shoulders. When we are on flat or uphill terrain, Max and Zorro can fit side-by-side in most single tracks. But, if the track is too narrow, then they cannot fit side-by-side when we try to go fast unless the shoulder snow has a hard crust. That is, they can fit in a single track next to each other IF their outer feet can bounce out of the track occasionally and not sink in deep snow. Unfortunately this was not the case this morning - the shoulders were very soft and Max or Zorro would sink in very deep snow if a foot went out of track. As a result, whenever we tried to go fast, they would automatically switch to single file configuration so that both could stay "in track" and not sink in the shoulders:
Going as "fast as we can" in a single file setup as Max & Zorro are smart enough to keep
away from the deep and soft shoulders. I, on the other hand, have one ski "in track" and one
ski on the soft shoulder for safety and speed control (thus the angle of the gangline).
We knew we would out-ski existing tracks and were originally looking forward to that as we expected a hard crust of untouched snow where we could finally open up the speeds. While the first photo above looks to have a hard crust, it was misleading as Max & Zorro both punched through the crust and sunk just a few steps later. After determining the crust could not support us, time to turnaround. But, first....
"Got to roll, roll, roll in the coooool snow!" demonstrates silly Max.
"He sure is a funny brother!" smirks cute Zorro.
Notice the post holes next to Max - thus the reason we had to turnaround, the crust could
not support us :(

Oh well, it was still "toes on snow" in late May! A slower & shorter outing than expected due to narrow trails and deep, soft shoulders: 7.2 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 17 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 160 days on the trails covering 1333.9 miles with 141,200 feet of elevation climbed.

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