Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Season Opener

 Starting the 2020/2021 Skijoring Season on September 9th!!!! Woo Hoo!

Flying across Carter Park early in the morning of September 9th!

We have had 3 skijor outings in September in past seasons (2013 and 2 in 2016), but all of those were in the September 20s. But, here we are this morning with our first ever skijor in the single digits of Sept to start our 2020/2021 season! We had 3-4 inches of new snow overnight with very cold temps to start the morning. So, we rushed over to Carter Park for a quick little skijor to start the season. We went to the park since it is relatively flat and "snow on grass" is easy to glide across. There was not enough snow to be on any real trail; but enough to do a few laps in the park!

We did one lap with 12 year old Zorro. We know he is not going to do much, if any, skijoring this season as he is slowing down with age. But we were thrilled he came along for one quick lap around the park!

All smiles as we complete our first lap with elder Zorro.

After one lap with Zorro, the kids (Jack & Rudy) and I did two more laps around the park. At 3 years old (Jack) and 2.5 years old (Rudy), I expect this to be a monster skijor year with them. Wheeee!

Flying behind the mature youngsters.

In case you were wondering about the kids.... Well, they are still the kids. Jack continued his streak of rolling at least one snow angel on EVERY skijor of his life! Rudy did not roll snow angels his first few outings of his career; but once he started, he's joined Jack with at least one snow roll every skijor since. What goofs :)

"Oh children! Will they ever grow up?" asks onlooking Zorro.
"Rub a dub dub, wheeee!" demonstrate the snow rolling goofs.

It may have been a short outing doing laps around the park; but all skijors of any length deserve end of run pork treats!

"We remember 'end of run treats' - serve them up!" says the focused trio.

Another fun fact about this morning. This was Zorro's 144th straight month with 'toes on snow'. He first touched snow in October 2008 and has had his toes on snow at least one a month for 12 straight years since. Impressive!

Short & fun laps in Carter Park for our earliest start to a skijor season: 0.15 miles for Zorro and 0.5 miles for Jack & Rudy.

Bring it On!
Pray for Snow!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Birthday Finale

Our final skijor of the 2019/2020 Season this morning, June 1st, for Zorro's 12th birthday!
"Happy 12th Birthday Zorro!" say Jack, Rudy and myself to happy
Zorro awaiting today's 'end of run' treats!
Our goal every year is to skijor in some way on Zorro's June 1st birthday. Some years we have had wonderful extended skijors on June 1st while other years we have been hiking over dirt/mud as we search for extended patches of snow to ski. It all depends on what snow conditions are still available on June 1st.

Today was a slightly less than average June 1st outing. We were able to find a nice extended patch of snow atop Rabbit Ears Pass to skijor but the patch was only about 1/2 mile long. We did an "out & back" on this 1/2 mile stretch with the trio, Zorro, Jack and Rudy. We then dropped elder Zorro off with Nancy with the intent of going further with the kids, Jack & Rudy. But, we were confined to the same 1/2 mile stretch as we ran out of snow and into wide, fast running creeks and rivers on all sides. So, the day's total outing was an "out & back" with the threesome and then another "out & back" with the kids.

Oh well, it was still Toes on Snow on June 1st for Zorro's 12th Birthday! Yay!
Starting the outing on what looks like a pretty nice stretch for June 1st!
We were on one of the main snowmobile trails at Rabbit Ears. So, as you see above, the trail was more packed and smooth than the bumpy snow off trail. But, we still had our share of "hole obstacles" along the way.
Approaching a hole obstacle in front of us as Rudy takes the left of
the hole while Zorro & Jack go right. I went right too :)
A little further along and now Zorro & Rudy go left of another hole obstacle while Jack goes right. I went left with Zorro & Rudy too.
A little bumpy on the remains of the snowmobile trail; but
look at how bumpy it is off trail to our right and left!
Here we go for today's video highlight. It is not the prettiest skijor video ever; but it is Toes on Snow on June 1st for Zorro's 12th Birthday! Yay!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, a shot of the happy trio ending our initial "out & back" with the entire team:
All the smiles are visible despite the bright sun right behind us!

A fun little 2 mile skijor to celebrate Zorro's 12th birthday with a skijor in June!

That brings us to a conclusion of the 2019/2020 Skijor Season. We had an interesting and entertaining season balancing Zorro approaching 12 years old with Jack & Rudy maturing into professionals in the prime of their lives. A great time was had by all as Jack & Rudy eclipsed 1200 miles of skijoring for the season. Meanwhile Zorro came along for every outing but only participated in a portion of most runs as he happily hung with Nancy before and/or after his stint while the kids and I went out for more exercise. As you witnessed from the happy, happy faces in the posts all season long, a great time was had by all!!!

2019/2020 Final Season Stats: 176 days on the trails covering 1204.1 miles with 110,800 feet of elevation climbed.

Elder Zorro's 2019/2020 Final Season Stats: 176 days on the trails covering 626.4 miles with 57,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Young Jack & Rudy's first season with over 1200 miles skijoring (1202.1 miles as of this morning). Woo Hoo!
The flying kids surprising me and pulling out a 1200 mile season!
I expected 1000 miles from the kids this season, I entertained thoughts of 1100, but I never thought we'd surpass 1200! Keep in mind this is Jack & Rudy's FIRST season skijoring without training wheels (i.e., we held them back for training and growth in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons). Wow, these youngsters have grown into quite the professionals!!!

We returned to the same groomed track as yesterday near Walton Peak at Rabbit Ears Pass. We figured the trail could not deteriorate too much in 24 hours and we got to the trail early in the morning. What did we find? PERFECT (especially given that it is May 27th)!

We started the day doing a short & fast lap with elder Zorro. Catching air with the threesome:
Whee - the triple hover huskies.
Look closely at the shadows to see that all 12 feet are off the ground in unison!
As usual, all smiles as we completed the initial leg with Zorro to then drop him off with Nancy:
All smiles, all power! Wheeee!
After dropping Zorro, the kids and I went out for an extended run with the goal of surpassing 1200 miles for the season. The groomed trail from yesterday was still in excellent condition; but we could not leave the set trail as the conditions "off trail" were too bumpy to ski safely (for ME especially). So, I was wondering how I was going to convince Jack & Rudy to repeat the same trail multiple times. Well, all it took was a little flirting to keep them entertained.

We encountered a handful of other kindred spirits doing laps on this same perfect trail. There were about 8 people doing laps with us on the same trail. Few enough people to keep our social distance but enough people for Jack & Rudy to have a ball play "chase, follow & pass" with all the other skiers :)
Flying along as we flirt with and entertain an oncoming skier.
But, here is the most impressive story from the morning. One of the other skiers we encountered was wearing a "U.S. Ski Team" jacket. As I watched this guy skate ski, I said to myself, "Wow! He is GOOD! That jacket is real!" Seriously, this guy flew over the trails with absolute perfect and effortless looking strides. He looked just like what you watch in the Winter Olympics!

Now, here's the real impressive part. We got behind this pro for 4 laps on the trail (out, back, out and back). Whenever the trail was flat, Jack & Rudy would match his pace. Whenever the trail had an uphill grade, Jack & Rudy would close the gap on the pro!!! Whenever we hit a downhill dip, he would open up space between us as downhill skis are faster than dogs can run. But, with the flats & uphills mixed in, we kept pace with a member of the U.S. Ski Team for 4 laps! He even looked back at us a few times (on the uphills) and smiled and shook his head in disbelief that he could not shake us. He was lapping all the other people on the trail repeatedly while Jack & Rudy simple kept pace. Wow, these kids are impressive!
Uphill grade so we are closing the gap on the U.S. Ski Team pro in front of us!!!!
Now on to today's video highlight. We have a fun "combo video" for your viewing pleasure today. Come along as we start the clip with Zorro as the team tows me to the finish of Zorro's leg of the outing. Then the video transitions to fast Jack & Rudy propelling me along the beautiful terrain as we also come upon a skier to "on by" in the oncoming direction.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Besides showing they are professional athletes this morning, Jack & Rudy had other talents to showcase:
Deer prints in the trail (look next to my right ski for one of the prints).
"Smells DELICIOUS!" states print inspecting Rudy.
"We roll in deer prints, right?" demonstrates goofy and always rolling Jack :)
Finally, reconnecting with elder Zorro to dish out the 'end of run' treats to all my hard working partners:
"Happy and READY!" says the focused trio.
Quite an impressive day from Jack & Rudy as they showcased their professional endurance skills as we flew on by 1200 miles for the season: 8.9 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 175 days on the trails covering 1202.1 miles with 110,700 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Look what we found early this May 26th - a GROOMED TRACK near Walton Peak atop Rabbit Ears Pass! Wow!
Yes - that is a freshly groomed trail on May 26th! Wow!!!!
How did this groomed surprise happen? Well, the snowmobile trails on Rabbit Ears are groomed by the local snowmobile club, Routt Powder Riders, of which we are members. Now, technically the snowmobile season is over so the official trail grooming has ended. But, the actual snowcat groomer is still parked atop the pass as more snow has to melt before they can load the groomer onto a flatbed to be transported to its summer home. Well, it is healthy for a groomer to be run now and then. So, as a result, the groomer is taken out unannounced occasionally until the flatbed arrives. As I said, the grooming is not announced at this time of year as you do not want to draw crowds of 100s or 1000s onto the pass with little & fragile amount of snow left (plus this would violate COVID-19 protocols this year). So, if you are lucky, you happen upon the pass on a day when they took the groomer out for some exercise. As you see in the photo above, today was one such magical day when we happened upon the trails after the groomer had been out! Wow - what a treat!!!

What did this magic groom enable? Well, young Jack & Rudy ran the longest skijor of their careers this morning: 11.7 miles. If you told me Jack & Rudy's longest run of the year would come on May 26th, I would have snorted and asked what you'd been smoking :)  But, today it happened. Amazing!

Did we really have 11.7 miles of groomed terrain? Well, no, the groomer had been out for a few miles, but not 12. But, what happened when the groomed track ended? Well, we found a solo snowmobile track to continue following for miles and miles and miles. This was also a product of Routt Powder Riders as they had been out on the pass yesterday collecting trailmarkers as the official end of snowmobiling at Rabbit Ears this season. So, this solo snowmobile had gone on for miles yesterday collecting markers and giving us a wonderful packed track to follow as well!
Not as nice as the perfect & wide groomie zoomie above, but still a comfortable
and welcome snowmobile track to follow for miles and miles!
How much more entertaining could the morning have become? Well, how about some fresh smelling bear tracks to inspect?
Jack & Rudy's noses in bear tracks as you see another huge bear footprint to
the left of Rudy's left foot. Big!
Not to fear, though, we were in a vast meadow when we encountered the bear tracks. So, I could see all around us and verify there was no bear in sight. But, still fun for the kids to sniff.

Anyway, back to the groomie zoomie. If you are part of the "grooming team", then of course you know when the groomer has been taken out for some exercise. There was a group of about 6 who were "in the know" and enjoying the groomed track they had built this morning. We encountered them, one by one, as we cruised around the perfect terrain:
Passing by and entertaining one of the recipients of this morning's
perfect trail!
Finally, we came upon 4 of the skiers meeting to run the trail together. Jack & Rudy had a blast following this group for a few miles. We would give them a big headstart and then run and catch them from behind. Once we got close, we'd pause, give another headstart and repeat the fun follow and chase :)
There's four of our kindred spirits out this morning.
"Here we come!" demonstrate fast following Jack & Rudy.
Today's video highlight is one of our fun "follow & chase" moments. Come along as we have given the group ahead of us a headstart and are running fast to close the gap on them in front of us. These guys were VERY talented skate skiers. The video demonstrates just how (more) impressive Jack & Rudy are at running the groomed terrain!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Almost done with the incredible May 26th outing for Jack & Rudy and time add elder Zorro on to the team for a short finish to enjoy the groomie zoomie. Here we come, wheeee!
All smiles as we fly by Nancy with super happy Zorro leading the way!
"Hi mom, bye mom!" as we fly on by and continue the fast & final lap of the morning:
Flying on by we go. Zoom!
What an incredible May 26th. Finding the perfect "exercise the groomer" track atop Rabbit Ears, finding perfect snowmobile track to continue far past the groomed track, sniffing a delicious set of bear tracks and putting smiles on our faces to end the day on the perfect track with Zorro: 11.7 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH!!!!

2019/2020 Season to Date: 174 days on the trails covering 1193.2 miles with 109,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Look at that - 1193.2 miles for the season. I did not think we had a chance of hitting 1200 given the recent warm temperatures. But, here we are at 1193.2 with a real chance of surpassing 1200 tomorrow. Stay Tuned!!!!

Monday, May 25, 2020


What an incredible POW, POW, Powder Day atop Vail Pass this May 25th! Woo Hoo!
"What a GREAT May 25th!" states ecstatic Zorro.
"Oh my - fresh snow as FAR as the eye can see!" adds impressed Jack & Rudy.
We got a wonderful late May dump of snow overnight and knew the snow would be the best the higher up in elevation we could get. The plan? Head to Vail Pass to enjoy an amazing morning of late May powder!

We started the morning doing a short "out & back" with elder Zorro - laying fresh tracks on the way up and then riding in the tracks we set on the way back. The trail was a bit bumpy under the powder as it had been melting quickly before last night. But, the 3-5 inches of fresh snow on top made for a very fun glide up/down with Zorro in team:
Smiles all around! Look at that late May Powder!!!!
After the quick out & back with Zorro, we dropped the fun elder off with Nancy and Jack, Rudy & I went out for a longer "out & back". The higher we went, the better the conditions became. As we crested at Shrine Pass, it was INCREDIBLE! Check out this photo for May 25th!!!!
Upwards of 6-8 inches of fresh snow all to ourselves. What a treat!!!
POW, POW, Powder Fun!
What fun, right kids?
"Oh my - back on fresh powder! What a LONG summer the last
four days had been!" state the super happy kids hoping that the
last four warm/snowless days was the entire summer :)
After turning around, we used the tracks we set on the way up to glide back down - wheeee!
Reusing our "up tracks" to open up the throttle on the way back down.
What a pretty morning too!
Today's video highlight is a fun "combo clip". We start with the fun down low showing Zorro, Jack and Rudy towing me along the fresh powder over the bumpy trail underneath. We then transition to Jack & Rudy up high towing me through untouched "smooth & deep" powder as far as the eye can see. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What a fun morning! Unfortunately, it really is May and the new snow was already melting to melted the last 1/2 mile or so by the time Jack, Rudy and I got back to the trailhead! Oh well, still fun had by all and last night's snow should have us set for another 1-2 outings this week. Stay Tuned!

5.7 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 173 days on the trails covering 1181.5 miles with 108,800 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Bumpy Fun

Jack & Rudy demonstrating how proficient they are at rolling snow angels in any (and all) snow conditions :)
What bumpy conditions! But look at talented Jack & Rudy rolling
snow angels while (both) eating snowcones as the same time. Talented!
While there was still a lot of snow on the ground near Walton Peak, the warmer than normal days the past couple of weeks has done some real damage on the smoothness of the snowpack. We started the day with just the youngsters, Jack & Rudy, once we saw just how bumpy the trail was at the start. It was so bumpy to start that we had to proceed at a gentle jog!
Toes on Snow! But what BUMPY snow as we move along
the bouncy trail in a gentle jog.
As we went further (and up), the trail got less bumpy but there were still plenty of other obstacles to navigate on by!
Smart kids moving "over the left" to pass this water obstacle.
Smart kids knowing the "faster you go, the quicker you pass the obstacle" too!
Now, the following may not look different; but believe me, it was. Compare the first photo with the following - can you see it is much less bumpy in the following versus the prior? Well, despite lots of bumpiness to the right and left, we are actually on a much smoother snowmobile trail that is not quite as bumpy as it had been packed daily for the entire winter.
Not as bumpy, so the kids open up the throttle. Zoom!
Come along for the video counter part of the prior photo. Yes, it is still somewhat bumpy, but two things: (1) it is smooth enough to uncork the skijoring engine; and (2) regardless of bumpiness, it's toes on snow on May 21st! Yay!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After a fun, albeit very bumpy, out & back with Jack & Rudy, we joined up with Zorro for a mini finish with the elder gentleman. There was a nice stretch near the trailhead that was not "as bumpy", so we headed there for our run to the finish with Zorro. Well, Zorro was ANYTHING but the "elder gentleman" once he joined today! Once we had the threesome connected, I tried to release us for the mini finish BUT Zorro lunged forward so hard (before I released them) that he pulled me over. Yes, 10 days from 12 years old Zorro was TOO much! That's nice to say, but painful to experience :)

Oh, and look who was concerned about my safety. Perfect Rudy!!!!!
"Whoa dad - what a spill! You ok?" asks perfect Rudy.
"Get up, let's go!" says happy Zorro the MONSTER.
"I'm with Zorro, let's GO!" adds happy, but wanting to go, Jack.
Despite the lunging forward by MONSTER Zorro, I did finally get up and make it to the trailhead in one piece. Time for 'end of run' treats but first a moment to remind Zorro about skijor politeness and not killing the human:
Having a private word with Zorro :)
"Waiting my turn!" says patient Jack.
"If only you had 3 Rudys, you'd be in perfect shape!" adds mellow Rudy.
Hahaha, mellow Rudy, who thought I'd ever say that?!?
A bumpy, but still fun toes on snow, morning with Jack & Rudy and then a MONSTER Zorro pulling the human over multiple times before finishing the day's run: 6.6 miles traveled with 550 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 172 days on the trails covering 1175.8 miles with 108,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, May 17, 2020


Happiness is an 8 mile skijor on May 17th, right guys?
"YES!!!!!" exclaims the ridiculously happy youngsters.
Do you think Rudy could get a much bigger smile on his face than this?
We went to Vail Pass this morning. The conditions at the trailhead were bumpy, soft and pretty tracked up. As a result, we started the morning without Zorro as the conditions were more than the almost 12 year old wants to run.

The plan (or hope) was that once Jack, Rudy and I got up in elevation a bit that the snow and crust would still be good. Well, check out this photo after about 1.5 miles of climbing up. Wow!
The fast & flying Jack & Rudy on perfect crust up high.
Nice "airborne tuck" from Jack and beautiful aerodynamic stretch from Rudy!
Zorro would have really had a great time on the conditions up high, but it was too bad that it took more effort to get to this point than he can run any more!

After flying for miles up high, it was time to turnaround and fly back. Turnaround? Yep, we had the usual "turnaround, roll around" twins!
"You turn, we stop, drop and ROLL!" demonstrates the goofy kids.
Today's video clip is quite the impressive glimpse of the conditions up high at Vail Pass. It is really unfortunate that the conditions at the trailheads are deteriorating so much given what you find a few hundred feet up in elevation!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Another fun shot of the conditions and fun kids as we floor it on the way back!
Hovering Jack & Rudy as we fly along the perfect crust
with magnificent views!
Once we were just about back to the trailhead, we met up with Zorro & Nancy to hook the fun elder into the team for a short jaunt to the finish. Despite the soft & bumpy conditions, it was still "all smiles" from the group as they enjoyed the group trot to the finish:
A little bumpy & rough, but all smiles all around. We love
when Zorro joins in the team!
'End of run treats' anyone?
"Yep, ready!" says focused Zorro.
"You bet!" adds happy Jack.
"Such fun!" says cute, smiling Rudy.
A little rough going at the start & finish, but an incredible skijor once we go up high: 7.9 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 171 days on the trails covering 1169.2 miles with 107,450 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Short Run

We only had time for a short skijor this morning so Rudy took objection to my pausing and wasting time on the trails :)
"YAWN - BORING! C'mon man, let's get GOING!" declares Rudy giving me
a protest yawn for stopping :)
"I'm always polite and cooperative!" adds happy and always listening to me Jack :)
We started the morning with the youngsters, Jack & Rudy, to get some fast & quick exercise for the kids before adding elder Zorro in the team for the finish.

The best stretch of trail we found this morning was following a line of power poles. The snow was just firm enough and smooth enough to open up throttle in the power line. Wheeee!
Opening up the skijor engine as we follow the power lines overhead and
poles down the middle.
At our turnaround point of the morning, we got extra comedy from Rudy and the usual comedy from Jack. The turnaround started with Rudy's "yawn of protest" above. I then knelt down to send Nancy a text of our planned arrival. I think Jack & Rudy thought I was kneeling to roll a snow angel as they both came in close to join what they perceived to be the start of a group snow angel :)
"Sorry kids, I'm just kneeling, not laying to roll!" I said.
"Group snow roll - incoming!" declares goofy Rudy and he flopped right
at my knees to start his own angel.
"C'mon dad - you know you want to! Group roll!!!" adds goofy Jack.
Despite all the encouragement from Jack & Rudy, I did not drop all the way to the ground to roll with them. "Oh well, then let's GO instead!' suggested the kids. So, back upright and off we went:
Zipping along a fast & fun straightaway!
After giving the youngsters some quick exercise, it was time to join with elder Zorro for a group run to the finish. Wheeee!
Look at all that power from the sled dog trio!!!
A short but fun run this morning with the usual comedy antics from the kids: 4.2 miles traveled with 450 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 170 days on the trails covering 1161.3 miles with 106,550 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Nice wide angle shot of Jack & Rudy galloping along nice snow up high with vast views of the rest of "snowless Colorado" below and to our right :)
Whee - still perfect up here; but look at the endless brown & green to our right.
Yikes, the snow is really melting!
Temperatures did not get below freezing at the base of Rabbit Ears Pass overnight, so we knew finding firm (instead of soft & slushy) snow to skijor would be a challenge. The solution? Well, we started on the Harrison Creek Trail. This trail has a quick rise in elevation (through lots of shade) and, as a result, is always the last trail at Rabbit Ears to maintain snow and survive through warm nights. With a quick rise and the potential for soft/slushy conditions, we decided to start the outing without elder Zorro.

The result? SUCCESS!!!! After the quick climb from the start, this trail eventually levels out on an upper elevation shelf 100s of feet in elevation above the trailhead. Here is a nice shot of the incredible conditions once we crested from the initial climb. Beautiful!!!
Firm snow and fast Jack & Rudy having a great time on the beautiful
upper elevation conditions!
Once we got up in elevation and saw the incredible firm spring crust, it was time to abandon set trails and go touring through vast meadows with the youngsters!
Wide open and perfect, endless crust once you climbed up high enough!
After miles of touring the meadows up high, I paused to send Nancy a text of our expected arrival back at the trailhead. Well, texting requires stopping.... Uh, oh, you know what that means :)
"Stop, Drop and ROLL!!!!!" says the goofball kids rolling their usual snow
angels at any stop point.
Nice view "snowless Colorado" in front and below us.
Apparently I took too long enjoying the views and then sending the text. What happens when two 2 year olds pause for too long? Well, the snow angels turn into play bows :)
"You took too long - Stop, Bow & Play!" demonstrates the goofs transitioning
from snow angel rolling to play bow silliness :)
Ok, text sent and wild playing animals separated by the musher - time to skijor agian.

Come along for a glimpse into the day's fun. We start out in the shade on a somewhat bumpy trail until we transition into the open sun where the terrain smooths out. Despite how much the camera (and, thus, me) are bouncing, it really wasn't a hard trail to ski. I just rode the dips behind my skijoring engines as they towed me along.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Another successful day exercising the youngsters, Jack & Rudy, while giving elder Zorro most of the day off. A perfect outing for all results in 'end of run' treats for all :)
"Ready, ready, ready!" says the focused & happy trio.
A great plan for warm temperatures to find perfect conditions! 7.2 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 169 days on the trails covering 1157.1 miles with 106,100 feet of elevation climbed.