Sunday, May 10, 2020

Nice Up High

The conditions are still incredible when you are near 12,000 feet elevation at Vail Pass!
Woo Hoo - snow as far as the eye can see as Jack & Rudy
fly along the endless terrain!
We went to Vail Pass this morning as it is only the tops of the mountain passes that are still holding snow as we get further into May.

Elder Zorro joined the team for a short "out & back" to start the outing. Unfortunately, the conditions near the trailhead were a bit choppy and somewhat soft. As a result, we had to keep speeds to a minimum as we did a gentle "out & back" trot with Zorro:
Having fun trotting along as we keep the speeds down for everyone's safety.
The terrain at Vail Pass has a nice elevation profile. You start the outing at the top of Vail Pass (near 11,000 feet) and then you ascend to the west. After climbing a while, you crest at the top of Shrine Pass near 12,000 feet elevation.

Given the soft & choppy conditions we saw with Zorro at the trailhead, I was expecting a short outing with Jack & Rudy after we handed Zorro off with Nancy. But, once we ascended to the top of Shrine Pass, all I could think was, "Wow! We could go forever up here! So nice up high!" So, I stopped to send Nancy a text that the kids and I were going to stay out longer and enjoy the top of Shrine Pass. Well, texting means stopping, stopping means.... you guessed it :)
"Stop, Drop and ROLL!" demonstrate the goofball kids.
Nice view for the human too.
How nice up high? Well come along for a minute of "incredible skijoring on May 10th" as Jack & Rudy tow me along the great conditions at the top of Shrine Pass. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After cruising around the top of Shrine Pass for a while, I stopped once more to check to see if we needed to start back down yet. Rudy had an issue with yet ANOTHER stop!
"WOOOOO - would you STOP STOPPING!!!!" woos opinionated Rudy :)
"No kidding, we could go on forever!" adds forward focused Jack.
Ok, Rudy, I'm done with the stops, but time to start back towards the trailhead. One last shot of the incredible conditions atop Shrine before we start ascending down (and the conditions begin to deteriorate).
"FINALLY! I'm not stopping AGAIN!" demonstrates Rudy the Missile!
"Wheeee!' adds fast running Jack.
Once back near the trailhead we added elder Zorro back on the team for a short jog to the finish. Love Zorro's happy, happy face!
"What a fun day! How about those 'end of run' treats?" exclaims happy Zorro.
"I'm smiling back here too!" adds happy Jack blocked by Zorro.
"Um, we ran out of snow!' says disturbed Rudy looking at the
lack of white in front of us :)
Yes, Zorro, I have well-earned 'end of run' treats ready to dish out!
"Ready!" says focused Zorro.
"Me next!" adds happy Jack.
"Then ME!" says happy Rudy.
Conditions at Vail Pass are getting a little sketchy at the trailheads, but it is still WONDERFUL if you take the effort to climb up high! 8.6 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 167 days on the trails covering 1141.8 miles with 104,300 feet of elevation climbed.

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