Sunday, November 28, 2021

24 Again

Another Day, Another 24 MPH Skijor! Zoom!

Jack & Rudy flying along the fast nordic trails. Zoom!

I have been mentioning that the Colorado snowpack is far less than normal for the end of November. I've been omitting most ugly photos from our blog as it is more fun to showcase the good stretches of snow we do find on our outings. But, today, I had to show the following, yikes:

"Hey dad, wasn't this snow covered yesterday?!?" asks puzzled Jack & Rudy.

Yes indeed, the same patch of trail you see in the prior photo was snow covered just yesterday morning! This photo gives you an indication of the thin (to disappearing) cover we have at lower elevations and/or terrain exposed to afternoon (warm) sun. Yikes!

Now, compare the prior photo to the following. Wow, the difference is night and day! The prior photo was on the most sun exposed and lower elevation of our outing. The following photo is near our highest elevation and least sun exposed section of trail. What a difference! Hard to image we could crawl over ice & rocks at one point and floor it past 24 MPH at another point on the same outing!

Upper & sun protected trail - zoom!

Here we go with a great video clip of Jack & Rudy flying along the beautiful upper trails. While the two kids are really flying this whole clip, pay attention to the last 20 seconds or so as you see the speed demons kick it into another gear and zoooom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Ok guys, we have an option. Go back & forth and back & forth on the perfect section of upper trail or loop around and deal with more of the lower, sun exposed and snow disappearing trail. Typically Jack & Rudy don't like to repeat the same section of trail. They'll give me a "boring, already did this" yawn or woo if I try to repeat too much. But, not today, given the difference in trail conditions!

"Repeat! Yes, Repeat! We love snow!" declares my happy partners
showing me their approval of turning to repeat the good trail instead
of wandering back towards the ugly sections down lower :)

Here's a new one from Jack (just when you thought you had the cracker all figured out :) We encountered some moose tracks on the side of the trail. Rudy did the usual "sniff inspection" of the tracks; but Jack, on the other hand, decided to roll snow angels in the moose tracks today. That's a new one from Cracker Jack!

"Sniff, fresh!" declares Rudy.
"So fresh I need to roll in them!" adds Cracker Jack.
Despite the apparent freshness of these tracks, we never saw the actual moose.

So fun to bring our favorite retired gentleman back into the team for 'end of run' treats!!!

"As usual, I'm front & center!" states elder Zorro.
"We are happy to yield to Zorro!" declares polite Jack & Rudy who
have so much respect for their retired mentor who taught them
how to skijor.

An ugly day on lower and/or sun exposed terrain versus a super fast day on upper & sun protected terrain! 8.1 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 20 days on the trails covering 155.3 miles with 14,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

24 MPH

Topping 24 MPH as we were first tracks on the freshly groomed trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center. Zoom!

Fast kids flying along the fresh groomie zoomie!

As I've been mentioning in recent posts, we do not have the best late November snowpack; but we have been making use of the few places where the snow has collected and is pretty protected from afternoon sun. The upper elevation trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center are one such group of trails. To our surprise and delight, we were first on the trails this morning after they had just finished grooming. A fresh groomie zoomie all to ourselves! Wow! You know what that means... Yep, our top speed of this early 2021/2022 season this morning: 24 MPH!

The groomed trails, though, only account for about 5 miles of skijoring. Jack & Rudy laugh at such short runs :) As a result, we spent some time off the groomie zoomie and touring around the slightly used side trails. 

Not groomed here, but we are still zooming :)

Come along for a peek into what skiing behind 24 MPH sled dogs looks like! You'll notice you see quite a bit of my waist hook and carabiner hooking to the gangline. When you see this much of my equipment, you know I am in a serious skiing tuck to keep pace. You'll also notice me swinging out wide right & left as we approach tight curves in the trail. I need to sweep out and back into corner at 24 MPH; unlike Jack & Rudy who take each such curve tight & fast! Hang on Human! Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

The kids ground to a halt at one point to inspect moose tracks crossing the trail. My original thought was, "Oh no, we are NOT following moose tracks on the trail until we run into a big body around some blind corner!" Luckily, the moose crossed and exited pretty quickly back into the trees!

"Oh fresh, moose entered here!" says Jack on the side of the trail.
"Yep, and crossed here!" adds track inspecting Rudy.

With a fresh groomed trail, Jack & Rudy were flying around today. That leads to serious snow angels to cool the jets whenever the human pauses.

I paused to check our time out on the trails.
"Paused time, roll around time!" declares silly Jack & Rudy.

Finally, our usual "end of run fun" with retired mentor Zorro.

"Yep, those look like the right end of run treats!" declares Zorro.
"Remember me over here!" says Jack peeking around my shoulder.
"Bring them on!" adds happy Rudy waiting his turn.

A wonderfully fast run today being first tracks on a groomie zoomie: 8.6 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 19 days on the trails covering 147.2 miles with 14,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, November 26, 2021


Nice view as we stop at a "vertical drop" on a side trail this morning.

"Nice view, but time to turnaround!" I am saying.
"What's wrong with the vertical drop in front of us? Come on Dad!" suggests
Jack & Rudy looking over the edge :)

We have had a slow start to this 2021/2022 season with less than average snow on all our trails. To date, we've been doing high elevation and known snow deposits for our outings: Boreas Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass and Peak 7 near/above 11,000 feet elevation. Today we decided to venture down and see what some of the lower trails were looking like. Well, we still need more snow!

On the sun exposed side of Prospect Hill, we encountered numerous patches of thin (to no) snow cover for slow and cautious skiing. Luckily, Jack & Rudy slow to my speed whenever we encounter sketchy conditions!

All three of us hugging the right side of the trail trying to find enough
snow for my skis to continue!

But, after a series of up/downs (mostly ups) on the sunny, front side of Prospect Hill, we transitioned to the backside. Wow, what a difference! First, the backside only gets a quick shot of early morning sun and is then shaded from the hot afternoon sun. Second, not many people make it to the backside as it is far from town. 

The result? Well we were finally treated to some great conditions following a snowmobile track on the backside of Prospect Hill! Yay!

Finally on some good conditions as Jack & Rudy are opening up
the throttle and catching air in a soft snowmobile track.

A little further along and an even better result... Untouched snow for a few miles once we got far away from the popular frontside of Prospect Hill.

Perfect conditions the further we went!

Come along for a fresh tracks romp along the backside of Prospect Hill. Jack & Rudy are so in tune with my skis, it is fun to watch. Note how they slow (without command) whenever they hear the skis scraping or feel me slowing a bit for safe passage. Such fun partners! Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Let's go tell Zorro about the front vs back side of Prospect Hill!

"I remember - front side has too much sun for thin cover!" Zorro is telling me.
"But we still had fun!!!" adds happy Jack and extremely focused Rudy.

Unfortunately, we still need more snow for trails that are not high mountain passes or high elevation terrain. So, this morning was a creative beginning with some nice stretches once we finally got onto the backside of Prospect Hill: 7.9 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 18 days on the trails covering 138.6 miles with 13,200 feet of elevation climbed.