Sunday, December 10, 2023

All Terrain

Fun "shot from the front" of the happy kids towing me to the finish of this morning's entertaining skijor.

"Whee! We had a blast today!" says the happy kids.

After meeting up with the groomer from Gold Run Nordic Center yesterday, we decided to go back to the same area this morning knowing we'd eventually connect onto the fast & groomed nordic terrain. But, we do not start on the nordic trails, instead we start in the backcountry and maneuver through the forest before eventually meeting up with the nordic center. As a result, it was an all terrain day for us on the trails!

We started on set backcountry trails. We actually set this track in the snow yesterday and could see that others had used it to pack it a bit more the last 24 hours.

Getting "shoulder to shoulder tight" to fit in the set backcountry trail.

Next we wanted to work our way from the backcountry towards the nordic center trails. There are lots of options to do this connection. Today we chose one of the lesser used connectors and found ourselves breaking trail in about 18 inches of powder for a short distance. Fun!

Look at the deep snow troughs behind Jack & Rudy as they power to
tow me through about 18 inches of powder!

Eventually we connected onto the nordic center trails. We were a bit surprised to see that the groomer had run as a snowcat (i.e,. groomer blades up) to pack the upper elevation trails. I'm not sure why they kept the groomer blade up for this stretch; but we have fun running in cat tracks as well!

Zipping along in snowcat tracks. Wheeee!

Finally we got onto the main nordic trail to end the outing. As expected, this stretch was groomed and fast!

Zoom! Jack & Rudy know how to make use of a groomed nordic surface!

For today's video highlight, let's return to the backcountry trails where we started the morning. Come along for a little backcountry skijor fun. Note how Jack & Rudy really kick it into another gear about 14 seconds into this clip. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

To complete the "all terrain day", it was a nice snow wall to climb for end of run treats at the trailhead.

"Ready! Hand 'em out!" says the snow wall climbing fun guys.

A little of everything today: backcountry skijoring, breaking trail, snowcat tracks and finally a groomie zoomie to end the day: 9.1 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 30 days on the trails covering 245.5 miles with 23,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Powder, Groomer, Floor It

We spent the majority of this morning breaking trail in 6-8 inches of fresh powder!

Blasting through about 6 inches at this point on the trail. Wheeee!

At our deepest points, though, we found ourselves blasting through over 12 inches of fresh powder!

Jack & Rudy snorkeling through over 12 inches of pow, pow, POWDER!

Of course a day of breaking trail is quite a workout. That means everyone thoroughly enjoyed rolling snow angels to cool off whenever we paused to catch our breaths!

"Rub a dub dub, cool our jets rolling in the snow!" goes the silly kids.

As I said above, we spent most, but not all, of the day breaking trail. What happened to change that? Well, we ran into the groomer from Gold Run Nordic Center coming up the trail as we were on the last mile or so of our outing:

Hey, the groomer! Hi friend!!!!

We all knew what we would get on the other side of the groomer. Yep, a fresh groomie zoomie to floor it for the final leg of our skijor outing!

Flooring it on the groomie zoomie.

Now let's put the prior two photos together into a fun video summary. Come along as we start the clip breaking trail in 6-8 inches of fresh powder. Then, as we round a bend in the trail, we come upon the groomer coming up the trail. We know the groomer drivers from years of skijoring these trails. The drivers always stop and let Jack, Rudy and I pass on by - I'm convinced they love running into us and watching us maneuver on by as they always have big smiles on their faces. Back to the video, once I see the groomer stop (thus knowing he is one of the past groomers), I instruct Jack & Rudy to move on by the stopped groomer. Finally, once past, we all know what to do on the fresh groomed trail - floor it on the groomie zoomie! What fun partners, wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Back to the trailhead and, oh boy, our tallest snow wall of the season to climb for end of run treats!!!!

Love it when the kids find a wall to climb and get face to face with me.
What fun pals!

A very aerobic trail breaking outing for most of the day and then a fresh groom to floor it for the final home stretch: 7.8 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH (on the groomie zoomie, of course).

2023/2024 Season to Date: 29 days on the trails covering 236.4 miles with 22,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Groom Zoom!

This season's first groom of the Walton Peak trails at Rabbit Ears Pass!
Groomie Zoomie!

Absolutely PERFECT conditions to FLOOR IT!!!!!

Jack, Rudy and I were thrilled to see the freshly groomed trail when we arrived at the trailhead this morning. I knew the first groom of the season on these trails was going to be any day now; but was shocked and ecstatic to find that today was the day. Jack & Rudy love to get out on these trails and floor it along the groomie zoomie. They catch air and hover over the trail all outing long :)

The hover huskies catching air on a perfect groomed trail!

Now come along for a little video fun to go along with the photos. We start this clip galloping along a relatively flat stretch of trail. Then, about 30 seconds into the clip, and the trail veers right into a downhill sprint track and off we go! Zoom! So much fun this morning!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

If Jack & Rudy were not hovering over the trail then they were flying instead :)

Flying! Wheeee!

With such perfect conditions, I did not think we would stop during the entire outing. But, we did come across some VERY distracting (i.e, fresh) moose tracks that had to be inspected.

I almost glided right past Jack & Rudy as we were cruising along when both
suddenly leapt off trail into a deep (and clearly fresh) set of moose tracks.
Look at how deep these tracks are - moose sure are tall!!!!

In addition to the moose tracks, we had one other pause. We did an "out & back" this morning which meant we had to stop for me to turnaround on skis once. Well, it was a stop...

"Stop, Drop & ROLL!" goes always rolling Jack.
"WOOO! Why'd we stop?!?!?" asks impatient Rudy :)

What an incredible day on perfect groomed trails, right guys?

"Oh, we had a BLAST!" declares the happy, happy kids atop a snow
wall waiting for me to hand out end of run treats.

Perfect conditions led to our longest outing of the season so far: 10.4 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 28 days on the trails covering 228.6 miles with 21,900 feet of elevation climbed.