Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Season Finale

Today was our last skijor of the 2023/2024 season. Look at what we accomplished this season:

Impressive & happy kids looking back to me as we conclude another
awesome season of skijoring!

What are all those towers behind Jack & Rudy in the prior photo? Well, those are the communication towers atop Walton Peak at Rabbit Ears Pass. Yep, to conclude the 2023/2024 season, we skijored up & down what is the summer service road to the towers on Walton Peak. The temperatures were too warm for us to skijor the crust over vast meadows, so we had to stick to snow over summer roads. 

So, up the Walton Peak Service Road we went:

Cruising up the snow over the service road behind the Siberian Rope Tow :)

As I expected, the conditions at the top of Walton Peak were VERY nice. Nice enough for the hover huskies to catch some air on the way back down:

Catching air as we begin the descent from the top of Walton Peak.

Now come along and watch our final skijor of the season from high atop Walton Peak. Look closely at the beginning and you'll see lots of speckles flying in the air. These are pieces of slush flying off Jack & Rudy's feet. Then, about 18 seconds into the clip and one of the slush balls lands and sticks on the center of the camera. Keep watching though, you can see most of Jack & Rudy despite the water spot until finally the spot dries and we have a clear view of Jack & Rudy again. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Making it to the top of the peak on May 29th made everyone very happy & frisky:

Unauthorized game of tag breaking out at the top of Walton Peak. Silly kids.

You might be thinking, "Look at all these wonderful, snow covered photos. Why is this the season finale?" Well, I'lll spare you some of the treacherous patches of exposed ground we also encountered. All the photos above are from near the top of Walton Peak, what we had to cross lower in elevation was occasionally ugly! It was a WONDERFUL season, though, we had a slow start due to bad early season snow; but Jack & Rudy really caught up to our standards once the snow arrived. Let's end the season with one last fun action shot:

Flying Rudy and cannonball Jack cruising along.
Look at that encroaching ground to our left, though!

Back to the trailhead and our final "end of run treats" celebration of the season:

"What a great season! We LOVE snow and we LOVE treats!" says the
happy, happy kids.

Today's season finale: 8.6 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2023/2024 Season Total: 157 days on the trails covering 1328.1 miles with 132,000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 26 MPH.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Fresh Again!

Who was excited about another day of "laying fresh tracks in late May"?

"We are! We are! We are having a blast!" says my happy pals looking back
to me at a short pause during the outing.

Yes it has been quite the snowy May in Colorado this year. It seems like we've been laying fresh tracks to breaking trail in new snow a record number of days in May. Yesterday morning was yet another wonderful outing laying fresh tracks at the base of Walton Peak at Rabbit Ears Pass,

Whee - laying fresh tracks in a 1/2 to 1 inch of fresh snow over a solid
Spring crust. Beautiful!

Along with the morning's new snow, it also got below 20 F overnight and remained below freezing for many hours. As a result, the Spring Crust refroze overnight and was quite solid. So, with a firm crust and upwards of an inch of new snow, we skijored a large loop in the vast meadows at the base of Walton Peak.

Laying fresh tracks as we cruise through a vast meadow on a solid snow crust!

Jack & Rudy were having a great time and in a real groove flooring it all morning long:

Flying Jack & Rudy! Wheeee!

So much fun video footage from the morning, what to use as our highlight? Well, how about the following fun minute as we are cruising along on what seemed like endless perfect terrain! Come along and watch the fun!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

The first photo above was a rare one for Jack & Rudy at a momentary pause on the trails (i.e., they were both UPRIGHT)! Well, all other momentary pauses brought out their usual antics :)

"Stop, drop & roll!" says the snow rolling sillies doing their usual
snow angels.

Finally, the creative kids even found a little snow wall to perch upon for end of run treats. These two so love to be up on a snow wall for treats!

"Ready!" says the happy, happy kids!
You can see my right leg is fully extended so I could dish out the
treats from a standing position to my wall perched pals,.

Another wonderful late May skijor outing: 9 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 156 days on the trails covering 1319.5 miles with 131,100 feet of elevation climbed.


Thursday, May 23, 2024

Service Road

Riding the Siberian Tow Rope up the Walton Peak Service Road - wheeee!

Powerful kids! Fun time!!!

Temperatures at Walton Peak did not get below freezing last night and were approaching 40 F when we started this morning's outing. I was hoping our usual early morning start would let us abandon set trails and skijor the firm Spring Crust. But, it was not cold enough for long enough overnight to re-establish the crust from the previous afternoon. So, what to do? Well, easy, there is a summer service road that goes all the way to the communication towers at the top of Walton Peak. Snow packed on a service road maintains ski-ability much longer than a crust over meadows of shrubbery. So, today's skijor was an out & back to the top of Walton Peak using the service road the entire distance. The results? Well see for yourself in today's wonderful photos and video:

Catching air coming down from the tip top of Walton Peak!

Now come along and watch the video counterpart to the prior photo. All the yellow poles you see are marking the service road, so it is pretty easy to stay on trail and not accidentally drift off road and punch through the soft crust. Jack & Rudy are, of course, perfect at following the occasional "right" and "left" I call out to keep us on road. Fun, fun kids!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

For distance, every time we encountered a really nice stretch of snow covered road, we would turnaround and redo it. Jack & Rudy understood what was necessary to get distance when you could not rely on the crust :)

Second pass along this nice stretch of the service road.
As usual, Jack & Rudy have swapped sides from their typical configuration
to enjoy the trail repeat from a different perspective :)

Of course, repeating sections of the road means turning around. Well, we all know what Jack & Rudy do with turnaround events :)

Turnaround! Roll around from the snow rolling sillies.
Talented Rudy getting a mouthful of snow during his roll.
Talented Jack looking like a yoga professional!

It was fast and fun all the way to the finish by using the Walton Peak Service Road:

Running fast to the end of the outing as the end of the road is just ahead
where it intersects Highway 40. But notice all that exposed water in the
upper right of this photo. The season is quickly winding down.

We didn't get to do our usual springtime crust skijoring; but the service road provided a great alternative, right guys?

"Oh yes, we had a BLAST!" states the happy, happy kids awaiting
end of run treats.

It was a wonderful late May skijor via the Walton Peak Service Road: 9.3 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 155 days on the trails covering 1310.5 miles with 130,200 feet of elevation climbed.