Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Finale

A 9 mile run up & down Boreas Pass this morning to close out 2014.
Our final tally for skijoring January through December 2014.
In general we track our skijoring progress by season (i.e., 2014/2015 season lasting from October 2014 to [hopefully] June 2015). But, it is always fun to look at the past year on December 31st and see what we did for the calendar year. The previous photo gives our skijoring stats for the 2014 calendar year: 149 days on the trails covering 1264.5 miles with 139,700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 26 MPH. Also, we were "on snow" for 9 of the 12 months of 2014 (only July, August and September were downer months).

Back to today's final outing of 2014. It was a beautiful bluebird day on Boreas Pass. Absolutely stunning views with 100% blue sky all around us! Here are a few of the highlights:

(1) Mid Boreas had a nice packed track allowing me to glide behind Max & Zorro and take in the views:
Snow covered peaks all around us with crystal clear blue sky!

(2) Lower Boreas was its usual packed, wide & fast track:
Zipping along as Breckenridge Ski Resort comes into view on the mountains on the other
side of the valley from us.

(3) Even Upper Boreas was wide enough to zip along:
Just barely "2 Siberians Wide" as we glide along shoulder to shoulder.

Today's outing covered 8.8 miles with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

It is always fun to look at the "year in review". Here is our breakdown for 2014:

MonthDays on TrailsMiles TraveledElevation Climbed

2014/2015 Season to Date: 49 days on the trails covering 405.5 miles with 43,750 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Varying Terrain

Today's skijor outing found us on wide & fast trails, laying fresh tracks on shoulder-to-shoulder trails and playing follow the leader on narrow single tracks trails. All in one outing!
Making use of the entire wide trail as Max runs in the left track, Zorro runs in the right track
and I glide down the shallow powder in the middle - wheeee!

Our outing started on French Gulch Road and then took us out & back on the main French Gulch Trail. Come along for the fun.....

(1) Everybody ready to go?
"YES! Let's get a moving!" answers happy Max.
"Always ready!" states Zorro surveying the trail ahead waiting for his release...

(2) The lower 1/3 of French Gulch was wide & fast. Today's short video clip shows this wide, fast and fun trail:
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

(3) The middle 1/3 of French Gulch found us laying fresh tracks in a lightly snow covered snowmobile track.
Love laying fresh tracks on a trail wide enough to run shoulder to shoulder!

(4) The upper 1/3 of French Gulch found us laying fresh tracks in a single track trail. We broke trail to make this single track 7-10 days ago and were happy to find some other skiers had ventured this far back in the gulch to keep the track visible amidst recent snowfall.
Laying fresh tracks to maintain the single track far back in French Gulch.

People often ask me if Max & Zorro really listen to me when we skijor. It is a silly question, because OF COURSE they listen to me. But, here's some proof for those who ever doubted...
"You speak, we listen! What's the plan?" ask my intensely focused pair listening to my
description of the plan for our return route in French Gulch.

As is expected, no trip to French Gulch this year is complete without encountering fresh moose tracks or seeing moose themselves...
"Sniff, sniff - these are VERY fresh! Where's the moose?" ask my moose seeking partners.

A fun day traversing 3 types of varying terrain covering 8.8 miles with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 48 days on the trails covering 396.7 miles with 42,850 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


A day of exploring new routes through the forests...
Zooming along laying fresh tracks in 1-2 inches of snow in a snowmobile track.

We started the day along a trail we have run many times before. This trail makes a wide southern semi-circle through the forest and connects to another that makes a wide northern semi-circle through the forest. We typically take these two semi-circles to make a connected loop around the forest.

As we began the initial leg today, though, we encountered a snowmobile track leading into the middle of our usual loop. I paused briefly and suggested to Max & Zorro, "Hey, let's follow this snowmobile track and see what happens." In the worst case, we would just have to turn around at some point and follow the same track back. There had been new snowfall the last night, so there was a 1-3 inch layer of fresh snow on the track. Max & Zorro were in agreement, so we went exploring previously untraveled paths in the forest. The snowmobile track lead us on a gentle and peaceful tour in the forest. What a wonderful day....

A few times we encountered parallel snowmobile tracks. Each such section lead us into deep into
the forest for a while before looping back to the main track (e.g., the snowmobiler had done a
little "out & back" to make these parallel tracks on the occasional side trail).

Occasionally we came to forks in the trail... Which direction to go?
"Left looks fun to me!" suggests Max.
"I'm game with ANY direction!" states happy little Zorro.

After weaving our way on this tour through the forest, we eventually ran into the main road to the trailhead. It was about time to end the day's run, so we zoomed down the road until we met up with Nancy and the Jeep for a ride home.
Zoom, zoom - we see the Jeep just ahead...

A very peaceful day laying fresh tracks as we explored new paths through the forest: 7.7 miles with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 17 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 47 days on the trails covering 387.9 miles with 41,950 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Max & Zorro gave me the best birthday present today:
Skijoring 8.7 miles with a top speed of 25 MPH while laying fresh tracks all over the trails!
Thanks Guys!!!!
Zoom - what a birthday bash!!!!!

Here are all the presents Max & Zorro gave me on today's birthday skijor outing:

A fast 8.71 miles traversed with a top speed of 24.7 MPH.
Happy faces from my party coordinators.
Laying fresh tracks in the new snow while sprinting all day!
"Look dad - untouched in front of us. Let's shred it!" say my party planners.
We took a different trail to get to this point and then found this open & untouched snow
in front of us. I agreed with the plan and we carved our way down this short deep section
of terrain before getting back to laying fresh tracks on the main trail.

I do not think I could have planned a better party that Max & Zorro delivered: 8.7 miles traversed with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH while laying fresh tracks all day long!!!

2014/2015 Season to Date: 46 days on the trails covering 380.2 miles with 41,150 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Max, Zorro & I on the trails this morning!
Ho, ho, ho from Santa Me and my two little Elves!

A message from Max & Zorro:

And a Merry Christmas to you too sweet Max (and sweet Zorro):
"Fun day dad! Love skijoring on Christmas!" says Max

Oh yea, we did skijor too...
Pretty shot as we cruise by Sally Barber Mine.

A peaceful morning run on the Sally Barber and French Gulch trails covering 8.7 miles with 850 feet of elevation climbed.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 45 days on the trails covering 371.5 miles with 40,150 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Great "shot from the front" today!
A closeup of the happy huskies from the front.
Always fun to get the rare "front shot"!

Twas the Day before Christmas
and All Over the Trails
Max & Zorro were Running
with Happy Smiles and Tails.
Same nice shot from the front, but zoomed out a bit  - wheeee!
The usual "sprinting Siberians from the back!"

A fun 8.6 miles up & down Boreas Pass with 850 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 44 days on the trails covering 362.8 miles with 39,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Merry Christmas Everyone....

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Perfect Day

Single digit temperatures & shallow powder to packed powder trails all day.
A perfect day for 10 miles of skijoring!
Zooming along a slight rise in the trail.
So fun to be towed uphill!

We spent the morning gliding around the trails at Swan Valley. The snow was fresh with recent snowmobile tracks making for a fast & packed powder day.

A short video clip of the day's great conditions.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Of course, one of the highlights of this set of trails is encountering dog sled teams from Good Times Adventures. Here we are pausing on a close by trail to watch a team go by. Notice all the heads from the team are looking at us too :)
"Hi guys! Great day for a run, huh?" say the 10 sled dogs (Max, Zorro & the 8 dog team)
exchanging friendly glances on the trail.

Everybody having fun?
"Why YES!!! Glad you asked!" responds giddy Max.
"Absolutely; but why are we stopped?" says 'ready to go' Zorro.
A perfect skijor run today covering 10.1 miles with 1050 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 43 days on the trails cover 354.2 miles with 38,450 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Welcome Winter

The first full day of winter (today) found us breaking trail in 1 to 3 feet of fresh snow!!!
Welcome Winter!!!!
Breaking trail in 12+ inches of snow up the main Baldy Mountain Trail.

We did an out & back route on Baldy Mountain this morning. We were thrilled to find ourselves the first tracks on the popular main trail up Baldy. So, it was breaking trail uphill all day as we found powder as "shallow" as 1 foot and as "deep" as 3 feet!

Of course, one of the benefits of doing an "out & back" is that you get to ride the tracks you plowed on the back direction:
Riding back down Baldy in the track we set on the way up.
Notice the "snow wall" is about shoulder deep to Zorro and almost shoulder deep to Max!

While most of the day was breaking trail in a modest 12-18 inches, we did hit the occasional stretches of super deep snow to plow through - what a workout...
"Now this is deep!" states Zorro happily falling in behind Max & his long trail-breaking legs.

The "return leg" on a deep, single file route (as above) is still a fun ride in the track you set:
Letting Zorro lead us back the single file track we laid in super deep snow.
Notice the snow wall is higher than tall Max's shoulders!!!
That is the Iowa Mill Mine in the foreground.

The occasional opportunity to open up the throttle on the return leg:
"Zoom, glad we broke trail up to have this fun down!" state the sprinting pair.

Breaking trail is a very aerobic activity:
Quick break after breaking trail for over 2 miles.
Max rolling his patented snow angels to cool off.
Zorro doing his patented snowcone chomp to cool off.

Not much can slow Max & Zorro to a shorter than 5 mile skijor outing. But, 1-3 feet of snow is one such thing... A 4.4 mile outing with 750 feet of elevation climbed while breaking trail the entire up route.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 42 days on the trails covering 344.1 miles with 37,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Wind Sprints

Max & Zorro had a great time on the trails today - see for yourself:
"We are having the BEST time! So Happy!!!!!" exclaim my happy partners at one of our
turnarounds on the trail today.

We were skijoring the trails at Swan Valley this morning. These trails are also used by Good Times Adventures to run dog sled tours. Max & Zorro love running the trails with the dog teams...
Paused on the trail as we let two dog sled teams go by.
You can see the sled and last two dogs of one team in front of Zorro and
the first 6 dogs of the next team in front of Max.
Running behind one of the teams we encountered today.
Flying along the trails keeping pace with an 8 dog team - wheeee!

The people on the dog sleds are all novices (or first timers), so we are often able to skijor faster than the novice musher is willing to go with an 8 dog team. So, when we encounter the tours it is a fun game of "wind sprints" as we will give the team a head start and then fly along the trail until we catch them (and then I'll slow us down to give the team another head start and then fly again - and repeat this again and again :-)  Here's a fun video clip of one of our wind sprints today as we zoom along the trail until we catch the sled team.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Of course, most of the day is spent doing long-distance skijoring; but Max & Zorro sure love the "dog sled chase wind sprints" part of the outing too!
Nothing/nobody in front of us - endless zoooom!

A fun day with lots of "long distance skijoring" with a great set of "dog sled wind sprints" added to the mix: 10.4 miles with 1050 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 41 days on the trails covering 339.7 miles with 36,650 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fast Lane

The primary difference between skijoring and cross country skiing?
The speed at which you move along the trails....
Cross country skier ahead of us on the Sally Barber Trail.
Seconds later and cross country skier behind us on the trail :)

I love the following short video clip. After we cruise through a left and right on the trail, you then see a cross country skier come into view far in front of us. Well, 15-20 seconds later and the "skier far in front of us" becomes a "skier now behind us" - wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Today's outing took us up & over the Sally Barber Mine Trail and then out & back on the main French Gulch Trail. The Sally Barber leg was wide & fast, as you see in the video above. The French Gulch leg is usually much narrower as it is not nearly as popular a trail as Sally Barber:
Just wide enough to jog shoulder-to-shoulder as we cruise out the French Gulch Trail.

Eventually all existing ski tracks ended and we followed a moose track into the back meadow of French Gulch before turning around and heading back the same route (I could see far down the trail to verify the moose was not still around).
"Let me survey the meadow for moose before turning around!" says moose scanning Max.
"Let me know what you see tall bro!" says short Zorro resting in the moose track waiting for
Max to report back.

A fast up/over Sally Barber Mine and then laying fresh tracks out/back in French Gulch: 8.9 miles with 850 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 40 days on the trails covering 329.3 miles with 35,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hi Mom

Saying "Hi Mom" to Nancy as we fly by her at the end of the day's run...
"Hi Mom - great day! See you back at the car!" say the airborne pair flying past Nancy
and giving her a quick glance.

We did a trip up and down part of Boreas Pass this morning. For the "up route", we took a narrow side trail through the forest:
Single file skijoring on the single track through the forest.

After climbing the single track and then trotting up a bit of Boreas Pass Rd, it was time to take a quick break before starting down:
Max rolling his quick break snow angels to cool off.
Zorro eating his quick break snowcones to cool off.

Quick break over, time to fly down wide packed Boreas Pass Road:
Zoom, zoom, zooming along easy Boreas Pass Rd.

Here is the video counterpart to the "Hi Mom" photo above. We are sprinting nicely to the finish of the run as Nancy appears on the side of the trail waving as we cruise on by.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Nancy always gets the best view of the happy huskies as they are always all smiles from the front:
"Hi Mom - wheeee!" say the happy pair.

A gentle run up/down Boreas covering 8.4 miles with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 39 days on the trails covering 320.4 miles with 34,750 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sled Dog Party

A sled dog party on the trails at Keyser Creek today!
One of the dog trucks with 5 of our friends unloaded and waiting for the party to start.
"I LOVE sled dog parties!" exclaims giddy Max happy to be at today's party.
"So cool. I have to take it all in!" states intense Zorro getting ready to join the party!

We met up with our group of sled dog friends at the Keyser Creek Trail this morning. Counting Max & Zorro, we had about 20 Siberian Huskies at the trail ready to pull sleds and/or skijor. Many of the dogs were from Sno-Magic Siberians along with a handful of "others" like Max & Zorro. It is so fun to meet up and have a sled dog party - Max & Zorro absolutely LOVE it!

We watched two sled teams hook up and leave before us. Max & Zorro were dying with anticipation watching the party start before them. They kept asking me, "Our turn YET?"....
"Come on... Our turn YET?" ask my occasionally patient pair waiting for their turn to go.

Then, finally, it was our turn. Ok boys, pedal to the metal...
"Go, go go!!!!!" as we launch out the gates to start the party on the trails.

We met up with one of the teams at our turnaround point of the day. I was going to help with a slight issue with the sled; but Max had other ideas. He was a bucking bronco wanting to keep the party going; so all I could do was hold Max back until the sled was set and ready to go. You try explaining to Max that the restart would have been faster if he had shown a little cooperation :-)
"Noooooooo! Let's GOOOOOOO!" states impatient Max determined to make it impossible for
me to help with any issues!

Coming in strong to the finish (the trailhead is just across the bridge in front of us).
"Zoom, zoom - love sled dog parties!"

Oh yea, we did a little solo skijoring to start the day as it takes a lot less time to hookup two skijor dogs than unload, prep and hookup dog sleds. We did a quick up & down an untouched side trail before joining all the dog sleds on the main trail. The best part about breaking a trail up is that you are prepping it for a fun run down....
Breaking trail in 8+ inches of powder up a side trail.

Fun little video of us using our "up tracks" for a faster down run. Look closely and you can see the parallel tracks in front of Max & Zorro that we set on the way up to reuse down - wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

A great sled dog party day covering 8.9 miles with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 17 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 38 days on the trails covering 312.0 miles with 33,950 feet of elevation climbed.