Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Our first run of the season at Vail Pass - what fun!
Max & Zorro always bring smiles to the faces of people we encounter on the trail.
We did our favorite route involving Shrine Pass at Vail Pass this morning. It starts with towing me up the side snowshoe trail:
Laying fresh tracks in 3-5 inches of fresh snow up the side trail.
After the climb up Shrine, we tour around the top for a while before sprinting down the main Shrine Pass snowmobile trail:
I was going to try and describe how much fun we have on the main Shrine Pass Trail; but then realized that no words could compete with just showing it! So, here is a nice extended video of Shrine Pass Skijoring Fun - wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Great fun touring around Vail Pass this morning: 8.6 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 22 days on the trails covering 161.1 miles with 16050 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Fresh snow on the ground with light snow falling on our skijor this morning - fun!
Off we go with a layer of fresh snow atop snowmobile tracks. Can you see the light snow falling
around us? Hint: use Zorro's black fur to help see the flakes (I count 6 flakes against his black
background :)
We had no preconceived notions of what path we were going to take at Rabbit Ears Pass this morning. Some days we have a plan and some days we simply see where the terrain and conditions take us. Today we found a solo snowmobile track that went into the forest. We chose to follow that track and had a wonderful morning winding through dense & snow covered trees for miles and miles. Wheeee!
Pretty, huh? Following a solo snowmobile track through a Winter Wonderland Forest.
Eventually the track dropped out of the forest and placed us on top of Rabbit Ears Pass. What a fun tour!
Coming out of the trees into the opening that is the top of Rabbit Ears Pass.

A very serene outing gliding through a Winter Wonderland: 8.2 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation and a top speed of 17 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 21 days on the trails covering 152.5 miles with 15250 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, November 28, 2016


We are happy to report that most of this morning's skijor footage was "lost" due to heavy falling snow covering the GoPro camera!
A few feet from the trailhead and the camera is not yet covered in snow. We are gliding along
in about 5 inches of new snow at this point.
It was snowing and blowing all morning and the mild 5 inches at the start quickly transitioned into 12-18 inches of snow for us to break trail through. What a fun workout.
I just wiped the GoPro clear in time to capture this nice shot of Max & Zorro towing me
through 12+ inches of fresh powder. Breaking trail as we snorkel through the deep snow.
I wiped the camera clear once more at our turnaround point to capture Max & Zorro doing a synchronized "head dunk" in the deep snow :)
"What cold? Who wouldn't want to bury their head in snow?" ask my silly Siberians.

The heaving snow and extreme wind lead me to guide us to a shorter than normal outing (time-wise) and the fun, deep snow also kept us to a shorter than normal outing (distance-wise): 4.2 miles of breaking trail with 500 feet of elevation climbed.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 20 days on the trails covering 144.3 miles with14450 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Topping 20mph

Conditions were good enough to uncork the skijoring engine and top 20 MPH for the first time this season - 21 MPH to be exact!
Zoom we go sprinting atop an inch or so of new snow over a snowmobile track through the forest.
We are all happy to report that there is (finally) enough snow at Rabbit Ears to throw caution to the wind and put the pedal to the metal! Max, Zorro and I all saw & felt the excellent conditions, so we uncorked the engine at hit our top speed of this early season ... 21 MPH - wheeee!
Synchronized in a fast sprint tuck. Zoom.
Below is a quick video excerpt capturing the spirit of our fast sprint day. Zoom, whee and YAY for the perfect conditions!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What does Max think of the conditions?
"Aahhhh - rub-a-dub-dub, love to roll angels in the snow!" demonstrates silly Max.
"The things I must put up with!" declares all-business Zorro :)

The conditions are becoming perfect at the speeds & mileage are growing! 9 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 19 days on the trails covering 140.1 miles with 13950 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


A beautiful bluebird day following snowmobile tracks in deep snow at Rabbit Ears Pass!
Sprinting along in a fresh snowmobile track  - wheeee!
Max & Zorro took the opportunity this morning to reinforce the "Siberian Husky Rules of Skijoring". It really is quite simple...

Rule #1: GO (see the photo above).
Rule #2: Stop for moose or moose tracks and nothing else (see below).
"These moose tracks smell VERY fresh!" declares track sniffing Max.
"Fresh indeed, I'm looking for the big body - where is it?!?" states forest inspecting Zorro.
Rule #3 (optional): Make sure the human knows when he is taking TOO LONG to get us hooked up and GOING (see Rule #1 :)
Max always employs Rule #3 when I am taking too long. "Come on! Get with it!" woos Max
at me at the trailhead. Zorro tends to ignore Rule #3 (it is optional) and let Max do the lecturing
on behalf of both of them :)
As you can see by the photos, there is suddenly a ton of snow at Rabbit Ears - the trails are FINALLY getting set for us to go, go, go (remember Rule #1 :)
Out-stretched sprinting Zorro and sprint-tucked Max as we fly along the trails.

A fun day enforcing all 3 rules of Siberian Husky Skijoring: 10.4 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 18 days on the trails covering 131.1 miles with 13050 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, November 25, 2016

New View

A "new view" of Breckenridge Ski Resort on our skijor this morning.
Snow capped peaks and the ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley in front
of us. Nice view!
How could there possibly be a "new view", you are probably wondering. Well, today's outing took us on a trail that, until last summer, traversed through a dense forest of trees. Unfortunately, most of the trees were lodgepole pines and they died in the pine beetle epidemic that hit Colorado recently. So, this past summer the Forest Service cleared all the dead trees from this area (for forest health and wildfire mitigation). As a result, a trail that used to wind through thick trees (blocking all views) is now a wide open trail with stunning views of the ski resort. See the one tall tree in the center of the photo? Well, there used to be tons of such trees so thick that you could not see the ski resort through them!

After some nice views of the ski resort, we turned back into the forest to tour some old mining cabins.
Fun old mining cabin to the right.
Zorro always cracks me up at the following cabin. Regardless of time of year (summer, winter, etc) or speed (hiking, jogging, skijoring), when we get to this cabin he is ALWAYS fascinated by it. It draws his complete attention and Max & I cannot figure out what is so interesting :)
"My favorite old mining cabin! Can't take my eyes off it!" declares focused Zorro.
"We don't get it!" state Max & I only glancing to the left trying to figure out why Zorro
is so mesmerized. 
Done with the views, done touring the cabins, nothing left to do but ZOOM:
Tight, shoulder-to-shoulder form as we sprint along the trail. Wheeee!

A fun skijor stroll on wide open trails that were a dense forest just 6 months ago: 7.2 miles traveled with 950 feet of elevation climbed.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 17 days on the trails covering 120.7 miles with 12250 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


We are thankful this thanksgiving for enough snow to open one of our favorite trails: French Gulch!
Laying fresh tracks far back in French Gulch. Love this trail!

Why is French Gulch one of our favorite trails? Well, it is "close to home" (my like) and it has a thriving moose population (Max & Zorro's like). We did not encounter any moose bodies today; but we did encounter tracks and filled our noses with the aroma of moose present throughout the gulch!
"Sniff, sniff, the moose have been here recently!" say my head-dunking, sniffing partners.
All the indentations in the snow around us were recent moose tracks.

Here is an interesting photo to consider. We are deep in French Gulch with a clear trail in front of us and bushes taller than me all around us (so 6+ foot tall bushes). French Creek is to our right, deep in the bushes. Now, this part of the gulch is very popular with moose (they like to hang in the creek amongst the tall bushes). So, we are skijoring down a trail with bushes taller than me knowing that there could be a moose just feet or yards away and we cannot see it! It is always a little unnerving to skijor this section early season! Now, consider this... By January there will be enough snowpack in French Gulch that these bushes are covered and this picture would look like a plantless open meadow of snow! Yes, the snowpack will be in excess of 6 feet soon.
Noses and ears on alert - is there a moose or two just yards away in the bush?

But, it is still early season (and we've had a slow start to the snow this year); so French Gulch had it's occasional obstacles...
Exposed tributary to French Creek. Off with the skis to hike over.
"Scanning for moose to the left!" states intense Zorro.
"Ok, then I'll scan to the right!" says intense Max.

We had some nice stretches of 3-5 inches of snow (first photo above) and a few stretches of fast packed 1-2 inches to zoom, zoom, zoom:
Zorro the flying Z and Max in a fast sprint tuck - wheeee!

First run of the season on French Gulch - not perfect conditions but good enough for a skijor outing: 8.1 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 17 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 16 days on the trails covering 113.5 miles with 11300 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Action Shots

Some great "action shots" of Max & Zorro skijoring today!

Synchronized "sprint tuck"...
Almost our first "hover husky" shot of the season. But, Max's right toes are in "snow dust" and
you cannot really see that Zorro is airborne with all the snow dust he kicked up around himself.
Long Max as we sprint in 3-4 inches of fresh powder...
Go Max Go - what a long boy!
Zorro the "flying Z"...
I swear Zorro spends 1/2 of our skijor outings completely airborne. He's always flying :)
There is only one thing that can bring such fun action to a stop. Moose! Be it moose tracks, the scent of moose our a moose itself - any of these three things can halt my skijor buddies.
"Sniff, sniff. Fresh Moose Tracks!" declare Max & Zorro's noses.

"Very fresh tracks - he went this way! Can we too?!?" ask my silly moose seeking partners.

As you can see from the first 3 pictures, we had a great time laying fresh tracks in 3-5 inches of powder atop Rabbit Ears Pass; and we also had a great time dipping our noses in fresh moose tracks!

8.3 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 15 days on the trails covering 105.4 miles with 10600 feet of elevation climbed. 100+ miles and counting...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Double Digit

Conditions were finally good enough for our first "double digit mileage" outing of the season: 10.1 miles - YAY!
Nice shot of the fresh snow all over the trails for us this morning. Beautiful!

Fresh snow last night added to the growing snowpack at Rabbit Ears Pass and we found ourselves on our first skijor outing of the season free of obstacles (rocks, roots, mud, etc). We did an "out & back" at Rabbit Ears and were laying fresh tracks in the new snow the entire out direction...
Another fun shot of the fresh snow as we set our own trail through the forest!

The upside of an "out & back" outing with fresh snow? Well, you get to sprint back in the track you set on the way out. Max & Zorro were really into our first "fast as you want" outing of the season!
"We are flying! We are flying! FINALLY!" screams Max to Zorro as they are in a sprint tuck
along the fast terrain.

Funny Max had to show his appreciation for the new snow at our turnaround point of the day:
"Rub-a-dub-dub, love to roll in the snow!" demonstrates silly Max.
"I see no reason to turnaround, look at all the untouched snow this way!" states intense
little Zorro.

Finally, conditions good enough for our first 10+ mile outing of the season: 10.1 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 14 days on the trails covering 97.1 miles with 9700 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, November 21, 2016


Fun day getting creative to be on "safe snow" atop Rabbit Ears Pass.
"Having a GREAT day!' exclaim my happy partners looking back at me for direction
at a trail junction.

It was a dry & warm Fri-Sun at Rabbit Ears and the main trails are still under heavy use by 4WD hunting vehicles in the area. These "main trails" were too deteriorated for safe skijoring, so my partners and I decided to explore as much "side terrain" as possible. It was a success!

We found a couple of less popular side trails that had been driven on only once or twice. This made for a fun "packed track"...
Gliding behind Max in a deep tire track as Zorro trots in his own track.

Another light use side trail, this time gliding behind Zorro as Max takes his own track.

We only found a couple of "seldom used" side trails; but found quite a few unused one - yay!
Laying fresh tracks as we set our own track along an unused side trail!

Eventually we ran out of side trails (seldom used or unused); but we were still having fun. So... invent our own trail through fields of snow - wheeee!
No trail, but certainly enough snow for me to glide on skis while Max & Zorro decide on
what would be a fun route.

A fun "make your own trails" stroll atop Rabbit Ears: 7.1 miles traveled with 650 feet of elevation climbed.

Good News: the forecast is for 4-10 inches overnight and into tomorrow. Just what we need to refresh our trails and get some serious mileage!

2016/2017 Season to Date: 13 days on the trails covering 87 miles with 8700 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wind Sprints

We found a handful of packed trails without the danger of exposed rocks atop Rabbit Ears Pass this morning. A fun outing with many wind sprints!
"Love speed! Zoom!" whispers Max to Zorro as we uncork the skijoring engine along
an open sprint track. 

Here is a fun video clip of one of our wind sprints. You may see some scary "brownness" around us; but there was enough snow pack for us to comfortably open up the skijor throttle. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What is better than wind sprints? Maybe laying fresh tracks. Although, I think it is a tie for Max & Zorro - they love "speed tracks" as much as "fresh tracks" :)
"Aahhh, tickling our toes in a trail of untouched snow!" declare the happy pair.

A great day had by all:
"Yes! We had a blast!" exclaim my happy partners looking back at our midpoint turnaround point.

A mix of good & sketchy conditions atop Rabbit Ears; but enough good for 8.2 miles with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 11 days on the trails covering 79.9 miles with 8050 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


It started out as a fantastic day skijoring Rabbit Ears Pass!
Max & Zorro galloping in the tire tracks while I ski in the middle powder. Wheeee!
It is still hunting season in Colorado, so some of our "winter trails" are still open to 4WD vehicles. As you can see above, Rabbit Ears Pass is one such set of trails as we share the terrain with hunters until the end of Nov. Not a problem, the tire tracks actually make for a fast packed trail for Max & Zorro while I get center trail powder for ski control.

Zoom, zoom, zoom we go as we kick it into fast gear flying along the packed terrain.
As you can see from the first two pictures, it started out as a fantastic day at Rabbit Ears. All was going great until I hit a rock and busted a binding on one ski! The human (and huskies) are all fine, but we were miles away from the trailhead when we broke the ski binding. So, I had to attach the skis to my backpack and we then proceeded to hike back to the trailhead.

Hiking sure is slower than skijoring...
"Okay, joke's over - I am pulling (on snow) but you are not moving like we are on snow!" exclaims
Zorro looking back to question the slow human on foot. "Useless human!" declares Max :)

A great start, a painful fall breacking a binding and a slow hike out of the backcountry: 6 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH (on skis, of course :)

2016/2017 Season to Date: 11 days on the trails covering 71.7 miles with 7250 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, November 18, 2016


An enthusiastic "Welcome Back Winter" from all of us on fresh snow this morning!
"Loving it!" declare my happy partners looking back at me when I called out time to
"turnaround and head back" high up on Boreas Pass.
The second half of October and first half of November combined to represent the "hottest & driest" month of Fall in the history of Breckenridge (and all of Colorado too). We have all been going batty waiting for snow to come back to our trails. Well, it FINALLY happened yesterday as winter weather returned to the Colorado mountains and gave us a fresh layer to skijor up/down Boreas Pass this morning.

Here we go.... wheeee!
Laying fresh tracks up Boreas Pass. Max & Zorro were having fun hugging the right shoulder
even though we had the whole wide trail to ourselves. I happily got behind to get a tow up the
right shoulder of Boreas :)
To be honest, there was not a lot of new snow on Boreas - just enough to gently glide over the underlying dirt road. Max & Zorro are very smart and understand sketchy conditions as they will never break into a sprint over 14 MPH if the conditions are not good; instead, they will settle into a gentle 8-12 MPH trot. They understand that going faster on these conditions will only break the human (and then all the fun ends), so they choose a safe pace without any instruction from me!
Gently gliding by Bakers Tank on Boreas Pass. When the conditions are good, Max & Zorro will
automatically kick into "high gear" on this open stretch of trail and cruise at over 20 MPH. But,
sketchy conditions and they smartly settled into a gentle trot instead. Phew :)

You usually get a nice view of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley from Boreas. Here is today's "ski resort view shot":
Trotting along as the ski runs of Breckenridge come into view on the mountains across the valley.

Not the best of conditions; but SNOW!!! We were going batty with no snow the last month, so we will take it: 7.7 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 10 days on the trails covering 65.7 miles with 6550 feet of elevation climbed.

Good News: we have some trail options for tomorrow (and beyond) with more snow than we found on Boreas this morning. Stay tuned for some real fun in the upcoming days....

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Loveland Pass

Taking the dog sled out to tour Loveland Pass!
Discussing the day's fun at the Loveland Pass Sign after completing the morning run.
"What fun! What fun!' Max is telling me.
"Had a blast, but.... there's other people here! Must monitor!" declares always nosy Zorro.

I was up early this morning and discovered that, to my surprise, Loveland Pass was reporting 5 inches of fresh snow. Well, 5 inches meant we must go! The only downside of Loveland is the extremely steep and rocky terrain. Not enough snow (and, thus, too many exposed rocks) to use skis, so we took out the dog sled to trot up, down and around Loveland.

After some extremely steep climbing to start the outing, we got onto a wonderful plateau to cruise around in the fresh snow! Wheeee!
Laying fresh tracks in the day's new snow atop a plateau at Loveland Pass.
Such a fun shot!

We toured around this upper plateau for a couple of miles before starting back down. Here's a fun shot of us trotting along in the "sled track" we set on the way into the plateau.
"Set your own track to get speed on the way back!" declare smart Max & Zorro.

5 inches is enough snow to bring out Max's favorite snow antic:
"Aahhhh - rolling snow angels! Love snow angels!" demonstrates silly Max.
"What a goofball! But I'm having a great time too!" declares happy Zorro.

The steepness of Loveland lead to a shorter than normal outing; but no complaints from any of us! 4.1 miles traveled with 950 feet of elevation climbed.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 9 days on the trails covering 58.0 miles with 5950 feet of elevation climbed.