Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Snow Spots

Zipping along the French Gulch Trail - zoom!
Getting towed by my sprinting pals - wheeee!
It was snowing lightly to moderately our entire outing this morning. I did not realize until I got home and downloaded the GoPro video that most of the day's footage was blurred by snow spots on the camera! I did not think it was snowing hard enough to blur the camera, so did not think to check it and wipe it clear of snow. But, alas, it was snowing just enough for flakes to cling to the camera and blur long sections of video before the flake finally melted and/or was blown off the camera.

Oh well, here are the few shots I was able to salvage from the fun day...
Flying along the Sally Barber Mine Trail.
Coming around a corner far back in French Gulch as Zorro is partly blurred by a snow spot but sprinting Max is clear:
Wheeee! The little white specks you can see in this photo, if you look long/hard enough, are
actively falling snowflakes. I count 6, how many can you find? Odd that such light snowfall
had such an impact on the camera. Usually it takes heavy snowfall to blur the day's footage.
End of the morning run and back at the Jeep to greet Nancy. Look at that huge snowflake in the upper right of the photo!
"We may have lost the footage to snow spots, but I had a GREAT time!" exclaims happy Max.
"Hi Mom! We had such a fun run!" says Zorro to Nancy still in the Jeep :)

A rare day where light to moderate snowfall was able to obscure most of the video footage. Oh well, we had a blast... 9.4 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 92 days on the trails covering 760.7 miles with 82,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


So much fun interacting with our Siberian Husky friends from Good Times Adventures on the trails.

Fun shot of a team going by on the main trail as we all watch (and some of us talk) from a side trail:
"I want to come with!" calls out Max to his friends.
"Awesome, my human is currently broken because we are stopped!" says focused Zorro.
All Siberian Huskies LOVE interacting with others on the trails. It is just so much fun to run with your snow buddies. To demonstrate, the following shot is zoomed in on the 4 sled dogs in front of us from the prior photo. You cannot really see all the happy faces in the prior as it had to be so wide to capture both the team and Max & Zorro. So, here's a zoom in...
"Hi back friends! We love flirting with you too!" say 3 of the 4 flashing the happiest faces
back to Max & Zorro.
Of course, the most fun is getting on the same trail as another team and playing chase along the trails. Wheeee!
Max & Zorro flying along as you can just barely make out the 8-dog team + musher ahead
of us on the trail. So fun to play chase!
Another flirt shot as we are on another side trail as a team comes up the main trail. Look closely at the size of the musher and kid in the sled basket. No, that is not an enormous sled, but, instead those are elementary school age kids driving & riding the sled. How fun for them!
"Hi again friends. If we added us, we could really take those little kids for a fast ride!" suggest
Max & Zorro to their pals.
Finally, neither Max nor Zorro are fans of teams stopped and blocking the trail. You cannot see it through the trees; but there is a team stopped to our right that is just starting to get going again...
"GOOOOO!" yells Max, looking back at me to make sure I heard him too :)
"Ohhhh, they are starting, let's chase!" says cute Zorro getting ready to launch after the
team restarting around the corner from us.

Beautiful morning for a fun outing of sled dog flirt & chase: 10.6 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 26 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 91 days on the trails covering 751.3 miles with 81,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Fly By

Flying along the Baldy Mountain Trail - wheeee!
Love the shot of Zorro flying over the sun patch on the trail :)
Baldy is a popular trail for skiers, snowshoers and even the occasional winter hiker when the trail is sufficiently packed. Max & Zorro love to come across groups of people and then floor it and awe them as they fly by towing the human at breakneck speeds. Today's fun with onlookers...
"Get those cameras out - coming through!" declare my sprinting partners putting on a show
for a group on the trail.
Same group, just a little closer (and past the first person in the group):
"Now that's a vacation memory for you!" say Max & Zorro as they get filmed flying by.

Today's clip is the video counterpart of the prior two photos. Come along for the fun as Max & Zorro put on a skijoring show flying by the entertained onlookers...
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Fun day entertaining the crowds:
"We love to 'flirt & fly by'!" declare my happy partners looking back at me at our
turnaround point on the trail.

A day entertaining crowds on Baldy (we had 3 additional crowd encounters in addition to the one shown above): 8.3 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 90 days on the trails covering 740.7 miles with 80,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Before and After

Everyone ready to zoom? ... Zoooom!
"Let's floor it bro!" says Max to Zorro.
"I'm with ya - uncork it!" responds Zorro to Max.
We had a fun & fast day zipping around our favorite "speed loop" tucked away in the forest. The first run around the loop found us laying fresh tracks in 1-2 inches of new snow atop the fast track.
Literally FLYING along the fast terrain. Look closely and you see a layer of 1-2 inches of
snow atop the trail.
While completing one lap around the loop, a groomer had come on the trail and did the loop as well. We finished the first lap and then found the trail freshly groomed for us to take a second lap. From a fast trail with 1-2 inches of snow to a zooming groomed trail - fun!
Compare to the prior photo and now you see the groomer lines in the snow.
That brings us to today's fun video clip. I have spliced together two segments, each about 20 seconds long. The first 20 is us laying fresh tracks on the speed loop; the second 20 is roughly the same section of trail as the first but now it has been groomed. Groomed = Zoooom! Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Done speeding around the loop and time to head back to the trailhead. Trotting along in our "cool down" as Breckenridge Ski Resort comes into view across the valley.
"Hey - the ski resort!" says curious Max looking across the way.
"Too busy going forward to look!" declares 'all business' Zorro.

A fast & fun day zipping around our favorite "speed loop" before and after a groomer: 8.9 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 89 days on the trails covering 732.4 miles with 79,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Showcasing some real "snow angel talents" at our midpoint of the morning's outing:

Max: rolling snow angels and chomping snowcones (upside down even) - talented!
Zorro: step out of the snowmobile track and get enough powder to cover your body - creative!
"Roll & chomp - I am talented!" displays talented Max.
"Cover myself in powder!" demonstrates creative Zorro.
It was a great morning to skijor Vail Pass and we were able to get in both of our favorite Vail Pass activities: flirting and flying.

It was not the busiest of days on the backcountry trails and huts; but we had enough encounters to satisfy our need to flirt:
"Hi people! Glad to make you all smile!!!" says friendly Max & Zorro to a group as we skijor by.
While the huts only had slight flirt opportunities, the main trail had perfect fly opportunities...

Max & Zorro "catching air" as I glide behind the Siberian Husky Skijoring Hovercraft:
"Wheeee - levitating at 20+ MPH!" demonstrate my talented leaders.
Another nice view of my pals, the Siberian Husky Skijoring Bullet Train:
Put the last two photos together and you get the following video highlight. Watch a short clip of some of the fun we had FLYING the main Shrine Pass Trail. Whee & Zoom!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

A trifecta of an outing: showcasing "snow angel talents", flirting with backcountry skiers and flying on the main trail: 9.4 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 88 days on the trails covering 723.5 miles with 78,700 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Having a great morning touring around the top of Brewery Hill!
"Oh yes. We are having a BLAST!" say my super happy partners at a turnaround point on the trail.
There are so many mountains that rise above treeline in & around Breckenridge that things that would be a mountain elsewhere are simply hills here. For example, the top elevation of our outing today was around 11,500 feet on top of Brewery Hill. But, since we never rose above treeline, an 11,500 foot "mountain" only gets the title "hill" in this area - thus Brewery Hill which would be Brewery Mountain in most of the country :)

Anyway, it was a warm start to the morning (especially for February), so we decided to climb quickly to get to higher & cooler elevations and then tour around the rolling terrain atop Brewery Hill. It was an excellent decision as we found not only cooler temperatures but also 2-3 inches of fresh snow all to ourselves!
Laying fresh tracks in 2-3 inches of fresh snow as we cruise around the rolling terrain atop
Brewery Hill.
The only tracks we saw all day were our own tracks when we repeated sections of trail:
Zipping along one of our many out/back side trails atop Brewery Hill.
As you glide around Brewery Hill, you encounter many relics from the mining days of the 1800s. Here we are inspecting an old cabin. Note that the gangline is very taut - Max & Zorro wanted to get closeup to the cabin whereas I wanted to look from a distance and not get caught in a "cabin well" by getting too close ("cabin well" is basically same thing as a "tree well" but with a cabin instead of a tree :)
"What wonderful accommodations! Can we stay the night?" asks curious Max.
"I want to get CLOSER!!!" says trying to move me closer as hard as he can Zorro.
Love when I get a quick & happy glance from Max or Zorro as we are cruising along!
"Did I mention I am having a great time today?!?" says Zorro looking back as we go along.
"You are funny kid!" smirks Max to Zorro.

A steep climb day to get to fresh snow and cooler temperatures at higher elevations: 8.3 miles traveled with 1400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 87 days on the trails covering 714.1 miles with 77,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hello Moose

Look who we ran into at the French Gulch Trailhead this morning!
"Hello mother & child moose! Yikes!"
Needless to say, I took this photo from inside the Jeep!
We actually ran into this mother & child moose on French Gulch Road as we were driving to the trailhead. They then slowly sauntered up the road, with us driving slowly behind, until arriving at the trailhead parking lot. Then, finally, mother & child meandered out of the parking lot and into the woods. Needless to say, Max & Zorro were kept inside the Jeep (much to their PROTESTS) until the moose were gone!

Once it was safe to get out of the car, we were thrilled to find miles of untouched fresh snow on the popular French Gulch Trail. Such a treat to get the chance to lay fresh tracks on this trail!
Wheeee - laying fresh tracks on French Gulch. The prints down the trail in front of us are
fox tracks. Nothing but us and a fox on the morning's fresh snow!
Far back in French Gulch and we were shaded from the morning sun by the mountains to our left as we continued to lay fresh tracks the entire "out direction"! What fun!
Laying freshies in the morning shade. So peaceful.
Once we turned around, we ran back in our own tracks until getting into lower French Gulch where at least one group had been out/back while we were skijoring to the far end of the gulch. This means the trail was getting a little more packed and this means Max & Zorro go fast. Come along for a short video excerpt of our peaceful glide in French Gulch:
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

I turned us around earlier than normal in the gulch so that we could skijor the road. Knowing we'd been out in the gulch long enough for the moose to be gone, we got to skijor the road and sniff fairly recent moose prints. Yum!
"Oooh, these ARE fresh smelling!" say Max & Zorro dipping their noses into the moose
tracks all around us. Look at the size of that moose footprint in the lower left of this photo.
What big & beautiful animals (from a distance :)

Moose at the trailhead, fresh tracks in the gulch and then moose prints to finish off the day: 9.1 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 86 days on the trails covering 705.8 miles with 76,200 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Chase Fun

Having a blast playing "dog sled chase" on the trail with teams from Good Times Adventures.
Zooming along as you can just barely make out a dog sled team on the trail in front of
us leaning into a left turn.
Today's fun video clip is "dog sled chase". Watch as we do the following: chase the team on the trail in front of us, get too close, slow down/back off for a bit, restart the chase, catch the team paused and finally pass the stopped team. Wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Two fun things to note about the prior video clip. First, you cannot even hear me uttering "slow down", "easy" and then "let's go" to Max & Zorro during the "back off then restart" part of the video. I am talking but do not need to be loud as Max & Zorro are actually feeling my resistance and then lack of resistance to meter their speed. Smart boys! Second, as we catch the team to pass, we settle into our usual "pass mode": Max backs off the gangline to flirt as he trots by while Zorro floors it to zoom by :)

More fun from the day... Pausing on the side of the trail to let a team pass by.
"Hi buds!" say flirting Max & Zorro.
Seeing a team go along the main while we paused to watch them from a side trail. Max & I are patiently watching. Zorro, in true "zorro form", is trying to get us to hop onto the main trail and run with the team.
"Wait for me, wait for me! Let's go!" says silly Zorro.
"Silly kid, we are watching, not going." says mature Max.
Finally, zoom we go along a fast straightaway:

A fun day of "dog sled chase": 9.7 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 85 days on the trails covering 696.7 miles with 75,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Max Birthday

Today is Max's birthday, we celebrated with a 9.4 mile skijor at Vail Pass!
"Now that is MY kind of birthday present!" says happy Max at the end of the day's run.
It sure does not look like he just ran 9.4 fast miles, does it? :)
We got to do two of Max's favorite things for his birthday: flirt & fly (these are also two of Zorro's favorite activities).

Here we are approaching one of the Shrine Mountain Huts. When this group of 10 or so saw us approaching, everyone was frantically scrambling to get out their cameras to get a photo of Max & Zorro.
"Hi everybody, there's enough of us to go all around!" say Max & Zorro approaching the group.
Look closely and you can see just about everyone has a camera or phone out getting a shot.
Flirting with the hutters always gets you a few good back rubs, ear rubs, or head pats:
"Aahh, thanks!" says happy little Zorro digging his back rub.
"Hey, what's in the bag?" asks nosey Max to one of the hutters who had lowered her backpack.
Love flirting at the huts, right Max?
"Hehe, yes, what a fun birthday flirt!" says happy Max.
"CHEESE!" says flirtatious Zorro posing for the camera in front of him :)
Done flirting at the huts and it was on to our other favorite Vail Pass activity: flying!
Sprint-tuck Max levitating over the trail with sprint-stretch Zorro flying too. Wheeee!
Max may have turned 10 today; but you are only as old as you act...
Wow - nice form Max! What a beautiful out-stretched & sprinting Siberian Husky!

A "happy birthday" run for Max (the best thing Zorro and I could give him): 9.4 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 84 days on the trails covering 687.0 miles with 74,400 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Bluebird Day

Stunning views all morning long as we toured the mountain across the valley from Breckenridge Ski Resort!
The ski runs on Peaks 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 in view at Breckenridge Ski Resort as we glide along
laying fresh tracks! Wheeee!
The conditions this morning were perfect for making your own trail all over the mountains. We have been in a warm weather pattern but nightly and morning temperatures are still below freezing. This means the snowpack softens in the afternoon and then freezes overnight to provide a "top crust" strong enough to support Max and Zorro's weight (and my weight on skis). On this morning's route, we found this perfect crust with about 1-2 inches of untouched top powder. An incredible day to set our own path and glide all over the mountain!
Galloping along again as Peaks 8, 9 and 10 are in view from the ski resort.
Notice that we are not really on a trail, just gliding back & forth on the crust in wide open meadows!
With no set path, just touring the meadows, you sometimes run "out of terrain"...
Whoops - a drop off cliff in front of us! Once again, Peaks 9 and 10 in view from the ski resort.
"What's wrong with launching down this cliff? You have skis!" say my intense partners not
as convinced as me that we must turn around :)
Time to head back to the trailhead, everyone ready?
"Ok, what a fun day!" says happy Max turning around at my request.
"Hmm, given this perfect crust and untouched terrain in front of us, why would we
turnaround?!?" asks questioning Zorro.

A gorgeous bluebird day with at strong enough "top crust" to set our own path gliding back & forth and up & down wide open terrain: 8.7 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 83 days on the trails covering 677.6 miles with 73,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


"Can you hear me now?!?" yells Zorro to Max along the trail this morning :)
What else could he possibly be yelling other than, "Can you hear me now?"
Notice Max has his right ear raised to try and hear while his left ear is pinned against
his head for aerodynamics...
The makings of a beautiful day as we skijored up & over the Sally Barber Mine Trail:
Beautiful blue sky to start a glorious morning!
We were then flying in & out of sun & shade along the French Gulch Trail:
Fun shot of airborne, sprint-tuck Max and airborne, sprint-stretch Zorro. Wheeee!
It is going to be a beautiful, bluebird day. Here we are gliding along in the morning shade of the mountain to our left while you can see the sun soaked mountain in front of us.
Cruising along far back in French Gulch with the morning sun starting to appear all around us.

A peaceful skijor up & over Sally Barber Mine and then out & back in French Gulch watching the beautiful, bluebird day unfold all around us: 8.7 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 82 days on the trails covering 668.9 miles with 72,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Max & Zorro had a "case of the friskies" on the trails this morning. Silly Siberians :)
"Hey bro - wanna play 'tag & tackle'?!?" says Max & Zorro simultaneously to each other.
Anyone with a Siberian Husky knows what happens after two sibes exchange a look like the one shown in the prior photo.... Tag & Tackle!
"Coming in for the tag!" declares 'coming low' Zorro.
"Back at you with a tackle!" declares 'coming high' Max.
The "friskies" were out between these two most of the morning. Usually this means they are going to break out into a wrestlefest as we are sprinting along the trails. Amazingly, though, I was able to 'catch and correct' all imminent wrestlefests! Watch today's short video clip for an example of what I was seeing all day long... Partway along the fast terrain and I see unapproved glances starting so call out "Forward" to remind everyone what we are supposed to be doing. Then a "Hey, Hey" to keep everyone focused and finally a "Good" compliment once they abandon this attempted wrestlefest. It was all morning long - it's a wonder I didn't lose my voice :)
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Of course, all sibes are proud of their frisky behaviors...
"What?!? We are having a great frisky day!" say my innocent & happy partners at our turnaround
point of the outing.

Frisky run out & back in French Gulch: 8.4 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2016/2017 Season to Date: 81 days on the trails covering 660.2 miles with 71,400 feet of elevation climbed.