Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Everyone OK with repeating the same skijor outing as yesterday?
"Yes! I could repeat the same trail with fresh snow every day!" declares happy Zorro.
"Yes! So much to explore, I could do it every day too!" adds curious Jack.
"Yes! But can we get going yet!" adds Rudy.
With the Boreas Pass trail coming back to life with the recent snow, we decided to return again today. Since the trail was down to dirt/mud just 1 week ago, we know the trail is one or two warm days from being dead again. So, let's redo this trail and enjoy it as much as possible.

Well, this morning was a repeat of yesterday in just about every way possible! Come along for the fun...

As with yesterday, we were first on the trail and found ourselves laying fresh tracks up Boreas Pass:
Trotting along in the morning's fresh snow. Late April Freshies - wheeee!
As with yesterday, we were laying fresh tracks up Boreas ALMOST the entire way up. As with yesterday, the only time we were not laying fresh tracks is when we encountered moose tracks on the trail! We were at most 50 yards from the location of yesterday morning's fresh moose tracks when look at what we found again:
"<sniff> <sniff> - these are VERY fresh!' declare the moose inspecting trio.
Look at the prior photo and you can see the moose tracks go off trail to the right of Jack and go up trail in front of us. Which way did the moose go? Well, let's ask the expert....
"Children, they are fresh UP the trail, not off the trail!" declares Zorro the expert moose tracker.
"Are you sure? Maybe they went off trail!" says Jack.
"I have NO 'moose direction' yet, but I'm going to submerge myself in these delicious
smelling tracks going off trail!" adds young Rudy.
Of course, Zorro was right. Eventually he convinced Jack & Rudy that the moose went up trail, not off trail. Once he had his partners properly focused, it was time to search for moose:
"Ok, we smell what you are saying - they get fresher up trail!" say Jack & Rudy joining
Zorro to go moosing up trail :)
After maybe a 100 or 150 yards of following moose tracks and they left the trail to go off into the woods. Zorro knew this, time to give the kids a lesson:
"Yes Jack - this is a MOOSE EXIT! It was a MOOSE ENTRANCE before!' declares teacher Zorro.
"Okay, okay, I get it. It just smelled SO GOOD before that I got confused!" says young Jack who is
still refining his moose direction skills.
"Let me see, let me see! How do you tell an entrance from exit?" asks youngest Rudy who
has a lot of work to do on his moose direction skills :)
The only difference from yesterday? Well, it got really deep at the upper elevations of our morning's outing. Time for some powder plowing up high:
"Powder flying!" demonstrates Zorro.
"Powder hopping!" demonstrates Jack.
"Powder plowing!" demonstrates Rudy.
Two days in a row of "fresh tracks" and "moose tracks" on Boreas Pass: 5.7 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 107 days on the trails covering 609.0 miles with 56,800 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Back to Boreas

We have got enough snow the last few days to reopen the trail up Boreas Pass for skijoring!
Laying fresh tracks up Boreas as you see a few of the ski runs from Breckenridge
Ski Resort coming into view in the upper right.
The lower part of the Boreas trail had melted down to dirt & mud as of just 4 days ago. But, with two decent snowstorms in the last three days, Boreas was back to life this morning. We got out early and were first on the trail and found ourselves laying fresh tracks almost the entire time up Boreas.

Hmmm, we were "first on the trail" but were laying fresh tracks "almost the entire time up" - how could that be? Well, we were second on the trail for a short stint. Who was first? A MOOSE or two or three!!!!
"FRESH MOOSE TRACKS!" exclaim the excited and energized trio.
Draw a straight line starting between Jack & Rudy to the bottom of the photo - this line will
touch three large "two toed moose prints" in the trail.
Zorro found another set of tracks to the right as well. At least 2 moose had been on the
trail very recently.
The moose tracks lasted for about 20 yards until we saw the moose had doubled back and left the main trail. Veteran Zorro is an excellent "moose tracker" and Jack is starting to learn use his nose to determine which way the moose went too. Youngest Rudy is still too enthralled with the tracks to worry about direction yet :)
"Moose went THIS WAY!" say Zorro & Jack trying to convince me to abandon trail
and skijor down the cliff to the right :)
"I'm just taking in the WONDERFUL moose track smells!" adds directionless Rudy.
Obviously I vetoed Zorro & Jack's idea of chasing a moose off a cliff :) About 10 yards past this photo and the moose tracks ended; thus the reason we knew they doubled back and left the trail where Zorro & Jack identified. Then it was back to laying fresh tracks the rest of the way up Boreas.

Time to turnaround and head back down. Right after the turnaround, Jack & Rudy hopped in our "up track" for an easier ride down while Zorro wanted to keep laying fresh tracks in the shallow powder in the right shoulder. Come along and watch the fun skijoring back down Boreas:
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Eventually Zorro decided we could make faster progress if we all got "in track". It is amazing how tight these three can get if the trail requires it for fun speed!
Fun Siberian Husky trio fitting tightly into the ski track we set on the way up.
Laying fresh tracks and inspecting moose tracks - a great way to earn your end of run pork treats:
"Well, we didn't get 'moose meat', so hand out the 'pig meat'!" declares the focused trio.

A real treat to get back on Boreas Pass so late in April: 5.8 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 106 days on the trails covering 603.3 miles with 56,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Late April POW

All smiles at our turnaround point of this morning aerobic powder outing!
"What fun, ready for more!" states happy Zorro.
"I say we keep going farther!" adds lined out & happy Jack.
"Phew, done rolling a snow angel, ready to go too!" says happy Rudy.
Breckenridge Ski Resort reported 7 inches of new snow on the trails still open high up on Peaks 6 and 7. I was skeptical of that much snow as it RAINED instead of snowed in town last night. But, they showed me - look what we found on the upper backcountry trails on Peak 6. Late April POW!
Breaking trail in WAY MORE than 7 inches of fresh powder. At least 10, maybe 12, inches
of fresh snow at this point of our outing! Wow Pow!
Love this shot of Jack & Rudy plowing through as Zorro is floating atop the powder :)
We were laying fresh tracks down low and breaking trail up high almost all day long. We did repeat one short section of trail at the upper elevations. Polite Jack & Rudy let almost 11 year old Zorro have the track my skis set while the two youngsters continued having fun breaking trail. How polite!
Powder plowing Jack & Rudy while everyone politely lets Zorro have the track
my skis set on the way out this short section of trail.
Today's video highlight? Well, Power Plowing of course. Come along for the powder fun in 10+ inches of fresh snow!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We also repeated the lower elevation trail that got us in & out of the deep powder high up on Peak 6. Once again, polite Jack & Rudy let Zorro have the set track while they were still able to open up the throttle in only 2-3 inches of "out of track" powder down lower:
Able to open up the skijoring engine lower after breaking trail up higher.
What a fun & aerobic powder plowing day. This is the best way to earn your end of run treats!
"Hand them out! We really earned them today!" says the happy & focused trio.
An amazing day laying fresh tracks and then breaking trail in late April powder: 5.6 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 18 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 105 days on the trails covering 597.5 miles with 55,700 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, April 26, 2019


Nice views of the ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley from our morning fun run!
Beautiful views, pretty sled dogs and a perfect early morning crust to support our skijor!
Temperatures barely got below freezing last night, so there was a question whether the spring crust would be firm enough to support us this morning. So, we got up early and went to trails in the 10,500 to 11,000 foot elevation ranges, hoping the early start plus higher elevation would yield a firm enough crust. Well... SUCCESS!!!
A perfect crust to allow us to "make our own trail" up, down and around the terrain
in Golden Horseshoe.
What fun we had gliding along the crust over multiple wide meadows. Here we are about to test our first meadow of the morning. Everybody ready to test the spring crust?
"Ready! We already know it's going to hold us! Let's go!" declares the happy trio
(they always know before me whether the crust is good enough :)
Another fun shot of the outstretched skijor trio flying along the morning's perfect crust:
Missile Rudy flying down the middle.
Airborne Jack to the right.
All but one toe off the ground Zorro to the left.
Put it all together and you get today's fun "crust touring" video. A great surface with really nice views of the ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Zorro and I could have gone all day, but you know the goofball twins have to get in at least one episode of silliness every outing :)
"You stopped to turn around, we stopped to roll snow angels!" demonstrate the goofball twins.
"Yawn, boring. boooorrriiiing! Can we get going yet?!?" asks yawning Zorro waiting for
the youngsters to finish their silly antics.
What a great decision to get up early this morning and find a perfect spring crust: 6.1 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 104 days on the trails covering 591.9 miles with 55,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


Look at Jack's snazzy new clothes (his new harness)!
"Aren't I handsome?!?" says adorable Jack.
What a big head you have Rudy :)
Until today, Jack has been wearing hand-me-down harnesses from Zorro and Max in his skijor career. He started with Max's puppy harness last season and grew into hand-me-down full harnesses this season. We were waiting until he was full grown to order him his own personal harness. Well, today was young Jack's first skijor in his snazzy new personal harness. Handsome boy :)

Back to the skijor outing. It is late April and we had the rare treat of new snow to lay fresh tracks all morning long. What a treat!
Three sled dogs laying freshies. One set of skis cutting through the fresh snow too!
We did our springtime "crust tour" in Golden Horseshoe. A firm crust with 1-2 inches of fresh snow all day long. Here we come around a corner as Breckenridge Ski Resort comes into view across the valley.
Fresh tracks and pretty views. Fun day!

Today's video highlight is one that shows how proud I am of my skijoring partners. We start out on a fast crust. As we approach some trees, my pals automagically slow down to tow me through safely. I only need to utter a casual "right" and then "good forward" to set the path and they cautiously tow me through before automatically flooring it again once through the trees. What teamwork, what great partners!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

New clothes, same Jack :)
"He's still a young goofball!" declares happy Zorro.
"The new clothes work as well as the old clothes for snow angels!" declares goofy Jack.
"We stop, we roll!" adds silly Rudy.
In case you are wondering, Rudy is still in hand-me-down harnesses. He will not be full grown to measure for a personal harness until next season.

New clothes for Jack, same skijor fun and silliness from Jack: 5.8 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 103 days on the trails covering 585.8 miles with 54,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Skijoring the Ski Resort

This morning was our annual "Skijor the Breckenridge Ski Resort" outing. What fun!
"Yes indeed - what fun!" declares happy Zorro.
"This is so cool!" adds happy Rudy participating in his first "skijor the ski resort".
"It tastes good too!" adds always comical Jack.
It has been our annual tradition to skijor the ski resort the day after it closes. The trails are just "one day old" and still in great condition. Technically, Breckenridge Ski Resort is still open; but they closed over half the mountain after yesterday. The resort consists of run on 5 mountains (Peaks 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10). Peaks 8/9/10 are now closed along with parts of 6 & 7. This was perfect for us as we like to skijor Peak 9 the day after it closes.

The last few years we have been lucky enough to find a groomed track to skijor. This morning started out on ungroomed and bumpy terrain, I was worried we wouldn't get a very long skijor with such bumpy trails:
Riding the "Siberian Husky Tow Rope" up the bumpy trail as we started next to Beaver Run
Resort (to the right) and went up the trail next to it.
But, look what we found!!!! A little ways up the trail in the prior photo and we encountered a groomed track! What a treat! The ski resort tends to groom a trail the day after closing for ski patrol and other workers to use as they go up & down the mountain removing signage and other markers.
We found a groomed track!!!! Zoooooom!
It is so much fun to skijor under the lifts on a perfect trail:
Flying under the ski lifts.
A little further, more lifts overhead:
Still flying, still under the lifts :)
Put the last 3 photos together and you get today's cool video. Come along as we skijor the ski resort on a perfect (and FAST) groomed track!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Eventually the groomed track went up a double black (extremely difficult) run. I know from past years' experience that skijoring a black or double black (groomed or not) is a mistake! My sled dog monsters want to go so fast down a black that it scares me to death (and this experience was with just Max & Zorro, not three)! But, we were not ready to be done yet, so we did some loops on the runs around the groomed track. It snowed lightly yesterday but I thought all the snow fell before the resort closed for the day. Imagine my surprise when we found untouched fresh snow on the loops we did around the groomed trail (clearly it did snow after closing). Fresh tracks:
Whee - laying fresh tracks when toured around the groomed track!
Remember that ski resorts are designed for downhill skiing. The result: Rudy got his first skijor exceeding 1000 feet in elevation climbed. What a fun day: 5.6 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 102 days on the trails covering 580.0 miles with 53,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Last Nordic Groom

Fun shot from the front of the happy sled dogs arriving at the end of this morning's run.
"Wheeee - we had a BLAST this morning!" says the happy trio.
This morning was the last time the trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center will be groomed this season. This is the last nordic center still open in Colorado (and maybe all of the country), so today was our last day on groomed nordic trails this season. We may still be able to find the occasional groomed snowmobile trail, but we should assume this may be our last groomie zoomie this year.

We got to the nordic center trails just after 9am as they typically are finished grooming by that time. It was perfect to start as the trail was groomed from the trailhead. But, partway up the trail we came to a fork in the road with one direction groomed and the other not. The fork is actually a loop, so we knew the groomer was still out there, so we took the ungroomed direction to go find the groomer. Success:
"Yay - it's the groomer!" says happy Zorro.
"Cool!" says nosey Rudy.
"We are going to go FAST after this!!!" adds happy Jack.
We gave the groomer a 15 minute head start (as we are faster than a groomer on flat or downhill terrain) and then turned around. After this we had the newly groomed trail all to ourselves. Wheeee!
First tracks on the freshly groomed trail!
If you look closely above you can see quite a bit of slush coming on Zorro, Jack and Rudy's feet. It was a warm morning and the trail was very soft in the open. But, once we got into the trees, the shade made for a little firmer trail. Come along and watch as we have a great time flying along our last nordic groom of the season.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Always fun to put smiles on people's faces as we fly by on the trails:
"Hi... Bye!" says the cruising trio.
It was warm and we had to turnaround at some point. Warm plus stop equals goofy kids:
"They are at it again!" says happy Zorro flirting with me at our turnaround point.
"We stop, we roll!" declare the goofy youngsters rolling snow angels to cool off.
A great day for our last nordic groom of the season: 6.8 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 101 days on the trails covering 574.4 miles with 52,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Nice Up High

The conditions were PERFECT on the upper and furthest away trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center this morning!
Wow! Sometimes all you need to say is "WOW!"
I did not think we would make it to the upper shelf trail with Rudy at the nordic center this season (Zorro & Jack have been to this shelf early on when we were dropping young Rudy once a week). Rudy is still limited to how long we let him run and I did not think this shelf was reachable with the current limits. Well, I have been wrong so many times this season about what my 3 sled dog machines can do. Going from 2 to 3 dogs skijoring did not simply add 50% to our power but, instead, I think going from 2 to 3 doubled our power. They really feed off each other! Anyway, the upper shelf has some of the nicest views of the Rocky Mountains you can get:
Catching air along the upper shelf. Great views of the town of Breckenridge down below and
the snow covered Rockies across the valley. Two of the 54 14000+ foot peaks in the
Colorado Rockies are visible up and a little to the right of Jack.
Those prior two photos are pretty incredible given it is mid April. The trail was perfectly groomed and there was only one set of prior ski tracks along the way. The reason is this section of trail is far and high away from the nordic center trailhead, so few people make it this far without dog power towing you. Unfortunately, the lower trails are falling apart quickly. Tracked up, post holes, and sheer ice in the shade. Wish we did not have to come down :)
Tracked up trails, yuck. Every hole, footprint and smooth surface you see in this
sun shot is bumpy & icy in any shade.
Come along and watch the transition from perfect to tracked up. We start out skijoring the perfect upper terrain as we cruise by Kathy's Viewpoint Warming Hut. Then, as the video comes to a close, we enter the lower trails and suddenly I am snowplowing, scraping and moving around trying to find a safe passage over the tracked up trail. So nice up high!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

At our turnaround point on the upper shelf - how's it going partners?
"This is FANTASTIC up high!" declares the happy trio.
End of the day's fun outing - time to reward the sled dogs with pork treats and time to rest my sore legs from the bumpy & icy lower trail :)
"Hand them out - we earned them!" says the focused trio.

Perfect up high while deteriorating down low - wish we had a way to stay up high all day! 6.9 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 100 days on the trails covering 567.6 miles with 52,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Still There

Approaching a large snow covered object in the trail.
"Big snow covered boulder" are you thinking?
Flying by the snow covered object to our right. 
What is under that big mound of snow? If you said "boulder", then you are wrong. If you said "trapped SUV", then, BINGO, you are right :)

Back in December we encountered a dead SUV on this trail which is a dirt road used by off roaders and hunters in the summer and fall. The owners of the SUV appeared to have driven out the road without checking the forecast as it snowed over 1 foot the previous night and the car was now clearly trapped until Spring. Well, we have had a very good snow year and I am now certain this car will not get out until late May at the earliest. Should have checked the forecast before driving out the road last December...
Yep - it is the stuck SUV now buried in snow. On by we zoom!
We went to skijor the trails of Golden Horseshoe this morning. Overnight temperatures got below freezing but not by much. As a result, I expected the spring crust to be too soft to support us. The plan was to stick to the set snowmobile trails in this area. But, about 10 minutes into the outing and I instructed my partners to go "off trail" and test the crust. The results? Woo Hoo, it was still solid enough to hold us!!!
Woo Hoo a solid Spring Crust!
With a solid crust, we really enjoy Golden Horseshoe as there are endless wide meadows in which to make your own trail.
Endless spring crust! One of multiple meadows we where we set our own path.
We skijored down the middle of this meadow (as you see in the photo) and then came back
on the right side, then back out the left side and finally crossed back the middle again to return.
So fun making your own path on the spring crust. Come along for a short clip of our tour across the open meadows.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What a fun crust day, right guys?
"Yes! I am having a blast!" declares super happy Zorro.
"Great time, but why stop?" asks happy Jack fully lined out and wanting to keep going :)
"Great time! Let's do the meadow again!" adds happy Rudy looking back the way we came.

A comical moment seeing the SUV that has been trapped for 4+ months with more to go and then a great time touring the spring crust in Golden Horseshoe: 6.2 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 99 days on the trails covering 560.7miles with 51,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dust & Flakes

What has now become our ritual at any turnaround point on the trails this Spring:
snow angels from youngsters Jack & Rudy plus happy faces from veteran Zorro.
"Goofballs I tell you, just a bunch of goofballs!" says happy Zorro.
"We stop, we roll!" demonstrate the snow angel pair :)
This morning found us back on the trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center to get the most out of this terrain before they stop grooming it this weekend. While we did not find the trails freshly groomed this morning, we did find a dusting of new snow. With a bit of new snow, I have enough control of the skis to feel safe uncorking the strong & fast trio. I put the skis together and turned us loose on the complex terrain on the Gluteus Maximus Trail (something you cannot do without fresh snow for control):
Flying trio on the complex Gluteus Maximus - a series of steep rises, falls and curves winding
you through the forest.
Come along for a glimpse of the Gluteus Maximus Trail - rises, falls and curves galore. Notice the light snowfall coming down around us and the dusting of snow on the trail giving me just enough control to feel (somewhat :) safe...
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After Gluteus Maximus, it was time to open it up on the open and less steep upper elevation trails at the nordic center. Time to get in sync as we go, go, go...
Synchronized hover huskies zooming along the trail.
Hey look - Zorro has finally decided Rudy is a keeper :)
"Ok kid, you've grown into an impressive sled dog - you can stay!" says Zorro to Rudy,
happy that he is maturing out of his puppihood.
Another group celebration at the end of a fun day's run:
"We LOVE skijoring!" says the happy & focused trio.
Just enough of a dusting to feel safe on the trails with light snowflakes falling around us most of the morning's outing: 6.9 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH (it sure felt faster, but this is what the GPS reported).

2018/2019 Season to Date: 98 days on the trails covering 554.5 miles with 50,600 feet of elevation climbed.