Friday, December 31, 2021

Rudy's 500th

Today was Rudy's 500th skijor of his young career. He made the most of it!!!

Rudy the (red nosed) Flying Reindeer next to Jack the
flying cannonball! Wheeee!

What a fun way to close out 2021 with Rudy's 500th skijor of his young career. Slightly older Jack has 533 skijors in his career. What a couple of accomplished 4 year olds!

Flipped sides from the prior shot. Now we have flying Jack next to
the Rudy cannonball!

We had a fast & fun day skijoring around the backcountry all morning. For the 8th day in a row, we found ourselves laying fresh tracks in the morning's new snow! When you step off trail, you can really see how much snow we've been accumulating this week, right guys?

Jack & Rudy in shoulder deep snow when they stepped off trail.

Why step off trail? Well, to search for moose of course! I let Jack lead us off trail in the deep snow you see above and into the nearby trees. I knew their "moose sensors" were ON. But, with such deep snow and open space between the trees, I could see that there were no moose in the immediate vicinity. So, I let Jack lead us into the depths and look what we found:

Moose Tracks!!! A moose recently came from Rudy's left and into the
trees where Jack is looking. Jack is also standing in the moose track trough.

After a little deep snow moose searching, it was back onto the main trail. With a light layer of new snow on this packed terrain, it was time to really put the pedal to the metal. Come along for the fast & fun ride.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Total lifetime skijor outings across the crew? Zorro: 1274; Jack: 533; Rudy: 500. I think retired Zorro still deserves the end of run treats first :)

"Those kids have soooo much work to do to catch me!" says focused Zorro.
"We're trying, we're trying!" adds happy Jack.
"Hey, I just turned 4, 500 is pretty good!" states satisfied Rudy.

Another perfect day to zoom around laying fresh tracks: 10 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 49 days on the trails covering 388.9 miles with 36,700 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, December 30, 2021


Oh those silly kids rolling snow angels when I paused us briefly on the trails this morning :)

"You pause, we roll!!!!!" demonstrates the silly snow angel twins.

Today was a really fun outing with Jack & Rudy. Well, every outing is fun, but some just have an extra fun feeling than others.

Today's extra fun? Well, laying fresh tracks in new snow almost the entire outing and skijoring in all widths of trails. From very narrow to very wide! Come along for the fun...

We spent the beginning of the outing with fresh snow over a narrow snowmobile track weaving through the forest. The musher (me) has two things to watch for on such narrow and forested terrain. First, watching my skis as we whip through and around the trees. Second, watching my head for low hanging branches! It's not enough to just watch Jack & Rudy as I have to keep track of what's "taller than them but shorter than me" such as low hanging branches. What a workout for the human!

Working the human as we weave through the forest!
Look out for that tree!

Next, we transitioned onto much wider and open terrain but were still in fresh snow over a snowmobile track. Finally, I can stop looking up for branches and concentrate on keeping pace with Jack & Rudy!

Wide & open terrain but still in a snowmobile track under 
the fresh snow.

Finally, we moved onto ultra wide trails. We were still laying fresh tracks, but the packed trail under the new snow was as wide as a snowcat. Time to uncork Jack & Rudy to set the speed while I glide over the morning's fresh snow. Zoom.

The Jack & Rudy bullet train as I'm working the skis the best
I can to keep pace :)

My favorite part of the outing? Well, that's a hard one. Today I'll pick the "mid width" stretch of trail. Come along as we are really flying along in fresh snow over a snowmobile track on wide & open terrain. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Back to the trailhead with our retired mentor, Zorro. What was everyone else's favorite part of the day?

"I like you all returning for 'end of run' treats!" states Zorro.
"Gosh, can I love it all?!?!?" asks giddy Jack.
"I like 'flooring it' on ANY terrain!" says 'beautiful stride' Rudy :)

Fresh tracks fun almost all morning long - fun: 9.2 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 48 days on the trails covering 378.9 miles with 35,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Rudy Birthday

Rudy turned 4 years old today. Come along for his birthday skijor celebration!

"I'm the happiest 4 year old around!" declares happy, happy Rudy.
"I'm the silliest 4 year old around!' demonstrates snow rolling Jack
(who is also 4, but 5 months older than Rudy).

To celebrate Rudy's birthday, we went skijoring on the trails in Swan Valley that are also used by the dog sled teams from Good Times Adventures. Rudy (and Jack) love skijoring around the trails with all the other teams. It was quite a fun celebration for Rudy!

The first dog sled team we encountered was crossing the trail in front of us but quite a bit ahead of us. We paused to watch and let them pass.

"Hi guys!!!!" says focused Jack & Rudy.
You can see 2 of the sled dogs ahead and to the right and you can
barely make out the musher (wearing black) and sled in the upper
center of this shot.

Then, coming around a corner and we encountered another team crossing in front of us, but a little closer this time. 

"Hey dudes! Can we join?!?" asks Jack & Rudy watching the team cross.
There are 8 dogs on this team although 4 are already behind the snow wall
to our left. Love the sled dog in the back who is looking directly at us as
he goes on by.

Finally, we got to execute one perfect pass on by a team coming at us on the same trail. I could tell by the behavior (i.e., panic) of the musher that this musher and/or team was not used to passing. So, I shortened the gangline on Jack & Rudy to a very short line before instructing them to pass on by. Unfortunately my arms & hands were blocking the GoPro on my chest as I shortened the line until the camera could see the two wheel dogs and sled of the team we passed perfectly.

"Hello friends! Passing through!" demonstrates perfect Jack & Rudy.

What fun, what fun :) But, ready for a little more fun? We always do a few laps around the trails before going to flirt with the dog sled teams. I like to have Jack & Rudy's initial burst out of their system before seeking out teams to flirt with. Today's warmup laps included topping 24 MPH on a super nice section of trail. Come along for the fast fun!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What a birthday bash!

"Glad the kid had fun!" says mentor Zorro.
"Love celebrating Rudy's birthday!" exclaims Jack (his birthday is
in July, so never as fun as Rudy's :)
"All this for me? Gosh, I'm flattered!" adds cute Rudy.

A great celebration of Rudy: 8.1 miles traveled with 600 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 47 days on the trails covering 369.7 miles with 35,200 feet of elevation climbed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Building Snowpack

Another fabulous day out on the trails with Jack & Rudy!

"Yes! What a wonderful morning!" exclaims the happy, happy kids.

Today was our 5th day in a row "slowed by deep snow" out on the trails. Woo Hoo! After an extremely dry November and slow start to December, Mother Nature has really kicked it into overdrive to end this December. It is fun to be able to say, "We've had 5 straight days of new snowfall with snow forecast for every day for the rest of this year!!!!" Sure, the year ends Friday night, but it's still fun to be able to say that!

No complaints from any of us, we really need the snowpack we are be building this magical end of December 2021. This morning found us laying fresh tracks in 4+ inches of snow to start the outing:

Laying fresh tracks in 4+ inches of fresh powder. Fun!

The further and higher we went, the deeper it got. How's this for Jack & Rudy snorkeling through 10+ inches of fresh powder?!?!?!

Rudy is REALLY snorkeling in this shot!
Jack is floating a bit above the powder as he glides along.

We did a loop on the Peak 7 trails at Breckenridge Nordic Center this morning. As you see above, we were first on the trail for the start of the outing. Eventually, as we looped around, we intersected two ski tracks from people who had gone the opposite direction as us in the loop. With tracks to reuse, Jack & Rudy were pedal to the metal :)

Tracks to reuse - floor it!!!

Come along for the fun video counterpart to the prior photo. Zoom, zoom, zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What a fun morning in the fresh snow. Let's celebrate with 'end of run' treats:

"Good idea!" declares focused Zorro.
"Yeah, great idea!" adds giddy Jack.
"I agree, hand them out!" contributes cute young Rudy.

From fresh tracks to breaking trail to fast times in existing tracks - what a fun day: 7.8 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 46 days on the trails covering 361.6 miles with 34,600 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, December 27, 2021


A "different focus" from all at 'end of run' treats time :)

"Focused on your hands for treat time!" says Zorro.
"Focused on your head for treat time!' adds Jack.
"Focused on the treat bag, looks like enough!" contributes Rudy.

Today is my birthday and the whole crew (Zorro, Jack & Rudy) treated me to a very fun birthday bash. Come along for the highlights.

We found a cool stretch of trail with a high snow wall to our right and set tracks along each side of the trail. Zoom!

Cool shot of the snow wall next to Jack as we cruise along.

It was very windy yesterday, so we encountered long stretches of wind drifted deep snow to plow through!

Look at those deep snow holes behind powder hopping Jack & Rudy!

But, for every wind drifted stretch, there was a wind barren stretch (the snow had to blow from somewhere into the drifts :) Jack & Rudy took the barren stretches to open the throttle while I rode as far to the left as possible for my skis to be in a safe amount of snow!

The kids sprinting along a wind barren stretch.
Nice view of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley from us.
Just enough snow far to the left for me to stay upright on skis!

Of course, at turnaround time, Jack & Rudy showed me how much fun it would be to roll snow angels on your birthday :)

"Come on dad - join us!" says the snow rolling goofs.

Finally, for a real birthday treat, I got to ski slowly alongside retired Zorro to celebrate the end of another fun birthday bash. It was a real treat to finish next to special Zorro for a present - I sure miss the retired old man out on the trails! Thanks Zorro!

My present from Zorro!

A fun birthday skijor this morning across a wide variety of wind driven conditions! 7.3 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 45 days on the trails covering 353.8 miles with 33,900 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, December 26, 2021


Fun day in the backcountry, right guys?

"You bet! Fun, fun, fun!!!!" declares the happy. happy kids.

We have had a lot of very welcome snow the past few days. Enough snow that backcountry trails are getting narrower and narrower the further away you get from civilization! 

Jack & Rudy have no problem breaking trail (as I've shown many times in the past). But, no reason to over exert yourself in deep powder if there is a set track to ride instead. But, today's set tracks were often very narrow and deep. Too narrow to fit side-by-side and too deep outside of the track for one guy to ride "in" with the other "out". No problem, just time for single file skijoring when necessary :)

Cruising along in the narrow single track with VERY deep snow outside
of the track!

Occasionally, though, the set tracks widened to be "Two Siberians Wide". Whenever that happened, Jack & Rudy pulled shoulder to shoulder and off we went! Wheeeee!

Just wide enough for both kids to fit side by side!

Our fun skijor clip from this morning is on a set trail barely two siberian huskies wide. Come along as Rudy & Jack squeeze to fit in the trail side by side to go fast. Notice powder Jack drifts in/out of the shoulder powder for fun; but always squeezes back into the set track in order to keep pace with "in track Rudy". Fun guys. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Then, once we got near civilization, the set trail really widened. As a result, the last mile of our outing was on fast, wide and packed trails. Zoom!

Wide, packed and fast. Zoom!

Back to tell Zorro all about our backcountry fun this morning!

"Yep, been there, done that! Did the kids do ok?" asks mentor Zorro.
"Haha, hehe, we had a blast!" declares the giggle twins joining in the treat party.

A very peaceful day deep in the backcountry on narrow trails: 8.2 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 19 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 44 days on the trails covering 346.5 miles with 33,000 feet of elevation climbed.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

White Christmas

It was a very merry white Christmas on Baldy Mountain this morning!

Jack & Rudy putting smiles on other festive skiers we encountered
on the trail.

That is quite the festive Christmas photo above. We have: 1 skier wearing a Christmas bulb necklace, another wearing a Christmas hat, Rudy the Red Nosed Siberian, 1 musher (me) wearing a Christmas hat (see the last photo below) and 1 right jolly young elf (Jack, who is about the jolliest guy you'll ever meet :)

With almost 2 feet of snow falling the last 48 hours, it was a right jolly White Christmas on Baldy Mountain this morning. Unfortunately the GoPro Camera I wear was apparently on the naughty list as it kept turning off all outing long.

Anyway, we did three laps in fresh snow around Iowa Mill on Baldy Mountain. The first lap found us carving up the terrain in a ton of fresh snow; yet the naughty camera failed to capture that. But, the naughty camera did capture a bit of our last (of three) laps on Baldy.

Flying along Baldy on our final of 3 laps along this stretch of trail.

With such a naughty camera, the only video highlight I could salvage goes along with the prior photo. Come along for a brief stretch of "operating camera" as we fly along the fast & fun Baldy Mountain Trail. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Back to enjoy 'end of run' treats in the back of the Jeep with Zorro:

Festive musher in a Christmas hat.
Rudy the Red Nosed Siberian.
Jack the right jolly young elf.
Zorro the right jolly old elf.
What a festive Christmas party :)

So thankful for the recent snow to allow us to skijor Baldy Mountain on this festive Christmas morning: 7.4 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 43 days on the trails covering 338.3 miles with 32,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2021


Laying fresh tracks in Dry Gulch this morning and it's supposed to continue snowing all day! Yay!
Kicking up powder along the fun Dry Gulch Trail!

We are in the midst of a (hopefully) really good multi-day snowstorm. We were so excited for new snow that we got out early to be first on the trails. Success, we found ourselves laying fresh tracks almost the entire outing. From a mild 3-4 inches (see above) to the occasional 10+ powder cache (see below). Yay for Snow.

One of the 10+ inch powder caches we found on today's outing!

Most of the outing was like the first photo - laying fresh tracks in 3-5 inches of fresh powder. Come along for a video view into the fun. Yay for Snow (did I already say that? :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Today's outing was in established moose territory. Twice Jack & Rudy froze in their tracks to peek into the forest for moose.Their noses clearly caught the presence of moose; but we failed to put any bodies to the wonderful smell. I did see moose tracks in the trees in the direction they were looking; but the big bodies were too deep & hidden in the trees for a visual. Oh well, might as well fill the noses on the scent of moose when you can :)

"Our noses KNOW you are there, where are you?" asks the moose
scenting kids.

Back to the trailhead.... Zorro, Zorro - so much fun, we had fresh snow all to ourselves AND smelled moose multiple times!!!!

"Hmm, I smell 'end of run' treats!" states focused Zorro.
"No really, my nose is full of moose!" adds silly Jack.
"Make sure you save some for me!" says treat-focused Rudy.

A beautiful morning to romp around the forest in fresh snow and fill your nose with the scent of moose: 8.6 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 42 days on the trails covering 330.9 miles with 31,200 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

New Extension

The kids were a bit frisky on this morning's skijor outing :)

Frisky kids deciding to play on the trail!

Today was a new feature for us on otherwise well-known trails. We were skijoring the upper elevation trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center which spans peaks 6 & 7 of the 10 mile range - nothing new about this, we skijor these trails all the time. But, the new feature is the nordic center ran the groomer up the Peak 6 Service Road until it connected with the ski lifts of Breckenridge Ski Resort on Peak 6. Normally this service road is not groomed in winter and brave backcountry skiers tackle it on their own (making your own path up/down). I did this once years ago with Max & Zorro only to realize, "Whoa! That was a steep climb which means a death defying descent!" and swore never to do it again :) After all, I am on cross country skis and those are not designed for steep descents in deep powder. But, with the slow/low snow we've had to start the season, the nordic center ran the groomer up this service road in an attempt to give us more terrain to ski. With a groomed trail, I had no fear in going up & down it with Jack & Rudy.

Success, we skijored up the groomed trail to the base of ski operations on Peak 6. It was a nice ride up for me behind the Siberian Tow Rope (Jack & Rudy):

"Phew, gotta cool my jets after hauling the human up!" demonstrates Jack.
"Do I get paid for towing you to the base of operations?" asks all-business Rudy.

After the wild (and steep) ride up/down Peak 6, we continued the day on the usual trails of the nordic center. The highlight of this leg of the outing? Snowfall!

The big blur in the upper left is a snowflake hitting the camera.
The white blob in the upper right is another incoming snowflake.
All the white speckles you see are more snowflakes falling around us!

It wasn't heavy snowfall, but it was snowfall and we'll take EVERYTHING to build our snowpack. The prior still shot does not do justice to the snowfall; so come along for a video clip where the lightly falling snow can be seen quite clearly. Yay for Snow!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Back to the trailhead and ready for 'end of run' treats with elder Zorro. Everybody ready?

"Yep! Do I get them all?" asks reliable Zorro while the goofball twins
are off trail digging for who knows what in the snow!
Love my focused albeit retired Z!

Let me ask again... "Everybody ready, yet?!?!?"

"Should have given them all to ME!" states Zorro.
"Haha, hehe, we are here now!" adds the la-la-land twins FINALLY
coming into the 'end of run' treat party.

A new, but very steep, extension to our skijors on Breckenridge Nordic Center trails: 6.5 miles traveled with 1300 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 41 days on the trails covering 322.3 miles with 30,500 feet of elevation climbed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Zoom to Zoooom!

Jack & Rudy "catching air" as we fly on by the Kathy's Viewpoint Warming Hut!

No need for Jack & Rudy to "warm up", so fly on by we go :)

We were playing on the trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center this morning. The trails were in very good shape for a busy holiday week when we came upon the groomer running around the trails. At first I stopped to let the groomer pass but then the driver pulled to his right and waved us on. So, I let Jack & Rudy restart and trot on by the groomer. Most of the drivers we encounter on the trails LOVE to see Jack & Rudy so they typically pause and wave us on. So, here we are trotting on by the paused groomer. Interesting to note that Rudy typically takes the outside position on passing to let Jack lead the way :)

"Hey dude, thanks for grooming!" say the kids trotting by.

Once past the groomer, Rudy pulled out to the middle of the trail to show his appreciation as we FLOORED it on the fresh groom. Zoom!

Whee! Fresh Groomie Zoomie.

Eventually we traveled further out than the groomer had been. Yet, it was still a nice packed trail from previous skiers and a nice view too!

Great views of the Rocky Mountains to our right. Nice trail ahead :)

Once we out skied the groomer's path, we turned around to retrace where the groomer had been out on the trails. Come along for a fun "packed to groomed" video clip. We start out on a fast packed trail that takes us by Kathy's Viewpoint Warming Hut. Once past the hut, we connected to where I knew the groomer had been. So, a "left" request from me and Jack & Rudy veer onto the fresh groom and go, go, go! Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We then spent the rest of the morning retracing the groomer's path for a super fast & fun skijor on perfect trails. Love the hover huskies and their shadows in the sun.

Cool hover & shadows on the fresh groomed trail. 

Back to the trailhead to let retired Zorro know how much fun we had today!

"Nice, I remember the groomie zoomies from my younger years!" says Zorro.
"So fun, so fun!" declares giddy Jack & Rudy.

A very enjoyable 10.1 mile outing with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH. Actually, it sure felt faster than 23 a few times to me; but that's what the GPS reported.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 40 days on the trails covering 315.8 miles with 29,200 feet of elevation climbed.

Monday, December 20, 2021


The Hover Huskies were back this moring on fast snowmobile trails. Wheeee!

Hover Huskies!!!

The Snow Angels Twins were also back this morning (as if they ever went away :) 

Rolling, rolling, rolling...

As we are now in Christmas break time of year, the trails are going to be a bit busier than normal for a bit. Even early on weekdays! We encountered three different groups of snowmobiles on the trails with us this morning. Not a problem, Jack & Rudy are well versed in sharing the trails with others! 

Jack & Rudy over to the right as we gently try on by oncoming snowmobiles.

Speaking of "perfect team", come along for the video highlight of the day. We are galloping along nicely when we encounter a group of oncoming snowmobiles. Watch as it takes very little instruction from me and simply the occasional "good" positive reinforcement for us to pass on by this large group of snowmobiles with ease. Smiles on the faces of the snowmobilers and smiles from Jack, Rudy and me as we pass. Finally, we get past the last snowmobile in the group and, ZOOM, we floor it skijoring again. What a perfect team! 

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Just a reminder, it took MANY practice sessions of "on by", "leave it", "over" and "forward" along with "good on by", "good leave" and "good over/forward" to get to this state of perfection. But, I have the utmost trust and confidence in them now to always do what's right. So proud of Jack & Rudy's maturity! 

Back to the trailhead for the end of run treat party with retired Zorro: 

"You have our undivided attention!" declares the super focused trio.

Another beautiful morning for an excellent skijor: 9.6 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2021/2022 Season to Date: 38 days on the trails covering 301.2 miles with 27,900 feet of elevation climbed.