Friday, April 30, 2021

Vail Pass

It's Vail Pass time of year. Hey Jack & Rudy, how firm is the spring crust this morning?

"Solid crust!" confirms Jack & Rudy rolling snow angels
to test the crust before we got started this morning :)

What do I mean by Vail Pass time of year? Well, every season at some point in April or May we will start using Vail Pass more often for skijoring. The terrain at Vail Pass is above 11,000 feet in elevation (and much higher as you climb). All of our other skijor trailheads are in the 9,000 to 10,000 foot elevation ranges. So, at some point in April/May, the trails at 9000/10000 feet start to dry up while the trails above 11,000 are still in good condition. So, Vail Pass is a bit further drive than we normally do for skijoring; but it is well worth it in April/May when the closer trails have melted.

The good news: we had a blast skijoring the spring crust atop Vail Pass this morning. The bad news: a lot more ground is starting to show at Vail Pass than you typically see in April. 

Beautiful crust as Jack & Rudy fly along.
But, that's a lot of exposed ground and bushes ahead of us
for April!

But, you are guaranteed one thing at Vail Pass: the higher you climb, the better it gets. Check out the perfect conditions near our high point of the outing:

Perfect! Nothing but white as far as the eye can see!

One of our favorite things to do at Vail Pass is skijor by the backcountry huts high up. We often run into crowds at the huts of people who have skied in, stayed overnight and are up milling around in the morning. Unfortunately, the 3 huts we passed by today were unoccupied. Our only encounter was with the caretaker making her morning rounds.

No visitors to flirt with at the huts, so we might as well flirt
with the caretaker and her two dogs :)

Now come along for a video highlight of us cruising along the excellent spring crust atop Vail Pass. Despite how much the camera is bouncing in this clip, it did not really feel like a bumpy ride in person. I was pretty surprised to see how much the camera was bouncing given it felt like a smooth ride to me!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, smiles all around as we celebrate this season's return to Vail Pass.

All smiles! Fun boys!

A nice late April outing atop Vail Pass: 9 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2020/2021 Season to Date: 150 days on the trails covering 1224.6 miles with 104,900 feet of elevation climbed.

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