Saturday, December 31, 2022

Powder Jack

A bit windy high up near treeline on Baldy Mountain this morning!

Jack & Rudy breaking trail in 10+ inches of powder as the haze you see
in this photo is snow blowing all around us.

We skijored two laps on Baldy Mountain this morning. On the first lap we went high to near treeline. Once we got up in elevation, the snow was deep, deep, deep! Some of it from snowfall and some of it from wind blown drifts. Jack & Rudy had a very aerobic romp through the deep powder!

Breaking trail in about 18 inches of powder in this shot! POW!

But, we did spend the majority of the outing down "in the trees" lower on Baldy. The powder was only a couple of inches deep down lower in the protection of trees. Jack earned the nickname Powder Jack long ago for his love to run in shallow powder over set tracks. If the snow is shallow enough for him to keep pace in the powder, he'll always run there over set tracks. Thus, Powder Jack.

Only one person had been on this trail before us. Rudy chose to run in the
existing ski track while Powder Jack chose to run in the shallow powder instead.

Come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. Powder Jack having a blast in the shallow powder running alongside Rudy in the single set ski track. Wheeee! 

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Of course, skijoring Baldy means we get to flirt and fly on by oncoming skiers all morning long :)

"Hi... Bye... Made you smile!" says Jack & Rudy cruising on by.

Deep powder up high, shallow powder down low, what a fun array of conditions, right guys?

"Yep! Now how about those end of run treats?!?" says the focused pair.

Fun powder day on Baldy Mountain: 7.2 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 52 days on the trails covering 441.1 miles with 39,400 feet of elevation climbed.


Friday, December 30, 2022

Still Singing

Rudy is still singing today about his birthday yesterday :)

"Happy WOOday to me!!!!" Rudy is still singing today after singing
to himself all day yesterday.
"That's so yesterday, I'm back to snow angels!" adds rolling Jack.

Yes, only wooing Rudy can continue singing birthday songs (to himself) for over 24 hours! Singing aside, we found ourselves zipping around the backcountry and then onto the groomed country this morning. Come along for the fun!

We started the day weaving through trees on narrow single track backcountry trails:

Winding through the trees, wheeee!

We then transitioned to wider trails but still somewhat narrow set tracks. Is that a corduroy going down the middle of this narrow trail? Why, yes, it is. The fun trail gets groomed occasionally by what I call a "mini groomer" - basically a snowmobile towing a grooming sled. So, the corduroy is the width of a snowmobile. 

Flying along the mini groomer track. Zoom!

Finally, we ended the day on the wide groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. We did two fast loops on the upper groomed circle before flying along the main trail back to the trailhead. Jack & Rudy know what to do on a fast & wide groomed trail!

The Hover Huskies catching air once again. Wheeee!

Come along for the video counterpart of the prior photo. I really enjoy this section of trail. We start out fast on an open straightaway. Then, we come to a tight left in the trail that we all have to lean into (especially me on skis) - I can see through the trees before the left so I know it is clear on the other side and we can take the corner as fast as we can. Finally, once out of the corner it is time to floor it again on another open straightaway. Fun!!!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, all smiles as we cruise by Nancy to finish another 10 mile skijor outing:

"We could go all day!" suggests smiling Jack & Rudy.

Zooming today: 10.1 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 51 days on the trails covering 433.9 miles with 38,300 feet of elevation climbed.


Thursday, December 29, 2022

Rudy Birthday

Today is young Rudy's 5th birthday! My how the little woo machine has grown fast!!!

"Happy WOOday to me!" belts out wooing Rudy.
"Who sings 'happy birthday' to himself?" asks curious Jack :)

I could not have asked for better conditions to put together the perfect skijor outing for Rudy. We have yet to skijor Baldy Mountain this season as that terrain is very steep and very rocky without sufficient snow cover. I have been waiting for the powder day to let us do Baldy for the first time this season. Well, last night delivered as Breckenridge Ski Resort got 11" of powder and we even had 4+ at home. So off we went to Baldy to enjoy a fresh powder day for Rudy's birthday.

Why is Baldy perfect for Rudy? Well, Rudy's three favorite activities are wooing, running and flirting (in that order, I believe). Baldy is popular with locals and always full on powder days. The perfect place to woo, run and flirt...

Here we are near the beginning of the outing and I asked Jack & Rudy to move to the right to let this skier pass by. As she got close she said, "Wow, I wish I had your setup!" Rudy responded, of course :)

"WOOOOO! I'd tow you tooooo!" responds the wooing flirt.

So many opportunities for Rudy to "flirt and fly" on the trails today! Jack too, but we'll focus on Rudy for his birthday...

"Coming through! Aren't I impressive?" says flirting Rudy to the
oncoming skiers as we fly by.

We are always great entertainment for the skiers on Baldy as we bring smiles to their faces as we fly on by:

"Whee - made you smile!" says cruising by Jack & Rudy.

We also took two side trails off the main trail to enjoy a little untouched powder:

Yep, 11+ inches of fresh powder on Baldy too!

But, we spent the majority of the day on the main Baldy Trail for the wooing & flirting birthday boy. Come along for a fun ride on steep Baldy. This is one of 4 passes we made on this stretch of trail and each time we encountered multiple skiers to flirt with as we flew on by :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What a fun birthday celebration for the wooing, running & flirting redhead. A PERFECT day for him!

"That was FUN!" exclaims happy Rudy.
"Hey, I had a blast too!!!" adds happy Jack.

What a week: a Christmas run where Jack surpassed 5,000 career skijor miles, a great skijor for my birthday on the 27th and a flirtatiously fun skijor for Rudy's birthday today! Unfortunately, Jack's birthday is July 20th, so this wraps up our week of skijor birthdays.

One thing about Baldy - we trade distance for elevation: 7.4 miles traveled with 1400 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 50 days on the trails covering 423.8 miles with 37,600 feet of elevation climbed.


Tuesday, December 27, 2022

My Birthday

Today is my birthday, let me introduce you to my birthday party coordinators :)

"We know how to throw a real BASH!" says my cute & happy
party coordinators.

Jack & Rudy took me to Vail Pass this morning to give me a birthday skijor. We got started early to beat the holiday week crowds. As we began, the sun peeked over the eastern mountains just enough for Jack & Rudy to give me this cool birthday hover huskies photo:

Just enough sun to highlight the hover huskies floating over the trail.
What a cool shot!!!

To really appreciate the prior photo, notice in the remaining photos in today's blog that there is no bright sun or shadows. The sun gave us the lighting for the prior photo and then rose behind the clouds in the sky. How fun to have captured this short moment of bright sun.

To celebrate, Jack & Rudy took me on a wild ride on the Wilder Gulch trail at Vail Pass. This is a fun trail that is almost always fast packed and zooming. See for yourself:

The kids airborne again!
Why am I so far to the left? Well notice the upcoming right bend in the
trail. With surfaces this fast packed, I have to swing way out to the left
to have any chance of keeping upright with Jack & Rudy flying to the right!

Here we go for a minute of "getting wild in Wilder Gulch" - this was actually Jack & Rudy's second ever skijor in Wilder Gulch and their first ever without Zorro. Amazing how they took to this trail like they'd done it a 100 times before!!!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We were going so fast that we used up all of the main Wilder Gulch Trail way ahead of schedule. No problem, we just did a fun side tour on some snowmobile tracks.

Zipping along in soft snowmobile tracks. Whee!

You know, throwing such a great party is exhausting. Just ask Jack & Rudy who had to stop, drop and roll to cool off midway through the outing.

Rudy always rolls his snow angels "on trail".
Jack will often throw himself off trail into side powder to get more
snow all over himself while rolling.

What a fun birthday skijor! I decided to thank my coordinators with tasty end of run treats :)

"Glad you had fun! We know how to throw a BASH!" says the
proud & happy kids.

Getting wild in Wilder Gulch: 9.8 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 49 days on the trails covering 416.4 miles with 36,200 feet of elevation climbed.


Monday, December 26, 2022

Passing 400


Unapproved trail shenanigans. 
Started by Rudy and joined in by Jack!

We surpassed 400 miles of skijoring for the 2022/2023 season this morning (406.6 to be exact). Prior photo aside, we were tearing it up cruising around the Peak 7 trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center. There was a light layer of new snow on the trails and we were thrilled to find we were first on the morning's new snow. Somewhere along the stretch of trail in the photo below is where we surpassed 400 miles for the season.

Fresh tracks - wheeee!
To our right and far down below to the valley floor is the town
of Breckenridge. We love these high elevation trails!

With Jack & Rudy running at a quick pace, we found ourselves redoing a bunch of stretches of trail. No problem, the kids were into redoing anything to keep going fast :)

Zipping by Kathie's Viewpoint Warming Hut. We made 5 passes by this
hut before turning to go higher up.

There is a large loop you can do on these trails on Peak 7. As I alluded to in the prior photo, we redid the bottom part of the loop 2.5 times before making the climb to the upper part of the loop. Since we were first, second and third tracks on the lower arc, I was really expecting to be first tracks on the upper arc. But, alas, one person had gone out/back on the upper arc before us. No problem, with only 2 ski tracks before us, there was still plenty of untouched snow to tickle our toes and skis along the upper arc. Come along for a minute of fast fun along this upper arc (highest elevation in this video is around 12,000 feet).

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

What did Rudy have to say about today's fast outing. Well, what does Rudy ALWAYS have to say ;)

"Wooooo, I approooooove!" exclaims the wooing goofball.
"There's no off switch to the woo motor, is there?" asks Jack.
No, Jack, unfortunately Rudy did not come equipped with an off switch :)

Back to the trailhead to share end of run treats with my incredible partners (first photo aside :)

"We had so much fun today!" declares the happy, focused pair.

Zipping around the nordic center: 10.1 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 48 days on the trails covering 406.6 miles with 35,100 feet of elevation climbed.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Jack 5000

Jack & Rudy, the "powerful, miniature reindeer" towing me to the finish in my Santa hat this Christmas morning :)

Santa would certainly accept these two in his reindeer team :)

Today marked a very impressive milestone. 5 year old Jack surpassed 5,000 career skijor miles (5,006.3 miles to be exact). Now, put that in full perspective, he has amassed the majority of these miles since turning 1.5 years old as he was a baby and growing and then doing very short training runs before that. Then, factor in some of those evil summer months without snow and he's put together an impressive 5,006.3 miles in that time! Wow Jack! Impressive!!!!

For the curious, Rudy is roughly 5 months younger than Jack and roughly 175 career miles behind Jack. So, we'll certainly have a "wooing as surpassing 5,000 miles" post for Rudy in January :)

Back to this morning's fun Christmas run. We started the day laying fresh tracks on backcountry trails as Jack & Rudy love to do:

Laying fresh tracks as the ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort come into
view across the valley.

We did and "out & back" in the backcountry to start the outing. So, we had a turnaround point on this leg of the outing. As impressive as Jack's 5000 miles is the fact that he has rolled at least 1 snow angel on EVERY skijor outing of his life (and often more than one). It is safe to say that Jack LOVES snow angels. Rudy loves them too, but his snow angel tally is at about 90-95% of his lifetime outings compared to Jack's 100%!

"You expected anything different?" asks goofy Jack looking back to me.
"Ah, digging my snow angel today!" adds soothing Rudy.

After our backcountry out & back, we dropped onto the groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. Much to our surprise and pleasure, we were first tracks on the freshly groomed trails! From backcountry fresh tracks to groomed country first tracks, it doesn't get much better than that!!!

Flying Jack & Rudy - see, Santa would accept these flying Siberians
to join his flying reindeer.

The kids were really into being first tracks on the freshly groomed trail and FLOORING it this morning. Top speed in this skijor clip? 24 MPH. Zoom! I'm actually surprised the GPS did not clock us at 26 MPH (our usual season top speed), it sure felt that fast to me on skis!!! If your volume is up you'll hear some "whees" from me as we go over little lifts in the trail. Each "whee" from me adds more energy and juice to Jack & Rudy! :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

We were going so fast, that we redid the groomed trail twice. Second pass same as the first, just swapped in position...

Second pass, switch sides, same results. Zoom!

Jack & Rudy: what an impressive pair of miniature, flying reindeer.

"We had a flying blast!" declares the happy, happy kids.

Fast, fun day: 11.1 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 47 days on the trails covering 396.5 miles with 34,200 feet of elevation climbed.

5 year old Jack's skijor career to date: 5006.3 miles and counting! Go Jack Go!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Crest & Go

Rounding the corner by the historic Sallie Barber Mine this morning:

Zipping on by, wheeee!

We had a fun outing doing laps near Sallie Barber Mine. We did 3 laps on the lesser used backside of the mine (up, then down and then back up again). Lesser used means tighter trails:

Jack & Rudy packed in tight to fit on the narrow backside set trail.

We then did 3 laps on the much busier front side of the mine (down, up and then down again).

Flooring it on the much wider front side trail. Zoom!

Come along for our first pass by the mine. Recall we had just gone up, down and back up this side of the mine. Watch as Jack is clearly demonstrating his desire to "fly on by" to the front side on this pass by the mine. Rudy, on the other hand, starts this crest in a light trot, waiting to see if I call out for us to turnaround again. Once even with the mine, both know this means we are not turning around and ZOOM, off we go. Wheeee!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, I believe I was the center of attention at today's end of run treats meeting :)

"You have our FULL and UNDIVIDED attention!" declares the ultra
focused pair.

Fun morning doing laps around the mine: 8.1 miles traveled with 850 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 46 days on the trails covering 385.4 miles with 33,400 feet of elevation climbed.


Wednesday, December 21, 2022


Fun shot of happy & hard working Jack & Rudy towing me to the finish of this morning's skijor.

Smiles all around. Wheeee!

Today's outing took on a ride up & down Boreas Pass. When you skijor Boreas, you know you are going to get a ton of nice view shots. Come along and see for yourself...

Nice view of Jack & Rudy shoulder to shoulder laying fresh tracks high up on Boreas:

Freshies in about 2 inches of new snow.
Where does Jack end and Rudy start? :)

Picking up speed as we fly by the historic Bakers Tank (leftover from when Boreas Pass was the main railroad route in & out of Breckenridge):

Zipping kids, fun shot of Bakers Tank.

Cruising along as the Rocky Mountains start to become visible as the morning clouds clear:

Look up & to our left and you'll see the mountains peaks starting
to break through the morning clouds.

Boreas is always great for getting a pretty shot of Breckenridge Ski Resort across the valley:

Zipping along again as you see the ski runs of Breckenridge Ski Resort
on the mountains across valley from us.

Finally, my favorite view: happy Jack & Rudy patiently awaiting end of run treats:

"Ready!" declares the happy & focused pair.

As you see, a pretty day on Boreas Pass: 9.3 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 45 days on the trails covering 377.3 miles with 32,550 feet of elevation climbed.


Monday, December 19, 2022


Happy, happy kids at the end of this morning's 10+ mile skijor!!!

"We had SO much fun!" declares the happy kids.

Part of today's skijor outing was spent frolicking around the ears for which Rabbit Ears Pass gets its name. There is a peak at the pass, Rabbit Ears Peak, and the two rocks atop the peak are referred to as the "rabbit ears"; thus the ears of Rabbit Ears Pass.

We started out a bit of a distance from the peak:

Upper left in this photo are the rock ears atop Rabbit Ears Peak.
Beautiful groomed trail too! Zoom.

A little further along and the ears are closer....

Better view of the two rock ears in the upper left here.
Oh, zooming again for Jack & Rudy :)

A little further along and even closer...

Straight up from Jack's head are the rock ears.
Did I mention "zoom" from Jack & Rudy on the perfect trail?

I kept saying the phrase "rabbit ears" as we were skijoring around the peak. Eventually Jack & Rudy decided there must be a rabbit under the snow for me to keep saying that word so often...

"Dunk! Hel-loooo? Any rabbits under here?!?" says the silly kids
probing for rabbits under the snow.

It was a BEAUTIFUL morning for a 10+ mile skijor on great trail conditions. Come along for this glimpse into the fun. If you can take your eyes off impressive running Jack & Rudy, you'll see Rabbit Ears Peak (and, thus, the ears) coming in & out of view multiple times in this video clip.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Fun day playing with the rabbit ears: 10.2 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 43 days on the trails covering 362.2 miles with 31,250 feet of elevation climbed. 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

25 MPH

Rudy approved of today's fast & fun skijor outing :)

"Woo, I approoooooove!" declares wooing Rudy.
Of course, happy Jack & I approved to; but both of us know to just
"ride the woo out" when Rudy goes off talking. 

What was there to approooooove of? Well, how about this - first tracks on the freshly groomed trails around Walton Peak. Jack & Rudy were ecstatic and literally FLYING all morning long. How about this for some nice lift off the trail...

Wow!!! What Hover Huskies!!!!!!

Our top speed today? 25 MPH! That's our fastest of the 2022/2023 season to date. Every season we tend to hit 26 MPH a few times and Jack & Rudy even topped 27 MPH once. But, hitting 25 MPH while still in the middle of December is quite a feat! Come along for the video clip where we topped 25 MPH. We start off with Jack & Rudy launching me down a short down dip coming off Walton Peak. They use this dip to launch into the upcoming endless straightaway. What a fun & impressive video clip!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

If being first tracks on the groomie zoomie wasn't enough. Well, how about being second tracks to some elk? Yes, for one section of trail an elk (or two or three) had sauntered along the trail before us. This did NOT go unnoticed by Jack & Rudy. Talk about adding a little extra juice to the already fast day!

Bottom of this shot just left of center - that's an elk's two toed print
in the photo. Note the tracks continue down the center of the photo
with Jack & Rudy running fast on each side of the trail of tracks.

Ok, here's a fun fact about this morning's outing. It was -18 F at the trailhead (yes, that is 18 BELOW zero). I was wearing my warmest skijor gear. Jack & Rudy, you ask? Well, they needed to roll snow angels to cool off after running so fast. Hot at 18 below? What a couple of crazies!

"So hot, must roll and cool our jets!" demonstrates the silly kids.

Now you understand Rudy's woo of approval in the first photo, what a fun & fast morning!

Adorable Rudy awaiting his end of run treat and mellow, happy Jack
patiently awaiting his.

A zooming day: 10.5 miles traveled with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH!

2022/2023 Season to Date: 42 days on the trails covering 352.0 miles with 30,450 feet of elevation climbed.