Tuesday, February 28, 2023


It started dumping snow near the end of this morning's skijor outing. Near blizzard skijoring! Wheeee!

Heavy falling and blowing snow as Jack & Rudy zip around
a gentle right in the trail.

The day started out very innocent with only light snowfall as we were laying fresh tracks in the shallow layer of new snow on the trails.

Solo snowflake hitting the camera in the upper center of this photo.
Not many friends with this snowflake to start the day :)

In fact, if you ask Jack & Rudy, it was a bit warm to start the outing (temps were in the low 20s F). I paused momentarily at our first pass by the Hallelujah Warming Hut. This is Jack & Rudy's idea of warming:

"Aaah, must roll in the snow to cool off!" go the silly kids.

As we pushed on, the snow started increasing in intensity. But it was still pretty mild for most of the outing:

Snowing a bit harder as the snowflakes now have friends.
Notice the white "flake dots" agains the trees.
Notice the white "flake dots" against the Hallelujah Hut.
Notice the cool shot of airborne Jack & Rudy :)

Eventually, it was BOOM and it started dumping. Very intense snowfall for the last 15 minutes or so of our outing. Not a blizzard, but darn near close to it. Come along and watch for 75 seconds of skijoring amid intense snowfall. Notice the snow has no impact on fast running Jack & Rudy - they LOVED it!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, some well earned end of run treats for the happy, hard working sled dogs:

"We like the dumping snow part of the outing best!" declares the snow lovers.

Light snowfall to totally dumping: 8.8 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 97 days on the trails covering 854.6 miles with 78,600 feet of elevation climbed.


Monday, February 27, 2023


Cool action shot of Jack & Rudy whipping me around a corner on a fast nordic trail!

Love the snow poofs behind the fast kids.
Love the action as all three of us are leaning into a fast & wild left in the trail!

We got a light layer of new snow overnight, so we headed to the backcountry to start this morning's outing. With some new snow, I knew the trails that were slick & icy just a day or two ago would be safe this morning.

Cruising along in a backcountry single track. Wheeee!

We actually spent the majority of today's outing in the backcountry. Nice to use these trails when they are safe with new snow. We were winding through the forest having a great time!

Zipping along, winding through the trees!

Then, to end the day, as the first photo implies, we dropped onto the wide & groomed trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. Once on the groomie zoomie trails it was ZOOM from the cool kids:

Jack & Rudy literally FLYING along the groomie zoomies.

Today's video highlight? Another day topping 25 MPH skijoring! Jack & Rudy love this particular stretch of trail as they know I'll let them fully open the throttle and go, go, GO! Oh yea, perfect trail conditions too as we were first tracks on the freshly groomed nordic sprint track! Come along and watch the fast fun.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Our turnaround on the nordic trails was at a point called Jumbo Overlook. Humans stop here to take in the views. Siberian Huskies stop here to roll snow angels :)

Those snow rolling sillies at it again :)

Winding through the backcountry to then finish on the groomie zoomie nordic trails. My pals really earned their end of run treats today!

"Ready!" declares the happy, focused great kids.

Really enjoyable morning skijoring with Jack & Rudy: 9.9 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 96 days on the trails covering 845.8 miles with 77,700 feet of elevation climbed.


Saturday, February 25, 2023

False Alarm

Today's turnaround time entertainment? Snow angels and woos :)

The standard from Jack: rolling snow angels.
Rudy the wildcard. It's either angels or woos from him at turnaround time.
Today was woos. Silly kids!

We were out early this morning to avoid busy Saturday crowds. We started in the backcountry but found the conditions hard packed and slick. So, we rerouted ourselves to the safer trails at Gold Run Nordic Center instead. We were thrilled to find that the groomer had been out early too! The upper (Preston) loop was freshly groomed and nobody else had been on the trail yet. First tracks fun!

We are in the shade of a mountain behind us, so the morning sun has not
come over yet. Thus, it's kind of hard to tell, but we are first tracks on
the freshly groomed trail!

We ended up doing the upper loop 2.5 times (2 complete loops and then we redid the top arch of the loop back & forth once too). Here we come on pass 2. Note that Jack & Rudy have swapped positions as they always to when we repeat a trail (it's different to run each side you know :) 

Pass #2 and now sun has started to light the trail more.

Back to pass #1. Look at the following photo. What is that on the trail? Well, I first thought it was moose droppings. Given the trail had recently been groomed and these objects were atop the groomed trail, that would have meant the moose was here VERY recently and most likely still very close (this area is known moose territory). I was about to slam on the brakes to check for moose when we got close enough to see these were little pinecones not droppings. Phew! False alarm, but, boy, did my heart skip a beat! How did all the pinecones get here, you wonder? Well, most likely the roof of the groomer cab hit a tree limb as it was going by.

False alarm, just pinecones :)

Come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. About 25 seconds into this clip and we come around a corner and I see what looks like moose droppings on the trail from a distance. Then I realize they are just pinecones. Phew, safe from moose, so we continue on skijoring fast, fast, fast. Top speed in this clip? 25 MPH. Zoom!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Then, done with our 2.5 times around the upper loop and time to drop out of the forest and onto the main trail back to the trailhead. What to do on this sunny trail? How about catch some air? Wheeee!

The hover huskies at it again :)

What a zooming fun day with a little false alarm excitement to keep it interesting, right guys?

"Actually, we were hoping for moose!" declares the silly but happy kids.

Zooming on the groomies: 10.1 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 95 days on the trails covering 835.9 miles with 77,000 feet of elevation climbed.


Friday, February 24, 2023


Laying fresh tracks in a light layer (maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 inch) of fresh snow this morning.

Zipping along laying fresh tracks. Wheeee!

We went to the upper elevation trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center this morning. We were quite pleased to see that there was a light layer of new snow on the trails and no pre-existing tracks! It was also snowing lightly as we started the outing, making for more & more fresh snow on the trails. We did not see another soul on the trails until the very end of our outing. In fact, the only tracks we saw all day were our own when we redid a few sections of trail to add distance to the outing:

Flying along laying fresh tracks down the middle of the trail.
Look closely to the left of Jack, the ski tracks you see are from my skis on
our first pass of this section of trail.

The forecast called for "light snow". Ha, did they get that wrong. While it was snowing lightly at the start, it was DUMPING partway through our outing. No complaints here, we love new snow; but what a difference from the forecast to the reality!

All the white speckles you see against the trees are active falling snowflakes.
Yay for snow!

Today's skijor had a very interesting twist to it that you'll see in the following video clip. We start the clip on a very innocent trail, cruising along with moderate snow falling around us. Then, about 10 seconds into the clip, we turn right to connect to the main trail back to the trailhead. But, look at what we encounter... For some reason the nordic center has set THREE classic tracks in the trail! One track is common and two tracks (on each edge of the trail) is not unheard of. But, THREE tracks I've never seen before. Now, I cannot put my skis in the classic track as I then have no ability to slow Jack & Rudy or even stop. So, watch as I am continually navigating to the most "open area" between the tracks as Jack & Rudy continue running along. Finally, the clip ends when we encounter two loose dogs on the trail with no human in sight. For everyone's safety, I need to stop for this type of encounter. But, what an interesting "three track" navigation experience!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Of course the comedians, Jack & Rudy, are always good for at least one comedy skit on every skijor outing. From snow angels, to wooing to wildlife interactions. Well, today we found lead comedian Jack lunging off trail to dunk for rodents under the snow. Not to be out shown, Rudy follows with one of his beautiful, high arching rodent dives to join Jack in the search for rodents. Silly kids :)

"Hello, hello, anybody under here?" asks Jack dunking in the snow.
"Incoming!!!!" joins rodent diving Rudy.

Finally, celebrating another fun, fun skijor with end of run treats at the trailhead:

"Glad you made through that 'classic track obstacle course'!" says my great partners.

A nice "fresh snow" skijor this morning with a very interesting obstacle course near the end of the run: 9.8 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 94 days on the trails covering 825.8 miles with 76,300 feet of elevation climbed.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Yay Baldy

With a good amount of snowfall overnight, it was out to our favorite fresh snow skijor: cruising up, down and around steep Baldy Mountain. Yay Baldy!

Jack & Rudy flying along the main trail. Zoom, zoom!

Baldy is always so much fun with fresh snow. The main trail which goes by historic Iowa Mill gets a lot of use. But, the side trails are numerous and often untouched if you get our early. We found 2 different side trail powder caches to plow through during our outing!

Jack & Rudy plowing through 12+ inches of untouched powder. POW!!!

We did two laps around Iowa Mill along with our 2 deep snow side tours. I paused to check our time on the trail at our second pass by the mill. Well, I stopped... :)

"Aahhh, stop, drop and ROLL!" goes snow rolling Jack.
"Wooooo! I love to woo at Iowa Mill!" sings wooing Rudy.
He really does love to woo at the mill, funny kid!

In addition to enjoying the fresh snow on Baldy, Jack & Rudy love to flirt with the numerous skiers we encounter during the outing. People always look on in awe as we fly on by...

"Hi... Bye... Coming through! Made you smile!" says Jack & Rudy cruising
by these skiers who are smiling in awe at the cool sled dogs.

Come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. The clip starts out with us flying along the main Baldy Trail. Then, as we come around a corner I see some skiers ahead. Well, many skiers on Baldy have loose dogs with them. So, I slow the team a bit until I can see there are no loose dogs. All clear, so we floor it again on by the skiers and continue flying along the trail. Jack & Rudy love to fly on by people on the trails and put smiles on their faces :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Who had a great time?

"We did! We did!" declares the cute kids in close to collect their end of run treats.

A super fun powder day on steep Baldy: 7 miles traveled with 1200 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 93 days on the trails covering 816.0 miles with 75,200 feet of elevation climbed.


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Groomer Chase

Cool shot of Jack & Rudy zipping along in a backcountry single track trail. Wheeee!

The kids love when it is safe to floor it on these cool backcountry trails :)

We did our usual routine with Gold Run Nordic Center this morning. That is starting out in the backcountry and touring around single track trails for a while. Then we eventually drop out of the backcountry and onto the wide, groomed trails of the nordic center. We connect onto the nordic trails on the upper loop which gets very little use (mere humans don't often make it this far from the clubhouse :) As expected, the trail was not yet groomed this morning with light usage in the past 24ish hours. It was just safe enough to still open the throttle:

Zipping along in the slightly tracked up/used upper nordic loop.

Then, as we completed our first trip around the upper loop, we came to where the groomer comes from the lower trails. Much to our delight, the trail was now freshly groomed! That meant the groomer was somewhere on the upper loop ahead of us. Jack & Rudy know what to do with a fresh groom: ZOOM!

First tracks on the minutes old freshly groomed nordic trail. Wheeee!

Now, Jack & Rudy are faster than a groomer and we knew it was somewhere in the loop ahead of us. So, it was time to floor it and find the groomer!

"Groomer ahead! We caught it, we caught it!" says fast running Jack & Rudy
who love to chase & catch the groomer.

We actually chased and caught the groomer three times on the upper loop today. Each time we caught it, I'd turn Jack & Rudy around and skijor the other direction for a bit to give the groomer a head start. Then, we'd turn around and start the chase & catch again. Such fun.

Come along for one of today's "chase & catch" the groomer episodes. We start the clip being first tracks in the groomer's recent work and fly, fly, fly until we stop upon catching the groomer at the end of this clip.

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

I've mentioned and shown before how this groomer driver will stop and let us pass when the trail is wide enough and safe to do so. Unfortunately the stretch of trail we were on this morning was never wide enough for a safe pass. So, after playing "chase & catch" 3 times, we dropped onto a single track side trail to pass the groomer. Here we are trotting along as we pass the groomer. About 50 yards ahead of us we connected back onto the freshly groomed nordic trail (but now ahead of the groomer). The groomer driver smiled, waved and gave us a thumbs up as we passed from this side trail. 

Not safe to pass up there, so we'll pass down here :)

What a fun day chasing the groomer, right guys?

"We had a BLAST!!! So much fun!" exclaims the happy, happy kids.

Very entertaining outing: 10.2 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 92 days on the trails covering 809.0 miles with 74,000 feet of elevation climbed.


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Beautiful Morning

Beautiful morning to skijor up, down and around Vail Pass today!

Great trail conditions as we have just crested over Shrine Pass and start down
the backside. Wheeee!

We did a nice, long "out & back" at Vail Pass this morning. We took the Shrine Pass Trail and skijored up to the top of Shrine and then down the backside. 

Come along for a fun skijor clip from the backside of Shrine pass. We start out on a wide & pretty smooth snowmobile trail. But, then, the trail narrows so all the prior snowmobiles had to merge. This leads to a very choppy section of trail (watch the camera, i.e., ME, bouncing all over the place). Finally, we come out of the short narrow section and the trail becomes wide and smooth again. Now that's a workout on my legs through the choppy section!!!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After coming down the backside of Shrine, it was time to turnaround and repeat our "out trail" back. Ready guys?

"WOOOOOOOO! READY!" adds wooing Rudy.
"You bet! Ready!" adds happy Jack in the background.

So, we then skijored back up the backside of Shrine Pass to then sprint down the frontside. The frontside offers some really stunning mountain views (and some pretty impressive views of Jack & Rudy too :)

Fast moving kids with some nice Rocky Mountain views ahead of us.

A little further along and more stunning views. Look very closely up and to the right of Jack (to the right of the tree). The lines you see in that mountain are some of the ski runs of Copper Mountain Ski Resort. The ski runs are quite clear in person, just a little hard to see in this shrunk down photo.

Jack & Rudy, still zooming :)

Back to the busy trailhead. Jack & Rudy like to climb the snow walls in the parking lot at Vail Pass to get out of the way of all the cars and snowmobiles to get their end of run treats. Smart kids!

"We are out of the way of traffic and READY!" announces the cute pair.

Beautiful morning to cruise around Vail Pass: 9.7 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 23 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 91 days on the trails covering 798.8 miles with 73,300 feet of elevation climbed.


Sunday, February 19, 2023

Early Talk

Jack & Rudy FLYING along a narrow side trail in the backcountry this morning.

Zoom, zoom, zooming!

Rudy started this morning's skijor in a very chatty mood. He kept wooing in Jack's ear for the first mile or so. Mellow Jack simply ignored the loud pest and kept trucking along. They may both be 5 years old, but they are worlds apart in personality & demeanor :)

Talented Rudy showing he can "woo and trot" without breaking stride.
More talented Jack showing he can completely ignore the loud kid.

With so much early talk from Rudy, I knew he'd be into rolling snow angels instead of wooing at today's turnaround point. Jack, of course, always rolls snow angels!

"Ah, rolling to cool the jets!' go the silly kids.

In between early wooing and rolling snow angels, we did get in some serious fast skijoring (see the first photo above :) We started in the backcountry on narrow trails and then dropped into the wide trails of Gold Run Nordic Center. The upper nordic loop had not been groomed since yesterday but that was ok because not a lot of other skiers make it this far to track up the trail. It was safe to zoom on the day old groom up high:

Day old groom, but still safe enough to ZOOM!

After two passes on the upper loop, it was time to connect onto the main trail back to the trailhead. This trail gets a lot of use, so I was happy to see it had been groomed just minutes before we connected onto it:

Catching air on the fresh groom. Wheeee!

For today's video highlight, let's go back to the first photo on narrow side trails. The kids were flooring along this fun trail. But, given how narrow the trail was, I had to really ski too! Every time you see Jack & Rudy dip out of the camera, that is because I'm in a tuck working the skis hard to keep up with them. Great workout partners :)

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Wooing to zooming, what was the most fun?

"I liked when the kid shut up so we could zoom!" states happy Jack.
"Aw come on, you know you love my woo!" adds cute Rudy.

A great, fast day on all kinds of trail conditions: 10.3 miles traveled with 700 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 25 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 90 days on the trails covering 789.1 miles with 72,400 feet of elevation climbed.


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Beautiful Morning

Beautiful morning for a 10+ mile skijor with Jack & Rudy!

Beautiful morning, perfect trail and cool snow poofs coming of Jack & Rudy's feet.

We spent the morning at Breckenridge Nordic Center. The trails had just recently been groomed and we were either first or second tracks on the fresh groom all morning long. Here's a different than usual (for Jack, Rudy and I) photo. Notice anything different?

Zooming; but what is different?

The "different than usual"? Well, one of my skis is in the classic ski track. I do use classic skis (since we spend so much time in the backcountry) but I rarely use the classic ski tracks. Why? Well, if I put both skis in the classic track, I become an almost frictionless object behind Jack & Rudy. They are trained to "go as fast as they want unless/until they feel some slowdown resistance from me." Well, if I have both skis in a classic track, I have virtually no ability to slow us down and, well, that's a little scary! But, I will put one ski in the classic track now and then - only on flat or uphill terrain, though, downhill would be suicide. Anyway, I shift weight to my leg in the classic track for Jack & Rudy to speed up and shift weight to my leg out of the classic track to let them know to slow down a bit. Great fun with great teammates!

Back to this morning. It's always guaranteed Jack will roll snow angels at any turnaround point on the trail. It's always a mystery which Rudy will join, wooing Rudy or rolling Rudy. Today was the woo :)

Each kid doing their favorite antic at turnaround time!

Okay, Rudy done wooing and Jack upright, back to skijoring :)

First tracks on the groomie zoomie!
Nice mountain views to our right as well.

Only one thing can make Jack & Rudy stop and drift off trail. Moose! Okay, we didn't see any moose today, but the scent was clearly in the air as Jack & Rudy drifted right to stare deep into the trees.

"We smell moose! Where's the moose?!?" says the moose hunters.
We have seen moose in this area before, so I know their noses were accurate.

With no moose in sight, it's back to endless skijoring on the great trails this morning. Come along for a wonderful video highlight from a perfect day!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Finally, who is ready for end of run treats?

"You have our FULL attention!" declares the happy, happy kids.

Wonderful nordic morning: 10.4 miles traveled with 1100 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 89 days on the trails covering 778.8 miles with 71,700 feet of elevation climbed.