Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Nice up High

The snow is still so nice up high, if you can get there....

Beautiful conditions at our highest elevation point along the Harrison
Creek Trail.

"If you can get there" is the key phrase in that introduction above. We had to traverse numerous hazardous openings in the snow in the initial climb to the upper elevation goodness. Here are a two examples;

"Woo is me, I don't want summer!" woos Rudy.
"We can still make it if we hug the snow to the left!" states lead dog Jack.
Jack, of course, is right, but I still had to stop to slow us down to proceed
cautiously on the thin strip of snow to our left.

Did I say "thin strip of snow"? Well, how about this one...

Yikes, barely wide enough for my two skis to fit.
But notice how perfect Jack & Rudy are getting in tight to stay on the
little snow there is. They know to keep me on snow to continue to go!

But, as I said above, it was still so nice up high! This particular route starts with a steep initial climb (across lots of hazards this time of year) and then levels out into miles of gently rolling high elevation terrain. So nice up high!

Cruising along a wonderfully snow covered ridge line.

Now come along for the video counterpart to the prior photo. A beautiful stretch of trail yesterday morning, especially for late May. But, getting to and back from the nice conditions is getting really difficult!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

The snow up high was also great for rolling conjoined snow angels :)

Where does Rudy end and Jack start?
Silly kids rolling conjoined snow angels at our turnaround point.

It was also a day of wildlife entertainment for Jack & Rudy. First we encountered coyote tracks to follow along the trail for a while. Then we encountered elk tracks to sniff and follow for a short stretch. Finally, the highlight was finding fresh smelling moose tracks crossing the trail and going off into the trees. You must stop for fresh moose tracks, you know :)

"Sniff, sniff, these are fresh!" states the moose inspectors.
Notice the big two toed print between my two skis.

Despite all the tracks, we never got a visual of any of the wildlife. I am just fine not seeing a coyote; but I do enjoy seeing the big vegetarians (moose, elk) from a safe distance, as do Jack & Rudy!

We had a camera failure with Nancy's camera at the trailhead. So, we don't have our usual "end of run" treats shot to close out the blog. In place of that, we'll conclude with a shot of the happy kids looking back when I needed to pause momentarily to rest my burning legs on the difficult terrain down low on the way back from the great conditions up high.

"Just let us know when you are ready to go!" says the happy kids patiently
waiting for my burning legs to get a quick break.

So nice up high, so iffy down low; but it was worth it for a wonderful skijor on the upper terrain: 9.8 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 21 MPH.

2022/2023 Season to Date: 162 days on the trails covering 1424.2 miles with 129,000 feet of elevation climbed.

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