Saturday, May 4, 2024

Vail Pass

Look who was very excited to be back on snow after a couple of days off:

"We are THRILLED!!!!!" states the super happy kids.

As we enter May, we have to start getting creative with our skijor outings. This time of year you will typically find us skijoring high mountain passes or high peaks. Well, today was Vail Pass and the conditions were perfect once we got up in elevation a bit:

Beautiful morning, beautiful Spring Crust, beautiful sled dogs :)

Now come along and witness the great conditions for yourself. Sure there were a few snowmobile tracks and ski tracks to cross. But notice now my pals know to cross these as close to perpendicular as you can. The smart kids know my skis have to be close to perpendicular for me to cross the frozen tracks safely. Smart and great partners!

[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After an initial climb from the trailhead, we come upon the Shrine Huts - a series of backcountry huts that people rent by the night for a getaway into the backcountry (you have to ski or snowshoe to the huts as snowmobiles are not allowed). Sometimes we encounter some of the overnighters up mulling about in the morning. It is always fun to flirt with the hut occupants. But, today we were out pretty early as I wanted to be done before the temperatures got too warm and the Spring Crust softened. So, today we were going by the huts before 8am, so nobody was out & about for Jack & Rudy to flirt with. Oh well, we did see a handful of people waving at us from inside one of the huts.

Having fun jogging by one of the huts; but unfortunately we were too early
for anyone to be out & about yet.

After some fun cruising around all the huts, it was time to head back towards the trailhead. My timing was perfect for the Spring Crust as it held firm our entire outing and we were able to abandon set trails and go any direction we wanted. Fun!

Whee - what a perfect Spring Crust!

With warm May days, you know what we were going to get from Jack & Rudy at any pause or turnaround point.

"Stop, drop and ROLL!" goes the silly kids cooling their jets rolling on the snow.
Note the markers to the right: past the markers are the huts and the markers
designate the boundary for snowmobiles as they are not allowed to cross
and get to close to the huts.

Finally, back to the trailhead parking lot and the silly kids found one of their tallest snow walls of the season to climb for end of run treats. I had to climb partway myself just to get to their level :)

"We LOVE snow walls! Now how about those end of run treats?" asks the
snow climbing acrobats.

Gorgeous bluebird morning with a perfect Spring Crust on Vail Pass: 8.8 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 22 MPH.

2023/2024 Season to Date: 143 days on the trails covering 1218.1 miles with 120,700 feet of elevation climbed.

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