Posts Tagged ‘training’

A Nap Time Ski

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

While Nancy was off helping Ms Marsh train for the White Mountains 100, the twins and I had an adventure of a different sort – I decided to take them out for a spin in the chariot on skis during their regularly scheduled nap time. I bundled them up and tucked them in with several warm water bottles, and we where off.

Polar and Remus where off with Nancy, so only Togiak joined us for the ski.

Soon after we started the twins where off in deep slumber land. They really like napping in the chariot.

The twins and I did a six mile loop, which took about a hour and a half – with a bit of stopping and goofing off. The chariot and kids combine for a bit of a heavy, slow load.

Eventually we ended back up at the house, where the girls refused to get out of the chariot, wanted to continue napping for the rest of the day.. Alas, that would generate much sadness for me in the evening when the over napped twins had to go to bed.. Eventually we reached a compromise – they could say in the chariot a little longer so long as they stayed awake. So the twins spent some time hanging out in the chariot, watching me do dog chores, before eventually getting pried out and taken inside. Some times life is so hard!

A trip to Wolf Run

Sunday, January 24th, 2010


On a fine Sunday I escaped civilization with Nancy’s blessing (Nancy is the world’s most understanding wife!), and joined Tom and Marsh off for a overnight trip in the White Mountains NRA. Our destination was Wolf Run cabin, about a 60 mile drive and 23 mile ski. We arrived at the parking lot and were welcomed by nippy -20f at the trail head but things warmed up quick as the sun rose. The trail into Wolf Run is a mix of rolling hills, black spruce spruce swamp, and open tussock fields. This was also the first trip in the White Mountains were I only saw human powered transport – we passed one biker and six or so skiers. Quite impressive!

The first 5 miles or so of the Colorado Creek Trail had fresh snow machine tracks, but these turned off the main trail and headed off in a different direction. We were left to follow the some super large “fat bike” tracks, apparently running the new Surly “Larry” tire.

We later learned this biker was the legendary Jeff Oatley on a 60 mile day trip, going from the Colorado Creek trail head to the Wickersham dome trail head. Wow!
The trail winds though black spruce forest that burned circa 2005, and is quite scenic. The trail has a completely different feel now after the burn and is much more open and has better views. On the downside it is now much more exposed and can drift in.

Just before the junction with the Big Bend trail, the trail crosses a huge wind blown open field, and the views really open up, with fantastic views of the White Mountains.

The wind can really blow though this section, and it was moderately windy on the way in, and calm on the way out. Fortunately it was very sunny when we travelled though this section and now that the sun is high enough on the horizon to give significant warmth, it was quite warm. From this point on there is a gradual decent to Beaver Creek. The trail has wonderful views of the surrounding hills and mountains – this area is super scenic. The trail crosses several huge wind blow tussock fields.

The tussock fields had small sastruga that were quite fun too ski on. Sometime this area gets really immense sastruga that are almost waist high, but alas we don’t have enough snow for that currently.

We eventually reached Beaver Creek, and we quickly learned why there had been little snow machine traffic up to this point – there was not much snow and the tussock tops were quite exposed, which would make for a bumpy and rough ride. After a two miles of roughish trail we reached the cabin. Hurrah! The previous visitors had left a huge wood supply, and we had a fire going quickly, and soon the cabin was toasty warm.
Tom had a bit of a binding failure, and had to come inside with the ski still attached.

After a large dinner and most of a turtle cake, we hit the sack for a early departure.

Morning arrived quickly, and after a large breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and the remainder of the turtle cake, we were off!

Remus got an extra special treat – kibble soaked in bacon drippings. Yum, yum!

The view from the cabin in the morning was spectacular!

The ski out was relitively uneventful, though a lot warmer as the it was fairly calm and very sunny. Spring is wonderful!

Pictures follow for the photo inclined..

Snack time on the trail:

Wolf Run cabin, in the glow of the sunrise:

It was really strange to follow bike tracks for most of the ski in. I don’t believe I have ever done that before.. After a while one of my legs started getting strangely sore, which eventually realized was because I was skiing with one ski on the bike tracks, and one in the 1″ of fresh snow.. I then started switching back and forth, changing which ski was in the powder – much better!

Remus had a blast on this trip. Between running back and forth checking on the humans and checking out all the sents on the trail, he was a busy and happy dog.

I was happy to see even the super biker had to walk occasionally (but rarely – he is quite the biking juggernaut!).

The burned trees were very stark looking.

Tom took his new sled setup on this trip. It appeared
to work quite well for him, though it added a bit of drag. It worked well for Marsh too:

More photos here.

More fun in the Whites

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Marsh, Tom, and I enjoyed a long day ski on Saturday in the whites. Marsh skied out to a little past the Trail Shelter, while Tom and I skied to Moose Creek cabin, skied a cross via  Moose Creek Trail to the Trail Shelter, then back out to mile 28.  We intended to catch up with Marsh and ski back out to the parking lot, but alas we were slower than anticipated, as the Moose Creek trail, although super scenic and very beautiful, was a slow tussock fest.  With a bit more snow Moose Creek trail would be a lot more fun.  It was a fairly enjoyable eight and a half hours of skiing, though not without some excitement.   I had partially ripped one of the bindings off of one of my skis last Monday and had not noticed it until we were around 18 miles in.  After it bit of tightening I made it out, but thinking about one of my skis falling off made the hills a bit more exciting.

The low angle morning sun, just over the Alaskan Range.

The midday sun, peeking though a stand of burned black spruce.

The setting sun, as seen from Moose Creek trail.

Remus and Tom, enjoying the a tussock free section of Moose Creek trail.

A less tussock free section.

The only litter find – a binky! 

A training day..

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

On a fine Monday morning Tom and I headed off for a 32 mile day trip, an out-and-back to Moose Creek Cabin in the White Mountains NRA. We are considering doing the White Mountains 100 and thought it would be a good idea to get some longish day ski trips in as training. It was a great day for a long ski – fairly warm and relatively calm by white mountains standards.
The area received a dump of snow the week prior and the trails were much improved.  The first 8 miles or so were quite well beaten down and after that the the trail was a bit narrow for fun skiing on the downhills but otherwise was in great shape. 

The final quarter of a mile or so to moose creek cabin was quite windy – this section of trail crosses a large open field and always provides a fantastic view.

We stopped at Moose Creek cabin for a bite to eat and got a little more excitement that we anticipated.  After we had been at the cabin for 15 minutes or so two snow machiners who had passed us earlier rushed up and joined us in the cabin.  One of the riders had hit a stump while riding in the 12″ of powder and was thrown off his machine, apparently breaking his wrist in the progress.  We helped him wrap up his wrist, gave him some ibuprofen,  and Tom loaned him a much larger mitten so he could keep his enlarged wrist warm..  He turned down my suggestions for splinting his wrist and headed back out to ride back to the mile 28 parking lot one handed.   I expect that was a supremely unpleasant ride out.


Our ski out was, on the other hand, fairly pleasant, but tiring of course.  As Tom put it, “I think I have earned a huge dinner and a nice lie down.”

According to our gps we had a moving average of 4.8 miles per hour and we beat my prevous personal best of 3 and a half hours into Moose Creek cabin, which was quite rewarding and a fantasic first training ski.