Snow Days

I have my limits when it comes to fat biking in the cold. Below 10* is about it for me - under that and I'm a wimp. Why I will run in sub-zero without too many complaints but not head out on the bike best equipped for slow snowy miles, I still haven't figured out. But anyway...  Saturday was a balmy 3* in the morning with 5 inches of fresh, fluffy snow and more falling. Skiing would have been the best as Monarch was reporting 21" of fresh snow - but I have my limits with skiing as well! And it was even colder and windier on the pass. So skiing was out, despite the lure of the fresh snow,

Instead, we went for a hike up in the canyon. We actually decided to test out some gear for potential backcountry and hut trips with our hike, and it was cold enough to be a very valid test of our new Ibex Shak Hoodies. There were only two other cars in the Mount Cultler lot and the couple getting out of their truck as we pulled in kinda gave us a strange look as we started hoofing up the road with our poles. The plan was to do a little loop - not the standard out and back up to the summit of Muscoco. Deep snow, cold temps and fresh tracks - perfect conditions! Since the hike was the "workout" for the day - I wasn't going to slug through deep snow for a 12 mile run, we pushed the pace on the climb. It took us four minutes to get to the saddle below the summit. The time for some exploring. We followed the arrows up to the summit of Muscoco, but the views were hidden by the heavy clouds. It wasn't an easy climb up, with many of the rock outcroppings buried in snow. OUr poles were quite useful for both the up and the down!
Nick at the summit of Mount Muscoco.
Back at the saddle, we took the trail down towards the junction with the Mount Cutler Trail. I was happy Nick knew where he was going and there were a set of foot prints in front of us - I had no clue where the trail led on the descent. It's still a work in progress trail I think, with some scrambling down rocks. Once we hit the trail to the parking lot it was an easy trek. Not very long, but a decent time playing in the snow.

Not much a view but the snow did add some mystery to the familiar terrain

Sunday was supposed to a little warmer - warm enough for me to want to ride. And of course, that meant I wanted to con some friends into the fun! Plowing though six inches of fresh snow is always more fun with friends....

Someone got her present a little early! Dropper!
 Amber and Todd were game for a pedal in the snow. Orignalinally, the plan was for some microlaps in Stratton - with the early morning lows, small little laps where we wouldn't be climbing too far or descending too far seemed smart. But it wasn't that cold when we got out - in fact, it was a really nice day for some fresh tracks. Because it was nicer then we'd anticipated, the boys decided against microlaps. Without talking to me or Amber...

Todd, plowing through the snow and laying some tracks for us to follow

Nick bringing up the rear for a minute
At the last junction with the chutes, the tracks turned right - uphill. Huh? We ended up riding Spring Creek - Columbine and then back up the Chamberlain extension and Chamberlain to Arroyo Grande. The boys were right - it was a good day for a big loop. Even if that big loop took twice as long as usual! Fat bikes might be fun, but they ain't fast....
But that isn't always the point. Sometimes, it's just about the pedaling and not about the distance traveled.

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