Friday, January 25, 2013

Early Season Skijoring 2012-13

Early season snow in 2012 made for a few nice skijoring outings and brought some hope and promise for a better season over last year. It was better alright, nine skijoring outings with 65 quality km for December-January, including the King Boreas race over last year's three skijors totaling less than 18 km for the entire season. Unfortunately, the snow on the trails that allow dogs was soon whittled away by thaw and rain events that left Mellie and me high and dry after the first January week.

January 4 at Highland 9-Hole Golf Course
It came to no surprise that after a week of forced rest, Mell was raring to go on January 13 King Boreas race, which had to be moved from Phalen Park in St. Paul to the man-made loops of Green Acres. Mellie was so excited to be out there and so unruly that I was glad for the help of a kind ski patrol person who helped to subdue the wild beast.
We are kind of wild before we start running.
When the start finally came, Mellie pulled me with such force that I lost my balance and sat down, fortunately in a position that only cost me a few seconds. She had also managed to pull apart the cheapo carabiner hooks I was using to secure the pull rope to my harness. The left separated just shortly into lap 1 of 3 and the right just before the finish, letting Mellie and me cross the line together, but without being tied up. We finished in the middle of the pack, Mellie pulling a solid performance without slowing down at all on Green Acres' lower loop.

Two cheapo carabiners were no match for the Mellster Unfettered. 
Good luck wrecking this new getup, Mellie! New and improved skijoring
hardware. Petzl Maillon Delta P11 8B (times 2, in steel), Attache 3D
(yellow) and snap shackle (brass)
As a consequence of the equipment failure I did some research, looking for appropriately strong and functional replacement hardware. I replaced the broken carabiners with two Petzl Maillon Rapide P11 8B Delta for the sides (opting for steel rather than the much more expensive aluminum) a Petzl Attache 3D Screw-Lock Carabiner. These new components let the force of the pull go to the corners of the hooks, unlike with my previous setup. Equipment failure should not be a problem any longer.

In the meantime, I am hoping for more snow to do a few more practice runs at Highland 9-Hole, and also for the City of Lakes Skijoring Loppet.

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