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I came across these tracks today that were made by a grey squirrelI skied across the first run of his that was about 12 feet long which I thought was pretty impressive. Following his trail a little further to where he hit the steeps his one run went for about 35 to 40 feet. If this isn’t skiing I don’t know what it is. I hope you can make out the detail in the photos.
He wasn't skinning, he was either boot packing or sliding downhill. All of those slide marks are going downhill. I know it is not obvious in the photos, that's because he must be more of a xc squirrel and hasn't discovered the joy of making turns in the powder.
I didn't see him do it so I am assuming it was his right feet, his tail and his left feet. He must have kept his claws from digging in because there was no sign of them in the track and he had amazing glide on that low angle slope.
Now I've seen it all. I thought flying squirrels were impressive, but this takes the cake. I'm thinking that the squirrel was watching you this winter and wanted to impress you. Maybe you'll meet up and be able to teach some turns. Tips up.
Did you see a plastic bag nearby? I'm wondering if he held it with his other two feet as a parachute. That would help explain the length of the tracks.
its called "snow skimming". like snowmobiles and dirt bikes do across ponds. all the squirrel has to do is get his feet moving at about 7,000 rpm then dump the clutch...whoosh. skims right across the snow with tail rudder.