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View Full Version : 9/28 Lead King, Schofield, Italian Creek, Taylor


fjcruzer
08-28-2008, 05:15 PM
I would like to plan a fall run in the Aspen area for Sunday, September 28th to catch some fall colors and fresh air. This will be a long one-day trail run from Marble to Crested Butte to Aspen:

The trails would include:

Lead King Basin (clockwise from Marble) (9.2 miles)
http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=43
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/lead%20king%20basin/100_0344.jpg

Schofield Pass (4.5 miles)
http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=45
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/fjtt%20gws/fjtt016.jpg

Italian Creek Road (16.9 miles)
http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=117
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/fjtt%20gws/fjtt023.jpg

Taylor Pass (8.5 miles)
http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=118
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/fjtt%20gws/fjtt051.jpg

Richmond Ridge (12 miles)
(Sorry, no link, but itís easy/moderate following the ridge from Taylor Pass to the face of Aspen Mountain/Ajax)
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/fjtt%20gws/fjtt079.jpg

I ran this last year and it was a 16 hour day with the TTT and 12 rigs stopping for lots of photo ops. Itís 50+ miles on trail, plus travel time to and from the trail heads from Carbondale, Crested Butte and Aspen. It would be prudent to get on the road from Carbondale at 8am and shoot for arrival in Aspen around 9pm. Depending on how many rigs and people we have, I might be able to provide some lodging the nights before/after in the Carbondale/Basalt/Aspen area, or there are camping options at both ends, either outside Marble or several locations outside Aspen.

I would recommend arriving in the Carbondale area on Saturday evening and planning to return home on Monday morning, which is what I plan to do. If it is still open, we could also take the scenic route over Independence Pass on the way back to the Front Range.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/TripleBypassGoogleEarth.jpg

Vehicle qualifications:

A good stock rig can make it on all of these trails, but for the purposes of avoiding delays and minimizing potential damage, I recommend the following basics:

33Ē tires (something that can take abuse, the talus and shale is unforgiving of sidewalls)
Skid plates (factory will suffice)
Sliders
Front and rear tow points
Rear locker
Basic recovery gear suitable for your vehicle
All-weather clothing (literally, it can be 80+ degrees, then snowing in the same day!)

Because of the amount of time we will spend in the rigs with minimal down time, a CB will be essential if you want to keep up with whatís next, when weíre stopping, potty breaks, and details about the trail as we progress (e.g. watch out for the pumpkin buster thereÖ this is Lizard Lake, itís freakiní beautiful!)

Uncle Ben
08-28-2008, 06:58 PM
WOW! What a great sounding trip! :thumb::thumb:

subzali
08-28-2008, 07:54 PM
better check and see if Schofield is open! Agree with UB, a great day on the trail!

Red_Chili
08-29-2008, 08:08 AM
What a sales brochure! Gorgeous!
16 hour day, huh? Don't think this old man is up for that. I KNOW a certain fetching Mrs. Morgan ain't.
Dang.

rock_wagon
08-29-2008, 08:21 AM
Schofield is open - we were in the area last week and talked to two different groups that had run it.

The trip sounds like a lot of fun, we hit Italian creek last week and it is one of my new favorites.:thumb: We made the short side trip to the top of American Flag Mountain and it was really worth the view. You are going to have a great time!

AxleIke
08-29-2008, 09:46 AM
I may be up for this...We'll see.

fjcruzer
08-29-2008, 11:01 AM
WOW! What a great sounding trip! :thumb::thumb:

Thx! Been chomping at the bit to get back up there. Join us?

What a sales brochure! Gorgeous!
16 hour day, huh? Don't think this old man is up for that. I KNOW a certain fetching Mrs. Morgan ain't.
Dang.

Awe, come on! There are a few smooth sections :D

I may be up for this...We'll see.

It'd be great to have you.

Red_Chili
08-29-2008, 11:46 AM
The smooth is not the problem. It's the 16 hour part! :lmao:

Ron Helmuth
08-29-2008, 01:06 PM
Won't these roads be snowed in by then? I had read just a week or two back that Devil's Punchbowl was still under several feet of snow?

That picture of Scholfield pass with the white Runner-how recent is that please? I was never able to proceed past the bridge in past travels as the road had eroded away just 100 feet or so up the road from there.

fjcruzer
08-30-2008, 10:05 PM
Won't these roads be snowed in by then? I had read just a week or two back that Devil's Punchbowl was still under several feet of snow?

That picture of Scholfield pass with the white Runner-how recent is that please? I was never able to proceed past the bridge in past travels as the road had eroded away just 100 feet or so up the road from there.

Schofield and the Punchbowl are currently open based on a couple of first hand reports from the last week. First snow is usually around then beginning of October, so there might be some white stuff, but hopefully not snowed in, per se.

The pic with the 4Runner is from the same route when we ran it on 07/07/07, about a week after it cleared that year.

Any chance you can join us?

Ron Helmuth
09-02-2008, 08:16 AM
Would love to make that trip but I am just 32" tires and no CB. Perhaps I will intercept the group along the way. We'll see what the weather brings us.

subzali
09-02-2008, 08:21 AM
Ron, Wes and I have done all these trails on 31" tires, rear locker. No problem :thumb: The rear locker only really came in handy coming up the Punchbowl, one muddy spot on Italian Creek Road, and Pearl Pass.

fjcruzer
09-02-2008, 09:41 AM
Would love to make that trip but I am just 32" tires and no CB. Perhaps I will intercept the group along the way. We'll see what the weather brings us.

Ron, Wes and I have done all these trails on 31" tires, rear locker. No problem :thumb: The rear locker only really came in handy coming up the Punchbowl, one muddy spot on Italian Creek Road, and Pearl Pass.

I agree, the locker would be a more significant factor than tires. All of the suggestions indicate the "ideal" setup. And there was 4-heelin' before CBs, so no worries there. Happy to have you along!

fjcruzer
09-19-2008, 11:57 AM
This is where we will be meeting at 8am Sunday morning:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&saddr=&daddr=39.400772,-107.220232&hl=en&geocode=&mra=mi&mrsp=0&sz=16&sll=39.400785,-107.216628&sspn=0.012734,0.027895&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=16

It is the City Market parking lot, north end next to the Ace Hardware. There is a 7-Eleven gas station across the street and a Napa on the south end of the strip mall.

If anyone wants early breakfast, the Red Rock Diner is at the north end of Hwy 133 on your left just before you hit Hwy 82 and they are open at 6am.

For those camping near the trail head we will meet you on the east end of Marble where you will see this sign...
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/marble%20march/march18013.jpg
... but hopefully not that much snow :D

We will run the north leg of the Lead King Basin loop clockwise, and then head up Schofield Pass.

A point of note: taking this route we will NOT go by Lizard Lake, the mill, or Crystal City. If there's a demand for it, we can alter our route to take the south end of the loop instead and it is considerably shorter. Lemme know.

We will have a brief lunch in Crested Butte here...
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&saddr=&daddr=38.867473,-106.981248&hl=en&geocode=&mra=mi&mrsp=0&sz=17&sll=38.867472,-106.979585&sspn=0.006415,0.013947&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=17
... and can also fuel up before heading to Cement Creek, Reno Divide, Italian Creek, Taylor Park, Taylor Pass and Richmond Ridge.

Food will be scarce in Aspen if we arrive late on a Sunday night, so plan accordingly.

fjcruzer
09-19-2008, 11:57 AM
Attendees to date:

1. ajax (cottora)
2. Colin (Co4x4)
3. Don_G (cottora)
4. fjcruzer123 (cottora)
5. Ike (cottora)
6. jwh86 (FJ)
7. march2304 (cottora)
8. RockyMtnHigh (FJ)
9. SP!N4L T4P (cottora)
10. Stagecoachco (FJ)
11. Traylortrash (cottora)
12. TwoDogs (Co4x4)

Maybes:

1. 92regcab (cottora)
2. AxleIke (Yota)
3. Canito (FJ
4. extremepaint
5. Hurley (cottora)
6. Jade (cottora)
7. JimD (FJ)
8. mrdoug
9. ocr14a (FJ)
10. OrangeCrush
11. Quick Draw (cottora)
12. RedRunnertc (cottora)

Ron Helmuth
09-22-2008, 12:48 PM
thanks subzali and fjcruzer for encouragement.

I was able to make the downhill run from Schofield Pass and down the Devil's Punchbowl for the first time, Sat. 9/20.

Route is clear and dry-until it rained late Sat PM.

Taylor Creek -the descent from Aspen via Taylor Pass is a piece of cake-until you hit the creekbed. BDCP is my rating-body damage completely possible. Perhaps you all will have better luck climbing it than I did descending it. My rock sliders took a pounding thus validating their purchase.

Appreciate the information, I had been stymied in many attempts to do this area. Downhill thorugh the Devil's Punchbowl was not even all that difficult.

The road damage I previously encountered has been repaired just above the "skinny metal" bridge (pictured above) -so uphill is likely not a problem either. That one rock that sits in dead center of the road is certainly a challenge but again- coming downhill was not that bad...

Lead King was dry according to the Jeepsters I encountered near the Crystal Mill.Beautiful area and whets my appetite to return and explore back side of the Maroon Bells.

fjcruzer
09-22-2008, 05:26 PM
Nice! Glad you had a nice run up there and thank you for the update. Can't wait to get up there next weekend!

fjcruzer
09-25-2008, 01:30 PM
Last post before heading out this evening. Look forward to seeing a few folks up there Sunday. Looks like beautiful weather and peak aspens await us! Drive safely.

Ron Helmuth
09-30-2008, 09:31 AM
Everything go okay?

fjcruzer
09-30-2008, 11:05 AM
Everything go okay?

Yes! It was a great day! We skipped the northern loop of Lead King in favor of Lizard Lake, Crystal Mill and Crystal City and Richmond Ridge since it got dark on us. Still took about 12 hours :D Only one rig had a hiccup in the fuel delivery system, but made it through.

I've got pics up on cottora, fjcruiserforums and colorado4x4, but I'll try to get some up here later.