North Twin Cone Peak 6-9-13
So I was able to get out of the house today and do some wheeling. :D
It was a fantastic day, hardly a cloud in the sky.
I started everything off right with indulging in a little piece of heaven, in the form of a double cheese burger with cajun fries from Five Guys Burgers. I think I may start off every wheeling trip in this fashion from now on.
Anyways, I went out to Kenosha Pass and ran up the North Twin Cone Peak trail.
The trail itself is clean and clear and free of snow. In fact, there isn't much snow left up there at all.
There were a few other folks out on the trail today, including a USFS Fire Patrol truck. A couple people in jeeps had some issues. One kid in a 1990 Jeep Wrangler was having issues with his jeep not running for more than a few seconds. Another guy that was there asked him when was the last time he checked his fuel filter. The kid said, "well let's see", and proceeded to open his air intake box and take out his air filter and look at it. Then he said, "well it looks ok". The rest of us standing there waited for a minute, wide eyed, to see if he was just kidding. But he was totally serious. So the other guy says, "no, that's your air filter there, buddy". The poor kid was obviously embarrassed, and didn't know much about his jeep. But we had a look at it and diagnosed it as a clogged fuel filter. So I crawled under there and beat on it a couple times with a wrench and then it ran just fine. We got him turned around and headed back into town. The ironic part of this, was that this kid was driving his friend up the peak to fix his friend's jeep. Turns out this other kid had an old 1970's something Wrangler that the engine mounts had broken on and the motor had slid forward and rammed the fan into the radiator and cut the radiator all apart. I'm telling you, you can't make this stuff up. So, after we sent the first kid with the clogged fuel filter back down the trail, another guy in a jeep took the second kid up the trail to where his old Wrangler was at. Turns out it was broke down almost at the top. A couple hours of wrenching, and they had it running again. With new motor mounts, and a new radiator. It seemed like they had it under control, so I just went on up to the top.
I reached the top at 4:00pm on the dot. The view was, of course, outstanding. I've included some pictures. Like I mentioned before, the trail is clear. No snow. There are a few little drifts still hanging around on the north face, but they're far away from the trail.
After I came down off the trail, I decided to see if Guanella Pass was open yet. It was, and I drove on over from Grant to George Town. Another set of fantastic views.
Overall, a fantastic day.
^In some of these pictures you can see over to the Red Cone area. It's still got some snow on it, up high.
So after I left Kenosha Pass and was headed towards Grant, these guys were hanging out on the side of 285. They were looking kind of skinny after the winter.
Awesome. Thanks for the report and pictures. Very nice!
Looks like summer in the Rockies - hardly any snow and plenty of broken jeeps. :hill:
Nice job and thanks for the report and pictures man.
I'll add my 2 cents and fill in the blanks:
As you all know, yesterday was a beautiful day and, at 10,000+ feet, it wasn’t even that hot. In light of the weather and a bit of spare time (baching it this weekend) the dog and I loaded up to take Fishy’s advice and investigate Twin Cone peak. Being new to this country, I loaded up everything but the kitchen sink for contingencies and, after downloading directions from Traildamage, set out around 11:30 am. The trip to the trailhead was unremarkable, save for the traffic – it’s still difficult for me to drive around so many cars (you can take the boy out of Wyoming, but you can’t take the Wyoming out of the boy). Once I turned onto the dirt, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief and relax. The lower part of the road in is mellow as I’m sure you all know. After climbing the switchbacks and seeing my destination for the first time, I could tell that snow was not going to be an issue. However, I could see several vehicles parked a couple hundred yards below the top. I couldn’t tell at that point if there was an obstacle or if these folks were just having lunch with beautiful views of South Park, or if they were broken down. I made my way up the lower steep sections, admittedly taking some of the smaller rock bypasses in light of the fact that I was wheeling solo and didn’t want to suffer a broken whatever this far from home… As I crested the “lower ridge” I could see that the 2 vehicles were still parked and a number of folks were either sitting in the sunshine or milling about. I made my way across the open bowl below the top and began the short but steep ascent up to where they were parked. 2 Jeeps. 5 kids (recent – 2 weeks ago- high school graduates). I stopped to talk with them and learned that the CJ or whatever it was (I know diddly about Jeeps) had broken motor mounts and the fan went into the radiator. A 3rd rig that was with them had gone back to Bailey to get parts (new radiator and motor mounts). Knowing there was nothing I could do to help them at that point I made my way on up to the top. I engaged the lockers just below the very top, mostly just to exercise them though there was one combination of boulders that the LX wheelbase was perfectly wrong for climbing over with the diffs open. I took some pics, walked the dog down to some snowmelt on the north side of the mountain for a cool plunge and drink, and then turned around.
When I got back to the jeeps, their parts had not yet arrived and I learned that they were somewhat lacking in tools. At that point I started taking a closer look at what they were up against and realized very quickly that my bottle jack, hilift platform and possibly my jackstands would come in very handy, not to mention other tools. After a few minutes, my tools were out of my rig and a number of them were under the heap, supporting the engine. This rig was a piece of work. Bushings were gone out of the leaf spring eyes leaving the leaf packs cocked at a grisly looking angle. The casting around the flywheel was smashed and the flywheel was open to the elements. I’m certain there was more volume of fluid caked on and dripping down the external parts of the rig than were contained within its reservoirs.
Having some of my tools stuck under the jeep, I had no choice but to sit back, relax in the sun with gorgeous views of south park, spit sunflower seeds and listen to the enlightening banter of high schoolers – to be young again!
After a half a bag of sunflower seeds and an hour or so of waiting, one of the boys called his buddy who’d gone for parts to find out what was taking so long. Thank god we had cell service because it turned out the rescue rig had lost its fuel pump on the way back in just before the trail gets difficult. At this point a guy and is family in a Rubicon who had joined the party volunteered to go down to shuttle the parts back up. Another hour and we had parts. While the “mechanic” of the group of high schoolers and I put the motormounts in, one of the other kids and his girlfriend installed the radiator. Within 35 minutes, the rig was running and the kids were preparing to go to the top, come hell or high water. I retrieved my tools and started down. I made it back to my house by a little after 6pm, 3 hours later than I’d intended, but what the hey. As for the kids, I don’t know how their day ended, but it probably wasn’t with high water. As for the other option, given the condition of their rides, that was a distinct possibility…
A few pics:
My faithful partner just below the top but above the jeeps...
The jeeps from the top
My tools under a heap...
The heaps flywheel - hanging it all out..
to end the post on a better note...
Shots, you drove by while I was elbow deep in a jeep.... I was the one that waved when you drove by...
Pure awesomeness. Good job! :thumb:
Ah man, WyoOtto, I didn't realize that was you in the Lexus. (nice rig by the way:thumb:) I guess I would have if I would have stopped. Seemed like things were under control, so...
We should coordinate better in the future.:lmao:
Ah well. It was a great day. :cheers:
It was a great day and we'll do a better job of coordinating next time:D
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