||12-28-2005 05:28 PM
Had a blast today! I can't even describe how happy I am about those tire chains I made up, they're just incredible! Wish I could have gotten a short video of going trough some snow, but my battery died on my camera.
My buddy and I started going up toward Barbour Fork, but it was closed. We went off a side trail before engaging the hubs and hit an icy uphill stretch. Slid backwards and off the trail into a ditch a little bit, almost a 180. My adrenaline was pumping, almost had a tire off the ground, and the ditch was like 3 or 4 feet deep, so I was scared we were going to get stuck before we started the trip! But engaged the front hubs and just drove out. Then we went around to Lamartine.
Basically this trail is south of Idaho Springs off of the Mt. Evans road. We turned off at Cascade Creek Road, which is 5 miles from Idaho Springs. The way I went a couple summers ago I went on Ute Creek Road, so the first part of the trail was unfamiliar this time. Went up a ways to an icy spot, chained up, went over the ice (amazing, hardly even slipped), and then had to turn around and take the turn back to the northeast. Went up to the little mine and took the chains off (kinda rocky, less snow) and then continued on, but immediately hit more snow, deeper stuff that made me a little nervous, so we chained back up. Well we realized we didn't have the T wrench to tighten the chains, so we ditched the chains and had to reverse about halfway back to the mine to get the T wrench. Got back and chained back up, we were following a four-wheeler track in the snow, I was the first one in a while who'd been up there in a truck, so "breaking" trail was kinda cool :D.
The trail spit us back on Ute Creek Road, so we turned uphill and went to the sign that says Lamartine to the right. NOW it was all familiar again. Went up and the snow was a little deeper, but rutted, and Brahma just cruised on up :D. Found a place where the snow got deeper so I got out and took a couple pictures, and then we decided to proceed, because the snow just turned to sugar and we could back out of anything if we got stuck.
Got up to the clearing where a bunch of trails merge together and went left towards Georgetown. Well there was a little bit of a drift that I hit a few times, but it didn't look promising so we went to the top of the hill and checked out a quarry and some phone lines, and saw a road going down (Spring Creek? :confused: ) so turned around and I let my buddy take a couple whacks at the drift, to see what it felt like. When I got the wheel back I took a run at some freshies, and then we were on our way to turn around that I felt like hitting the track once more. Well this time I just kept it throttled up so it didn't die and I broke through! And the rest of the trail was pretty easy, just motored on up! Those chains just kept clawing at the snow and made forward movement. Got into a snowcat track and tried to follow him up a steep hill, even after having to back up a bunch of times to retry a couple sections, we got as far as we could go, and it didn't look familiar. Well we had taken a right turn to follow the snowcat, so we went back down and tried the left fork. Went for a ways until a trail junction, a trail came up from below and (for us) the sign said Georgetown straight, but right there the snow got deeper and we couldn't go any more. Had to pull another u-turn (which is hard with chains in snow BTW, tires try to stay in their tracks and you can only crank the wheel so far so you don't catch you draglink or anything. Basically easy all the way out, except for the first deeper section where I got out and took pics. I must have dug down a bit going through that the first time, so I drug my diffs through going back out and had to give it a couple tries to get through.
All in all a fantastic day! My goal was to try and chains out, and we sure did! Another goal was to not get hopelessly stuck, and that didn't happen either! Hope I can make the S/P run in Jan.! So much fun!