So last Saturday, while many of you where frolicking around in the Gulches, a couple of us went up to Coney Flats.... and what an ass kicker it was. Before I say anymore, I assure you that there will be three additional rigs on the Gulches run next year!!! Aside from a few down trees the start of the trail wasn't too bad even with 2' of fresh snow. At 1.5 miles in, on the Middle St. Vrain trail, we reached the big hill with the dog leg right. A few 180's later, in blizzard conditions, and against our better judgment, we were hell bent on getting up this hill that was covered in solid ice. It wasn't until two of three rigs were midway up the hill that someone mentioned turning back. After a brief discussion it was decided that it was safer to continue than to try and get the two rigs down the hill. Needless to say, we started the trail at 10am and finally broke through Coney Flats at 10:45pm!!! We pulled cable at least 15 times and even had a brief/scary discussion of possibly spending the night out there. Although we were prepared this wasn't really an option because I had my two kids with me. At any rate, here's some of our "lessons learned" and a few pictures:
- Turn back before getting too committed.
- Be prepared to spend the night. Keep some vigil candels in the glove box in these conditions. They'll keep your cab above freezing in case of a break down.
- Take more food than you need for this type of wheeling
- Let the lighter rig be the scout. Way easier to get it out rather than a built 80
- Keep a better than average attitude when the realization that you're in way over your head. Fortunately we all did!
- Tend to your shackles & straps after each pull. Frozen shackles are a PIA with cold hands.
- Stay hydrated.