Well, we went up the traditional route and made it to the ridge road by about 3:30. We had 11 rigs. All had winches but 2, and 2 people had winch failures. Being without a winch was risky business in the difficult sections. Most of us smaller rigs on 33's failed to head Kevin's advice and chained up, including myself. Chains hindered progress for the most part. I let Red Chili lead with Jeff Z. in his Lexus behind him since they didn't use chains.
We soon all started to get stuck and start the winching process. It was ugly, the snow conditions were terrible. We had a group of ATV's try to get around us. Normally we let ATV's around and pass by. But, based on the first guy, it was obvious they were struggling as much as we were and they couldn't drive around us out of the main tracks. I tried and tried to ask them to move out of the way, that they wouldn't be able to get by us and that the other half of our group was ahead and in even a worse section, but they didn't want to listen. I was persistent and a bit aggressive in the end till they finally got out of the way and turned around. I hated to do it, but it was the reality. One guy was already bashing through woods trying to get around us and we didn't want to see any more of that.
Chili did exceptionally well all day tip toeing on the top as much as he could with his tires aired way down. Jeff Z. also did pretty well except for the last tough section. He successfully got though that section then went back into to help RockRunner out and broke through the crust. This was about 3 hours and a mile in. At this point most of us were stuck. Jeff Z. was stuck good with his heavy Lexus. Jeff's winch was broke and Chili couldn't seem to winch him out. The small Aspen's were not large enough to winch with.
I sent Steve Rudy and Kimmel (on 42's) back out to the cemetery to go around the alternative route and back to us to help Chili get Jeff out. A "local" with a snowcat showed up offering to help. He couldn't get around us and had to go back out toward the cemetery. Farnham and Brent made a quick and smart decision to follow him out, since they would have to get back to Vail with the pending storm. Jacket wisely followed, but had a least 3 winch sections to get though. I guess the snow cat ended up pulling them all out of there in one line.
We all finally made it out and up to the ridge road. We continued up the main road and got just below middle parking lot. Chili couldn't make it up the steep hill or the easy road. Neither could anyone else. That was the end of the road. Only snowmobile tracks continued. We get to Beau Jo's pizza at 5pm as planned, enjoyed cool drinks and pizza to top off a hard day.
I'm thinking future Snow and Pizza Run's for all members to enjoy should be in late Nov. or early Dec. when the snow is fresh. Before these crusty deep snow conditions develop. Similar to the way it used to be several years ago during the drought years.
Scott Yoder KD0DHP
2000 4Runner, 2.5" lift on 33's, locked, geared & armored.