Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Red Cone Opening 2012!

On May 28th, Patrol 14 finished off our Memorial Weekend with an attempt to open Red Cone for the season. On the SouthEast side of the pass, the trail was very dry, but the patrol ran into many downed trees. Luckily there were a plethora of chainsaw this day.

Once we reached the top, the patrol had to install a new Red Cone summit sign because the old one disapeared last year.

On the northwest side of the pass, we ran into a ton deep snow! Luckily we had a lot of hands that day, so we had no problem shoveling our way through the deep white stuff. The first drifts was about 4 feet deep and 30-40 yards long. We made it through in about an hour. As we crept closer to the river crossing, we encountered a serious of 8-10 foot drifts. These were very interesting drifts. There would be an 8 foot hump of snow in front of you, but 15 feet from where you were standing, there was dirt again. Then 20 yards down the trail was another 8 foot hump. We shoveled out the first drift, but after that we just winched and drove over.

The trail is now open and ready for wheelers state, and nation wide!!

Memorial Weekend 2012

To begin the long weekend, Ryan actually joined Patrol 6 down in St. Elmo to run some trails in that area. Saturday they ran Iron Chest and made it about 3/4 of the way through the trail before they were greeted with a very large snow drift. The patrol members dug through the first drift only to find lager drifts farther down the trail.

They decided to turn around and head down to Grizzley Lake.

(Ryan's Co-Pilot for the weekend)

Grizzley Lake was actually very dry through the whole trail. The wall out of the river seems to get worse every year and this year it seemed very dug out. There were only 2 rigs that made it up the wall without some kind of tug.

On Sunday, the Patrol ran Mt Antero and Baldwin Lakes. Just like the day before, the first trail had some giant, unpassable drifts higher up, but the second trail was clear to the top. At the top of Baldwin Lakes there is a mine shaft that has been frozen solid all the wey to the entrance for a number of years. With each passing year, more ice melts and the solid sheet retreats farther and farther back into the shaft. This year, we were actually able to get up on top of the ice and found a hole in it, where we discovered that the ice is actually hollow! The very center of the shaft is clear and I expect us to retrun next year and be able to follow the shaft for a ways back.