Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Weekend 2013, Day 2

On the second day of our Memorial Weekend trip, we once again split up into a few groups. One group went to Baldwin Lakes to finish the bashing we had started the day before. Another group went on a scenic trip up Aspen Ridge. Ben and I decided to head over to Billings Lake. According to the Wells books, the Lakes are 11.1 miles down the trail.

It was very dry for most of the trail, when all of a sudden we hit a ton of snow. The first couple of drifts had already been busted and I figured someone must be ahead of us. Next thing I know, the tracks suddenly stop and it's fresh snow beyond. Ben and I worked the snow and were able to bash through with minimal difficulties. At one point we reached a long snow field that was slightly up hill. I was finally forced to pull the winch out to get us beyond this point. After I cleared the track, Ben came through no problem.

We reached treeline, and 10.8mi on the odometer, when we finally saw nothing but snow and called it quits because we were unsure where the trail went. The darn lake was within a half mile, and we were so close, yet not close enough!

Next we decided to drive up Taylor Mountain. We made it 6 miles up the East side to the Rock Quarry where we found some rocks to play on. Above this point, the road was covered with snow and too steep to make any bashing progress.

After a ton of snow bashing, camp fires, and no break downs in my group, the weekend came to a close and we all headed home. Until the next weekend... See ya on the trail!

Memorial Weekend 2013, Day 1

Patrols 14 and 6 made our way out to Salida for the weekend to do some camping and wheeling. We had a large group show up for Saturday and so we split into 2 groups. One group tackled the mammoth snow on Hancock. I led a group up Mary Murphy mine. The mill portion of the mine was only 1 mile from the main county road, and we officially made it 1.3 miles. There were some deep drifts at that point, and we were not there for just snow busting so we turned around and headed for another trail.

We next hit up Baldwin Lakes/Mt Antero. From the main country road, we made it just shy of 5 miles on Baldwin. A couple of use busted fresh trail for about 1.3 miles until we turned around. We headed towards Antero were we only made it 1 mile past the split at the lake. At this point there was off camber snow drifts dropping into the creek. This was not the time for that.

Next on the list was Grizzly Lake. Last year the rock wall eluded me and I was determined to climb it unassisted this year. The wall is only about .2 miles in. Only a 4 of us crossed the creek and attempted the wall, but only 3 were successful. I finally climbed my way up. As well as Ben, and Pete. We turned around and called it a day after this.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Eagle Rock/Saran Wrap 5/11/13

Tired of the snow, it was time for the 14ers to get into some rocks, and so we decided to run Eagle Rock and Saran Wrap down near Colorado Springs. We started the day meeting in in the Springs we a crowd of all new faces. Tom, James, Paul, and Tyler are all new to the patrol and were the only ones to show up for the trip.

The weather forecast was suppose to be 65 with 30% chance of rain. Well, it might have been sunny in the Springs, however, it was anything BUT on Old Stage Road. About 10 miles in it started to snow on us. The area had just received a fresh blanket of snow from the night before. Not sure if all of this dropped Friday night, but there was about 10'' of fresh wet snow on the trails, and there were no tracks. The snow packed really well, so traction wasn't completely lost, but it was still slippery.

Ryan figured with the warm temps coming up, and the snow in Denver most likely done for the year, he would take the top off for the season... BIG MISTAKE huh? Luckily he brought a tarp and was able to rig up a "blue tarp bikini" that came in quite handy on this day.

As we reached the trail head of Eagle Rock, we met a couple young guys out on there own in this Red TJ. They asked if they could tag along as we headed over to Saran Wrap, and we were happy to invite them.

We broke all the way through Saran Wrap, and then met a few guys coming down Eagle Rock that had turned around after not making it that far. At this point we added another member to our group, as a gentlemen fresh out of the State of Georgia saw us and asked to tag along. Not sure how far we made it, but most of the group turned around about 3pm as we needed to make it back to Denver. Tyler and James continued on and apparently were able to break through the whole trail with a little winching.

It snowed pretty much all day with a few breaks of sunshine. But it was a still a very good day for wheeling, and making new friends along the way.