Spring Creek 10-25-08 - TTORA Forum
 
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Spring Creek 10-25-08

Yes, this is a long post, but the story deserves the telling!

Well, the stars and planets were aligned correctly, so Isaac, Nate and I met in Downieville to make a quick run up Spring Creek before it became buried under snow. We headed for the trail around 9am, aired down and ready to roll over some rocks.

Isaac and Nate crawled up the first obstacle without issue, but I needed a little guidance from Isaac to get the heavy-ass FJ out of the rut.









At the top we saw Jeeps ahead of us in the distance and as we caught up to them, we got our first hint of snow on the trail.



We found the Jeepers examining the next obstacle. Minutes ticked by as they pondered their route, one of them commenting that he was concerned about flex because he still had sway bars connected. The three IFS guys just kind of… blinked… Both Jeeps tackled it with no problems, the one getting a wee wheel stand in, and then the Yotas climbed over no problem as well.



Further up the trail, more fun was had as we passed the Jeepers taking the View east.



Isaac then began breaking trail and we had our first challenge. Isaac and Nate took the harder line on the left, while I got hung up early and stayed right.













The Rock Garden proved to be all kinds of fun













All but one of the Jeeps took the bypass










And this guy came along… but that’s a WHOLE ‘nother story…



Nate and I finished our fun in the Rock Garden while the Jeepers replaced a tire after ripping off a valve stem.













… but then the REAL fun began. Remember this guy? This is where the story begins…



As we were making our way up the Garden, we heard the familiar “PING!!” of axle problems come from this rig. Turns out he blew the rear diff ring and pinion. We had assumed he was with the Jeeps and they were helping him, but he, in fact, was up there alone. It turns out he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and we were in the right place at the right time… for him.

Not to beleaguer the point, but he and his three young friends were out test driving his new rig. He did not have the owner’s manual and I doubt had ever been off-road before. He and his friends were very gracious and grateful for our help as we diagnosed the problem and advised them on their options. They decided to try to drive to the top of the trail where they could get a tow to civilization and we told them we would be behind them if they ran into more trouble.

We had our last bit of fun a little way up the trail















It did not take long for us to catch up to the LR spinning wheels in the next rocky section and we had a heart-to-heart about the situation. We showed the driver how to put the rig in 4WD and low-range. Despite this, it was apparent his driving out was not feasible, and we couldn’t leave them there, so we offered to tow him. Isaac and Nate daisy-chained their rigs and started hauling the LR up the trail, spinning, bucking, bouncing, and since the LR driver didn’t know how to work the rig, hauling his dead weight most of the way.







After what seemed like hours of this, rigging, re-rigging, pulling each-other on and off rocks, etc., we got to a point where I could get by all the rigs and I offered to start pulling (both my own weight and the LR ) The off-camber turn I started on resulted in the LR pulling me off the road and I had to winch myself back on.

During all this there were 2 dirt bikes coming up the trail behind us, one with a broken clutch. Now THAT is hardcore!! When I was getting ready to tow the LR, I realized that I’d left one of my gear bags back down the trail, the one with the tow gear in it!! Just as I was about to turn around to go get it, the bikes arrived and one of them had my bag strapped to his back and we traded water for gear, a damn good deal for me!



This is pretty much the mindset at this point.



I had to chain up to get the LR around the bend, and I was amazed: the same dirt biker that brought me my gear helped me get the chains on. Freakin’ amazing guy. I then had the easiest section yet to tow him through to the top. Go figure. In retrospect I should have strapped on all 4 chains and drug the LR the whole way to save the thrashing that Isaac and Nate went through for the majority of the tow. Oh well, live and learn.

We got them to the top and we all caravanned to the road, after which we said our goodbyes with many thanks all around. Perhaps we will see them on this forum in the near future.

Better teamwork I have not seen between snow, mud, rocks, broken rig and folks who needed help and were gracious enough to accept it and maintain a sense of humor.

We made it out with a modicum of body damage, well-used sliders and skids, a tweaked wrist and hopefully some new friends.

Thanks for a great day folks!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 12:57 PM
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It was a great run! Glad you were able to make it Eric.

Very fun trail, and I look forward to doing it again, hopefully next time we wont have to drag a 4th rig up the mountain . It would of made it more enjoyable, but in the end, we got it out, nobody from our crew broke anything (minus a few very minor things, nothing major), and i got my first winch since i've owned my Taco! Too bad we didnt get pictures of that


Eric, did you upload the rest of the pictures to your photobucket? If/when you get to it, shoot me the link to all of them, or post the link here.


- Side note -

I'm really pleased with these tires after the absolute beating they took yesterday, it was very impressive. Also, i was aired down to 10psi and if you look closely in the pictures, the tires dont show it at all. Makes me nervous for snow bashing, but happy for playing on the rocks
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 01:58 PM
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Yes, quite the day indeed.

The gentlemen in the LR were very nice, but were in a bad spot for sure.

I agree with Eric, the teamwork was amazing, and I had a great time.

Did end up with a mild sprain on my wrist after falling on a steep section of snow. Its not bad, but a wee bit swollen.

Top notch guys!
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 02:02 PM
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On a side not of my own, the goofy tail light hoops on my truck work quite well. At one point, the LR hit a rough patch, this was before nate jumped in the daisy chain, and the LR stopped hard.

My truck bucked sideways REALLY hard, and the rear end hit a tree with a lot of force. Luckily right on the tail light hoop. Took a big bite out of the tree, but no damage to the truck.

If it hadn't been there, the entire tail light would have been gone, and I would have had a huge dent in the quarter.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 05:37 PM
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That's some serious adventure today. Hopefully the owner of the LR learned some great lessons today. All in a crash course for one day.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 05:39 PM
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Awesome pics guys! Sounds like it was a hell of a time, I wish I could have gone. I however have to assume with all that snow on the rocks, it must have been super slick and my open front end would not have cut it. I know Eric and from wheeling with him, I have to say if I could rely on anyone to try and help get me out of a situation, he would be one of the top choices. I have to assume that Isaac and Nate are probably great as well. Well done fellas, that is definately what wheeling is all about. Hopefully the LR will learn a VALUABLE lesson from this incident.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hurley842002 View Post
Awesome pics guys! Sounds like it was a hell of a time, I wish I could have gone. I however have to assume with all that snow on the rocks, it must have been super slick and my open front end would not have cut it. I know Eric and from wheeling with him, I have to say if I could rely on anyone to try and help get me out of a situation, he would be one of the top choices. I have to assume that Isaac and Nate are probably great as well. Well done fellas, that is definately what wheeling is all about. Hopefully the LR will learn a VALUABLE lesson from this incident.
Thank you Dan, but I've got to say, Isaac and Nate are the guys. Isaac was the first to recognize that we needed to step up and the three of us jumped in and worked together. Couldn't ask for a better trio of common sense, know-how and on-board gear.

As a point of note, the LR did not have any recovery gear and also did not have any recovery points on the front end (which I found totally appalling considering the purpose of the Defender 90 Come on LandRover!!) As a result Isaac had to rig the front end and the LR will be needing a makeover on the front bumper, but the bumper and the rigging made it all the way out without incident.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 07:37 PM
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That is surprising, that a Defender 90 wouldn't have a front recovery point. Spring Creek is definately not a trail for the beginner. Its just a good thing you guys didn't cause any significant damage to your rigs.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 07:42 PM
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It was a team effort. Everyone worked extremely well together, and I think everyone deserves equal credit.

While eric's rig, chained up, could have gotten the LR farther than myself, Eric could not have gotten in front of the LR to get hooked up. I barely got through, and took a dent to my driver fender getting by, and Nate got hung bad. Once I saw that I was the only one who was going to make it by, I hooked up, and got as far as I could before we had to daisy chain.

The guys were very nice, and while unprepared, they were easy to work with, and i enjoyed meeting them, though I wish it had been on better circumstances.

As for going with one locker, it would have been okay, but really, armor was needed more than a front locker with the snow. In dry conditions, you could take lines to get your belly clear of rocks. With the snow and ice, eric ended up on his skids a few times, as the truck would buck over and hang on the belly.

More importantly, after 9 runs at this trail (I counted them out this morning), I FINALLY finished this damn trail. I have been stopped by snow, by other trucks breaking down, by flat tires, by lack of equipment, and by time for 8 flipping runs, and so this, the ninth, I finally got up to the top and through!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay for me!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 07:47 PM
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That is surprising, that a Defender 90 wouldn't have a front recovery point. Spring Creek is definately not a trail for the beginner. Its just a good thing you guys didn't cause any significant damage to your rigs.

I agree, it was weird that there were no tow points at all.

His bumper was going to hold fine, thats why I didn't have any qualms about it. I talked to the owner and informed him that damage was possible to the bumper, but that we didn't have much choice. He said he was fine with it.

As for damage to our own trucks, I never thought about it. Nates bumper is beefy, and my own rear bumper is far, far stronger than any hitch, my frame, or just about anything else I've seen on the back of a truck. Its not going anywhere.

The only time it was possible was when I was in 3rd gear at about 3k rpms, both ARB's engaged, in my 4.7 case, and I could hear Nate's motor screaming too, trying to get up this damn hill. It was impressive, but I guess I did let off being fearful of damage.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
I agree, it was weird that there were no tow points at all.

His bumper was going to hold fine, thats why I didn't have any qualms about it. I talked to the owner and informed him that damage was possible to the bumper, but that we didn't have much choice. He said he was fine with it.

As for damage to our own trucks, I never thought about it. Nates bumper is beefy, and my own rear bumper is far, far stronger than any hitch, my frame, or just about anything else I've seen on the back of a truck. Its not going anywhere.

The only time it was possible was when I was in 3rd gear at about 3k rpms, both ARB's engaged, in my 4.7 case, and I could hear Nate's motor screaming too, trying to get up this damn hill. It was impressive, but I guess I did let off being fearful of damage.

That would have been worth being around for, watching you guys drag him up the hill. Sounds like we'll definately need to plan a run up spring creek next spring/summer. As far as the recovery points go, that is the first thing going on the Heep, even though its mainly a dd.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 09:45 PM
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I really need to transfer businees and get up to Colorado.


Get job on helping the guy out in the LR.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjcruzer View Post
Thank you Dan, but I've got to say, Isaac and Nate are the guys. Isaac was the first to recognize that we needed to step up and the three of us jumped in and worked together. Couldn't ask for a better trio of common sense, know-how and on-board gear.
I felt bad, and un-prepared for lacking recovery equipment

It was definitely a team effort, we had to stop, and talk amongst each other about each others plan to get through a few sections to come up with a strategy, but all in all it worked out great.

Going to pick up some weld-on d-rings this week for the rear after this experience, they would prove to be VERY useful.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 07:01 AM
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Bring em over and I'll burn em on for ya and we can check your SWR too

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 08:17 AM
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Good job guys! Way to represent.

I can't believe that someone would go dump 40k on a LR and go wheel it shortly after. It is one bad ass machine and wouldn't mind having one myself but sheeesh.

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 08:31 AM
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Yet another adventure on Spring Creek. Like others have said, very classy move on your part to recover the LR and help him get out safely. Landy's are cool rigs, but damn they seem to break easy....

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 11:39 AM
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It's funny when you talk to LR guys, they're all about I can go anywhere and LR is so awesome yadayada ... then you find out the most popular mod for a LR is to replace the drivetrain with Toyota parts!

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 11:56 AM
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Bill Burke the "The Camel Trophy/ Land Rover Poster Child " seams happy with Toyota's off road prowess!
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 12:00 PM
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Great job of taking on the role of trail leader guys... this is a story that is often repeated, but may times including stories of recovery rig and gear damage or people getting injured!
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 12:45 PM
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So the guy made it up there that far without knowing how to operate 4wd? Wow.....maybe that's a testament to LRs?
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 12:49 PM
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He was in 4wd, just not 4lo, and up to that point the trail really wasnt all that bad.
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 12:56 PM
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props for the rescue. these damn newer 4wd rigs that are quite capable in the right hands should come with an idiot warning.......they'd all be frozen to death, then their family's would sue the forest service and the trail would get closed down. Happened here recently......

Looks like a fun trail as well. thanks for sharing.

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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 10:30 PM
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good job guys. I gotta get on that trail next year.




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