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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Marlin Crawler Roundup 2011

Posting here as this is the forum that I read the most and I live in Colorado Springs making this my home chapter. Only wheeled with maybe 2 or 3 of you here but still, this was a great trip and I hope to inspire more people to take it if they can.

Day 1:
Started on the Loon Lake side of the Rubicon trail. You start out on a rock slab and are immediately put off camber and dropping in very steep and large drops. You then go through a very large boulder field and end up at the top of the bowl. There are several lines down the bowl that let you pick if you are ok with off camber or just want to go straight at it and take the large drop offs. I was riding and the driver decided on the drop offs as he hated being off camber at all.











Once you made it to the bottom you then had to climb up the other side witch was much the same but instead of falling down the large steps you had to climb up them. Once to the top there is a steep loose hill climb with a bolder at the top that you have to get very close to and caused several dents to the 4Runner in our group.





You then set into the trail that has boulders everywhere you go and steps and trees the whole way. There is no rest time or even time to even relax. If it is not a bolder field that you have to navigate that is constant trying to throw you on your side or steps up steep inclines, then there are the enormous trees that riddle the trail that you have to go around and over.













At the bottom of a hill the trail opens up again and you are on a rock slab with a fork in the road, 1 way is to Little Sluice and the other is up the rock slab. What I have heard is that Little Sluice was blasted some time back to keep all the trucks out of it that should not be in there and when I saw the size of the rocks in there I am not even sure how it is considered a trail and not just a rock pile of car size boulders.







The group I went with did not trailer to the trail except the J14 jeep that was on 44's so we took the bypass of Little Sluice to make sure we could get out of there and finish the trail. After a short lunch we started again and were immediately met with a large drop off and then another large area of off camber and ledges that we had to go over. There was just section after section of drops and climbs to make it through the slab area and make our way down the trail.

















This is Big Sluice and WOW, it is a sharp down hill turn in the middle of a bolder field and then you are on a very narrow trail with boulders that are constantly pushing you to the edge of the trail. Because we were at an event there we photographers at all the large obstacles here and spotters for the lines that you wanted to take at the 2 main obstacles. One obstacle was on the driver side and you had 2 boulders that were to far apart to get both wheels on so you have to put 1 wheel on it and then lay the truck down on the other. The other side was a large boulder that you had to go very high up on turning down hill while a tree and a boulder go very close to the driver side. The second is the one that we choose and going very, very slowly we made it around with no damage. After 1 more large and dangerous obstacle you are at the bottom and an area to park and catch your breath.







After this it is just back to more boulders and trees until you get close to the springs where there is another fork in the road and we choose driver side witch took us into a large muddy area where the holes are under mud and you can flop over very easy as we almost did. Once in the springs and down at the cabins the trail does not let up you have to constantly being going over boulders and climbing steep grades to get to the camping areas with the added amount of traffic that is very heavy down here.











We setup camp at the back of what is called The Dirty Dozen. You have to cross a 4 foot deep or so river to get over to this camping area and the trees are huge. The Dr. Pepper can was set on the tree to show perspective.







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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Day 2:
This was the day of the main event. A few of us just walked over to the main cabin area as it was easier to walk then to break camp and drive over there. It was pretty busy and the road in was stacked with trucks and almost every place you looked there was a truck or 2 jammed into the spots.













During the event one of the people I went with wanted to go on the helicopter ride but could not find 2 more people to go. After talking a lot of crap about it the whole way in and how dumb it was, I said I would go. This was way better $60 spent then the $50 on raffle tickets.























After the event and having a great time watching people dive into a mud pit for a t-shirt that would not even fit them and having some pretty good food, I was invited to ride along with the J14 Jeep that we came in with, a built Tacoma, and the Axial buggy to go to a part of the trail that is a out and back section called The Hell Hole. It was pitch black and my camera battery died so no photos. Taking photos on this ride would have been to hard anyway because of the incredible fear factor that this trail has. I was with some over built rigs and there was nothing we back down from except when we got on the wrong trail at the top of the canyon and there was a 200 ft cliff that we had on the driver side and had to reverse out and around a large tree that caused the wheels to chirp a lot pulling them around the cliff. We then started heading down from there just dropping over huge drops where the front would basically go vertical and the back wheels would be used to shovel the front end out of the ground.

After we got down to where we thought the trail was and had come to another large cliff down that went right into the river we headed in more to the canyon. We then started to go up again and were faced with a wall that we had to go vertical up and slide along with just the front tires hanging to the top edge, kind of like hanging on with both hands to a bar and working yourself sideways. We watched both the truck and the buggy make it up no problem and we had no fear that the J14 would walk right up it, and it would have except that earlier on the trail we had lost the bolt for the traction bar that keeps the axle from wrapping back from the enormous amount of stress put on it by the engine. This bolt caused the track bar to come free and pivot to much and when then engine sent a lot of torque to the back axle it broke the straps for the drive line pulling 2 caps off the yoke of the drive-line. At any other time this would have been no big deal as it is just 1 over sized bolt, a new yoke, and a couple sleeves, except for the fact that the J14 tools and parts were mistaken left back at camp by the owner.

With the amount of skill we had at the truck though they fixed a J14 custom jeep with Toyota parts and bolts that we found on the trail. It was a crazy thing to see and be apart of as these guys just seem to get it done and have no fear laying under a truck and say to drive it closer to them to turn the axle down. Just amazing work.

After the trail fix it was very late at night and since the Jeep was not all together completely we did not go on and returned back to camp so I never was able to see Hell Hole, but I defiantly can say it was scary as hell just getting to where we were. Will go back one day and see it though, but maybe in the daytime with tools and parts.

Last edited by alteredvision; 09-22-2011 at 12:07 PM.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Day 3:
We broke camp and loaded all in for the finial day and the famous Cadillac Hill that was our way out. We expected a lot of traffic going up the hill because of everybody heading out. Also hearing all the things about this part of the trail I was very anxious to see this. We had heard from some of the experienced guys that they had done a lot of changes and large boulders were moved making it not at all as hard as it used to be.

I was expecting a lot more out of this part of the trail as there was not much to it at all. The start seemed the worst to me as you are on the side of the hill going up large steps and then a very sketchy part where you have to turn up the hill and then go on your side once at the top of a rock slab to get past a boulder that will bump you right off the trail and down the hill to be caught by the trees. After that section though it was not hard at all up to the summit and nothing that was a real challenge.

If you go though please note that not much would have looked like a challenge to me after the night had before so it might all be perspective and this is still a hard trail that does not quit just seemed to be much like the rest and not as bad as what I was expecting from it.














Last edited by alteredvision; 09-21-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Wrap up:
This is one of the most amazing trails I have personally ever done that does not give you a break at any point and is amazing to see and should defiantly be experienced as the photos I took are not even a small portion of what is there and what you will see.

I was a passenger/spotter this whole trip and loved every minute of it. Even if you get the chance just to ride along you will get an amazing amount of knowledge and be able to take a trail that you will not ever go over 5mph. Going during a event like this put a lot of traffic on the trail and it was still one of the most memorable experiences in my life.

Anyone driving the trail, take a passenger with you as this is such a great experience that everyone that can handle should get to do it even if it is not driving it.

The famous green bridge picture that everyone has to have:

Last edited by alteredvision; 09-21-2011 at 12:31 PM.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:37 AM
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Is it me, or is the truck in the 4th pic from the bottom cab crushed in? Nice pics. Looks like fun.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:39 AM
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Nice trip report! I went to this event back in 2008 and it was definitely worth it. Been wanting to get back ever since leaving NorCal.

Maybe next year.....
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Is it me, or is the truck in the 4th pic from the bottom cab crushed in?
It is just a tarp on the truck. Would have sucked to have that kind of damage.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 09:04 AM
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Ah I see.

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 09:15 AM
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I am very jealous.

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 10:54 AM
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Looks like a pretty bumpy trail. Gonna have to put that on my to do list.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 11:38 AM
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I am very jealous.
x2
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 11:40 AM
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I am very jealous.
X3
Hope to make it there next year.

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Bump, for completing the trip report.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 12:41 PM
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Wow, there were a lot of good looking rigs there. It would be fun to go just for that.

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 02:43 PM
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ive always wanted to get out there for that trail. maybe in a few years I can logistically plan for it. no way in the immediate future. looks like an awesome time.

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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 03:53 PM
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Damn. Epic trip for sure. I am so in for next year. Marlin Roundup or not.
WHO'S COMIN WITH ME?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 04:04 PM
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Damn. Epic trip for sure. I am so in for next year. Marlin Roundup or not.
WHO'S COMIN WITH ME?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you're paying for the heli ride I'm in!
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 04:25 PM
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Damn. Epic trip for sure. I am so in for next year. Marlin Roundup or not.
WHO'S COMIN WITH ME?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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If you're paying for the heli ride I'm in!
Me too please

Seriously tho, that does look freaking amazing. My rig certainly couldn't do 0.1% of those trails, but even being a passenger would be epic.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 04:25 PM
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Well, we'll check my finances in a year from now.
I just may buy you that heli ride, for being a Rubicon guide of course!
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 04:31 PM
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Well, we'll check my finances in a year from now.
I just may buy you that heli ride, for being a Rubicon guide of course!
It's awn!
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:34 PM
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I'm in! Wife and i have been talking about it for a while now.

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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 07:38 PM
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Im in for a rubicon trip! Let me know when im down!

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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:17 PM
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I told Ella we are doing this after a few upgrades...

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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:38 PM
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Looks like a great time. This is something that I want to eventually do. As soon as my rig is built enough that is.

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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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You should note that there were several IFS trucks in there including a new FJ and newer 4Runner. From what I have seen there is not a lot of spots can't be run that way but a rear locker, lower transfer gearing, and armor would be a must with a group that is willing to go very slow avoiding a lot of the big obstacles.

I am by no means a pro at this trail now or anything just stating what I have seen there recently. The hard part will be from loon to the springs with a lot of places that are going to push your rig and might cause you to break things but it can be done as there are several people that can tell you they did it.

Also on the last day there were convoy of 20 jeeps coming in with executives in them that were going to be doing the trail. There have also been several reports saying how a 2010 4Runner made it through with just 33's and rock sliders.

I would love to see a Colorado to Rubicon trip and would try to make it with my truck and enough extra parts that I could make it through. If it does all work out and you guys do go I would be happy to have you meet up with the guys I know up there so that you would have the locals with you too.
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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 10:26 PM
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You should note that there were several IFS trucks in there including a new FJ and newer 4Runner. From what I have seen there is not a lot of spots can't be run that way but a rear locker, lower transfer gearing, and armor would be a must with a group that is willing to go very slow avoiding a lot of the big obstacles.

I am by no means a pro at this trail now or anything just stating what I have seen there recently. The hard part will be from loon to the springs with a lot of places that are going to push your rig and might cause you to break things but it can be done as there are several people that can tell you they did it.

Also on the last day there were convoy of 20 jeeps coming in with executives in them that were going to be doing the trail. There have also been several reports saying how a 2010 4Runner made it through with just 33's and rock sliders.

I would love to see a Colorado to Rubicon trip and would try to make it with my truck and enough extra parts that I could make it through. If it does all work out and you guys do go I would be happy to have you meet up with the guys I know up there so that you would have the locals with you too.
X2

I took my 2002 4Runner through it IFS on 35s back in the day. It wasn't easy but anyone on the trail is happy to spot...errr...watch you fuck something up. Armor with a bit of patience is key. Rear locker is a must. Recovery gear including winch.

Didn't even break a CV going through but I wasn't locked up front at the time.
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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 11:02 PM
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Damn. Epic trip for sure. I am so in for next year. Marlin Roundup or not.
WHO'S COMIN WITH ME?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'd like to hit this or az rocks next year. I'm in and don't care if it's for round up or not

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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 06:21 AM
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I've been wanting to do the rubicon since I started wheeling. I always watched the "crazy" rigs driving by while I was headed for the mormon immigrant trails.

I'm not sure about round up tho.. I'd probably start bitching about the shitty customer service. I swear, yesterday morning I left a third voicemail with "Hi, I'd like to pay you about $1500 to rebuild/upgrade my tranny. This is the third voicemail about this, please call me back at blah blah balh".. still haven't heard from them.

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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 07:40 AM
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I'm not sure about round up tho.. I'd probably start bitching about the shitty customer service. I swear, yesterday morning I left a third voicemail with "Hi, I'd like to pay you about $1500 to rebuild/upgrade my tranny. This is the third voicemail about this, please call me back at blah blah balh".. still haven't heard from them.
so true

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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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The event part of this trail was not that great and I could have easily done without it. I did get t-shirts and a helicopter ride out of the event though and that would not have been there if I did not go during the event. I will say though that the event atmosphere and getting to see a lot of the trucks that I have only read about was a very cool thing. It is kind of like seeing a star of the sport but then finding that the driver is just a working guy like you and would be happy to take you out and run trails with him. There was those guys that thought a little higher of themselves then what they were but it goes with the territory. I also found it very funny that a store owner was treated like a rock star where people were asking for autographs and photos with him. Marlin is a very nice guy though and did make it a point to thank each person and talk to anyone that wanted to talk to him, not once passing by a person without shaking their hand and thanking them for being there. Also the money went to the trial so it was all worth it to me.

The trail is the main thing here as it is one that I always held higher then any others. I still have a lot of trails that I want to see but anyone that enjoys this type of activities should defiantly have this trail on their list. For me it has given me a whole new perspective on what I think is a hard trail.
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