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NWFest 2011 June 23-26, 2011 in Naches, WA.

 
 
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  #1  
Old June 26th, 2011, 20:51
redrider2911 redrider2911 is offline
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NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

Let me know if I have some of the facts wrong, I wrote this in a hurry.

Alright. So we didnt have as big of a turn out this year probably because of a combination of gas prices, trail/road closures and such. Still had about 30? rigs though.

THURSDAY
We headed up and got to the little naches campground around 11:00. Set up camp real quick and went and BS'd with the guys. Around 11:30 we set out for a quick trip to funny rocks. Takeing 410 down to 1701 (Bald Mt.) up to the main entrance of 694. Once we got to the rocks I found that I had ripped my passenger brake caliper off the bracket so we pinches the line and we played around the rocks for a while. It was a short session for me as I ended up blowing up my rear aussie and breaking my drivers side u joint and ears attempting "the ledge"? (2nd run from the right when standing at the base of the rocks) . As I changed out a donated spare shaft our NW Chapter Pres Dustin (Torx) attempted the "snag line"? (run to the right of the crack). He almost came over backwards and had to run a winch line to him to pull him up. We headed back to camp taking 694 back down and heading out the middle entrance (trail number?). Once back we tore apart my rear end and deemed it wasnt fixable, have to send it back to aussie.

FRIDAY
I woke up at 7:30 and headed back to town in a hurry to fix my disc brakes and put spider gears back in my carrier. Had to wait for Webers to fix my torn brake line and after putting my spiders in the carrier I decided I didnt want to run the rest of the weekend open in the rear. So I welded it up. Got back to camp a little late around 11:00 to find that a group had already left for the "epic run". Lots of the guys had been waiting around trying to decide what to do so we came up with a plan to run 676 (Kaner Flatts) up to the ridge to try and meet them. We had about 11 rigs so it was slow going. Once we got to the top all the guys except 3 of us decided to had back down 1903 to camp. We kept going and met up with another jeep club at Lily Pond. They said Shoestring was imapassible and everyone had been taking 617. Assuming thats where the guys on the epic run had gone we took 617 to 590 down to the top of 1708 (Milk creek). This was all real fast going considering we were down to 3 rigs. We headed up milk creek to 694 and the fingers hill climb finally ending up at funny rocks.
At the rocks we played on a few lines and decided to check out moon rocks. Moon rocks has quite a bit of snow in the deeper valleys but we have seen it melting off quick the last few days. By the time we got back over to funny rocks the guys on the epic run had finally arrived and we were just in time to see Darren (goblazers) fall into the crack. Suprisingly he escaped with little body damaged. I then ran the crack and came back down to do a line far to the left of the crack dragging rear diff the whole way up the rocks. Finished that up thanks to some great spotting then started eyeing the snagline. I saw what happened to Dustin when he attempted it so I decided to hook my winch around my front housing to act as a suck down. Was almost out of it when all of a sudden my torque converter wouldnt grab anymore. Frustrated being so close I backed up a little more to bump it but the trans just wouldnt push it. I waited a few minutes as they went to go get a strap to help. Finally trying it one last time I made it up while they were just bringing the strap over. I dont know if I was low on fluid or if I over worked the trans or what. We all headed back down to camp taking the usual 694 to Bald Mt. in time for dinner.

SATURDAY
After talking to some of the guys friday night we really wanted to do a more difficult run. We put together a group of 4 capable rigs and drivers.
-Me in my 91 xj, 7" long arm 3 link, rear leaf, locked 30/44, 35 KM2s, 10,000lb winch.
-Kaleb (catchmytalon) in his 94 xj, 7" long arm 3 link, rear leaf, locked 44 full widths, 35 Toyos, 8,000lb winch.
-Joe (josefxj97) in his 97 xj, 4.5" short arm 4 link, rear leaf, locked 30/8.25, 33 MTRs, no winch.
-Brandon (98cherokeesport) in his 98 xj, 8" leaf sprung front, rear tri 4 link, locked 44/60 full widths, 35 MTRs, 8,000lb winch, hybrid exo cage.
The girls got in the drivers seats. Melissa with me, Bailey with Brandon, Kristen with Kaleb. To try and make the trip quick (ha!) we cruzed up 1903 to the top and finished Kaner out to Lily Pond and continued up to 688? We started hitting pretty good snow drifts so we aired down to 5 PSI and the guys got back in the drivers seats. The group stopped as I fixed a blown trans line and contemplated heading back down and taking 617 again to the rocks. Being the stubborn adrenaline junky I can sometimes be (sorry guys) I played a big hand in convincing the guys to push forward knowing that it had to get better sometime. Joe ended up tearing off a valve stem and luckily we had 1 spare. Took no time to break the bead, install it, and reseat the tire. Soon we couldnt hardly see the trail and relied on half melted tracks from guys that did this run a week ago as well as looking for bark rubbed off the trees. Not sure how but I blew my first bead hear but easily reseated it with Brandons OBA. All was going decent and we came to a good up hill section. The snow was real slushy and when packed turned to a sheet of ice. We had to winch and come up with creative ways to snatchblock Joe up the obstacles. Not another mile up the trail I blew another bead trying to winch out of a soft tree well but quickly got it reseated as the guys worked up the hill. Once to the top we could see previous tracks taking a left onto 308 (shoestring) down a STEEP 200 yard hill. Sliding sideways down these embankments and almost going end over end a couple times kept things interesting. Once hitting this there was no turning back. It was there that Joe tore off his 2nd valve stem! Having no more spares we mounted his spare BFG and continued on hoping for the best. Here we got to a promising clearing but found that it quickly turned back into the tight trees for a nice switch back section. After we came to the new shoestring reroute there was a nice side hill ahead and sliding into the trees was inevitable. It now being 8:00? and everyone starting to get a little uneasy wondering if this was ever going to get better we had a group meeting. After deciding as a group that it would be more work to winch back up the 200 yard decent to head back we kept pushing forward through the trees. We worked hard in teams of 3 pulling cable and moving snatchblocks to make quick work of getting everyone through. After this section mine and Kalebs drivers doors wouldnt open because the pinch seam had been folded over the top. After a sharp left and down hill slant then a quick run to the top we had reached the flat rock quary area and headed back down to the original shoestring trail. The tempature started to cool and the consistency of the snow improved. Picking up the pace we were off and rallying down the trail making better time. Both me and Kaleb lost our rear driver side glass on some trees and Joe lost his hatch glass somehow. We came to an area in the trees where we couldnt tell exactly which direction the trail led. While breaking trail I seemed to get hung up on something and couldnt shake it. I had Melissa check out the passenger side to check only to tell me "hun, your rear tire is laying beside the Jeep..." I had lost ALL lug nuts and ALL the studs had been sheered off. While the guys were hiking around trying to find signs of the trail I quickly removed the disc brake and rotor. I was able to get 1 stud off my drivers rear but not any more without dismounting tires. Luckily we found my brother had a old broken unit bearing in the back of his jeep complete with studs. I grabbed those and a lug nut off each tire as soon as the guys found the trail and we were on our way. Brandon now leading we mashed through 4 foot snow drifts and up some decent hills, the snow now getting patchy in areas once we hit tripod flat. Having no more issues eventually getting to solid ground we hit 694 and reached funny rocks around 1:30. Gave enough time for Joe and Chris (his passenger) to call home (they were supposed to be home in Bonney Lake by 10:00 that night) then we hit 694 the rest of the way down to Bald Mt. and reached camp around 2:30/3:00. We missed out on the raffle and the NW Chapter dinner and worried our fellow chapter members a little but we still had fun. Was it worth it? I still dont know. lol

Specs of the trip courtesy of Joe's GPS

TOTAL DISTANCE:______________________49.82 MILES
TOTAL TIME:__________________________17 HRS 40 MIN 17 SEC
TOTAL MOVING TIME:___________________ 12 HRS 5 MIN 57 SEC
AVERAGE SPEED:_______________________2.82 MILES/HOUR
AVERAGE MOVING SPEED:_______________ 4.12 MILES/HOUR
ELEVATION GAIN:______________________ 7,016 FT
MIN ELEVATION:_______________________ 2,125 FT
MAX ELEVATION:_______________________6,161 FT
MIN GRADE:___________________________-19.2%
MAX GRADE:__________________________ 30.3%

Last edited by redrider2911; June 26th, 2011 at 21:05.
  #2  
Old June 26th, 2011, 21:09
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TORX TORX is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

Nice recap Kris.

I'm still speechless about your guys' run on Saturday. I'm sure it pushed all of you to the limit, physically, mentally, and mechanically. Congratulations on making it over the ridge, I would consider that a huge accomplishment.

I tried the snag line again on Saturday, no dice. The only thing I can think of is maybe my front end was unloading, and maybe you have an extra inch or two of wheel base? I would assume your front end is pushed slightly forward? Either way, I had a blast playing around on the rocks, and pushing the rig.

Hope to see you on the trails soon.
  #3  
Old June 26th, 2011, 21:22
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R.DesJardin R.DesJardin is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

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Originally Posted by TORX View Post
Nice recap Kris.
.............I would assume your front end is pushed slightly forward? Either way, I had a blast playing around on the rocks, and pushing the rig........
Kris, great write up. More than a just a run for sure.
Torx are you saying it's a wheelbase thing?
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  #4  
Old June 26th, 2011, 21:26
redrider2911 redrider2911 is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

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Originally Posted by R.DesJardin View Post
Torx are you saying it's a wheelbase thing?
He's just mad cause Im 1-1/2 longer then he is.
  #5  
Old June 26th, 2011, 21:36
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

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Originally Posted by redrider2911 View Post
He's just mad cause Im 1-1/2 longer then he is.
  #6  
Old June 26th, 2011, 21:09
josefxj97 josefxj97 is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrider2911 View Post
Let me know if I have some of the facts wrong, I wrote this in a hurry.

Alright. So we didnt have as big of a turn out this year probably because of a combination of gas prices, trail/road closures and such. Still had about 30? rigs though.

THURSDAY
We headed up and got to the little naches campground around 11:00. Set up camp real quick and went and BS'd with the guys. Around 11:30 we set out for a quick trip to funny rocks. Takeing 410 down to 1701 (Bald Mt.) up to the main entrance of 694. Once we got to the rocks I found that I had ripped my passenger brake caliper off the bracket so we pinches the line and we played around the rocks for a while. It was a short session for me as I ended up blowing up my rear aussie and breaking my drivers side u joint and ears attempting "the ledge"? (2nd run from the right when standing at the base of the rocks) . As I changed out a donated spare shaft our NW Chapter Pres Dustin (Torx) attempted the "snag line"? (run to the right of the crack). He almost came over backwards and had to run a winch line to him to pull him up. We headed back to camp taking 694 back down and heading out the middle entrance (trail number?). Once back we tore apart my rear end and deemed it wasnt fixable, have to send it back to aussie.

FRIDAY
I woke up at 7:30 and headed back to town in a hurry to fix my disc brakes and put spider gears back in my carrier. Had to wait for Webers to fix my torn brake line and after putting my spiders in the carrier I decided I didnt want to run the rest of the weekend open in the rear. So I welded it up. Got back to camp a little late around 11:00 to find that a group had already left for the "epic run". Lots of the guys had been waiting around trying to decide what to do so we came up with a plan to run 676 (Kaner Flatts) up to the ridge to try and meet them. We had about 11 rigs so it was slow going. Once we got to the top all the guys except 3 of us decided to had back down 1903 to camp. We kept going and met up with another jeep club at Lily Pond. They said Shoestring was imapassible and everyone had been taking 617. Assuming thats where the guys on the epic run had gone we took 617 to 590 down to the top of 1708 (Milk creek). This was all real fast going considering we were down to 3 rigs. We headed up milk creek to 694 and the fingers hill climb finally ending up at funny rocks.
At the rocks we played on a few lines and decided to check out moon rocks. Moon rocks has quite a bit of snow in the deeper valleys but we have seen it melting off quick the last few days. By the time we got back over to funny rocks the guys on the epic run had finally arrived and we were just in time to see Darren (goblazers) fall into the crack. Suprisingly he escaped with little body damaged. I then ran the crack and came back down to do a line far to the left of the crack dragging rear diff the whole way up the rocks. Finished that up thanks to some great spotting then started eyeing the snagline. I saw what happened to Dustin when he attempted it so I decided to hook my winch around my front housing to act as a suck down. Was almost out of it when all of a sudden my torque converter wouldnt grab anymore. Frustrated being so close I backed up a little more to bump it but the trans just wouldnt push it. I waited a few minutes as they went to go get a strap to help. Finally trying it one last time I made it up while they were just bringing the strap over. I dont know if I was low on fluid or if I over worked the trans or what. We all headed back down to camp taking the usual 694 to Bald Mt. in time for dinner.

SATURDAY
After talking to some of the guys friday night we really wanted to do a more difficult run. We put together a group of 4 capable rigs and drivers.
-Me in my 91 xj, 7" long arm 3 link, rear leaf, locked 30/44, 35 KM2s, 10,000lb winch.
-Kaleb (catchmytalon) in his 94 xj, 7" long arm 3 link, rear leaf, locked 44 full widths, 35 Toyos, 8,000lb winch.
-Joe (josefxj97) in his 97 xj, 4.5" short arm 4 link, rear leaf, locked 30/8.25, 33 MTRs, no winch.
-Brandon (98cherokeesport) in his 98 xj, 8" leaf sprung front, rear tri 4 link, locked 44/60 full widths, 35 MTRs, 8,000lb winch, hybrid exo cage.
The girls got in the drivers seats. Melissa with me, Bailey with Brandon, Kristen with Kaleb. To try and make the trip quick (ha!) we cruzed up 1903 to the top and finished Kaner out to Lily Pond and continued up to 688? We started hitting pretty good snow drifts so we aired down to 5 PSI and the guys got back in the drivers seats. The group stopped as I fixed a blown trans line and contemplated heading back down and taking 617 again to the rocks. Being the stubborn adrenaline junky I can sometimes be (sorry guys) I played a big hand in convincing the guys to push forward knowing that it had to get better sometime. Joe ended up tearing off a valve stem and luckily we had 1 spare. Took no time to break the bead, install it, and reseat the tire. Soon we couldnt hardly see the trail and relied on half melted tracks from guys that did this run a week ago as well as looking for bark rubbed off the trees. Not sure how but I blew my first bead hear but easily reseated it with Brandons OBA. All was going decent and we came to a good up hill section. The snow was real slushy and when packed turned to a sheet of ice. We had to winch and come up with creative ways to snatchblock Joe up the obstacles. Not another mile up the trail I blew another bead trying to winch out of a soft tree well but quickly got it reseated as the guys worked up the hill. Once to the top we could see previous tracks taking a left onto 308 (shoestring) down a STEEP 200 yard hill. Sliding sideways down these embankments and almost going end over end a couple times kept things interesting. Once hitting this there was no turning back. It was there that Joe tore off his 2nd valve stem! Having no more spares we mounted his spare BFG and continued on hoping for the best. Here we got to a promising clearing but found that it quickly turned back into the tight trees for a nice switch back section. After we came to the new shoestring reroute there was a nice side hill ahead and sliding into the trees was inevitable. It now being 8:00? and everyone starting to get a little uneasy wondering if this was ever going to get better we had a group meeting. After deciding as a group that it would be more work to winch back up the 200 yard decent to head back we kept pushing forward through the trees. We worked hard in teams of 3 pulling cable and moving snatchblocks to make quick work of getting everyone through. After this section mine and Kalebs drivers doors wouldnt open because the pinch seam had been folded over the top. After a sharp left and down hill slant then a quick run to the top we had reached the flat rock quary area and headed back down to the original shoestring trail. The tempature started to cool and the consistency of the snow improved. Picking up the pace we were off and rallying down the trail making better time. Both me and Kaleb lost our rear driver side glass on some trees and Joe lost his hatch glass somehow. We came to an area in the trees where we couldnt tell exactly which direction the trail led. While breaking trail I seemed to get hung up on something and couldnt shake it. I had Melissa check out the passenger side to check only to tell me "hun, your rear tire is laying beside the Jeep..." I had lost ALL lug nuts and ALL the studs had been sheered off. While the guys were hiking around trying to find signs of the trail I quickly removed the disc brake and rotor. I was able to get 1 stud off my drivers rear but not any more without dismounting tires. Luckily we found my brother had a old broken unit bearing in the back of his jeep complete with studs. I grabbed those and a lug nut off each tire as soon as the guys found the trail and we were on our way. Brandon now leading we mashed through 4 foot snow drifts and up some decent hills, the snow now getting patchy in areas once we hit tripod flat. Having no more issues eventually getting to solid ground we hit 694 and reached funny rocks around 1:30. Gave enough time for Joe and Chris (his passenger) to call home (they were supposed to be home in Bonney Lake by 10:00 that night) then we hit 694 the rest of the way down to Bald Mt. and reached camp around 2:30/3:00. We missed out on the raffle and the NW Chapter dinner and worried our fellow chapter members a little but we still had fun. Was it worth it? I still dont know. lol

Specs of the trip courtesy of Joe's GPS

TOTAL DISTANCE:______________________49.82 MILES
TOTAL TIME:__________________________17 HRS 40 MIN 17 SEC
TOTAL MOVING TIME:___________________ 12 HRS 5 MIN 57 SEC
AVERAGE SPEED:_______________________2.82 MILES/HOUR
AVERAGE MOVING SPEED:_______________ 4.12 MILES/HOUR
ELEVATION GAIN:______________________ 7,016 FT
MIN ELEVATION:_______________________ 2,125 FT
MAX ELEVATION:_______________________6,161 FT
MIN GRADE:___________________________-19.2%
MAX GRADE:__________________________ 30.3%
Was it worth it? Not at all. When we decided, as a group, to keep pushing on instead of turning around, that was a bad desicion.
  #7  
Old June 26th, 2011, 21:30
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ECKSJAY ECKSJAY is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

Quote:
Originally Posted by josefxj97 View Post
Was it worth it? Not at all. When we decided, as a group, to keep pushing on instead of turning around, that was a bad desicion.
Ah, wait 10 years...and you guys will laugh your collective asses off. It's what experience does for ya.

It's kinda like when I saw that gigantic group getting ready to go run yesterday; experience said, "Meh, let's go to breakfast and explore on our own...you guys enjoy yourselves."
  #8  
Old June 26th, 2011, 22:14
josefxj97 josefxj97 is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

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Originally Posted by ECKSJAY View Post
Ah, wait 10 years...and you guys will laugh your collective asses off. It's what experience does for ya.
yea you're probably right.
  #9  
Old June 26th, 2011, 22:37
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R.DesJardin R.DesJardin is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

One thing for you guys who survived, because you did and need to remember you kept going and all made it out with all of your Jeeps. That is a great accomplishment for all involved considering the circumstances detailed above. But it also sounds like you guys learned a lot, maybe matured your wheelin' a little?
Maturity is a valuable asset, even if we go to bed at 9:30, remember we looked at that trail the day before and said to make it through would require a lot of winching and work and time. You proved us right and that's not what I was looking for either. Again kudos for you guys who endured and returned.
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  #10  
Old June 26th, 2011, 21:55
catchmytalon catchmytalon is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

well kris did leave out a couple of important aspects. i had my 20 month old daughter with me the whole time but im lucky that shes a good baby and actually looks forward to go wheeling. It was an epic run but i like said before we all will look back and laugh and say remember that time and honestly i believe that we all are better for it now. I had a good time a little irritating at times but nothing to serious. everyone learned a lot never let kris be a trail leader again. lol jk. like kris said body damage was inevitable so we just decided to embrace that it gave the vehicles character and proved that they arent pavement pounders. and to end it off just got to thank God that we all made it out ok and under our own power and nobody actually broke anything but windows.... amazing lets do it again next year but should take volunteers
  #11  
Old June 26th, 2011, 23:05
BenDiesel BenDiesel is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

you guys pushed it to the limit and peird over the clif. the question is will you do it again?
  #12  
Old June 27th, 2011, 09:11
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrider2911 View Post
I saw what happened to Dustin when he attempted it so I decided to hook my winch around my front housing to act as a suck down. Was almost out of it when all of a sudden my torque converter wouldnt grab anymore. Frustrated being so close I backed up a little more to bump it but the trans just wouldnt push it. I waited a few minutes as they went to go get a strap to help. Finally trying it one last time I made it up while they were just bringing the strap over. I dont know if I was low on fluid or if I over worked the trans or what. We all headed back down to camp taking the usual 694 to Bald Mt. in time for dinner.
with the angle of your winch line to your front axle, it didn't look like it was helping much from where I was standing.

You think you might have over worked your trans
Expecting your Jeep to climb an assecent like that with 3.55 gears and 35's is obsurd! I would never have recomended that I spot you up it if I had known that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by redrider2911 View Post
SATURDAY
worried our fellow chapter members a little but we still had fun. Was it worth it? I still dont know. lol
You worried your fellow members MUCH MORE than I think you suspect!!!!

I wasn't on the run with you guys, but one of the MOST important skills of a trail leader is to understand when it is best to turn back and when to push on. It is often NOT an easy decision but in this case I think I might question it.


Michael
  #13  
Old June 27th, 2011, 10:51
redrider2911 redrider2911 is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xtreme View Post
with the angle of your winch line to your front axle, it didn't look like it was helping much from where I was standing.

You worried your fellow members MUCH MORE than I think you suspect!!!!

I wasn't on the run with you guys, but one of the MOST important skills of a trail leader is to understand when it is best to turn back and when to push on. It is often NOT an easy decision but in this case I think I might question it.


Michael
Even though the line was angled forward I can tell you it did suck the front end down quite a bit. I hook it in the same spot whenever I need to highlift the front end up without the axle dropping out.

Looking back I still think going forward was a better decision. If you would have seen this hill that we already dropped down.... It would have taken us atleast 3 hours just to get everyone winched back up... If that was even possible.
  #14  
Old June 27th, 2011, 10:52
98CherokeeSport 98CherokeeSport is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

First off thank god I built my cage the way I did haha we should have turned back sooner but once we got to a certain point there was no turning back. I think if I was better prepared for that run it wouldn't have been as bad. I didn't take any pics for various reasons once we lost the trail
  #15  
Old June 27th, 2011, 11:24
redrider2911 redrider2911 is offline
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Re: NWFEST from my point of view. EXTREME detail writeup

Heres a writeup of shoestring one of the guys posted up from insanity fab. Looks like the trail already being plowed through helped a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floorit
I didn't take any pictures so heres my story.

Late Friday I found out that I wasn't going to be on call this Sunday. I've been wanting to go run shoestring since it opened up and I knew this was probably my last chance before the snow melted. I put out the jeeping signal and it wasn't long before a small, capable crew was formed. Sunday morning rolled around and I knew it was going to be a good day because I hit the road right on time (unusual). I met up with DPD and PUO in Naches and we cruised on up to the parking lot where Jay W was already waiting. We got unloaded and headed up to 676 about 10:00.

Its been a few years since I've run 676 and I was surprised at some of the changes. They added a bridge in the lower section where there used to be a fun climb between some trees with a big root ball. They also seriously tamed down a side hill section. We climbed up the trail pretty quickly. DPD found that he had lost most of his t-case mount bolts but was able to secure it with the one remaining bolt and a strap. Jay had to show off a bit and wheelied up aardvark hill. We made good time and were at Lily pond before long.

At Lily pond we turned up upper 676 and hit snow pretty quickly. There was just enough to make it fun but it didn't slow us down much. We made it to the Quartz Mt. intersection just before noon. As usual, shortly after the intersection I took a wrong turn and we started to head towards Quartz Mt. It was a really fun section through the trees with big drifts and tree wells but I knew we would wind up way over on the Ellensburg side if we continued that way so we turned around and back tracked to Upper Kaner.

We continued up 4w306 working our way up the ridge. DPD let PUO do some driving here and they had some trouble with the transfer case shifters. DPD got that straightened out and we kept moving. We got to the drop in to 4w308 (shoestring). There was a lot of snow at this point and the drop in looked pretty gnarly. I had heard that the Dust Devils had been all the way through the trail last week so I knew that we could get through. It was about 1:00 so we had plenty of time left in the day. We pointed our jeeps down the hill and started the long slide down the ridge.

Dropping down the ridge took a little bit of work. It was tough to stay on the drifts and out of the tree wells. We all had to winch a few times to get off of trees but overall it went pretty well. We worked our way through the trees to the rock garden. Going through the rock garden was pretty uneventful and we just kept cruising along the trail. We were making good progress when DPD hollered for us on the CB sounding like a scared kitten.

Jay and I both responded to DPD's distress call, but there was no response from DPD or PUO. Fearing something bad had happened, we quickly turned around and started to head back to find them. Eventually PUO got on the radio and let us know that DPD had sheared a tie rod end off. After pondering the options for a few minutes, we decided to pull the TRE off, remove the dust cap and broken ball and bolt the TRE shell back on to the steering arm. We rounded up the necessary spare parts and with a bolt, two lug nuts, a socket and a nylock nut a makeshift TRE was fashioned and we were back on the trail.

We made quick time on the rest of shoestring, and up tripod. Not much interesting happened, we just cruised through the trail. There was snow on the trail all the way to the top of five fingers hill. We headed down five fingers, and cruised along 4w688 over to Lily pond trail. We headed up, and I had time to catch a quick nap at the top while waiting for DPD and Jay to get done with the trail. From there we hit the forest roads and cruised back to the parking lot. Got back to the trailers about 6:00, loaded up and headed home. It was a great run, probably my favorite run of all time on those trails.
 


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