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Big Bear Snow Run - Feb 21, 2009 Print E-mail
Written by ShowStop   
Monday, 23 February 2009 00:00

Big Bear snow trip - Feb 2009

The day started out with us getting on the road at 6:45am to met up with Bill and Nick at McDonalds in Victorville at 8:30am. A nice leisurely breakfast and we were back on the road at 9:00am. A quick gas stop along the way and we were up at the trailhead by 9:55am. Doug and Ian and friends were already there ready to go. We aired down and headed up 3N16 at 10:15am. 5 vehicles total for our group.

Our first little incident was near the Baldwin mine. Somebody in a Tahoe that had a motorcycle trailer and got stuck trying to go up the hill. He disconnected the trailer and moved that off to the side, allowing him to back down the trail. He was just clearing the trail as we went by. No more then 5 minutes later and less then 2mi into the trail, we ran into the H3.

The vehicle was rented and the driver not too skilled on off-road driving. Stock tires and street pressure didn't help either. So we first tried to strap them out of the spot. Not too much luck there so we tried the winch, pushing and more tugging with the strap.I eventually reversed back the trail about 1/4 mi to turn around. Then I was able to tug them driving forward and after several more pulls was finally able to get them out of the snow back and back onto the trail.

So we get him off the trail and some Jeeps had lined up behind us waiting for the green light. The H3 was barely off the trail and the Jeeps were already moving up the trail. So the black Grand Cherokee takes up lead and starts plowing the trail. Just a little ways past Gold Mountain it was all fresh snow with no tracks. Progress was slow as Grand Cherokee often got buried in the hard packed snow and had to get tugged backwards. Ian (red truck) made his attempt at the trail and didn't get much further then the black Jeep on the first try, but covered more ground on the second run.

Forward progress became futile once we got up to the 3N02/3N16 split since the snow was getting up to 3ft deep and we were at another uphill section. So we broke for lunch. Ian and friends wanted to go rockcrawling, so they left.

We discussed our trail options for the day, and it was decided to head down to Jacoby Canyon on Hwy 18 and take that back up to 3N16. So at 1:15pm we finished lunch and headed to Jacoby. It wasn't too long into the trail to find some tricky obstacles. The black Jeep and I both tackled the slippery rock obstacle with a little trouble, then got through. Bill had a bit tougher time being open/open, but made it. (He is behind the bush in this pic)

About that time, we heard the black Jeep had some trouble and needed help. We drive up to see him half off the trail. Not sure how the vehicle didn't flop completely over, but that at least made recovery a bit easier. We devised a plan to use his winch with an extreme sideways angle to anchor the front. Then we used our winch to pull him back on to the trail. It was going really well until he snapped his line when the roller broke loose. After that we finally got him lined up on the trail. Then we just did a bit more digging and some pulling and finally the Jeep was back on firm ground.

With the black Jeep out, we decided to continue up the trail since we were so close to the end. I made it through the same spot without issue, but Bill almost called for a repeat performance. We backed up and tugged him back to safety. After that, we continued the rest of the way up the trail without incident and back to 3N16 to finish the day.

I think the black Jeep took the carnage award for the day:
Snapped winch line, broken fairlead, broken winch switch, broken sway bar mount, bent sway bar pin

 Thanks to all that came out on Saturday. It would have been nice to get into Holcomb, but that last storm just dumped too much snow. It was still good times.