Trail Conditions – March 2017

I just got word that someone has broken through the wall at the residential area:

Hole in the wall

At the staging area. Those are the two pit toilets in the background!

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Though you won’t get far. I think that’s right at the staging area (the creek would be Water Bar #1) but I’m not sure.

Snow creek crossing

Please remember to Tread Lightly! if you venture out on the Rubicon. Don’t spin your tires in the dirt or mud. That will cause erosion and the sedimentation that gets in the water my find its way to Tahoe and the anti-OHV people will use it against us.

Use the winch, take a strap, wheel in as far as you can but don’t give the other side ammo to use against us.

 

Rubicon Ronin

 

 


Rubicon conditions

Rubicon

I’m continuing to follow the saga of the stuck rigs on the Rubicon. An effort was made this past weekend to reach them but it fell short due to mechanical failures. But they got to in quite a ways considering conditions.

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Yes, that is the staging area and the two twelve foot tall pit toilets!

I’m assuming the photo below is the creek at water bar number eight, the first Arizona crossing on the trail.

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That would be a cold, deep crossing on a Quad!

Please remember that this will be a very late OHV season. All trails will be very wet and probably not open on time. One can be cited for damaging the forest even while on an OHV trail. Always Tread Lightly!

Be patient, summer will get here.

 

Rubicon Ronin

FYI – Lake Tahoe has already risen three feet this year! And Spring isn’t here yet!

 


Snow is a four letter word

It’s official, this season of storms at Tahoe has brought more snow than the HUGE ’82-’83 winter some of us remember. And it’s only January! Many locals are using four letter words to describe the amount of snow.

Driving around on 89 you already get the feeling there’s a lot of snow. Turning in to the Tahoma residential area. The smaller roads are plowed with clean streets and steep, sheer walls.

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A little further in, the roads are not much narrower and not as clean. I’m assuming they will get cleaned as time allows. Crews were working in the area as I was driving around.

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When you get to the Rubicon trailhead, you understand the issues facing those who would like to go play in the snow on the Rubicon. The berm at the trailhead is currently about 11 feet tall! (My truck is about six feet tall.)

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Looking up and down the street, not all of the other berms seem as tall.

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If you poke your head around the backside of the Rubicon berm, you see that the snow naturally on the ground is four, maybe five feet deep.

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This morning, I sat down with Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery at her monthly coffee meet & great that she holds every fourth Thursday of the month in Tahoe City.

She had already been made aware of the situation and we discussed options for dealing with the situation.

Since we don’t know who piled the snow there (Placer is firm that their plow drivers do not dump snow there.), we can’t go after anyone yet. Placer does not have the resources to place someone there to watch. A game camera has been suggested, but if it was placed when mentioned, it would be under snow right now.

I’ve asked for a “No Snow Dumping” sign with the proper County ordinance and fines listed. Montgomery was open to the idea.

This year might be too late to get a program in place to keep the trail open but I’m hoping for written agreements for next season.

Always travel/wheel prepared for anything. Carry food, water, a change of clothes, phone, ham radio, sleeping bag, etc.

 

Rubicon Ronin

 


Colby Emergency Tire Valve

My Colby valves arrived yesterday. I’m really hot on this item.

I ordered the valve back in August before they were even producing them. I knew it would be months before it arrived and not in time for the 2016 wheeling season. No, I usually don’t do a lot of snow wheeling, that’s why I have a snowmobile.

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By looking at the two photos, you get how the valve works. First, remove or push in the damaged valve. Then, leaving the valve assembled, you push the Colby valve in the hole until the collar of the black rubber washer is snug against the wheel and then while maintaining some pressure, twist the red handle. The brass stem is drawn up in to the black washer. Due to the taper of the brass stem the black washer expands and seals on the back side (the inside) of the wheel. Tighten until snug. Fill the tire with air.

colby-open

I think that in every group of wheelers, someone should be carrying one of these. They don’t take up any space and would save a ton of time swapping on the spare tire or worse, trying to in-bead the tire and replace the valve stem. Add it to your tire plug kit.

This product is so cool, I’ve already started to share what I bought. I ordered four of the ’emergency’ valves (there are three styles available) and I’ve already given away two of the valves as prizes at four wheel drive club Christmas parties.

Order up your own at www.ColbyValve.com. They run $28 for a pair of the ’emergency’ style.

For the record, at this time, I am not being paid by Colby nor did I receive mine in exchange for promotion of the product. I’m just really hot on this item!

 

Rubicon Ronin

 

 


Wet conditions. Tread Lightly!

On my way to the annual Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s Christmas Party, I drove by the Rubicon trailhead. It was a little sloppy at the staging area with more than eight inches of slop.

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Rain is expected over the next few days, so it’s going to get worse. Imagine this mess freezing up. The temperatures will drop below freezing over night this week but they warm up to the 40’s during the day.

Next weekend the temperatures drop dramatically. We’re talking single digits. Go prepared. And don’t go alone.

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The deepest spot was over the bridge, maybe ten inches. With no ground warming, it just doesn’t melt. Be careful crossing the bridge as the ‘sides’ are only eight inches tall. If there is a crown to the snow, you may slide off the side. If you’re concerned about sliding sideways, dig two grooves/ruts to prevent sliding.

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If you’re feeling like it’s too sloppy, you’re being a whimp. Theses two vehicle were parked along the trail and should have no problem getting out.

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Weather conditions can change quickly. Always be prepared to spend the night in case of a breakdown. Tent, sleeping bags, winter clothing, water, food, change of clothes, warm snow boots, etc. Prepare for the worst case. You don’t want to be that guy.

The ham repeater system is in place year round. (Thank you RTF and Dennis Mayer!) Carry a radio in case of trouble as cell phones do not work out there. Tell several people where you are going and when you will return.

The side trails in the Eldorado and the Basin are closed. The Tahoe side trails close January 1st. I would suggest staying on the Rubicon at this time of year. That is because the side trails are narrow and off-camber and you could windup in the trees in the blink of an eye. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of fun on the main trail.

Please stay on the trail. Over the snow travel is not permitted for wheeled vehicles. Snowmobiles can go over the snow but don’t follow their tracks in your 4×4.

Get out there and do some snow wheeling but Tread Lightly! and be safe.

 

Rubicon Ronin