Newbies in the snow

Let me start by thanking my friends who are getting out on the Rubicon Trail much more than I am. They keep me informed of trail conditions and occasionally pass along a good story. Here is the latest story.

So, last week my good friend got with one of his friends and they headed out for a day of snow wheeling on the Rubicon. My friend is on 38’s with lockers front and rear. I’m sure his friend was running something similar. I do need to teach them to take pictures.

They came across another guy at the Rubicon trailhead they didn’t know who was thinking about heading out on the trail. This guy was less equipped but they dragged him along anyway.

I guess it got interesting when they got to the intersection of the Rubicon and Forest Road 03-04. That’s the road to Barker Pass. As my friend and his buddy turned left down the Rubicon, they turned the lesser rig around and sent him back to the staging area.

Their thought was not to let this guy wheel downhill as it would be too difficult to get him back up that hill later in the day as the snow melts and gets really slick.

My friend, and his buddy, wheeled past the narrow section that looks down on Miller Creek and then another maybe ¼ mile. It was getting late, no reason to take chances, so they both turned around.

They reached the intersection where they turned around the lesser rig and headed to the staging area. Just a few hundred yards from the intersection, there was the lesser equipped rig they had turned around. While my friend and his buddy had wheeled about a mile out and another mile back, this guy had only gone a few hundred yards.

With one rig in front, again breaking trail and occasionally using his tow strap, of the lesser rig and the other behind (not easily done in the snow), they headed out to pavement.

Near the turn for Richardson Lake, they came across a few rigs also out to play in the snow. They had no shovels, no winches, no tow straps, no gear to spend the night. And they were stuck.

What should have been a quick drive out, turned into quite the exodus. Again, there is no room to maneuver one rig around the other to be able to pull rigs through tough spots but these guys made it happen. Five hours after my friend thought he’d be home in his warm house, he finally got there.

The question is, how do we educate these people about the seriousness of the conditions when you go snow wheeling? The unequipped rigs did well to get in as far as they did but it’s a four mile hike out from the Richardson Lake Trail. In deep snow, with out snowshoes, if they had tried to walk out, someone might have died or lost toes or feet to frost bite.

So I have a thought. What about yet another sign…

I don’t know what it will take to get this sign out there but I’m going to try. Even if I turn one rig around who isn’t equipped, it would be worth it.

Rubicon Ronin