NEVER GO OUT ON THE RUBICON ALONE!Posted: December 26, 2022 Filed under: Access, Travel | Tags: snow, stuck, winter Leave a comment
How many times do we need to say it?
I needed to get out of town and so I took a drive up to the lake. Of course, I swung by the Rubicon trailhead.
Please note: I did not go out on the trail alone.
The trailhead was clear with no berm or evidence that the locals had tried to block wheeled access.
The work we all did has allowed a good deal of people to access the trail. Awesome!
There was that one guy. The guy who went alone. The guy who got stuck.
If you know the Tahoe side, he didn’t get far. And it looks like many people went around him.
He did try all the old tricks: dig out the tires, wood under the tires, floor mats under the tires, etc.
Maybe we need more aggressive signage to prevent people from being stupid.
There’s a wet storm coming soon. Maybe the snow will firm up after the storm, after it all freezes again. There is a slight off camber pitch to the trial at the trailhead. Although the trail is flat, the way the rotary plow threw the snow, the left side is higher than the right side on your way in. No idea how far people have gone in. I wasn’t going to walk it.
If you go out to play, be prepared to spend the night. Bring everything: a second vehicle, friends, winch, shovel, tow straps, recovery gear, food, shelter, clothing, water, sleeping bags, tent, ETC! You cannot be OVER prepared for winter on the Rubicon.
Snow Run and Shovel WorkPosted: November 12, 2022 Filed under: Access, Maintenance | Tags: snow, snow wall, stakes, stuck Leave a comment
The Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s did a flash run just out to the staging area this morning. (Sat, Nov 12th) It was Doug, Keith and Dean. The snow was probably 16 inches deep. We did not have plans to go any further than the staging area although others had.
Not pictured is the very stock Mercedes G-Class SUV we picked up in the residential area. (Not a Hi-Lo member) He had a new rig and wanted to play in the snow but knew better than to play alone. We put him between us and headed in. No picture of the ‘stuck’ but the Mercedes got a little sideways and Dean had to pull him forward.
The trail had some deep snow, but we weren’t the first ones out on the trail. There was quite the pair of ruts to follow.
Once at the staging area someone discovered a still smoldering camp-fire, built on the asphalt parking lot. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. We got out the shovels and piled on the snow a stirred it around.
On the way out, we did a little shovel work at the entrance. The plan is to stop by regularly to keep the “wall” extremely low or no “wall” at all. No snow in the foreseeable forecast.
Late last month, three Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s came out and installed three new snow stakes to delineate the trail. RTF agreed to reimburse the club for the cost of the materials.
Thank you, guys!
Holiday Travelers on RubiconPosted: January 17, 2022 Filed under: Access, Travel | Tags: snow, stuck, winter Leave a comment
After being stuck at home for more than a week, I finally ventured out to the Tahoma trailhead. Although I had no intension of driving out on to the trail, I brought the Jeep just because. The rig stuck on the trail with four guys in it were happy I did.
The neighborhood looks much better:
The berm is very doable and only a few feet tall:
But these guys needed help:
They had barely started up the first incline and got off of the compacted snow of the ruts and stopped.
A few gentle tugs backwards and they were free. I unhooked to get more distance between us and they almost drove out. They needed another tug or two to finally make the pavement.
The trail looks well-travelled but make sure you go prepared. As long as I was in the ruts, I felt very secure. When I got out of my rig, the snow off to the sides was obviously not firm enough to drive on.
The Sno-Park at Blackwood Canyon has been plowed out but remember, this is closed to wheeled vehicles until June 15th.
Be safe, be smart, don’t go alone, be prepared to spend the night.
Out of towner caught in surprise snowfallPosted: November 24, 2021 Filed under: Travel | Tags: Placer, rescue, snow, stuck Leave a comment
I just heard a funny story. It’s only funny because no one got hurt. The story could have had a very different outcome.
So, a guy and his wife are traveling across country in their modified Sprinter van. The wife has something to do all day and will be staying with a friend that night. So, the husband decides to camp at Tahoe for the night.
He drives up Blackwood Canyon, a paved road, and sets up camp only a half mile from the summit. It’s cloudy, it’s raining a bit but he’s in his Sprinter van that he and his wife have been living out of for weeks on the road.
It starts to rain.
He goes to sleep.
He wakes up with three feet of snow all around his van.
He’s wearing shorts and sandals.
He thinks he’s screwed.
He has one bar of cell coverage on his phone. He calls his wife. She calls the Sheriff. Placer County Search & Rescue rolls out their snow cat and goes up to rescue him. He asks about getting his Sprinter van out. They tell him it might be there until spring. They take him down the hill without his van.
He calls around and gets Nick of the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s. Nick has a rescue service when he’s not engineering something or racing the Baja 100, literally. Nick was instrumental in recovering “Glacier Girl” which was buried under eight feet of snow some years ago.
The guy thought he was prepared. He had the traction block, tracks, boards things. The problem was that they were mounted UNDER the rig. Hard to get to with three feet of snow all around.
Nick was the hero again. It took some work. The Sprinter is only 4wd if the rear axle starts to slip. Nick had to literally pull the van DOWN the hill the snow was so thick even after it was packed down by the snow cat.
This should be a lesson to everyone. Check the weather before you travel.
Be safe, don’t be this guy.