Still a lot of deep snow!

A small group of dedicated wheelers headed out on the Tahoe side of the Rubicon on the 28th of April. They encountered a lot more deep snow than they expected.

This is probably just before where the Rubicon crosses the Pacific Crest Trail, lots of tall trees shading the trail, preventing the snow from melting.

As in my last post, if you go out, be prepared for anything and everything. Bring food, drink, shelter, extra clothing, extra recovery gear, ham radio, winter boots, etc.

I’m sure the snow will be melting fast but right now, even in the open sun the snow is still deep.

My guess for this location is before Observation? But I’m really not sure. Please note the amount of snow still out there. The vehicle track just above the rear view mirror tells you it’s still deep.

Personally, I’m going to wait a while for more snow to melt. I enjoy snow wheeling but don’t need to make it a multi-day slug fest. I’ll enjoy a snow run when the snow is more just a long drift here and there and the daytime temperatures are warmer.

Please always Tread Lightly! Stay on the trail, “Turn Around, Don’t Go Around.”

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Rubicon Ronin


Winter Travel Conditions

Well, some of us might have been considering an early spring trip to the Rubicon Trail, but after the current storms roll through, some of us are reconsidering that option.

The series of storms going across the Sierra right now will leave several feet of snow. Heavy snow. Great for the water content but not so good for snow wheeling.

Access is easy. The snow wall is gone. This was taken Tuesday the 19th:

The neighborhood showed signs of the recent storm but it was melting fast. As I type, more snow is falling in Tahoma and over the Sierra.

The weather gets better this weekend. I’m sure we’re all tempted to go. If you go, be prepared!

Winter/snow wheeling should be approached with extreme caution. Prepare as if you will have to spend the night: food, water, shelter, clothing, etc.

Vehivle recovery is much more difficult during the winter. Bring extra winch cable, snatch blocks, chains (vehicle & tow), chainsaw for possible trees down across the trail, etc.

There are no tow/recovery services on the Rubicon. The Sheriff might rescue you, but they will not even attempt to recover your rig.

Be safe. Be smart!

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Rubicon Ronin


Rubicon Conditions – March 2022

Some Hi-Lo’s headed out to the Rubicon Trail, I think on Tuesday the 22nd.

Condition were treacherous. Deep snow and deeper holes in the snow.

Not all was smooth sailing.

The group made it out as far as Bottom Dollar Hole, just above the Potato Patch. That required going past the shelf road along Miller Creek. Here is a great video of the technique used to get past it…

This level of snow wheeling takes a very well-built rig, lots of recovery gear, experience and super driving skills.

Do not travel out over the snow unless you are prepared to spend the night: food, shelter, clothing, water, communications, etc.

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Rubicon Ronin


Holiday Travelers on Rubicon

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.

Enjoy!

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Rubicon Ronin


Tahoma Trailhead Conditions 12-30-21

Once the highways opened up, after a record-breaking December snow fall, I ventured up to the Rubicon Trail trailhead in Tahoma to see what it looked like.

Before I could even get there, I had to drive through the neighborhood. Single track! The county plow had been through but only one time and right down the middle. It will take two more plow passes to clear the road and then the rotary blower will come through to clean up the edges.

From a distance, the trailhead looks unbreeched by wheeled vehicles.

Sure enough, only one lone snowmobile track over the berm and up the trail. I did not have the time, nor the place to park, in order to snowshoe up the trail. But many snowshoe tracks already there.

There is a new trailhead sign. I don’t know who put it up but it has Forest Service colors.

My suggested signage for the trailhead was much more in your face:

(Yes, I realize there’s a misspelling in there)

Looking back from the trail, you can barely see the roof of my TJ with a 5″ lift on 35″ tires.

The berm is probably six feet tall, but once over the berm the snow is probably four feet deep.

So, I had to try it, but I knew if I made it over the berm I’d be stuck. Single vehicle; no way to winch myself backwards; but I did have a shovel with me. What the heck.

It’s a bad picture but it shows I didn’t get far.

Snow plow work is so far behind, understandably, that the entrance to the Sno-Park (Kaspian Campground) at Blackwood Canyon has not been plowed at all. FYI, no wheeled vehicle access from here, only snowmobiles.

The Rubicon Trail is open year-round. Only go if you and your rig are overly prepared!

Once the rotary plow comes through, there could be a five-foot face to the trailhead. Knock it down, make a ramp, go have fun. Stay on the trail. But beware as you exit, if there wasn’t a sheer face as you went in, there might be a sheer face on your way out. Walk it first.

Enjoy our public lands but be safe.

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Rubicon Ronin