It’s that time of year again, we had our annual Christmas tree run up in Tollgate, OR. Nobody ever gets a tree, but it’s a great excuse to hit some fresh white powder before the trails close Dec. 1st to motorized vehicles, until next April.
We gathered up at a friend of the club’s cabin (Thanks Brandon) and aired down and set out with plans to change our route from past runs.
We started out from the cabin to Skyline road, and followed it up to the warming cabin, taking the scenic route, finding it difficult to plow much past the Snotel (warming cabin), with a couple of break downs along the way.
Our origin plan was to drop into Tiger Valley then down to Walla Walla, but as it took us 4 hours to get that far we called an audible and decided we had better head back out, taking the Jubilee lake road for some different scenary. We all made it out before dark and aired up and parted ways from the intersection of Hwy 11 & Skyline. The weather was perfect the powder was fresh and everybody made it out!
The images below will link to facebook albums, and below that check out a video of our day…
Video From The Run
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So we decided to tackle the Oregon Back Country Discovery Route (BDR). Knowing the winter had not yet left us, we decided to not start our trip in Walla Walla, but istead middle jump into the trail off I-84 up on Cabbage Pass. It was rainy and drippy, and lower to mid 40s.
We found our way to our exit, and proceeded south on the Oregon BDR. Unfortunately there weren’t a lot of maps available, so we were winging it with Gaia GPS maps we “found” online. This would soon lead us into some tight spots as these maps were not actually made by wheelers, but bikers…
Luckily, using Gaia allowed us to work around some problem areas and helped us find a camping site, little did we know the forecast had changed dramatically (Mandi knew – but nobody listened), and we awoken to snow covered tents and cold kids.
Few of us were prepped for snow running, causing a dispersal near Ukiah, OR with everybody heading home up Hwy 395. Mandi & I wanted more adventure and headed back to a trail we saw coming into Ukiah, that would get us over the mountain on dirt (er, snow), and it turned out to be quite the fun run. Still we made it home by late evening, as everyone else had beaten us by hours…
The image below will link to Mandi’s facebook album…
A few weeks back we shared some photos of our adventures in Northern Idaho when we went up to watch the North Idaho Mud And Crawl and Insanity Fab’s Winter Challenge. Now as I may have mentioned I’m not much of a spectator, but after a couple of laps, I was very glad I wasn’t on the course as it was pretty brutal. They say a picture tells a 1000 words, well here’s a few videos that definitely tell a much larger story… Needless to say we had a lot of fun watching these guys thrash their rigs!
Whoa doggie! We just got a report that Cowiche Mill’s got mud up to 3000 feet. So we’re calling an audible and changing locations to FS 1302 off of Highway 12.
Which means we will bypass Freddys in Yakima and go straight to Naches for fuel in the morning. Meeting near the market… Please Chime in and acknowledge this change and share with anyone you know that is going!
9 am by the Market in Naches, see you there….
FS 1302 allows us to get higher and into the snow faster. Report was expect spring snow conditions, no base and little packing…
Our mountains are getting lots of the white powder we all love to play in. RattleSnake 4x4s will be running up Cowiche Mill Road, this trail ties into FS 1302 on top, and should have enough snow to make it a challenge and a lot of fun (we hope to make it to the top). If you plan to join us we ask that you chime in on our forums or facebook pages so we have an idea of who to expect for this day run.
The main group will be meeting up at 7:00 am at the Exxon 12231 W Clearwater Ave, Kennewick, WA 99338(I-82 & Badger Rd). Get gas’d, coffee’d, and breakfast’d up and we’ll roll out by 7:30.
We’ll be traveling via I-82 up to Yakima Fred Meyers (N 40th Ave) for final fueling, (about 9:00 am) then head up to the upper parking area at 2800 Cowiche Mill Rd, Cowiche, WA 98923 (Cowiche Feeding Station), to drop tow pigs and air down, and then head up the trail.
What We Recommend
A vehicle in good repair, 32″+ Tires (we expect deep powder, so the bigger the better), Tow Points (front & rear), Map, Winch, Tow Strap(s), D-Rings, First Aid Kit, Chainsaw, and a Shovel. If you pack for a weekend, you’ll be safe!
This is a snow run so it is not hard core rock crawling, it does not lend itself to much in the way of damage. The snow is deep though, so be prepared for some winching and pulling with a yank strap (we will get stuck). It’s a ton of fun, and a real blast for most 4 wheel drive vehicles.
Again bring extra food (lunch) and water (we never know how long we’ll be up there).We will eat lunch up on the trail.Be sure to have extraction points front an rear. A yank strap (no hooks, just loops please!). A winch is not absolutely necessary, but is helpful for you and others. Please have a shovel, and basic recovery tools. Bring blankets/extra clothes, extra water and food, and a cellphone. A CB radio is helpful, we usually run on CH13 (I’ll also have my handheld vhf/uhf radio).
“Be Prepared, Bring A Great Attitude, and Let’s Have Fun” (Club rule – No Drama Allowed…)