Ryan, the guy behind me, gave a couple of pulls before he sank into the snow and got utterly, completely, totally and terminally stuck. No problem, Cody, the guy behind Ryan could just pull Ryan backwards. But Cody sank trying to get to Ryan and me. No problem, John, the guy behind Cody, can get him out. Then John got stuck. See a pattern?
With the sun threatening to dip behind the mountains and turn the top layer of the snow to ice, the decision was made to extract the stuck rigs and beat a hasty retreat down the mountain. Extracting ourselves turned out to be easier said than done with 17 rigs on a single lane road. After about 45 minutes with shovels, tow straps and some pushing, we were all pointed downhill again and started to make our way back to civilization.
It was a first hand reminder how much of a role gravity plays in the snow. Coming up we had all sorts of minor problems and getting stuck, but going down it was almost totally uneventful. At the trailhead, portable air compressors, CO2 tanks, and those with on-board air pulled out hoses and got everyone aired back up to street pressure.
This gave us ample time to look back on the day, laugh with friends about various hi-jinks, near misses and the beautiful weather we were blessed with. Above all, we were all planning the next trip. Where would we go, who can get which days off, who’s willing to scout out a new spot? Everyone was enthusiastic about our next adventure.
Okay, so maybe it’s not a love-hate relationship. At the end of the day, these kinds of events remind us just how uneven the equation is. Maybe there’s not much hate after-all.
Related – 24 Hours of Exhaustion
* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.