Hypothermia Run

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All of a sudden it was nearly 9:00am when we were scheduled to meet the second part of our group for the day’s wheeling. Unfortunately the BBQ was still hot, and besides, Ian’s truck was so full from careless, hasty packing that there was no room.

“Crap, just throw it on my roof rack,” I volunteered, not fully considering how stupid a Weber BBQ would look strapped to the top of my Jeep. Once it was up there it was clear, though. “It looks like I’ve got Sputnik strapped to my damn roof!” It was too late for me to do anything about it, so that’s why it looks like I have a satellite attached to my roof in the rest of these pictures. Ian even volunteered to put together a CD of “Beep-Beep-Beep-Beep” so I could have the complete effect. Thanks buddy.

On the way down, Michael lost a bead on his right front tire, not surprising considering the breakneck pace we were keeping on the trip down, bouncing from rut to rut. We stopped and reseated it, a simple process considering both Ian and Michael have on-board air compressors.

Once I saw that Michael and Ian had it under control, I went ahead down the mountain to meet the other group at the bottom. There I met four more vehicles, three Cherokees and one YJ. After a few minutes, Ian and Michael joined us and we set off up the other side of the freeway to the Denny Creek road. Before I-90 was built, this road was how you crossed Snoqualmie pass into Eastern Washington; it winds through the trees, crossing many streams and comes out by a popular ski resort at the pass.

Our now larger and more diverse group took off up the road, the snow to the other side; as long as you didn’t break through the top layer, it was no problem to drive on, especially running 3 psi. John (BIG blue XJ), and I, took off quickly; he’s running 35×13.50 BFG Krawlers, tires very well suited to the snow, also at very low pressure. His is the same color as Ian’s XJ, so the wheels and tires are the easiest way to tell them apart.

He and I got pretty far ahead of the group before stopping at a huge crevasse, allowing Ian to catch up. One of the creeks had spilled out across the road, eroding the snow away and forming a formidable natural obstacle. With two winches between us, we decided to
give it a shot. There were a few tense moments while dropping down the bank, but all three of us made it fine though Sputnik got a little banged up on re-entry.

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