Ok, many of you may have seen my pictures from Manastash before during the summer. As we move into fall, the character of Manastash ridge is changing. I was very surprised to see the difference a mere 4 weeks makes. This run was made with three other members here on the jeepforums. The four of us met up with Ron, a local who lives in close to the trails.
Finally we came to our first big mud puddle. It was an interesting sight. The top froze over and snow settled on the ice creating what appeared to be a very flat surface (Fig. 7). Being in the lead I put the TJ in drive and drove forward, crunching down through the ice and plowing through the water and mud. The TJ didnt even slow down, it just marched right through the puddle followed by everyone else.
Soon the Tripod Flats became much more challenging. Snow packed down into a slick roadbed played havoc with traction. I ended up spinning tires again and had to back up. After 10 minutes and another backward slide off the trail (Fig. 16) Ron turned the Toyota around and drew out a winch line. After a few minutes we had everyone ready to go again and rolled onward to Tripod Flats.
The early afternoon air was very serene when we broke from the tree cover and crossed Tripod Flats. To our right some hunters set up camp at the shelter along the meadows edge. Tendrils of smoke curled up from the stovepipe poking out of the canvas roof.
Just in from the tree line a number of gnarly muddy ruts greeted the convoy as we slogged our way through these. We didnt get far before the steep grade and snow slowed our progress yet again.
This time I finally got to inaugurate my new winch. It was a trick rigging set up where we attached the snatch block to a tree beside the trail. Then we doubled the line back 160 deg, across a turn, and over the hill to attach it to James who was two Jeeps behind me.
Ron climbing up a hill among the larch trees.
Crashing through an ice layer floating atop a mud puddle.
Traction issues, preparing to draw out the winch line.