Thought I’d put up our trip report while I take a break from unpacking from 2010’s Jeep Jamboree Big Bear run. We were very proud to be a co-sponsor this year ensuring this trip trough the mountains went off without a hitch. The Jamboree asked me to be a “blue group trail guide” which would pit our caravan against the very hardest trails Big Bear has to offer.
I packed up the REBEL gear and headed out Thursday to meet with the Jeep Jamboree organization and the other trail guides. Already the mountain was crawling with every kind of Jeep and buggy imaginable. Thursday was dedicated to checking in and building the lunches that REBEL OFFROAD sponsored.
After checking the registration rolls the final tally was 88 Jeeps ready to rock and over 140 eager trail runners. Thursday night tech inspection opened and the organizers went to work ensuring safety and trail worthiness were top priorities.
Friday morning the REBEL team woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed. We met with the other trail guides at 0715 (that’s 7:15 a.m. for you – HAHA!) and planned the day’s events. Participants met at 8:00 a.m. for their drivers meeting and official welcome from the Jamboree.
For a large portion of the people there it was their first Jamboree. The organizers went over basic safety and recovery tips then broke everyone into predetermined run groups.
These groups were pitted against trails their rigs were built to tackle. Nothing to hard for anyone unless they wanted it! Of course – we headed up the hardest trails!
First on the menu for Friday was John Bull. There were two other guides with us – we ran mid gunner. 13 rigs headed out – how many would finish?
All 13. Spoiled the ending a bit. Yep.
We tackled little John Bull then hit Gate Keeper were the rigs were challenged every inch we crawled. Not everyone was similarly modified but we all did have lockers making life bearable. We had lunch around 1:00 p.m. giving us a chance to get to know each other. During our break one of our CJ-5 friends noticed he had sheered his transmission skid plates bolts right off. Ratchet straps and miscellaneous bolts to the rescue!
Once back to the main road 3N16 two of the CJ’s headed off to take care of repairs and the rest of the group decided to do Gold Mountain for one last hoorah.
Gold Mountain was nice and scenic. We played in the famous rock garden – spectacular. Most Jeeps decided not to stick to the well used path and instead went exploring. We finished the trail close to 4:00 p.m. and aired up our tires. Dinner was at 6:30 p.m. – couldn’t wait!
The Elk’s Lodge hosted – we ate.
We met at 7:30 a.m. for the trail guide meeting – participants a little after 8:00 a.m. After another driver’s meeting all participants took off to their respective groups to at the trail heads. We sped off around the lake to 2N02 and aired down. Mottino Wash was the gauntlet for the day. At the trail head we did another brief driver’s meeting and ensured we’d get everyone across.
Mottino Wash was as challenging as ever – lockers required and most people ran 35’s or larger. It was a good mix of TJ’s and JK’s. With some excellent spotting everyone made it through.
Mr. Lika decided to try some crazy lines and run Poison Spyder’s new rear crusher corners through some post production R&D.
We stopped for lunch about 1:00 p.m. where again we socialized and talked about what a wonderful and trough trail it was. After lunch with the end of the trail not half a mile away we preceded to get vehicle after vehicle stuck. One JK in particular became so stuck that he could not be pulled either forwards or backwards and we had to break out a high lift jack to lift each tire individually and stack rocks to gain clearance.
Lika came to the rescue and yanked him out now that he was on better footing.
By then we figured out a new line and with a bit of effort and time everyone made it out with only skid plate pinstripes.
We finished off the end of the wash and headed back on fire roads to Big Bear lake where we aired up our tires and headed into town for the Saturday night prize drawing / dinner.
After a great meal put on at the Elks Lodge by the Jeep Jamboree organization we began the prize drawing with hats/shirts by OR-FAB and our donation of product which ranged from recovery straps, d-shackles and air compressors. Afterwards were the Jamboree giveaways which totaled around $4k in product.
We had a total blast and will be back next year. Thanks for a great trip Jeep Jamboree!