Jeep Snow Run
Beckler Rd, Skykomish
January 26th, 2013
This past Saturday my son and I went on a snow run with a group of other wheelers out along Hwy 2 just north of the town of Skykomish, WA. While we kept to the snow-covered Forest Service roads for the most part it still proved to be a fun day. There were about 8 rigs on the trip with us including two Tjs, three JKs, a CJ-5, a Cherokee, and a Hummer H1.
As soon as we pulled off Hwy 2 we hit about a foot of snow. It took a bit of time to get a couple of the rigs off their trailers, particular when one of the tow vehicles got stuck and needed some help to get it parked properly. But once that was done we were off.
The now was pretty dense, with the rain having firmed things up some. We headed up Beckler Rd (Forest Service Rd 65) with the goal of reaching Jack's Pass at the north end of the mountain valley. There was still some rain in the lower elevations but as we made the gradual climb the rain turned to a steady snow fall throughout the day.
Most of the rigs didn't have much problem with the snow, with the exception of the Hummer. As far as I could tell it was a combination of it's weight (7500 lb.+) and it's track width. Where as the Jeeps could easily follow in existing wheel tracks the Hummer was so wide it was constantly cutting new a new tire track the whole way, which is tough in deep snow.
Eventually the H1 reached it's limit and so we parked it on the side of the trail, about 600 ft from an intersection where we all parked for a lunch stop. Some of us busted out the portable grills to cook up some hot food. I light a camp fire for a bit of warmth. And the kids made a bobsled run down one of the tiretracks. During lunch a couple of the guys were playing around in the snow with their rigs and after lunch the rest of us spent a few hours doing the same.
At one point I found a big snow covered gravel pile and proceded to bust new trail all of that, heading up the gently sloping back side and then plunging down some drops back to the main route. I even made a new trail through some 4 ft deep snow so that we had an "exit route" for anyone wanting to drop down the backside of the berm.
I only needed to winch myself out 3 times that day, not bad considering I was one of the few doing most of the trail breaking.
We cut the day short by about a half hour so we could get the Hummer out and turned around. Timing was perfect as we reached the start of the route and the tow rigs right as it got dark. As the group broke up, a few of us ate dinner at the Sultan Bakery, which always has great food.
I guess Nathan liked the day. He's already asking me when we can go on another Snow Run.
Getting ready to head out from the "trail head".
Our group (with the Cherokee out of the photo).
One of the 4-door JKs and the Hummer brining up the tail of the convoy.
Despite the challenges the Hummers are still cool rigs.
During the lunch stop this guy got stuck in a hole and needed to be winched out.
My son pulling his sled up hill.
Setting up the campfire and the grill for some hot cooked grub.
For my son and I: grilled brats and Cheetos!
Me ploughing an "exit route" from behind the big berm.
The Cherokee taking advantage of the exit route I made.
I'm guessing there was about 4-5 ft of snow at this point, the Jeep did a
decent job of staying on top of most of it.
The Cherokee kicking up some snow on the back side of the berm.