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Unread 09-20-2011, 08:44 AM   #1
Vixen
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Black Bear Pass, CO???

The Hubby has his annual Christmas bash in October, this year it is in Telluride. We live in Farmington NM and not much of a drive to do the whole San Juan HWY Loop including Black Bear Pass. the map says one way experts only... does anyone know how expert you have to be??? I have a small lift 32 inch KM2's pretty much stock everything else. There are a couple of his co workers with jeeps so might be a group of us. Scared to try on my own...
1 would my Goblin make it
2 would i have a heart attack trying it
3 anyone got pics???

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Unread 09-20-2011, 10:17 AM   #2
colojeepguy
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It's not a difficult trail...as long as you keep a cool head.
Your Jeep should make it just fine.

But, it may be closed by snow by October
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Unread 09-20-2011, 11:55 AM   #3
Idared
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Hi Vixen, When We go over it I always remind myself that they have let rented jeeps go over it.. HA! I think you would be just fine.. Its all about slow and easy! Check road conditions first. I know the Colorado Creeperjeepers Gang from Durango is doing some work on it this week. You can check their web site and contact them for more details.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 04:46 PM   #4
RubaDub06
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Just got back from Silverton a week ago. If you are terribly afraid of heights you may want to skip it but, it's a novice trail with expert consequences. I'm pretty sure a Geo Metro could make it down the trail.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 08:32 PM   #5
TigerFanTJ
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My dad and I ran Black Bear Pass a few years ago in a jeep that we rented in Durango (this was before I had my jeep). We ran it with no problems, just have to stay calm and confident. That being said, we went in late June. It might be closed with snow by now. Side note, when we brought the jeep back to the rental place, the guy asked which trails we ran. When we told him that we had gone over Black Bear, he got a little nervous and told us that there was a clause in the rental agreement saying that you could go over any pass in the area except for Black Bear Pass...ooops, must have missed that part!
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Unread 09-20-2011, 10:02 PM   #6
tacjeep99
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I ran Black Bear Pass just last Thursday with a couple of friends, several inches of snow on top, icy trail conditions on top, once you get down to the steps, no snow and was clear the rest of the way on in to Telluride. It was also raining and then below the steps was muddy. Don't know when you are planning on doing the trail, but after talking to the locals in Ouray over the weekend, and based on what I saw while on the trail, optimal conditions for running the trail safely are probably drawing to a close. They got several inches of snow up high over the weekend in the Ouray Telluride area. So I doubt trail conditions have improved much over the last couple of days.

In terms of how set up a Jeep has to be to do it, a stock Jeep can do it. Another poster commented about it being a beginner trail with expert consequences. That is an absolutely correct assessment. The day before we did it, a guy with a CJ lost his brakes (brake line pulled loose) while going through the steps. He steered into the wall, his other choice was to go over.....

It took 2 Jeeps strapped to the rear of that Jeep, and another one in front (in order to STOP the Jeep if the two tow strapped Jeeps behind didn't save the day) to get the CJ all the way down to Bridal Veil Falls. They managed a partial trail fix of the brakes and the owner walked beside his Jeep to steer it until they got out of the danger zone. It was a VERY long day for the group helping the guy with the disabled Jeep down Black Bear. How do I know the story? The guys doing the rescue were a part of the Ouray Jeep Jamboree crew and filled us in over a cold beer at the Ouray Brewery one after noon after we were done for the day.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 07:55 AM   #7
Idared
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Wow tacjeep99 That is one reason I have upgraded brake lines!!. I know a guy who used to be on the Sheriff department in Telluride and he hated picking up the pieces when someone did go over. He said he would not do Black Bear for that reason. Fortunatley is does not happen very often ora at least you do nothear about it very often. I love that description. Beginner trail with expert consequences.. Very accurate!!
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Unread 09-21-2011, 07:59 AM   #8
h2ogun
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Black Bear Pass is one of the most exciting trails in the Telluride, Ouray area. It does have a bad reputation and through the years there has been loss of life.

What is referred to as the steps is the most "heart pounding" area but oddly not the most dangerous. There is also a step that can be dangerous where you enter Ingram Basin. That step is well above the Ingram Falls step and is only a few miles past the Pass summit. Lets refer to it as the Ingram Basin Step.



This step in the past was very narrow switch back and can require the three point turn (TPT) to get around. This past year, the road crews made it a bit more wide and with a short wheel base and thigh turning radius can be done with out the TPT. I did it in one turn this year, but the JK that was behind me did not. That can change from yer to year

As noted, the "Steps" that are located a Ingram Falls can be the more breathtaking part of the trail. There is a lot of intimidation there. It is not as bad as it looks, but having tires with exceptional traction, breaks in sound working order is a must and using low gear to let yourself creep down is adequate to make this part.

Step at Ingram Falls How it looks when you are doing it:





How Ingram Falls Step looks from Telluride:


Ingram (Falls) Step to the left, And Black Bear switch backs


After the Step and going into the Switch Backs:





The switch backs are very very tight and where most care should be taken. Again everything should be working well (steering, breaks, clutch, transmission, emergency break, high traction tires) and well serviced. The personal factor is knowing your jeep well. Where is the friction point on the clutch, turning radius, and the ability to release your clutch and emergency break at the same time (not as much an issue on automatic transmissions). And carefully recheck every action you are taking. While this sounds crazy to note, make sure you are in reverse and not in forward when you want to back up and you release your break. It is theorized that an accident occured just for that reason and the vehicle plunged off, the driver thinking he was backing in a TPT but was in a forward gear. IT IS UNFORGIVING! Also make sure there is no loose things that can get under your peddles. This past year, a "wayward" water bottle lost the previous day showed up under my peddles just before I started the switch backs.........It made me cuss.



The first three switch backs after Ingram step are the most critical and they get less challenging as you get down. And as always, Bridal Vial falls is a great view and photo spot on the Black Bear Pass trail.


As should be obvious, ice and even wet conditions may preclude a safe descent. I understand there is already snow that is sticking now, October may be too late. Take your time, know your vehicle.

Multi tasking: Dont be trying to drive and take photos (best to hve passenger doing photos). Having an experienced spotter can be helpful.

Have a good time, you are lucky to be so close.

Good Luck.

Dif
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Unread 09-21-2011, 08:49 AM   #9
colojeepguy
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Nice pics, h2ogun!
Makes me want to go back!
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Unread 09-21-2011, 09:13 AM   #10
Vixen
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Ah Poopy last i heard they did get snow, well guess next season will work too. we will be there for a weekend so will be bombing around as much as possible. Thanks to everyone for the info and the pics OMG that looks fun!!!

On a side note BLM will be doing a cleanup of Choke Cherry as well as public input on Glade Run usage (future) on saturday 24. WHOO free TSHIRT and lunch. Look in environmental for all the info.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 10:33 AM   #11
h2ogun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Ah Poopy last i heard they did get snow, well guess next season will work too. we will be there for a weekend so will be bombing around as much as possible. Thanks to everyone for the info and the pics OMG that looks fun!!!

On a side note BLM will be doing a cleanup of Choke Cherry as well as public input on Glade Run usage (future) on saturday 24. WHOO free TSHIRT and lunch. Look in environmental for all the info.
You are lucky, you only live a few hours away, I takes me 10 hours just to drive to Durango. If I lived in Farmington, I would be up in Colorado every chance I got.

If I were you, and sporting a new jeep, I would get to know my jeep better while waiting for better weather and then run Black Bear as well as some of the other great trails next summer. We are talking about going every summer, you guys come along next year. There is so much there, almost in your back yard. Here is a link to our trip last July/August (65 photos in 4 1/2 min)

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f58/o...orado-1250316/

Take care,
Dif
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Unread 09-21-2011, 11:41 AM   #12
-Zona-
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Last I heard they were coming close to closing it due to snowfall.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 07:51 AM   #13
MountainMan864
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This will be the trail I never do. I am crazy scared of heights and Ive never flown in an airplane before.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 01:12 AM   #14
rendell
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You can always check the status of the pass (and others) here, as people post updates: http://www.bushducks.com/tripreps/pa....htm#blackbear
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Unread 09-23-2011, 05:56 AM   #15
colojeepguy
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Black Bear & Imogene passes now closed according to the San Miguel county website
http://www.sanmiguelcounty.org/depar...dge/index.html
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