It felt like it was going to be a warm, sunny day while we were at the trailhead off of Highway 150. The weather would cooperate as we worked our way up the mountain. We had been anxious to conquer this trail all summer and we were finally starting it. We aired down and started up the sand and jarring rocks on our way to the obstacles.
We continued on up the trail and met several hikers making their way up the trail as well. We worked our way through the switchbacks and into the forest. We soon made it to Jaws 1 with Steve in the lead.
Steve tried going slowly and to the right side of the obstacle and quickly got himself into a very tippy situation. He cautiously backed up and repositioned as Matt spotted him over the obstacle. Matt went next and he took the same line Steve tried and got really tippy. He made it over Jaws 1, though, with a fast-beating heart.
We continued on the trail overlooking some beautiful scenery, looking back over the valley as we came to Jaws 2. We got out and scouted around it to get a good look at it before attempting the treacherous obstacle.
Steve started up first, trying to hug the right side. He started to slide left and felt uncomfortable about it, so he backed off. He was confused and wondering how he was going to get through the obstacle. There was a log on the left side and it was solid with rocks supporting it, so he put his driver's tire on it to see if it would move. The log didn't move so he continued over it with ease.
Matt followed Steve's lines with Steve spotting him over the log and rocks, and he had no problems either. We were both thankful for the log, and we knew it was there to make Jaws 2 safer after the fatal fall of a fellow Jeep enthusiast from the same location.
We continued up to the large rock formations at Jaws 2 1/2. We had stopped there to allow others to winch an ATV from the side of the mountain after an unsuccessful attempt at the obstacle. Thankfully the rider was okay after grabbing onto a tree on his way over the side. We waited for the clean up and watched the two Jeeps ahead of us go through.
After the Jeeps ahead of us had passed, Steve went first and wanted to position his Jeep perfectly in the notch. He worked his Jeep back and forth until he got it lined up just right, hugging the left side as closely as possible. He started up Jaws 2 1/2 but his rear tire wouldn't stick to the rock. It slid down into the notch instead, making him get too tippy. He backed up and attempted it again, trying to avoid the high rock on the passenger side. He ended up getting hung on his right front long control arm on that rock.
We scratched our heads, trying to figure out what his best way over would be. Steve decided he would try to go over it straight, trying not to hang up his differential over the high point on the rock. He tried that line but started sliding closer to the edge. Instead of risking it he decided to winch at that point, and made it over without hitting the bottom of his Jeep.
Matt attempted the same line and made it over a little further until he got hung up on his rear axle. He preferred to winch as well and made it through the obstacle just fine.
We proceeded on up the trail, with the rocks getting larger as we went. We made it through Jaws 3 with great flex and no problems. We continued across the talus ledge and came to Lake Como. It was a beautiful sight, with several hikers and a couple groups of Jeepers setting up camp.
We continued on past the lake to Jaws 4 and had little difficulty tackling that obstacle. We kept going to the end of the trail, and then turned around to go back down Jaws 4 with plans to camp overnight at Lake Como.
We had a great night at the lake. The next day was a pleasant trip back down, with no upcoming traffic other than an occasional hiker who would stop to watch us and take pictures, telling us we were nuts. It felt like a different challenge to go back down, but neither one of us had any issues so it went pretty quickly. We finally arrived at the trailhead, continuing on to Medano Pass. We didn't suffer any trail damage, and it was a great trip.
Reports from Other Days: 2
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Blanca Peak. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.