We were all set for our annual snow run up Spring Creek, but there was a lot of snow this year. We decided to run Cascade Creek first instead, then play it by ear as we worked our way up to the Spring Creek Rock Garden. We had a really great time in the snow.
With only two of us, it was probably going to be a short day. We aired down at the trailhead and started up. There wasn't much snow, and we were pretty hopeful that we'd be on the Rock Garden on Spring Creek pretty quickly.
We passed a big vehicle with chains on its tires, and we'd be following those tracks for the rest of our stay in the area. That vehicle went all over the place, and it did much better than we did.
The rocky hill on the way up didn't have too much snow on it until we got to the very top. It made the top a challenge, but it wasn't too tough. No one had to winch or use a tow strap, though we had to work on it a bit.
After we got over the top of the hill, we started down the hill in fresh snow. Gary led the way, breaking through the deeper snow. Though it was deep, it wasn't anything like it was on his last trip to Cascade Creek.
We made it to the intersection with Ute Creek and there was hardly any snow. We turned to go to Spring Creek, feeling pretty confident about our chances. When we got about halfway to the end of Spring Creek, the snow started getting pretty deep. The tracks from the other vehicle were there, but it had managed to stay on top of the hard, packed snow. We were breaking through, though.
Gary gave it a few tries and it got to be too much. Dane had chains, so we put them on Gary's front tires. It didn't really help, though. Instead of not having any traction at all, Gary could now dig all the way through the snow pretty quickly so he could get high centered on the snow.
Dane had better luck with his increased clearance, though he still had to work at it a lot. He worked his way up to the next hill, then realized it was hopeless. He turned around and we had to give up on Spring Creek this year.
We decided to check out the Ben Harrison Mine on the way out Spring Gulch. The hill there is pretty big, and could be fun. Joey walked around and decided that it was too difficult to get there. Dane went down a different hill instead, and then realized he was trapped down there. The snow was a few feet deep, and Dane couldn't get back up. He worked on another escape route, but in the end he had to use Gary's Jeep as an anchor and winch himself out. Even though he was stuck down there for awhile he still had a blast.
We followed Spring Gulch out, and it had recently been plowed so it was a quick trip out. We rolled into Idaho Springs in the early afternoon, so we decided to go up Oh-My-God Road and explore the area around Russell Gulch while we still had daylight. It was a matter of minutes and we were on the next trail.
Even though we were disappointed to not make it to Spring Creek we still had a blast. Snow bashing in the sunshine is always fun!
Reports from Other Days: 4
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