We met in Conifer at 8AM and we were on the trail at 10:45AM. It was 47 degrees when we started but the temperature got up to 71 degrees and we didn't see a cloud in the sky. We saw several deer throughout the day, too. They finally got the fence in and the backhoe is gone.
We had no problems with the first obstacle. Gary and Ladd took the straight line over the big rock on the left, eliminating the risk of body damage. We took the spur road and walked over to check out Carnage Canyon, and spent a little time thinking about the vehicles we'd need to attempt that trail. Then it was off to the loop.
We got to the usual lunch spot a little early for lunch so we went on to the optional rock pile. Ed and Gary were the only volunteers. Ladd had already done it and didn't see the need to get high centered again. Ed had some trouble getting on to the big rock, but it wasn't anything a little hard work couldn't fix. He still got high-centered like so many others do on the big rock. He did it on purpose so he could try out his new toy, an 8000-pound winch.
Gary showed us how to do the rock pile next. He too came close to being high-centered, but managed a far left, very tippy line with no problems. By this time it was around 12:30 so we had lunch right there.
Next was the waterfall of Whale Rock. Ladd cruised up the center line with no issues, followed by Dave. We had a little trouble with getting Mike up the rock. Mike got new tires with tread, but he lost some clearance. A bit of stacking and driving skills and he was up. We un-stacked and Ed powered right up. Gary came last and he decided to try a line just to the right of the "V" crack. As we've seen in the past, your driver's side tire will really come up when you do that line. Gary's CJ perhaps lifted more than most so he backed up and got a better line and was up no problem.
Ed found another place to get stuck so he could use his winch in the sandy, rocky area, then next we were at th
e stairs. Ladd and Dave went up easier than ever. Later we noticed that it looks like a few rocks have been stacked on the ledge. We had a little trouble getting Mike through, because he is closer to stock with the smaller tires and that makes all the difference in the world. Ed chose a difficult line to the left and got to use his winch and the winch point to get out of being high centered one more time
Gary played a bit, trying various lines. He was showing us he has a pretty good feel for what his vehicle can do and we had a great time watching him climb around like a goat.
We were off the trail by 4:30PM and we decided to air up with the free air at the gas station and use the facilities. We all headed for home after another great run on Chinaman's Gulch with no trail damage.
Reports from Other Days: 22
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