We haven't had much luck with this trail, as a group. When we went in 2004 it had been raining for weeks and the trail was so muddy we had a lot of difficulty, then we were turned around by the start of the rocks. In 2005 we were turned around by mechanical failures. We were hoping that we'd finally see the entire trail in 2006, and we finally did!
We did Moody Hill first and enjoyed the sunshine and cooler temperatures. It was still nice and cool when we started Crystal Mountain. We all had a good time getting a lot of flex in the whoopdeedoos right after the turn off, and then we started up.
Everyone took a different line through the rock ledge obstacle, and no one took a bypass. Dane had to work a little bit on the left side of it, but he eventually made it through.
We spent a lot of time playing in the playground. Micheal was the first to try the extremely steep section of rock on the far left side, and he found the perfect line and made it right up.
Roger tried that slab of rock but he kept catching a bit of his transfer case skid plate, and it was enough to stop him from going up it.
Walt worked on that slab for a bit, but he was having the same clearance issues and he couldn't make it over that line.
We figured Perry could do it with his Explorer, but he kept catching his control arms on the top part and it prevented him from getting over it.
Dane tried a line up that left side and it didn't work, so he backed down to adjust his line. This time it worked, and he drove right up it without an issue. Nice!
Don got on that line next, and there was no way. His transfer case skid plate was too low and he was getting high centered right at the end. He had to go around.
Mike was last to try it, and he learned from past mistakes. He drove right up to it and right over it, barely slowing down. It was impressive!
It wasn't long before we were at the start of the second half of the trail, the half with all of the rocks. It was these rocks that turned us around in 2004, but this time it wasn't raining. Everyone chose a different line through them, and though some people had to work on it a bit no one had any real issues. We were off to play on the big rocks.
That's when it started raining. People put in doors and windows if they had them, and we kept going. It made everything slick, and each passing vehicle made the rocks more and more muddy. It got down to 61 degrees, and at one point we even had a little sleet (like soggy hail).
Even though it made things wet and messy, it actually made it more fun. We all slid around on the rocks and it was pretty quiet on the CB while each of us worked on the rocks we happened to be on. People were really sliding towards the "mean trees" that threaten soft tops and roofs, but no one hit anything.
When we got to the top, we went up to do the loop. It stopped raining as we parked, and by the time we climbed to the top it was sunny again. The views were amazing, and the weather was really cooperating.
We drove back down and it went by pretty quickly. It wasn't long before we were all the way to the trailhead again. We ran Moody Hill again in the opposite direction on our way out, and it wasn't long before we were airing up in the rain.
We had a great time, and we finally finished Crystal Mountain!
Reports from Other Days: 2
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Crystal Mountain. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.