Sunday was the second day of our marathon weekend of wheeling. We had run seven trails on Saturday, all in the Rampart Range area. The trails the day before were covered in snow, and we were expecting fresh snow during the day on Sunday. That fact coupled with the fact that Sunday's trails were more difficult made us unsure of what to expect.
We met at the general store in Deckers at 10:00AM and aired down there. Since there was just four of us, we were on the road soon after the meeting time. With the threat of snow we wasted no time getting to the trailhead off of Cedar Mountain Road.
The first part of the trail presented no real challenges. The snow already on the trail added a little difficulty but generally not enough to dictate use of 4-wheel drive. The climbs, descents and rocky sections were all handled easily. Matt got some good flex on the rocks, taking the most difficult line through.
Further down the trail we were close to the layer of the clouds above us and the trees were covered in a light layer of ice. We were in part of the area devastated by the Hayman Fire in 2002. The stark contrast between the fire-blackened tree trunks and the sparkling ice was dramatic. It didn't help that the lowering clouds meant this same ice could affect the trail as well. This fear turned out to be unfounded, however, as the steepest slopes of the trail were all south-facing and relatively clear of snow.
We all made it down the Rock Slab without incident and were pleased to see it free of snow as well, although the wet sand could cause some traction problems on the way up. After the steep descents, we were soon down to the river and our lunch spot. It was cold and it was starting to snow, so we ate standing up and didn't linger.
The climb back out to the trailhead was uneventful, with Roger even taking the steepest hills in 2-wheel drive. The rest of us opted for the gearing provided by 4-low, though traction never seemed to be an issue, even on the Rock Slab.
We soon were back at the trailhead ready for the challenge of Longwater Gulch and Hackett Gulch, trails new to most of us as they had been closed since the Hayman Fire.
Reports from Other Days: 4
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Metberry Gulch. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.