We stared at Radical Hill as we came off of Red Cone and Webster Pass, and it looked daunting. We could also see the wreckage of a Jeep Wrangler that had rolled off of it four days earlier, smashed next to the trail. That didn't help settle our nerves.
The beginning parts of the trail were a blast, though. They were rockier than before due to erosion and use, and we all had to work on a few of the sections. The big ledge near the start was a fun one, and a great way to start our climb. Then we worked our way through the long rock garden, including a flexy section where rocks are strategically placed, allowing you to have two opposite tires that hang in the air. It was a great time.
We stopped at the mining cabin to get out and look up at the wrecked Jeep not too far away. The views in the other direction were incredible as the sun set over huge stretches of greens and yellows. But we had to go up to the top, so we got back in our Jeeps. Monica's camera died, so Matt led the way with a passenger and photographer inside.
The wreckage of the Jeep was complete, and we couldn't believe the driver and his dog survived. It was a good display of reasons to install an aftermarket roll cage -- the stock sport cage is only in place to hold the soft top up, and it doesn't really protect you if you roll. We put ourselves in some pretty dangerous situations, and it's easy to take it lightly simply because we're used to it. Scary stuff.
The climb is definitely intimidating. It leans you out over the edge for a large portion of the bottom half, and the rest of it is very narrow and steep. When you get to the highest switchback, it's tight as you make the steep and loose corner. Then you have loose rocks and dirt to deal with all the way to the top where it is flat. It took us a while, but we were careful on the way up.
At the top, we stopped to relax and uncurl our fingers from steering wheels. We chatted with some hunters out scouting for the upcoming hunting season, and they told us they saw moose where we were headed down Deer Creek. We enjoyed the fading light and amazing scenery for a bit before heading down that way.
Reports from Other Days: 6
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