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Old June 13th, 2015, 18:27
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Jensen, UT
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June Trail Run- Red Mountain, Vernal

What a great trail!

Three rigs started the day by meeting at Smith's grocery in Vernal. Jason (FloydXJ), Steve (Sandy Steve), and myself, along with our various passengers, left at 930 for the trailhead.

The weather was warm and clear with only a slight breeze. We passed the Steinaker reservoir and took a left onto the dirt road to the trailhead.

Needing to pass through private property to access the trail, we gained permission from the land owner and moved on to the first obstacle. A long uphill slickrock slab with a couple of short ledges and off-camber turns, started the trail with a small shot of adrenaline. After that, it was uphill all the way, with small outcroppings of rocks and tight turns through cedar lined passages, with occasional cliffhangers. The views were spectacular and breathtaking!

About an hour and a half along, we came upon a local group just finishing up on the second real obstacle (and the toughest) on the trail, Commando Corner. After that group made it through, Jason was first to give it a try. He took a tough line and made it through with flying colors. Next was my turn. I took a slightly easier line and breezed right up. Finally, Steve gave it a go. He started out well and was moving smoothly through. However, about halfway up his rear started sliding downhill and to the right, which subsequently slid the front into a lean which seemed like slow motion but also happened so quickly that the damage was done. Steve had flopped the xj onto it's right side, smashing both door windows, cracking the windshield, and pushing in the b-pillar and roof...

We jumped into action, first ensuring that he and Marta were okay, then switching into recovery mode. It was a bad spot for winching, so I lined the TJ up as much in front and to the side as I could and we hooked up using a snatch block and strap around a large boulder. At first the TJ wouldn't hold traction and I had to move to more stable ground in front of the XJ. This only caused the boulder to slide out of it's spot. Jason then took a spot from high above and to the side of the recovery. With both of us pulling, it was good enough to get Steve's jeep back on all fours. We then unhooked and he gave it another go, this time successful!

After cleaning up the broken glass and regrouping, we moved, uneventfully, on to the halfway point and the top of the trail at a small abandoned cabin. This was the lunch stop.

When lunch was over, we rolled on down the mountain. The rest of the trail was mainly a series of downhill ledges and rough rough surfaces. About halfway down it began to rain, which turned the grippy terrain into a wet silty mess. Luckily the rain didn't hit it's peak until we were in our last mile of sandy washes and out onto the road.

This was a great trail with several challenging obstacles and wonderful vistas and beautiful scenery! I wish more could have made it out to join us, but I understand how such short notice can make it difficult to plan a 3+ hour trip to the other side of the state. Maybe next time we can plan it a little more in advance.

Pictures and video will be posted soon!


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