Trek Report

Fish Sticks

New member
Friday 12:30 p.m. Works slow so I duck out for an unexpected earily departure.
4:45 p.m. After much screwing around I'm at base camp.
4:46 p.m. Start the dust removal with a cocktail. Throw my sleeping bag in the dirt. Jeeps all prep'd so I head to main camp while the rest of the crew (all with familys) start setting camp. Wander around camp for a couple hours. Cal4WD is so cool I spend about 4 hours looking at rigs, buying raffle tickets, and talking with some good folks.
9:30 p.m. Wander back to camp. Everyone is setup and dinners cooking. The kids are all so dirty I don't see any reason to clean up. Watch the meteor shower and hit the sack about 11:30 p.m.
Saturday 2:30 a.m. I hear the load roar of a toyota engine and see a bright light. I'm not awake yet, and I don't dream of toyotas, I'm wondering if I've gone to hell. I sit up and wave so the guy can see me, hes about five feet from me. He asks if I'm Kevin I say no. He tells me someone has fallen and suffered a head injury and Life Flight has been dispatched and will land next to camp.
3:10 a.m. Leave camp.
5:30 a.m. Arrive at the staging area. My XJ with its 33 inch tires is probably the lowest rig in the first group. Not hardcore for sure. It looks like a great group very prepared with no junk.
9:30 a.m. Arrive at winch hill one with no problems. Stage up with a Toyota with 37's in front of me and what looks to be a chopped up cruiser with 40's and Portals on the obstical. The cruiser has to make 8 or 10 stabs at the hill to make it. While watching I hear my air compressor start and stop suddenly. A quick check under the hood and yup I got no compressor and I got no air for the front locker. Not good. The Toyota makes it through single pass. I'm up. Cruise to the ledge, the spotter brings me up and I use to much throttle and lose traction at the break over. The XJ launches sideways violently towards the spotter, I let off so as not to crush the spotter into the wall. Second pass the spotter sets a different more vertical line, I'm thinking you got to be kidding me. I stick the line and pop over the top without hitting. With new hope I carry on. Winch hill 2 takes me 2 passes to make. One water crossing came up to the bottom of the lights, could not see the rocks under the water and probably hit 4 times before making the other shoreline just to struggle on some wet muddy roots. Man the Fordyce is just getting warmed up. Winch hill 3 I take the bypass a 3 foot vertical with a tight squeeze in a corner, this was the only bypass allowed on this trip and it didn't really look much easier. My choad buddy hot dogs on 3, no spotter+stupid line+super charger=broken rear axle. Funs over he's in gimp mode, we carry on. With a brand new plan, no rock stacking, no driving off the trail to avoid obsticals, we decide I drive in front and he winches over the hard stuff and drives when he can. Instead of pulling cable I would just back up, hook his winch to the back of the XJ and free spool out enough while driving then let him pull while under power. It was going good and we were not blocking the trail. The guy riding with me is a noob, but is doing great. I'm driving forward pulling cable when he trys to go down the side of the jeep in a narrow area. He falls and goes all the way under the jeep. I stall the jeep. He crawls out laughing and thanks me for not crushing him. We make it to winch hill 4. I make it up single pass on the gas. My buddy makes a stupid bone head decision to try and make it closer to the hill rather than winch, he brakes a birfield. Things ain't looking good. His spare birfield will not fit, I think his front locker is trashed and the axle will not go in. We try and winch but his winch line is hammered. Cal4WD to the rescue. These guys busted there asses to get everyone off the trail. They missed dinner, dancing, and kicking back to help several rigs make it out. My buddy had to by drug out in the dark. I made winch hill 5 single pass.
Sunday morning I wake to hear my buddys cousin has just busted his TJ. He was cruising around camp when a bolt sheared on his RE long arm kit causing the rear axle to rotate and ripped off an arm mount and damaged another. He has also broken the rear drivline. He didn't even run a trail. We patched everything up and get both broken rigs down to highway 89 at about noon. Both those rigs went home on flat beds from there. I went home to Reno through Sardine Valley. Cal4WD will get a little extra with my payment next year.
Good Times
Last edited:

Fish Sticks

New member
Yeah Yeah,
I didn't take my digital. My friends are going to email some pics. I plan on having a DVD for the next pizza night.


Well-known member
good report. we heard about the busted Toy on committee Ch. 20, so i feel yer pain. Lots of chatter on that about 6pm sat night if i recall. As for ur dead compressor, this is an example where redundancy comes in handy. Sure, my York OBA compressor is nice, but if the comp dies, then no ARBs, right? Well, thats why i long ago got a CO2 tank--as a backup, so if/when the York dies, i simply pressurize the OBA system w/ the CO2. Works well if properly regulated.

We left base camp Sunday about 11am, but rather than deal w/ the slow, dusty train out to Jackson Mdws Road, we went instead west toward Bowman Res, stopped at Emerald Pools for a swim and popped out onto Hwy. 20, then a short hop to 80 and it was sailing all the way home.

Glad u had fun. Cruising around base camp ewas fun and the band/bar/bon fire was great-- even a nice selection of babes hanging out there. Bought $40 in raffle tix and didn't win a darn thing.

Concerning the busted RE lift, on our Rubicon trip this year, Darthsherman had the exact thing happen to him. One bolt sheared from the UCA, that in turn caused the other side LCA to literally rip right off the axle tube and in turn the rear diff pointed toward the sky. This naturally threashed the rear d/l--- aah, trail nightmares for sure. Below is a pic of the 45 degree hill he finally completely busted on, between Buck dam and big sluice.

This w/e is the 18th annual Tahoe Hi-Lo's Poker run over the deer valley trail. Many rigs from reno going-- anyone here on list going?



Fish Sticks

New member
RARECJ8 said:
Well, thats why i long ago got a CO2 tank--as a backup, so if/when the York dies, i simply pressurize the OBA system w/ the CO2. Works well if properly regulated.

Good point. I will have a backup plan for my onboard air needs before my next trip, probably a CO2 tank.