December 2nd, 2018

After a chilly night I woke up and got the fire going.  I was behind a hill so I didn’t get the sun until about noon.  Even though it was snowing when I went to bed there wasn’t any snow on the ground at 2630′.  I couldn’t believe how much traffic FSRD 70 gets.  It was my first time ever heading up FSRD 70 so everything was new to me.  The featured image above was taken looking south across the winter parking area Sunday morning.

After I got some food in my belly I hopped into my truck to start exploring.  I knew where both roads lead from the satellite imagery I saved on my phone.  Awesome idea to have the images saved of where you are going because you wont always have cell phone reception.  I took the road to the right because it had some viewpoints I wanted to get some shots from.  One of which was at the top of an exposed rock cliff that looks over the Greenwater River Valley.

Looking West from Cliffs 2900′

If you have actually been reading my blog, you might see something familiar.  That red exposed patch without trees, is the slide area above the upper WTF? I wanted to investigate.  When I saw this I used the camera to see if I could get a glimpse.

Now I was only at about half of my optical zoom from the cliffs.  So there is a gate from FSRD 70 and another gate after the WTF?  What the heck is going on down there?  It would be a mile and a half hike round trip in the snow.  Sounds easy, but not so easy for me.   I can’t do a mile and a half round trip on flat ground in the summer.

I ended up following the road until it was no longer safe to drive in 2×4.  The snow started accumulating at about 3000′ and I turned around at almost 4100′.  Just above 3800′ there were a bunch of folks hanging out having  good time by a fire in the snow.  How cool is that?  The road was too narrow for me to turn around and the road was compact snow and ice.  I was able to safely back down to the hairpin corner by where everyone was hanging out.

Do not try this without experience!  Just as I was backing into the hairpin I let my truck pick up a little speed I turned the wheel half a rotation clockwise and slammed on the brakes.  By hitting my brakes just as the back tires got to some softer snow, they got traction and stopped.  With my brakes still on the front end of my truck kept sliding down the hill.  I put it in 1st gear right before the front end stopped sliding and released the clutch completing a perfect 180 in the snow.  It was like Ford Ranger Ballet and I even got a cheer from the crowd that was watching and waiting for me to crash.

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