I had been researching areas behind Walker Valley for scenic routes and ways but I was finding everything closed off by gate after gate. One evening while watching YouTube I saw a video about Cumberland Pass and when I researched a little more found there was no gate. FINALLY!!! Taking a look at the maps a little more they showed the route ending at Segelson Sno Park or Finney Creek Sno Park. I am thinking I have a snow run.
Watching this past week warm up and rain I had been wondering what would be up there. So i had to decide on who would be patient on this run. Hmmm, who wouldn’t mind an unknown adventure….snow, no snow, being stuck, getting lost, Tamer Turnarounds, not making it over and having to trek all the way back. So I invited Jeremy CJ7, Dave LJ, Travis Rubicon, and Gary Miss Understood. With my Samurai down I drove the 90 XJ. My original start side was negated because of sno park closure to vehicles.
So I decided on starting at Cumberland/Finney creek rd out of Sedro Woolley and end at Finney Creek Sno park via Concrete/Sauk valley rd. With those heading I had everyone meet 9am at my house in Mt. Vernon. Dave, the only trailered rig unleashed there. 1/2 hour up S. Skagit hwy and 5 miles up the gravel rd we found snow at 1100 ft, terrible snow. Icy, wet, heavy. Had to air down instantly. After airing down (7 psi), leading, we continued up steep and fast. Within 10 minutes snow became deeper but manageable. Of course, no tracks up here but 2 snowmobiles.
Slow and easy I break trail, every once in awhile tires slip just a tad and sink instantly. But with a little reverse and some momentum forward, I plow thru and keep moving. With everyone trudging along behind we make headway. Getting deep and approaching a snowdrift I clear the path and get maybe 50 feet farther and now fighting forward progress. I announced that I would be airing down more. Being brave I aired down to 2 psi, without beadlocks of course. Snow was awesome by this time, I, a little to heavy to stay on top. Slowly i press on, pushing and pushing snow. Not wanting to give up my lead, but with no choice I radio Travis behind me and ask him to break trail assured that he would enjoy breaking trail with new 37’s.
After some jockeying around Travis is breaking good trail. Onward we go….up, up, up. Snow becoming deeper as we climb progress is becoming minimal and slow. I believe we only had one hang up at this point. Jeremy requires some assistance around a bend. With alot of backwards and forwards and plowing of snow Travis is finally at his limit, stuck! With a shovel, winch and an LJ for an anchor I winched Travis back. on our way again, but within 100 ft Travis is done. As we decide the best extraction process here comes Gary slowly creeping along us on the right, smiling. I think show off! Where’s my Samurai when i need it.
Well since he wants to lead, we put him to work đź™‚ getting Travis unstuck. With quite a bit of shoveling again and persuasion by Gary, Travis is free. With Gary now breaking trail onward we go. With the snow getting deeper and the slow progress I start to wonder if we are going to make it thru. Then hearing Jeremy state he’s pushing alot of snow being on 33’s didn’t help my worries. We have to be in atleast 4 feet of snow now. As the road leveled off, so did the snow. We stopped once more so Jeremy could air down more. And sure enough we continued on with ease. Finding beautiful creeks, waterfalls, snow filled trees, and canyons made the slow pace of snow wheeling worth every site.
Do the Tamers have an award for the best stuck? I think we just had it! How does one get stuck without being in his Jeep? I get to tell that story. As we’re trudging along Travis stops to look at a sink hole that water had created thru the snow. Must have been 12 ft wide and at least 10ft deep. We all get out of our rigs to take a peek just as Travis decides to get closer. In he goes shoulder deep and stuck. Says he can’t feel the bottom. So my son and I go to help, laughing of course. We’re yanking and pulling while Travis is trying to get a foothold. Quite entertaining. Peanut gallery remarks are about ropes, winch lines, and such. Is this considered a tow fee? With a little more effort Travis is free, face first is always nice. Soaked up to the hips and smiling. A few more jokes and off we go. About 1 we stopped for lunch within a awesome canyon.
After lunch Dave is asked to break trail. Agreeing Dave takes the reins and off we go. Slowly descending the snow is becoming heavy and difficult since we’re on the other side of the pass. During these slow times my son decides to get on the roof for a ride. While up there a snowball fight starts. Jeremy grabs balls of snow while moving and hurling at the roof. Travis in front of us joins in. Fun times with family and friends. Having enough he climbs in and we motor on. After leading for an hour Dave is loosing ground. So Gary takes lead again. Lots of scenery and slow moving, snow is heavy and slick, Gary was doing fine but mentions Miss Understood is getting warm. So I take over and lead us to a beautiful waterfall, which we stop for pictures. With about a foot of snow at this point traversing thru is better.
Getting close to 6, hitting pavement, we are finally airing back up at Finney Sno Park. With good chatter about our day filled with fun, laughter, and beautiful scenery we head home. Thank all of you for joining me in the unknown. Couldn’t have achieved without you.