We started off getting to the Darrington Shell station about 9:35 am. The meeting time was 9:45 am and depart at 10am. Everyone had lined up across the street in the empty lot and it looked like a lot of people.
I got fueled up and got parked over there. I said my hellos and introductions to some guys that Joe had brought along. I was also informed a bunch of people no one knew kind of followed our group to the empty lot. I introduced myself and found that they were not with us but they seemed like a nice bunch of people. So our groups consisted of Curt and Wendy in their JK, Shawn and young ones in his Tj, Joe in his white jeep, Joes nephew in his Isuzu Trooper, another of Joes friend in his Cherokee, and another Joes friend in his Samurai, and last to show up but not least Moose and Mary, and of course Casey and I. We bsâ€™d a bit which is one thing us Tamers are great at, and decided to hit the road about 10:05am.
We go to the White Chuck Mtn. boat launch and got aired down and ready to roll. I wanted to do a quick drivers meeting, and found everyone had working CBâ€™s and winches. And mostly all rigs were pretty well set up. We got rolling about 10:25 ish and up the mountain we went. Now I have only been up this trail once and at our first intersection thought we need to go right but wasnâ€™t sure. So a quick call on the radio and Curt was quick to guide me to the right from his Gais laid out tracks in his GPS. Good deal!
Onward up and up and finally hitting some snow and then it started to get a little deeper. We got to a switch back and could see another group in front of us and it appeared to be Jake Alexander and Jenna and Chris Horton, but I wasnâ€™t sure. As I rounded the corner I lost traction on the ice and with my tires still rotating forward proceeded to slide backwards down the hill/switchback staying in the tracks. Well that ice was pretty slick. I blew off thinking about who that next group was as I concentrated on getting me and my group thru this icy spot. I got myself out of the icy ruts with a little nudge from Joe, (yes that was a tow fee) and got into some compact snow and got myself up and around the corner.
We could hear the other groups, Evan and Jenna on the radio and they gave us some hints on getting thru that switch back. Mostly everyone in our group made it thru that switch back with a little momentum and on the throttle a bit. What I didnâ€™t know was that Jake Alexander and his group had not caught up to the original 1st Tamer group. So we had 3 different tamer groups on the mountain now.
We continued our ascent up the mountain without much problem until we came across a switch back that went directly into a long fairly steep hill that had everything backed up pretty good. From what I could tell there was one group trying to make it up the hill and had hit it with full throttles and rev limiters working hard and spinning the tires down to ice. Nothing was making it up that ice. There was another group of about 5 rigs, (remember the nice group we met at the empty lot across from shell station?) waiting their turn. Then there was Jakes group of about 6 rigs that decided to go around the group in front of them by hitting the ditch. Jake had made it up by using speed/momentum and stayed on the throttle. I didnâ€™t see him make it up but I did hear him. Jenna tried that but just didnâ€™t have enough power to get going very fast. On her last attempt she got off to the left side and into some compact snow and hit her crawling gears and crawled the rest of the way. A couple of guys on Jakes group had stayed to the right where there was just a strip of compact snow and motored right up.
Once Jakes group all got up, the group that was waiting decided to turn around and got off to the side to let us nine rigs in my group past. I went first and stayed to my right. Now this was a crest and Casey was having nothing doing with being so close to the edge so she got out. I motored on up no problems. And waved for the next one. Terry made it up fine staying to the right. Curt in his Jk came up with some momentum and got stuck in the icy ruts and made it Âľ of the way up and that ice was just to slick. His sliding backwards down the hill made me pucker up standing on the side. He slid backwards FAST. But I was yelling to himâ€ťYOUR OK, YOUR OKâ€ť as I knew he would stay in the ruts. Once he got stopped at the bottom, I saw the passenger door open and Wendy jumped out. No way was she going to do that again! His next attempt was more to the right and he motored up fine. Joe also hit it with some momentum and got into the icy ruts. I was directing him right, go right, go right, and at last minute he turned and got up onto the compact snow and made it up to the top.
We continued on to some really nice sunshine and gorgeous views. We ran back into Jakes group and they made a path for us to go through. I really wanted to get everyone to the top now. Once past Jakes group there was a long uphill spot that gave the Friends of Joe a bit of problems. The Cherokee, the Trooper, and the Samurai had quite a time getting up and couldnâ€™t make it. It was so close to the top the rest of us had made it to the top and we with the original â€śBIG DOGâ€ť group. Anthony and Ron had heard the others having a tough time so they went down to get them and got the Trooper and the Cherokee over the hill. The Samurai decided to hang back and wait for us. We let the kids play and sled and even the dogs were climbing up the hill with the kids and coming down. Then we decided to head back. We picked up the Samurai on the way down and had a pretty uneventful drive down the mountain. You probably already read the report from the Big Dogs group.
So we had a fun filled Hangover run with lots of adventure and lots of learning by watching others. With no injuries or break downs I think it was a very successful day for all.
Thank you and Happy New Year!!