Iron Goat Dec 2018

I wanted to check out the Iron Goat area for quite some time now. It had been a few years and I heard reports of new gates being put up and heli skiing goings on etc. So I rounded up a couple other Tamers and off we went.

The morning started off with my trusty Samurai (MissUnderstood) having some issues. It seems that my exhaust is coming apart from the inside? I got out on the freeway and I could only get about 2500 rpm out of her. I hit my flashers and milked her to the next exit and got off. As I was making my way back home to make some calls and cancel. She started running ok again. OK flip a U turn and kill two birds with one stone. Tamer Turn, now under my belt and the MissUnderstood seeming to be running ok I got back out and headed to meet up with John V and Joe R.

On the way out to Sultan I had my phone ringing. Now you have to understand I got one of those Dick Tracy watches so I can drive and talk to my wrist at the same time. But the little speaker is tiny and MissUnderstood is revving out at close to 4k to be at highway speeds. I answered and could barely hear anything. “Hello?” “Hey where are you going?” I thought it was John V calling me. “Oh yea I will be there in a few minutes I am just hitting Sultan now.” Then he asks. “Where are going, what are you doing?” I thought this isn’t John and asked “who is this”. “This is Karl and I’m 3 cars behind you what are doing just driving around?”. I answered, “No, we are doing a prerun for the hangover run and meeting guys up in the roundabout. “Oh ok, well you guy have fun and see you on the Hangover run”. I replied back..”You bet Karl say hi to Ruth and the kids for me”.

I got to the Chevron at the roundabout a couple minutes late there was John V and Joe R waiting for me. I got all fueled up and bladder emptied and off we went. Traffic wasn’t too bad and we made our way up to the upper Old Cascade Highway in Scenic and pulled off the off highway. It was a bit slick in spots but no biggie. There was not very much snow on the ground and I think at that point we sitting about 1500 feet in elevation. We made out way along the Old Cascade Hiway to the forest service rd cutoff for Iron Goat trail head and decided to air down there.

It wasn’t long before we started seeing the snow and it was on the roadway ..I think I checked and it was about 2000 feet. The snow got deeper quickly, and it was very wet and packed type snow. We didn’t have too much of any problems as we passed by the Iron Goat Trail head parking area. Up ahead we saw a snow cat that was probably being used for the Heli skiing stuff we had been hearing so much about and then a bit farther we saw the Y that to the right it appears the snow cat had been grooming that spur off the main Forest Service Road. We stayed to the left to avoid any issues with skiers or heli skier operators and continued our way.

The next big intersection was what I was wanting. It is a left-hand Y and down just a bit is a small bridge that takes you over Martin Creek. From there it curves to the left and starts to climb. The snow was pretty deep but all out rigs are set up fairly well and we didn’t have any problems with breaking trail and slipping at all. I was leading the way and figured at this point there would be no other turns and we just see how high we can get. We got up to about the 3200 feet range and the snow was pretty deep and I figured I could let either of the other guys take lead for a bit and break trail. I had gotten a little too close to the edge at one point and kind of slid my rear towards the edge and had Joe spotting me back out of that. Sure glad Casey wasn’t with me. Lol. She HATES the edges. When Joe had stopped to spot me, he sank up to his thigh in deep snow so it was pretty deep. Joe was up to jumping in front to break trail, and I got pulled off to side and he went around me.

He made it a little way up then started having troubles. But he worked and drove that Jeep like a pro and broke trail up and up and up some more. Joe did an excellent job breaking trail for about a mile with his Pitbull rocker tires. But we also wanted to have John V have some new time with his brand new 37 inch pit bulls in some fresh snow. As Joe got himself pulled off to the side John made his way passed him and he too up up and away.

But now the snow was tire deep. So about 37 inches and it was heavy packing snow. We could just barely float on top then break through and sink and this was a repeated scenario as we tried to make our way to the next switch back. I figured if we could get up there it was a good place to turn around. John finally got himself real close to the edge at one point and every time the tires turned it slid him over more and more. I got myself out of playing in the ditch and got up behind him. With a quick tug and using a Kinetic rope that Joe had so graciously donated. We had him out of harm’s way and back up on the trail in now time. We decided it was going to get dark soon and there another Spur I had wanted to look at before calling it a day.

We got turned around and headed down and made quick progress back to the intersection by the bridge. We took a left with Joe leading up and breaking trail and all of a sudden he just got stuck..WTF? He was doing great and the trail was ok..he just was spinning his tires front and back…. LOL. Out comes that bungee magical Voodoo kinetic strap again and bam he was hooked back up and gone. We got up to the gate that was locked and assessed our situation. Good place to turn around for lots rigs if needed and the trail wasn’t too bad. Anyone with less than 35 inch tires would most likely have a decent challenge.

With all out scouting and new-found knowledge, we decided to head back and hit the Mountain View diner and go thru our findings as well as get a bite to eat. We got turned around and got down the mountain and into the Mountain View Diner about 6:30 ish.

We all had fun and it was good day and hope this will help lay out a good Hangover run for all. For full details of the Hangover Run Stay Tuned!!

Gary Miller