January 2nd, a team from Colorado 4×4 Rescue and Recovery made attempt #1 at recovering a Subaru off Road 126-N Northwest of Nederland, CO. It was an all day effort of fighting insanely deep snow drifts. The team tried from each end of the trail and no matter what effort was given, the snow simply won.
If you recall, we recently had a VERY HEAVY spring quality snow. Tons of moisture in it. Well that froze into a 5-6 inch thick icy layer in between all the other levels of snowfall that have occurred. After calling off that 1st mission, we pulled out all the stops!
Fast forward to Saturday January 7th, with tons of logistics planning and coordination, we put together the “Snow Bashing A Team!” One of our members was able to secure a donated rollback truck from Armstrong Sweeping, and after he made some phone calls, Prime Milling donated the use of a practically brand-new Skid Steer to push the worst of the snow drifts off the road for us.
Using a Power Wagon chained up on all four 37 inch tires, we began breaking trail. Following behind were multiple Wranglers, a Gladiator, and a Bronco. Some chained up, some not. A mix of 40s, 37s, and 35s! As we worked our way up the trail, we quickly learned this would be “that recovery” of the early 2023 winter season.
Half way up the trail, the top radiator hose of the Power Wagon blew off. We’re not exactly sure why as temps were not anywhere near overheating, but it was certainly doing most of the work to chew up that icy crusted snow. After a quick triage we had that parked in a wide spot just behind and we continued up the trail. Literally around the next corner, we had an idler bearing lock up in a Wrangler and absolutely shred a serpentine belt. After picking all the pieces out of the pullies and snow, we were able to limp that back down (no power steering or water pump functioning) to where the power wagon was parked.
We put out the SOS to another member in town who was able to run to multiple dealerships and auto parts stores to source all the hardware and fluids we needed to get our two disabled rigs off the mountain.
While we waited, the remaining functioning vehicles proceeded up the hill to the Subaru. It was another two hours solid of constant snow drifts, high RPM thrashing through the snow. Winching, digging, more winching. Utilizing a drone, we were able to gauge the distance we had yet to travel, and knew it would be possible to actually reach him today! We were only 100 yards away!
Once within winching distance, we had the Subaru rigged and pulled out of the snows grasp pretty quick. There was nowhere to turn around, so the lead vehicle then opted to just hook a kinetic rope to the Subaru and aid in his descent down to the big turnaround point, which was approximately 1/3 of a mile away.
While it took 5 hours to reach the Subaru, the actual recovery itself was handled in 30-40 minutes.
Shortly after getting the Subaru to the maintained county road, our savior with the replacement parts and fluids arrived! The team went back up to where we staged our repairs and began bolting on the Jeep’s idler pullies and tensioner, replaced the serpentine belt, and had the power wagon topped off with fluids all before sundown.
After all of that, and an exhausting day, we aired up and went home!
Without the help of extremely generous businesses, we wouldn’t have been able to secure that skid steer or rollback truck. A huge thank you again to Armstrong Sweeping and Prime Milling for aiding us in this mission!
Colorado 4×4 Rescue and Recovery runs entirely on donations. If you are interested in donating funds to our operational needs, please head on over to our web page at www.co4x4rnr.org and click the donate link in the top right corner. Your generosity is greatly apricated!
We also need to thank our title sponsor, The Edge Automotive, for the years and years of financial support. The Edge crew is simply amazing! If you need any work done on vehicles, whether it be daily drivers, or weekend crawlers, hit them up at www.theedgeautomotive.com or https://www.facebook.com/TheEdgeAutomotive
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