Lynx Gulch day run and things I learned

NLXTACY

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Lynx Gulch, Los Angeles, California 93563 - Google Maps

You can see all the pictures from the day here!

I took the wife, kid and dog on a day run and met up with LX470PILOT and his buddies for a President's Day run on Lynx Gulch which is off Angeles Crest Highway. The entire day had been wet and rainy and would only be replaced with wet, snowy and muddy. What could go wrong?

The entrance LX470PILOT wanted to take was closed off due to a fairly bad accident on the highway, so we turned around and saw a couple of road signs with some large ROAD CLOSED lettering across them. There were many cars parked around the signs. No one willing to travel past the signs. I mean there was all of 8" of snow on the ground. Far too much snow...ok this was lame, we just drove past those fools and went right around the road closed signs.

EDIT: The trail was open. The road TO the trail was closed ONLY because the plows had not been there yet!

EDIT #2: To the curmudgeons in the crowd, the trail was completely open from the other end of the trail from an OPEN road.

Travel was pathetically simple and pretty much non-eventful. But we finally got to the Lynx Gulch trail. It was snow packed, icy, muddy and just plain looked like fun. LX470PILOT took the lead in his BONE STOCK 470 with street tires. This should be interesting. Well we found mud puddle after mud puddle and we were having a blast. My wife was doing almost all the driving and to see the joy on her face when she got to go playing in the mud was priceless. After about a mile or so we started going up in elevation and the rain turned in frozen rain and eventually snow. The road was getting thicker with snow but never too much that we couldn't pass. Well we got to an incline where I kept telling my wife to please stop tailgating so much and leave a good distance between the other truck and us. She just didn't listen. Well on one incline, in the snow and ice and mud, LX470PILOT got stuck and had to reverse. Which meant we had to reverse because....well....my wife was driving too close. This proved to be the first of two problems for the day.

My wife was now backing up going DOWN the trail. In about 12-18" of snow and she had a hard time following the trail behind us. When she wound up driving the corner of the truck into the side of the hill lodging us on a tree and the rock it was growing out of. No matter what we did it only seemed to make the situation worse because now we were dug in to middle of the ties on the tires that had traction.

I assessed the situation:
• We are on a trail that is a mix of sand and mud, mostly sand.
• There is ice and a little over a foot of snow covering the sand and mud mixture.
• We need to go uphill because we are wedged.
• I am running stock tire pressure- so on the tires that I could reach the valve stem on I reduced to 15psi. This did nothing.
• I have the 7pin mod and Center Diff Switch- didin't make a difference, not going anywhere.
• I DO NOT have lockers- this sucks.
• I was in 4LO in Low gear.
• Yes tried 2nd start as well.
• We have no shovel. F'ing dumb.

I removed the hi-lift from the back of the IPOR bumper and tried lifting the back of the truck up and then the idea was to swing the truck over a few feet so we wouldn't be wedged on the tree and rock. Problem was I didn't really see a safe place to mount the Hi-Lift. So I would up stick the jaw INSIDE the receiver. Now it wasn't moving and I felt A LITTLE safer. As I pumped the handle the hi-lift just kept sinking further into the muck until it finally hit solid ground. Once the back end was off the ground we were able to use the Hi-Lift as a pivot to push my truck over about 2 ft. This was enough to get my wife moving in a forward direction. I told her not to stop until she reached the other truck...

...Leaving 4 of us down the trail. With the hi-lift, some mats, oh and the spare tire we had to take off to get at the hi-lift. Did I mention we were going uphill? And we had to drag the hi-lift, tire and mats with us? It was sucky.




So the good news was we got my truck out of that mess and other than being really tired we were totally fine.

TWO MINUTES LATER....

LX470PILOT has a flat on his right front. Sidewall slashed. Its flat in under 3 minutes.

So to assess THIS situation:
• He is on flat, snowy, muddy, icy, sandy ground. But its flat so we have that working in our favor.
• His friends are making snow angles and writing each other's names in the snow
• My wife (YES MY WIFE) took the lead on getting the truck lifted up and tire changed. We were all blown away.
• A bottle jack is a MUST have. I am no longer going to sell mine.
• Hi-lift was pretty much useless for him EXCEPT for lifting the back end, using the trailer hitch, so that we could get the spare out.
• With stock bumpers there was nothing else we could use the Hi-Lift for.

Well the tire change took about an hour but it was done and we were fine. Another 30 or so minutes later and we were out of the gulch and back on the highway. Then pizza and home. All in all a fun trip and the newbies in the group got to learn a lot. No one else but me had ever even seen a hi-lift being used.



So what did I learn and how can I make sure I don't get stuck in the same situation:
THE IPOR-
• Having the Hi-Lift mounted under the tire on the bumper COULD have completely screwed me if it was the right side that was wedged
• Having to remove the spare tire JUST to take off the Hi-Lift was a major pain in the ass
• Because of the slope of bottom of the bumper I didn't feel safe using the corners of the bumper to lift
• I was going to use the recovery points to lift from but instead used the hitch
• If I had the fuel cans I would have had some damage to the tailgate
• There really should be either grooves or a short metal bar on the corners to use as a lift point just n case
• The bumper really did save the right corner from getting smashed in so I probably already got my money's worth
• Mounting a 60" hi-Lift would be TOO LONG if when the jerry can swing-out is on
• The 48" Hi-Lift base ALMOST smashed my driver's side turn signal had I not seen the impending damage and stopped the motion of the swing out
• There NEEDS to be a swing-out limiter to keep the Hi-Lift base from doing damage

THE HI-LIFT-
• Not having the base plate on the trip was just dumb
• The Hi-Lift, especially when new, is smooth as butter
• My wife is not heavy enough and barely strong enough to use the Hi-Lift
• Needs to be mounted in a location where it is easy to get to
• The 48" was totally adequate BUT I can see instances where having the 60" would be better

GENERAL-
• DO NOT only rely on the Hi-Lift, keep your bottle jack too!
• Have ground mat(s) in the truck that can roll up and stuff into a bag
• Everyone seems to think sand mats are lame, gay, stupid, overkill, etc etc. I REALLY wish I had some instead of killing myself trying to dig out when I dont have a shovel
• BRING A FREAKING SHOVEL!!!!
• Having CO2 and/or OBA is NOT enough, you need a good tire repair kit. I have one on order but it hasn't arrived yet
• Using a fingernail to deflate tires is lame

ITEMS I ORDERED LAST NIGHT-
• ARB E-Z Tire Deflator ($39.00 Expedition Exchange)
• Benchmade Carry Clip ($15.00 Expedition Exchange)
• Mini Quick Fist ($8.00 set of 4, Expedition Exchange)
• Quick Fist medium ($10.00 Expedition Exchange)
• Quick Fist Super ($10.00 Expedition Exchange)
• Land Rover Steel Wheel Chocks ($10.00 each Expedition Exchange)
• Super Siphon ($9.00 Expedition Exchange)
• Swiss Spice Shaker ($14.00 Expedition Exchange)
• Collapsible Shovel ($49.00 Black Diamond)
 
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96r50

 
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• Swiss Spice Shaker ($14.00 Expedition Exchange)
Was the pizza that bad too? :D

Nice job with assessing the situation(s). A couple other questions came into my mind: How far from a road were you when the events occurred? Could you have walked out? Would a tow strap have come in handy to get your truck out of the woods?

Thanks for sharing!
 

NLXTACY

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Was the pizza that bad too? :D

Nice job with assessing the situation(s). A couple other questions came into my mind: How far from a road were you when the events occurred? Could you have walked out? Would a tow strap have come in handy to get your truck out of the woods?
The Spice thing is to carry salt to de-ice :flipoff2:

Naw, I just saw it and it was cheap so I figured screw it.

We were only about 2-3 miles from the road at any given time. We were never really in danger at all. I have sleeping bags and food in my truck anyway :grinpimp:

I actually have a tow strap but because it was a one lane road and we were going up hill and LX470PILOT's tires were basically street tires, we weren't gonna risk getting two vehicles stuck. It was a better plan because we didn't know he was loosing air at the time and it would have made our situation really bad.
 
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Glad you got out...but one thing you could add to that list is:
When it says ROAD CLOSED, or TRAIL CLOSED, probably best to not around the signs. Legal or illegal, gotta think about what is best for our hobby in the long run. There's probably a good reason it was closed. If it was just snow, that's kinda dumb, but they close trails all the time over here for periods of time because they get too torn up.
 

Nay

 
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Thanks for sharing, this reminds me of a snow run years ago of my own, which drove the first mods I ever did. What's great is that since :princess: got stuck she should buy into that new set of MT's :bounce:
 

Spike Strip

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HA! You needed a 60-series truck there to get you unstuck quickly (that is, if the 60 was running, and legally registered, and didn't leak like a 40 with an old soft top!) :D:D:D

But it still looked like a fun day :)
 

sleeoffroad

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I am glad I am not the only one that read that part and though, what the hell. The road was closed for a reason. It was obvious that you guys were not prepared. There is so many what-ifs that make my skin crawl. Next time, find an area that is open and go play there.
 

NLXTACY

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Glad you got out...but one thing you could add to that list is:
When it says ROAD CLOSED, or TRAIL CLOSED, probably best to not around the signs. Legal or illegal, gotta think about what is best for our hobby in the long run. There's probably a good reason it was closed. If it was just snow, that's kinda dumb, but they close trails all the time over here for periods of time because they get too torn up.
No no, the trail was open. The road TO the trail was closed. But only because it wasn't plowed yet. It was really dumb because there wasn't very much snow and we were actually following a Honda Element in :D
 

teejnut

 
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Glad you got out...but one thing you could add to that list is:
When it says ROAD CLOSED, or TRAIL CLOSED, probably best to not around the signs. Legal or illegal, gotta think about what is best for our hobby in the long run. There's probably a good reason it was closed. If it was just snow, that's kinda dumb, but they close trails all the time over here for periods of time because they get too torn up.
CHP just closes off some sections of the highways up in the angeles forest when there's a bunch of snow. i've never seen that trail closed, just the highway leading to is closed. once the weather clears up they open it up again.
 

NLXTACY

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I am glad I am not the only one that read that part and though, what the hell. The road was closed for a reason. It was obvious that you guys were not prepared. There is so many what-ifs that make my skin crawl. Next time, find an area that is open and go play there.
Yeah just to make sure everyone knows. If the TRAIL was closed, I would not have gone it. It was the road TO the trail that was closed ONLY because the plows had not been there yet. And of course we were not fully prepared. But I had plenty in my truck to make sure I was getting home.

And for the record, LX470PILOT's truck did NOT ever get stuck. He just got a flat.

Lockers > no lockers :bang:
 
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The road (Upper Big Tujunga Canyon) was closed from the top-down (Angeles Crest) because of snow only and was not closed at the bottom (Angeles Forest).

The trail (Lynx Gulch {4N18}) was not closed at either the Upper Big Tujunga or Monte Cristo campground (3N23) end, both of which were at low enough altitudes to not have snow at all.


I definitely need better tires for doing this in the snow, but I've run the same trail at least 10times (dry) with no problems - and even this time I never actually got stuck - anybody can have an unfortunate run-in with a rock.
 
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sleeoffroad

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It was still closed. Trail / Road does not matter to those the close them, or the people that see 4wheelers go past a Road Close sign. Sorry, but it is bad judgment. Check some land use forums and see if they would condone this.
 

NLXTACY

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It was still closed. Trail / Road does not matter to those the close them, or the people that see 4wheelers go past a Road Close sign. Sorry, but it is bad judgment. Check some land use forums and see if they would condone this.
Sorry I don't agree in this case. The other side of the trial was totally open as was the campground at the end. If we went in from the other way we NEVER would have seen a road closed sign except for when we were passing behind it. So we could have driven a few miles out of our way and taken the trail backwards and been fine and everyone would have been happy.

Any other time I would agree.
 

CreeperSleeper

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Glad you got out...but one thing you could add to that list is:
When it says ROAD CLOSED, or TRAIL CLOSED, probably best to not around the signs. Legal or illegal, gotta think about what is best for our hobby in the long run. There's probably a good reason it was closed. If it was just snow, that's kinda dumb, but they close trails all the time over here for periods of time because they get too torn up.
You beat me to it! Personally, I spend a lot of time working with Oregon Dept. of Forestry to keep trails open to the public and educate OHV users on trail use and the dangers of it being closed. A lot of the time it feels like an uphill battle because of things like this. Not trying to be a pain about it, but just something to think about. Other than that, great write-up!:cheers:
 

NLXTACY

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You beat me to it! Personally, I spend a lot of time working with Oregon Dept. of Forestry to keep trails open to the public and educate OHV users on trail use and the dangers of it being closed. A lot of the time it feels like an uphill battle because of things like this. Not trying to be a pain about it, but just something to think about. Other than that, great write-up!:cheers:
Guys seriously, I love my public OHV trails just as much as you. The trail was open PERIOD.

The trail as two entrances. One is perfectly OPEN from an OPEN road. If we went in THAT way you all wouldn't be bitching. We went in the higher elevation way which just happened to have a road sign because it had snow on the public road. Either entrance we would have gone on this trail, it would have been legal and we would have had fun and would have had zero regrets.

I understand the concerns about trail use. But this is seriously NOT one of those issues. The trail isn't the issue at all. Its just one of the public, paved roads to get to the trail which had ZERO restrictions on the other side of trail.
 

sleeoffroad

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Guys seriously, I love my public OHV trails just as much as you. The trail was open PERIOD.
You drove around a CLOSED sign. If someone drove by they do not know your motivation, your knowledge of the area PERIOD. It was POSTED CLOSED and you ignored it. I would at least change your first post, and then delete the comments on it. You do not know who reads these forums and/or who uses it for ammo in their fights to close trails.
 

CreeperSleeper

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Guys seriously, I love my public OHV trails just as much as you. The trail was open PERIOD.

The trail as two entrances. One is perfectly OPEN from an OPEN road. If we went in THAT way you all wouldn't be bitching. We went in the higher elevation way which just happened to have a road sign because it had snow on the public road. Either entrance we would have gone on this trail, it would have been legal and we would have had fun and would have had zero regrets.

I understand the concerns about trail use. But this is seriously NOT one of those issues. The trail isn't the issue at all. Its just one of the public, paved roads to get to the trail which had ZERO restrictions on the other side of trail.
Again, not trying to bust your balls on it. A green peace hippy would have taken what you wrote and made a big stink about it. I'm just pointing it out, not judging you. I don't care if it was an interstate highway. If it says "road closed" obey it. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard to keep the government from interferring with our sport. Again, not trying to take away from the story or your thread, but it had to be brought up. Okay, rant over.

One thing I would recommend is getting a full size shovel as well as your folding one. It makes it a lot easier to dig an 80 out of snow! I've played that game a lot... :doh:
 

NLXTACY

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You drove around a CLOSED sign. If someone drove by they do not know your motivation, your knowledge of the area PERIOD. It was POSTED CLOSED and you ignored it.
And if we went the other way and came OUT that side and everyone saw us coming out of there what then? Are we also responsible for those people? Are we still breaking the law if we came OUT the way we came in?
 
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