Cowiche: The Search for Deep Snow

Cowiche: The Search for Deep Snow
Report by Clay Graham / Eastern Washington Adventures

Around 10 AM Saturday January 7th, 2012 Eastern Washington Adventures members met up at the Cowiche Mill Road entrance of the Ahtanum State Forest for a 4×4 run to find deep snow. I rode with TJ40 in his TJ. On this run the roads were iced over and there was not much snow until we got way up high.

First we ran Cowiche Mill Road and turned up the first Green Dot Road to the right. A truck had slid off the road the day before and the guys were waiting for their friend to come up and pull the truck out with a Jeep. TJ40 said he would winch the truck back on the road since we had more rigs to help if need be. TJ40’s Mile Marker winch rated for 8,000 Lbs did a great job pulling the truck up. Once the truck was back on the road, we move on up the ridge toward Hatton Road.

Up on Hatton Road we drove toward Jumpoff Lookout. It started off with driving on thick ice with a little bit of snow. The snow drifts got deeper in some areas as we came onto C3000. Up near the Forest Service boundary the snow got deep enough the rigs were having a little trouble pushing through. We had to cut three trees out of the road to keep going. As we came around to the North Slope it was blocked by a big deep drift. We finally got enough deep snow to play in but no place to go. This is were we turned around and it became a stuck fest. Once we all turned around we headed back down.

Back on Cowiche Mill Road at C1000 some of the group headed home. The rest of us headed up C1000 and on up onto Cowiche Ridge. We ran Cowiche Ridge and then up onto the Strobach Mountain 4×4 Trail. Near the Hogback we found the Yakima Ridgerunners having a good time. We stopped and talked with them for awhile before heading back out for home.

This was a very fun day thanks for all who came and some that we met on the trail.

Below are the pictures of our day:

Airing down at the end of the paved part of Cowiche Mill Road.
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Waiting for everyone to finish airing down.
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Heading up pass the end of the county road.
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Coming onto DNR Land.
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Turning up C1300 to group off the ice before turning around to help a guy get his truck back onto the road.
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TJ40 talking out a plan to get the truck onto the road.
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TJ40 tied his Jeep off to a tree and winched the truck up.
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Mile Marker gets the job done!
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Moving up toward Hatton Road.
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Up on Hatton Road we hit more ice and a dusting of snow.
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Coming up on C3000.
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Yes, the snow was getting better on C3000.
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Some of the guys let more air out after the last deep drift.
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We stopped to wait for the CJ7 that was in front of us since his hood was up. The group caught up.
BlindPilot.
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Joker.
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Moving on up.
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The CJ7 was having a hard time breaking through and then lost a bead.
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The pit crew hard at work. LOL
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Looking off at the view of the Ahtanum State Forest.
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A report of a tree down ahead. Making room for Craigen to get around since he has a chainsaw.
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Craigen coming by.
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The tree. CRS took the first turn cutting on the tree with Craigen’s saw which was not running right.
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Guido came up with his saw that was working better.
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I little help with Craigen’s XJ.
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Log rolling in the snow.
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One tree off the trail.
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Two more smaller trees in the way.
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Craigen cut the ends of the two trees.
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BlindPilot and TJ40 moved the rest by hand.
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The North Slope was not passable.
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Turning around.
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CRS.
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Jeepscum.
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dclack.
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Jeepscum giving dclack a pull.
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BlindPilot giving TJ40 a pull.
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Turning down C1210 toward Reynolds Creek.
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The trees are growing into the road making it look more as a trail.
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Over looking Cowiche Ridge at Pine Mountain.
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Back down on Cowiche Mill Road.
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Regrouping right before C1000.

Icesis.
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BlindPilot.
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Some of the group headed home and the rest went to run Cowiche Ridge.
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“propane addiction” waiting for us.
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Looking toward Strobach Mountain.
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Coming up to the Hogback we see a big group of rigs.
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It was the Yakima Ridgerunners having a get together.
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It was getting dark so we headed back out.

Airing up at the Cowiche Mill Road entrance of the Ahtanum State Forest.
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What a great day!!

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About Ceg

Photojournalist at Selah Sausage / Eastern Washington Tourism - Our mission is to help communities on the east side of the Cascades in Washington State by promoting responsible outdoor recreation, promoting tourism, and community involvement.
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