Mike and I met Shane at the southwestern trail head of Switzerland trail for a mostly clear, blustery day of wheeling. We found very little snow in the Nederland area on the way to the trail, so we were not surprised to find the trail also holding very little snow. I was surprised that the trail was not icy and the snow pack helped to smooth the bumps of the trail. We encountered a few other trail users while making quick progress through the southern half of the trail.
We stopped for lunch at the Mt Alto picnic area. This proved to be a mistake due to the strong gusty winds here. We ate quickly before the wind began to blow items out of the bed of Mike's truck. We retreated to the vehicles to retrieve the items and secure our vehicles. As we loaded up, a wind gust took the passenger door from my wife's hand and caused the door retaining strap to fail. The door blew into the A-pillar. Fortunately the plastic mirror housing on the passenger door collided with the bracket for my doorless mirror, mangling the bracket. I'll need to beg some help to weld the mirror bracket back together, but I suppose the bracket saved my sheet metal from taking a big hit in this instance.
Since the southern portion of the trail had little snow, we decided to try the northern portion. We found similar conditions here and had no trouble completing the northern part of the trail. As we passed the base of the cliffhanger spur, I noticed a new fence blocking the staging area at the base of the climb where we usually gather when we run this spur as a group. There is no obvious place for rigs to group up here any longer. I did not see any fences blocking access to the spur, but we did not attempt the climb today.
We aired up at the northern trail head and then planned to head to the Caribou town site near Nederlend to see the building remains on our way home. A few hundred yards after leaving the trail head, we were flagged down by a couple who had stranded their car at the base of a snowy hill. Shane happily agreed to help pull them out. Shane gathered a tow strap and shackle while I explained to the couple where to find their factory tow point and the two hook/eyelet stored with their jack. Shane strapped them up and easily towed them up the hill. We continued on to the Caribou town site, then broke as each of us headed for home.