This was a great day of snow!
Steven and I met in Idaho Springs and figured out a plan of attack - we went up through St. Mary's and hit the west Yankee Hill Entrance. That first bit is the steepest and shadiest, lots of ice and deep drifts. I bashed it open on my 37s, Steven followed behind on his 35s. Unfortunately his new ARB rear locker wasn't engaging and he had to winch in a few places, but managed to get up with some skilled driving and his working front locker. Yankee Hill itself was dry and an easy quick climb. The backside of the loop had a good number of places to bash drifts and we took turns leading through the snow. In one spot Steven was leading and I yanked him back over a dozen times with a kinetic rope, he fearlessly attacked the giant snow drift over and over until he pushed through it. Near the end of the loop, I framed out my truck on a big drift coming downhill and we had to pull cable.
On our way to Central City we passed a large group of Toyotas with Rising Sun 4x4 that was traveling East to West. Some cool FJ60s, late model 4runners, solid axle swapped Tacomas, and more. I think my '81 bought me some street cred with that group. They had beaten in the trail pretty well so it was smooth sailing all the way into town. On Bald Mountain Road we encountered two teenagers in an oncoming stock Ram 1500. They asked if it got any worse before Fall River Road (where we started!), I advised that they wouldn't make it and should turn around. To their credit, they took the advice and headed back in front of us.
It was very cold and windy the whole day, though it did get better once we got into the trees east of Yankee Hill. My heater couldn't keep up and I was constantly scraping ice off the inside of my side windows.
Always nice to get out in the elements, winter wheeling has a certain charm to it. The pain of the cold and the triumph/tribulation of recovery makes conquering the trails feel like an accomplishment. Nice to meet you Steven and thanks for putting this run together!
I have some videos and more photos I'll share in a google album once they upload.