The month started out with a trip to South Yolla Bolly.
On Tuesday, January 1st, snowblasta and I set out for about two weeks.
We drove up to Corning and into the Coast Range.
We were going to ski in from the gate to South Yolla Bolly.
The locals were out and about near Paskenta.
I knew the snowline was pretty low, but figured we could make it to the gate,
which is at 4000'.
We ran into snow on the road around 2000'.
The Jeep took us to just around 3000'.
Still several miles from the gate.
The road heads up a steep hill and around to north facing.
With about 2-3 feet of icy snow.
I wasn't comfortable about leaving the Jeep unattended for several days.
No places off the main road to stash it.
After considering our situation, we decided to turn around and head for Anthony Peak.
Perfect place to be during low snow level situations.
But it's now getting late in the day.
I figured it would take about 7 hours
to drive back out to Corning,
down to highway 20 and around Clear Lake and up the 101
and out on the 162 to Covelo.
So we decided to spend the night.
We drove down lower and found a spot on a side road.
In a cow pasture.
We spent the night in the Jeep.
I curled up in the back, on top of all our gear and snowblasta
layed down across the two front seats.
We didn't think it was a good idea to set up the tents.
The next day, we set out for Covelo. I was wanting to take the
scenic route down along the Coast Range, through Stonyford.
But got turned around. We actually started driving up the M4
I was running out of gas and didn't want to make any mistakes.
So I decide to check my directions at the Salt Creek Workstation.
We pull in to find a bunch of cops, Forest Rangers and 70 or 80
prisoners in orange jumpsuits, heading out for a work day.
A mud-covered Jeep with skis on top, out in the middle of nowhere.
The prisoners are all lined up waiting to load the big red trucks.
Just staring at us.
One of them looks just like Snoop Dog, or whatever his name is now.
It was strange.
Out near the town of Nice, on the north side of Clear Lake,
my clutch started acting up. Been having trouble the past
Running out of clutch fluid. It would work around home, but
the last couple trips, it kept dying on me.
So now, we are fighting for gears and refusing to go home, yet.
We make it to Willits and add some more clutch fluid.
Grab a burger in town and said "To Hull with it - we're going in!"
Our timing was perfect. Just as we get to highway 162,
They are within hours of closing the road
to fix a washout. Just barely made it.
We were told the road would be closed for 24 hours.
No problem, we are planning on staying for a few days.
Anthony Peak on the way in to Covelo.
Covelo sits in Round Valley surrounded by snow covered peaks.
It ended up taking 7.5 hours to make the drive.
The snow was just starting to melt off the meadows at 4000'
when we drove in. They had the road plowed all the way
to the Pass. Mendocino Pass is just over 5000'.
It's now Wednesday evening. Lots of activity.
Families sledding, met a couple of the locals.
Saw some guys in a golf cart looking rig with 4 tractor treads.
Then some other yahoo's show up and proceed to get stuck.
Lots of tracks in the snow from other people with the same idea.
We kicked back and watched as these guys attempt to dig out
their vehicles with their hands. No shovels or anything.
Eventually, everyone gets unstuck, takes off and we have the Pass to ourselves.
We pitch our tents on the snow and pass out.
Thursday arrives. Slightly overcast and cold.
I have been here many times. Car camping. The local
land owners don't mind. Never had any trouble here, but
was a bit apprehensive about leaving the vehicle.
So we decide to head in for only four days.
Looking up to Anthony Peak from Mendo. Pass.
Down to Round Valley from the Pass.
The road was pretty icy. Just barely able to grip with our waxless/scaled bases.
We had slept in, so got a late start.
Several miles up the road, we called it for the day.
Very cold. Once inside the tent and in the bag, everything was warm.
Until my air mattress decided to loose air.
I didn't get much sleep. I kept waking up from the cold snow beneath me.
Then I would blow up the mattress again.
And again. I was wishing I had my big foam pad.
I wasn't going to spend the next three nights fighting the cold
While traveling even further from the vehicle.
So we decided to go for a day trip to Anthony and come back to our camp.
Friday we wake up and jib on up the road.
The skies were clear, the sun was out.
It was nice to have only day gear in our packs.
snowblasta enjoying the day.
Here's the top of the M4, above Paskenta, where we saw the prisoners.
Looking down to Round Valley, covered in fog.
Bear tracks/Anthony in the background
A few more miles and we're almost there.
Just after that sign, we head left and up to the summit ridge.
Looking south down the summit ridge
Weather Station Peak(middle/foreground - a couple miles past is Mendocino Pass.
Background is Black Butte(L), Snow Mt.(middle), Hull Mt.(just right of center)
Close-up of Hull Mt.s' north side.
Left to right
OB Bowl on left skyline/Hullafar Bowl/the top of Hullaska Ridge/the Hullbacks/the summit.
snowblasta at the top
Doing my best GSA impression
Solomon Peak (L) and South Yolla Bolly (R)
Had a great ski down. Double check the video quality is on 720phttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ILZSFSEGcc
Got back to camp and prepared for another cold night
fighting with my air mattress.
Saturday, January 5, we decide to break camp, ski back to the Pass
and head home to deal with the Jeep issue.
I have the whole month off, but snowlbasta had only taken about two weeks off.
We still had time.
As I ski down to the Pass, I can see the Jeep. Still a little wary of our
decision to abandon the vehicle for a few days.
As I ski up, I'm looking at the Jeep. Looking for anything strange or
out of place.
The Jeep is backed into a parking spot. So I'm approaching it from behind
and a bit to the right.
As I get closer, I can see something is on the fender.
Even closer, and I can see the hood latch is open and the thing on the
fender is my winch remote switch.
"Are you serious?!" Yup - someone had used my winch.
As I came around the front of the Jeep, the winch cable is still strung out on the road.
A crappy pair of jumper cables is lying on the ground and the rubber
electric tower covers on the winch have been pulled off.
Like someone was trying to jump their vehicle with my winch.
I lift up the hood to see if my battery is still there.
The driver window is unzipped.
I can't remember where I put my wallet!
The Jeep was packed with tons of gear.
As I open the door, I'm fearing the worst.
Everything looks exactly how we left it. Lucky for us, the remote switch for the winch,
which is what they were looking for, was just behind the driver seat.
They didn't have to rummage through the vehicle to find it.
The only thing missing is my jack. You know, the one that comes with
a vehicle. Mounted in the engine compartment.
Where they thinking about stealing my tires?
Strange - I mean, who the Hull needs jumper cables, a winch and a jack all in one night?!
'Prolly just tossed the jack in their truck by mistake as they were leaving.
They were most likely too drunk to think about re-coiling the winch cable.
And they forgot their jumper cables.
It could have been much worse. My impression is just some needy folks
who were sloppy drunk.
Glad I could help out, even if I wasn't even there.
Will be parking at Cory's place from now on...should have taken him up on his offer...
We limped home in the broken Jeep and spent almost $1000 to get the clutch fixed.
Took several days.
Then it was back on the road for part II.
The full set of picshttp://www.flickr.com/search/?w=1174439 ... rip%202013