Trip Report: Mica and Juju Mountain
The 2003 season is shaping up and well under way. On March 22, 10 Jeeps met at the parking lot. We reminisced about the half-day Jeep run two weeks ago when we pulled the bus out of the mud and went Jeeping' in two feet of snow. We wondered what it was going to be like today. After this winters cold and more snow then we knew what to do with, and now with the past weeks major melt down we were off to Mica Mountain. I advised the group not to air down because we didn't want to pop a tire bead off our rims if we needed to muscle through a section of snow.

At the trailhead we encountered mud. Were we going to get stuck before we began? The answer was no. We pressed on with our group of Jeeps. We were driving over a mixed bag of snow, mud, ice, and rocks. We slowly made our way to the top of Mica Mt. On the way we had to remove a few downed trees and limbs. As we got closer to the top we had to climb a section of road still covered with snow. Once I climbed the incline I could see the next rock obstacle. It was clear of snow and I made my way up and over the rocks with my CJ7 and up to the top of Mica Mt. Most of the Jeeps made it up after some guidance. It was turning out to be a great day and the sun was on our side so we stopped and ate lunch. After lunch we picked up the litter from other people who don't care about the land. In fact we saw so much trash dumped from local visitors perhaps the area needed to be targeted for a clean up.

After lunch we headed down the mountain and met a group of ATVers coming up. We waved and moved on. We came upon the beaver dam at the bottom of the mountain and made it through the water crossing. I could now see more snow in front of me and this was the last hill we would have to climb before the dirt road. I shifted into second gear and gave the Jeep more gas, my tires were biting in and then forward motion stopped. I backed up and stepped on the gas pedal again. This time making it about ten feet further up the snow covered road. Again I backed up and gave the Jeep some more gas breaking the snow with my tires and packing it down. I was still moving and I continued this forward motion all the way to the top until I was back on the dirt road. I had cut a path for the rest of the group and they climbed back onto the dirt road. With all The Jeeps back on the dirt road we headed for Juju Mountain.

As we headed up the road towards Juju Mt I could not help but think we had better go down hill because more than likely there would be pockets of snow and ice along the road. I was right as we headed in we had to watch were we placed our tires so we didn't get stuck in those snow pockets. Juju Mt road is a primitive jeep road, very rocky with lots of washed out sections. I carefully watched the terrain in front of me. I plopped into a Deep channel with about 3 foot high sides! A rock sticking in the frozen mud dented my CJ's sheet Metal, just a little ding in front of the rear tire. Tom followed my line. When he hit a large bump his battery came out of the battery tray. It landed upside-down in the engine compartment. The hot side grounded and discharged the battery in a flash. Literally! We had to up right the battery, strapped it back down and Paul gave him a jump-start with his Willys. But now Tom was stuck, really stuck. It would be best to winch out of that tricky section rather then get pulled back. Both Roger and Brandon were on snow with little room to pull. We used Rogers YJ as an attachment point for Tomıs winch and slowly winched tom over some rocks and out of the hole.

We guided everyone though the tough section. The brown water was rushing underneath our Jeeps and us. I lead the group on further down the road. When we came to the turn to go up slick rock hill we had to make a few passes at it because there was an ice lip about 2 feet thick. I had (and other people later) to climb over. Once I made it over that I headed up the slick rock hill there was a little path of snow on the middle section of the rock but nothing that would stop you. Other Jeeps followed up the slick rock and back down to the main dirt road. I had to get my nephew back on time so I had Brandon and Paul lead the group the rest of the way. (See the Website for pictures

Rich Banfield

See Paul's Story for more information.

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