|Crystal Mountain Trip|
|September 14th, 2002
by Don Owens
Well folks we started out from Longmont with Don Owens as trip
leader and Andy Newcomb, Tom Crook in a yellow YJ, Eric Steenburn in
his tan YJ, Bob and Andree Gassert in a Suzuki Sidekick, Elaine
Allbrandt, Tammy Ellefson in a blue YJ, Jon Matson, Susan Allen from
Illinois in a red TJ, and Gail Straty, our tail gunner in a red YJ.
We started out from Longmont a little late waiting for the out
of town folks. But, we got going to meet Elaine and Tammy and Bob and
Andree in Masonville, then headed to the trailhead of Moody Hill. Once
there, we aired down, locked in the hubs, and off we went. The last
time I was on Moody Hill it had a lot of moguls in one section. Well,
the trail had been bladed and I didn't seem to remember the extra water
Wen we got to the turn off for Crystal Mountain 4WD road the
real fun begins. This portion of the road is rated a six, but one can
make it as easy, or as hard, as one wants to make it. Most of the
obstacles do have bypasses.
Starting out there are the frame twisters of really deep ruts.
Next is a rock step with three lines. The one to the right is the
hardest. Next is a 3 to 4 foot step that Tammy did the far right line
that has a hump before starting the climb. I spotted a short but more
vertical wall that another Toyota pickup was trying to climb,
unsuccessfully. As my Toyota is fully locked and has 11:1 low range, I
crept up and over it without spinning a tire. We all worked our way up,
despite the higher moisture in the soil from the three or four days of
heavy showers of much needed water. We did have a few stock open-diff
vehicles in our group, but no one took any of the bypasses.
We got to the top, but decided to have lunch ant the quartz
crystal mine to the south. I don't know why they were mining white
quartz. I suspect it was for ornamental uses.
When we got back to the clearing, I took a road from the south
that drops down the flank of Crystal Mountain to the valley below. I
would not recommend this route for full-sized vehicles or pickups, due
to the narrowness of the road, and some tight bends. There are two
steep 30 degree sections which an automatic transmission would require
standing on the brakes. At the bottom you will pass through two
possible mud holes. This year we have not had the water to turn them
into bottomless mud holes.
We continued on to the intersection of the Mountain subdivision Road and Moody Hill Road, where we aired up. At this spot the road down through the Mountain subdivision to County Road 44H is open. We all had a good 4-Wheeling time.