Lefthand Canyon - Mother Hill Cable Project

by Adam Mehlberg

On September 23, 2010 a few Trailridge Runners 4WD Club members met up with Karen and Lynette from the Boulder Ranger District to install a possible solution to the "no cable directive" for Forest Service route control. With the Mother Hill post and cable and restoration project completed earlier in September with money from the Jamestown Watershed Initiative's 319 Watershed Grant, the new cable would need to be covered for user safety before Mother Hill could be reopened.

So Gordon Howe, Gene King, Kerry Beach, Ray Comeau, Cindy Mehlberg and I brought the club trailer and Gordon's trailer up to Lefthand for a short project. Karen Talley and Lynette Ambrosio met us at the Lefthand parking lot and we headed up to the start of Mother Hill. From here we loaded the trailers with all of the 12 foot pieces of rubber hose that had been sliced down the middle and started up Mother Hill. Gordon made it past the first two obstacles with his trailer and then had to lock his jeep up to climb the last obstacle before reaching the top and turning around. Gene made it to the base of the third obstacle and parked there. Ray was behind Gene kind of crossed up. He planned on leaving his jeep sit there but the rear axle was leaking gear lube. Did I mention that Mother Hill is really steep.

Ray ended up hooking his winch up and backing his jeep off the extreme side hill to a more level spot to keep the rest of his gear lube in the axle. I had made it pas the first obstacle and pulled off to let Kerry by. He ended up stopping below Ray. Having just filled my tank, it was now leaking out of the fuel filler. Did I mention how steep Mother Hill is?

Kerry pulled forward to the next sort of level spot and let me pull up so I would have some gas left for the trip home. Now we could get started on the project.

Starting up at the top where Gordon made it to, we fed the split hose over the top cable. At each end we secured the hose with hose clamps. We worked in two teams, one putting the hose on the cable, the other attaching the hose clamps. Kerry and I had brought portable drills and bits so we could quickly tighten up the hose clamps. It was much faster than using a screw driver.

Karen went back down to the Forest Service truck to slice the remainder of the hose. She finished up about the time we were ready for more. This time I just took the trailer to the base of the steep climb and we carried the host up the short distance to the were ran out.

By about 12:30pm we had gotten all the hose installed. Gene finished the climb to the top where Gordon was and they continued on to complete the loop. Ray and Kerry turned around and headed back down to the main Lefthand 4WD road where we stopped for lunch. By 1:00pm we were on our way home. Hopefully this solution will work and all of the existing cable in Lefthand can be left in place with this modification.