Georgia Pass / Wheeler Lake Trip

by Adam Mehlberg

The Clubs July 8th and 9th Easy / Difficult joint trip went off mostly to plan. In attendance was Gail Straty, Mike Moore and a friend of his, Ray Comeau and family, Steve Woodrum, Hal and Jan Riggs and family, and myself. We began with the Gold Run and Humbug Hill 4WD roads near Breckenridge for the Easy trip on Saturday. Entrance to the Gold Run road is now through a housing development that is being built. The old route through the Breckenridge Golf Course is no longer public accessible.

Mike Moore's Grand Cherokee had a starting problem after our first stop, so he headed back to Frisco to have it checked out. After lunch we connected with the Georgia Pass 4WD road through Georgia Gulch. At the top of Georgia Pass the Riggs and Mike Moore's friend headed down to Fairplay. Gail Straty took over as leader for Glacier Ridge and we got started as an afternoon thunderstorm was crossing the area. Our trip along the ridge above timberline had a little extra excitement to it. As we started down to SOB hill the rain and hail stopped and we had some sunshine again. Getting down SOB didn't take us long. The rocks are large, and would take some work to climb up, but going down was just a matter of placing your tires in the right spot.

Once again our group split up and only Ray and his family and I headed back over Georgia Pass to meet up with Greg Berry, his parents, Larry and Edith Burch, and Keith Hilmer to camp for the night. The next morning the meeting place was in Fairplay at the Fairplay Inn. A few more friends of Greg's joined us to round out the group for the Wheeler Lake trip. With no one at the meeting spot to do Mount Lincoln and Mount Bross, I opted to tag along with Greg's group.

After airing down at the Montgomery Reservoir dam we started up to be met by the first obstacle almost immediately. The wedge rock now has two distinct routes, one easier and the other harder, of course. Just beyond this obstacle is another "crack" style rock obstacle. This one allows you to get some air. The rest of Wheeler Lake 4WD road is rocky, with some mud holes until you get to the climb up to Wheeler Lake itself. The final challenge is much harder than it use to be. The boulders and loose rocks are still there, but now the first switchback has a large multi stepped rock outcropping to negotiate. We all made it up without much delay and were at Wheeler Lake for lunch.

After lunch, some went fishing, others hiked around looking for the remains of the old mines. Larry and Edith even hiked up to upper Wheeler Lake. The afternoon was warm and sunny, a perfect day of four wheeling. After a few brooky's were caught those of us that remained regrouped and started down. At the main obstacle just below the lake we met a group of young four wheelers in lifted Toyota's working on the obstacle. Our group stopped and watch for a few minutes, then we sat back and waited as there was no way to get past them, and they seemed intent on trying to get over the obstacle. Of course we arrived as the first of five was working on the rock steps. After a while the second in line tried, then the third. Finally someone made it. One and two were pulled up and the last two were worked over the obstacle. They all parked just above the obstacle and we descended past the steps and headed out.

Though the trip didn't go completely as planned, we made things work out. It was a great weekend of four wheeling around Breckenridge with the club and guests.

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