The tricks of the trade…

I find myself thinking about all the fun things associated with four-wheeling for me- the community, seeing cool off-road vehicles tackling the trail, and the accomplishment of tackling objects large and small. I find myself remembering how good it felt to successfully navigate “The Wall” on Spring Creek Trail just outside of Georgetown, Colorado. The Wall is an optional obstacle at the very beginning of the trail that is comprised of a steep rock incline with a tree in the middle. There are, as always, different lines you can take to get up the rock face.

So with a visual idea in your head of The Wall- I can now tell you about the first time I tackled the obstacle. It started with waiting in a line of built Jeeps, the vast majority of which were on 37s with and rear lockers. As the line of Jeeps creeper forward to the beginning of the obstacle, it was nerve wracking to see these guilt Jeeps struggling to get up the rock face with several requiring assistance from their winches looped around a rock at the top. It’s at this point I should tell you that Derek was in attendance on this trail journey, but he elected to bypass The Wall and assist with spotting from the top. Yes, you read that right: Derek was too scared to try The Wall! 😉

Anyway, I watched as Derek attempted to help the other Jeeps navigate the obstacle- with some drivers ignoring his suggestions and then getting stuck. Other navigators heeded Derek’s spotting suggestions and made it up without winch assistance, which is also known as “pulling rope”. I decided I was going to tackle the steep rock incline on the far left side with Derek acting as my spotter. After a really long wait (there was a debacle in which a winch wasn’t working on a stick Jeep which took about an hour to rectify!), it was finally my turn. I made eye contact with Derek, watched his hand signals, and modulated my throttle pedal as I inched forward.

As the rock wall started to take over the entire view out of my front windshield, I continued putting my blind faith in Derek’s spotting abilities. I kept squeezing the gas pedal toward the floor firmly, refusing to let my Jeep come to a stop. Amazingly, my properly aired-down BF Goodrich K02 35” tires did their job, and my Jeep slowly and surely climbed up the rock face. There was no pulling rope, no drama, and certainly no getting stuck. My choice of line on the far left coupled with my trust in my spotter and good gas pedal discipline allowed my Jeep on 35s to conquer The Wall with no issues! The lesson here is simple: if you find yourself tackling an obstacle that feels like it’s at the outer edge of your skill level, get a good spotter, really analyze what line you are going to take, and focus on using the throttle with full confidence in your vehicle’s ability. Now, that’s what I call some tricks of the trade.

Waiting in line

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