Jump to content
SonoranWanderer

Trail Report - 12/05: Walnut Canyon With Gila Crossing Option - 4x4 Moderate

Recommended Posts

@CAVU2 and I went out with @Ken Ford, @Franko, and @LaZorraRoja and run the FunTreks Walnut Canyon trail. Despite not running the intended the route, it turned out to still be a full and fun day.

 

The Gila River turned out to be flowing a bit high for everyone to cross so that option was not taken, except by me as an experiment. Oh and by another group of Jeepers who weren’t going to do it into that saw me run my Mojave across. More on the mild other Jeep group debacle in the follow-on comments.

 

Here are some initial pictures from the tail gunner:

 

78AFE7AB-CAC2-421A-8065-46C68C465405.thumb.jpeg.6532bfec6fc87ec93ecf3db262813d07.jpeg

 

3EB734BF-C736-44CF-BE46-2939F61DAE42.thumb.jpeg.b9f42e8609a26b0ae37da9ebc6df09f6.jpeg

 

C684C1E9-CF75-413B-A463-E5F4EBF0D55D.thumb.jpeg.64012126c40bb61d5f907c3dc3de225d.jpeg

 

995B266F-6DE2-4CA1-8965-4055066518B7.thumb.jpeg.6c26bd2fcaf1e23babc9242ca21a6aaa.jpeg

 

9EC6A3C0-81FE-4EEB-B0C6-9C548C14D2C0.thumb.jpeg.ac86a9542e2f755827ed0099c1794013.jpeg

 

4791A58B-0AA4-4146-AB49-46D6DB836C39.jpeg

 

53B6DD74-8974-438F-95A9-664B8909C7A0.jpeg

 

Edited by SonoranWanderer
Clean up formatting
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

612C69B1-7CA6-4904-9D02-B8E0A47CF7FE.thumb.jpeg.8f71e3bd7e102e556738f1d77d24e5bc.jpeg

 

Thanks @Sonoranrunner  more info and pics soon!  Great meeting the group and hope the return home was all safe!

 

 

4710FEFA-AAE6-4853-93B9-DFE45B201476.thumb.jpeg.22bdc632fdbdad5e3f6c5c3a2778876a.jpegD439E217-7EE8-4683-AE65-A1233F46DDCB.thumb.jpeg.35ca96e65423b6b7c7a7db472e5184ef.jpeg

ECC0D6F2-AB53-49D9-928C-F7FD286661B4.jpeg

B85CC923-F6D4-42C3-88B7-12A810DEAB19.jpeg

Edited by CAVU2
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't get to go today but at least I can live vicariously through the photos/vids, lol! 😎  Great pics and vids, one thing I can say is at least I got to watch a decent football game, Cardinals beating up all over the Bears! 

Edited by Trail Toy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So about the Gila river crossing and the other Jeep group...

The original plan was to cross the river and setup for lunch. Three weeks prior (11/13) @CAVU2 and I had run this same route and the river at this crossing was not even a foot deep with lots of flat open room to park and pull out lunch.

 

As we arrived at the river crossing, we came upon a group of three Jeeps, A JLUR on 40s, A JK (sport) on 35s and a JKU (I forget if it was an Rubi) also on 35s if I remember correctly. The JLUR guy said the river was running high and the had decided not to cross. Having just recently crossed it, we wanted to see for ourselves.  

@CAVU2 and I walked down and observed that indeed the water was significantly higher than our previous run. But knowing what the bottom likely looks like from seeing it dry and observing the very rough water texture, my opinion is that the water was likely 2-ish feet deep at the "rapid". We were hesitant ourselves at this point to take the group (more because of water speed than depth), but I decided to used my Mojave as the test since I was the only non-lifted jeep in our group. 

Marrin (spelling?), @LaZorraRoja's friend and passenger, decide to jump in and ride with me. My depth guess was a bit off, the water was about 3 ft deep (see @CAVU2's videos above) at the deepest point but with enough volume and velocity to push the backend of my gladiator downstream a little when I angled to cross the current.

Now at this point two things happened. Dude on 40's was possibly insulted (he thought it was too deep and here is an unlifted Gladiator charging ahead) because he suddenly went from worried to playing in the water. The other thing was that @CAVU2 made the wise decision after observing my crossing to abort any other crossings from our group.

I was concerned about recrossing at that location because I would have to cut the current upstream with my non-snorkeled air box opening right in the (water) impact zone. We made a decision to check the downstream crossing point about 15 minutes away to see if I could recross and rejoin or if we would have to meet up in Florence. Meanwhile and after we left the upstream crossing point, the other group had decided to all cross.

We met up at the lower crossing point which actually looked deeper due to the smooth water flow and no sound of a heavy rock hitting bottom when tossed in. Again my air box would be on the upstream side if I crossed. While pondering our options and preparing to eat lunch the other group caught up with me. This time the JL on 40s wasn't hesitant, he just dove right in and played around in the water again. He completed the crossing and then came back into the water and parked upstream off the main crossing route with his nose downstream. The water here was actually about 2 ft deep with a solid river rock bottom surface on the actual and correct crossing path (dry bank to nearest dry bank and then straight cross the tributary).

 

At that point the JKU crossed cleanly, and then the white JK crossed. This is where the disaster begins (see video attached to this post). The JK instead of following the correct and clear crossing path, decides to run a hair off course and run up the end of a tributary. Into the mud he sinks. No lockers, 35s on 20" rims with his front tires low on tread.

The JLUR tries twice to using a cheap tow strap (popping it the first time trying a kinetic pull), and then after tying knots and borrowing @CAVU2's tow shackle spins his wheels on the "good path" across the river. After two failed attempts they finally listen to what our group has been telling them, which is to winch from the dry bank. The JLUR finally goes onto the bank and pulls out his winch (which he has never used). IT took us a while to get the white JK to quit pinning his wheels which was only digging him deeper (his driver rear eventually was buried under water and mud), but once we got him in neutral, he was finally pulled out.

I think someone else has the rest of the recovery on video I quit recording since I still needed to make my plan to cross, which I eventually did.
 

 

Edited by SonoranWanderer
Correct typos
  • Like 2
  • Wow 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, SonoranWanderer said:

So about the Gila river crossing and the other Jeep group...

The original plan was to cross the river and setup for lunch. Three weeks prior (11/13) @CAVU2 and I had run this same route and the river at this crossing was not even a foot deep with lots of flat open room to park and pull out lunch.

 

As we arrived at the river crossing, we came upon a group of three Jeeps, A JLUR on 40s, A JK (sport) on 35s and a JKU (I forget if it was an Rubi) also on 35s if I remember correctly. The JLUR guy said the river was running high and the had decided not to cross. Having just recently crossed it, we wanted to see for ourselves.  

Kevin and I walked down and observed that indeed the water was significantly higher than our previous run. But knowing what the bottom likely looks like from seeing it dry and observing the very rough water texture, my opinion is that the water was likely 2-ish feet deep at the "rapid". We were hesitant ourselves at this point to take the group (more because of water speed than depth, but I decide to used my Mojave as the test since I was the only non-lifted jeep in our group. 

Marrin (spelling?), @LaZorraRoja's friend and passenger, decide to jump in and ride with me. My depth guess was a bit off, the water was about 3 ft deep (see @CAVU2's videos above) at the deepest point but with enough volume and velocity to push the backend of my gladiator downstream a little when I angled to cross the current.

Now at this point two things happened. Dude on 40's was possibly insulted (he thought it was too deep and here is an unlifted Gladiator charging ahead) because he suddenly went from worried to playing in the water. The other thing was that Kevin made the wise decision after observing my crossing to abort any other crossings from our group.

I was concerned about recrossing at that location because I would have to cut the current upstream with my non-snorkeled air box opening right in the (water) impact zone. We made a decision to check the downstream crossing point about 15 minutes away to see if I could recross and rejoin or if we would have to meet up in Florence. Meanwhile and after we left the upstream crossing point, the other group had decided to all cross.

We met up at the lower crossing point which actually looked deeper due to the smooth water flow and no sound of a heavy rock hitting bottom when tossed in. Again my airbox would be on the upstream side if I crossed. While pondering our options and preparing to eat lunch the other group caught up with me. This time the JL on 40s wasn't hesitant, he just dove right in and played around in the water again. He completed the crossing and then came back into the water and parked upstream off the main crossing rout with his nose downstream. The water here was actually about 2 ft deep with a solid river rock bottom surface on the actual and correct crossing path (dry bank to nearest dry bank and then straight cross the tributary).

 

At that point the JKU crossed cleanly and then the white JK crossed. This is where the disaster really begins (see video attached to this post). The JK instead of following the correct and clear crossing path, decides to run a hair off course and run up the end of a tributary. Into the mud he sinks. No lockers, 35s on 20" rims with his front tires low on tread.

The JLUR tries twice to using a cheap tow strap (popping it the first time trying a kinetic pull), and then after tying knots and borrowing @CAVU2's tow shackle spins his wheels on the "good path" across the river. After two failed attempts they finally listen to what our group has been telling them, which is to winch from the dry bank. The JLUR finally goes onto the bank and pulls out his winch (which he has never used). IT took us a while to get the white JK to quit pinning his wheels which was only digging him deeper (his driver rear eventually was buried under water and mud), but once we got him in neutral, he was finally pulled out.

I think someone else has the rest of the recovery on video I quit recording since I still needed to make my plan to cross, which I eventually did.
 

 

This was a great lesson (or reminder) of what NOT to do!!

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, SonoranWanderer said:

So about the Gila river crossing and the other Jeep group...

The original plan was to cross the river and setup for lunch. Three weeks prior (11/13) @CAVU2 and I had run this same route and the river at this crossing was not even a foot deep with lots of flat open room to park and pull out lunch.

 

...

 

I didn't want to make the original post TOO long, but the other group was unfamiliar with good recovery technique (obvious from my write up?). They were also unfamiliar with adequate recovery gear (and how to use it) and more importantly safety during recovery.  More than once someone from our group had to move some of their passenger/observers away from the lines incase of a snap as had already happened with the tow strap. @CAVU2 had to loan them gear before they ripped parts off the white JK trying to pull it.

Edited by SonoranWanderer
  • Like 3
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also while I cannot speak for the fellow who got stuck, I did observe the hulk consuming low quality domestic beer.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...