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August 2022 Dusy-Ershim Adventure Photos

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@Mac Ruiz, @stockjeep and myself are back from the Dusy-Ershim... what a trail!


i have to sort through a bunch of photos, but here's a couple to get us started...



sign at the North end (finish-line for us) of the trail:




Wayne climbing a portion of the infamous Thomson Hill:





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a pano from camp on our last night:



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beautiful scenery already just coming into the Courtright reservoir area.




weird building at Courtright.






looking down stream while crossing the dam.




the official start of the Dusy-Ershim!




no time to warm up, just head for the sky straight away.






top of the slab, looking back at the reservoir.




plenty of dust on the trail, but i couldn't even imagine how difficult it would be when wet.






most of the trail weaves through very dense forest. 






passing by "the bearded man".




Wayne getting into the challenging stuff on Thompson Hill.




Thompson Hill is an exceedingly steep, seemingly never ending pile of rocks and dirt. everything from bowling-ball to 40" tire sized boulders shift constantly in the baby-powder soil as you scramble towards the top. 




climbing the hill is much like a toddler trying to find the edge of the McDonald's play area ball-pit. Wayne and i both had to winch and stack to make it to the top.


anti-stacking purists can relax, the entire obstacle changes from one rig's attempt to the next, there's no evidence left of our having re-arranged the rocks in any useful order!




the Dusy is often compared to the Rubicon, however beyond the fact that they share somewhat similar views of the Sierras, i found them to be completely different animals. the 'Con is like a constant extreme rock crawl, where this was more like a really long extreme trail with plenty of difficult rock crawls mixed in.




the Dusy is also much more remote, both the trailhead and finish are 2 hours from the nearest one-horse town and there's absolutely nothing but forest, mountains and small lakes on the trail. the Rubicon has 3 entrances and cell phone signal at least some of the time, and people run it nearly daily. if you break down on the Dusy, it could be several days before someone came by.






Mac led the first day, i led the second, and Wayne wrapped it up for us on the third day.




some areas had more sandy soil, but much of the roads were black powdery dirt (between the boulders!).




the trail crosses several small meadows as well.




Mac definitely had the right rig for the trail - a 2 door and 37's. he'd also already run the Dusy many times.




Wayne also had the short-wheelbase thing going for him in his TJ, but had to work harder in many places to avoid diffing-out with only 35's.




i don't think there's more than 100ft of straight trail on the Dusy. it's constant turns and lots of those are tight ones between treese and/or boulders. my 4 door was mostly at a disadvantage with all the tight spots, though the 37's helped keep the belly off most of the obstacles.






even when not climbing, dodging, or articulating, there are still plenty of just plain bumpy sections that keep you jostling around in your seat.




there's also quite a supply of "inconveniently placed" boulders.




the forest would thin out briefly at the tops of some climbs.




which rewarded us with great views of the surrounding peaks.




we ran across 3 downed trees in the trail. i was able to move one that had broken up into pieces, and fortunately the other 2 were by-passable. a chainsaw would not be a bad idea on this run - there are many places with such thick forest that there'd be no way to get around a large downed log.




more boulder fields!






Wayne getting out to check the way on Divorce Rock.




it's not a major obstacle, but does provide a little pucker!




more tight forest squeezes!




getting close to the end there are several stellar viewpoints.








the descent during the last hour or so of the trail is really challenging. IMO, it's worse than going up Thompson Hill, mainly because there's a real possibility of can-opener-ing a door on some of the tight turns between large rocks.




nearly done!




that's it, we made it! here's the sign looking back at the north end of the trail




we made really good time since there were only 3 of us, averaging 5 to 6 hours of intense wheeling each day for 3 days.




we were treated to spectacular 360 degree views at the last night's camp.






personally, i liked the Dusy better than the Rubicon. they are equally challenging trails, but in very different ways. the Dusy being much less traveled was appealing to me, and the overall vibe is just more chill even though you're still wheeling your ass off for 3 to 4 days on either trail!


it was great to also not see a single scrap of trash, and very few bypasses or widened trail areas. the Dusy is a pristine, difficult, man and machine testing overland experience.

Edited by theksmith
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Excellent trail report!!! And pictures. That's God's country right there, absolutely beautiful!

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Oh, and I forgot to ask, did any of you need to use the extra fuel you packed?

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55 minutes ago, dzJeepChic said:

Oh, and I forgot to ask, did any of you need to use the extra fuel you packed?


great question!


Wayne added his 5 gallons early on just to get the weight off the back, Mac i think made it without any extra. my low fuel light came on just before the end so i added my 4 gallons then. i could have probably made it to the gas station with just 1 extra gallon though.

Edited by theksmith
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Loved the trip report Kris.   Looks like a GREAT time to be had there.  ;)

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I agree!  Great trip report and great pics!  Thanks for sharing!!! Glad you all had fun and made it safely through!!

smiles, ladybug

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