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Standard Creek Deep Snow Run
#1
3/11

Standard Creek area

Brian
Ole

Temps were -11 in Ester but warmed up a lot in the Ester Hills.
We rolled out at 9 am.

left Ole's tow rig on the Old Nenana and drove a mile to Standard Creek. There was parking at the trailhead that we could have use.

Ole was chained up already and I was going to chain up only "if needed." As we drove the logging road it became increasingly evident that chains would be mandatory for today. Pulled off and chained up.

The usual winter trail I like was a beautiful dog sled trail this year....the first time ever. We bypassed this area, going farther down the main road...to where we usually pop back out. This road was not plowed....again, another first time for me. I lead the way up the road, working hard in deep snow. By the time we made the 1/4-ish mile to the actual play area, we were both overheating. After a quick break we were ready and Ole was in the lead.

He clawed up the snow, over bumper deep (mid thigh on me) snow. We came to an area where the snow was replaced by overflow...with a think layer of snow on top. The going got really easy. That is when Ole said "I don't have a clutch" and the he was going to "turn around" before inspecting. He jumped out to look, I stopped a ways up the trail from him to take pictures and walk over. That's when he said "I'm on fire!" We grabbed extinguishers...Ole hit the flames with a couple squirts and all was good....in terms of the fire. Now Ole was shut off, bound by the welded from and rear so he couldn't get tcase or tranny into neutral to restart the truck. We tried tugging and finally winched him around enough to get him into neutral. Once running he had to power shift into gear...but that gave him 1st gear only to drive back out. He couldn't build enough momentum or wheel speed, so got stuck. I couldn't get him to move back, so had to pass him in the deep powder and try to use me as an anchor to winch him forward. No good there either....he just pulled me back. So, we resorted to shovels. That did work.

I lead out, taking big sections of trail, then walking back to listen for Ole, you was trying to keep the RPMs down in 1st gear to help control engine temps. We were both still running hot, even with the trail broken.

He did get it into 2nd gear on the Standard Creek road (tried for 3rd which he called a "mistake!") and managed to get the tcase into 2wd which helped him drive.

Dropped the truck at the main pull off.
Went down and got his tow rig.

Winched the Ford onto his trailer, as with no clutch, there wasn't a safe way to finesse it on. Turned out his rear was driver's by 3 inches or so, so we put a strap on and tugged him over.

Took some pictures of the carnage.

Ole:
melted inner fender liner
melted slave cylinder and hose (that was the fire)

Snow is really deep.
chains were required!
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#2
Jeeze! Better luck next time man!
Sounds like steel braided lines and aluminum are needed.
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