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Old 01-04-2016, 03:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unofficial Spectator thread

Last year during the main race we watched the race turn into a parking lot on Sledge (or whichever trail) and got bored with that after awhile and bailed. This year we want to catch some high speed action along with some gnarly crawling too. I was thinking of finding a spot not too far from the start so that we can catch most of the rigs come by instead of waiting so long only to see a few cars come by. Obviously abiding by the race course rules so we don't become an obstacle..
Any suggestions on a good viewing location?
Yes I know about the jumbotron but if I wanted to watch it on tv I'd stay home.
We're also bringing our rigs this year and want to hit some trails so any advice there would be cool as to what would be some good trails to hit and stay out of the way of the prerunning. Typical rigs, locked up on 37s.
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Until course map out probably impossible to say for certain, but as has been discussed before there are limited ways in and out of HT that can be properly controlled by HK so looking at prior maps should give you rough idea of somewhere not too far from HT. Perhaps out toward Melville maybe or all the way out by Pit 1.
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks I appreciate it. I'm sure we'll figure it out. Figured others could use some good info.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Best seat in the house that I have had for the last 2 years is volunteering. Gets you great access and usually you get to hear opps and whats going on around the race. The thread is just above or below this thread. Other than that I usually tell people the jumbotron is where its at. If not there then get up early get some good seats well off the course and bring a nice set of binoculars to watch the high speed stuff with. I can't think of a spot that gets you views of both crawling and high speed stuff with out binoculars.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So what's Plan B if El Nino turns the lakebed into a lake? If it hasn't already? Is this a rain or shine event?
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So what's Plan B if El Nino turns the lakebed into a lake? If it hasn't already? Is this a rain or shine event?
Some rain is great...to much too fast is bad. It is rain or shine. If you are camping get to the highest ground you can. Flash flooding is no joking matter.

Edit- I'm more worried about the 26 earthquakes over the last 24 hours.
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm more worried about the 26 earthquakes over the last 24 hours.
The earthquakes might roll some rocks around & change up the course Maybe a big canyon will open up in the dessert for another obstacle.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Best seat in the house that I have had for the last 2 years is volunteering. Gets you great access and usually you get to hear opps and whats going on around the race. The thread is just above or below this thread. Other than that I usually tell people the jumbotron is where its at. If not there then get up early get some good seats well off the course and bring a nice set of binoculars to watch the high speed stuff with. I can't think of a spot that gets you views of both crawling and high speed stuff with out binoculars.
Thanks for the plug for volunteering!! You are right, it's definitely the best seat in the house!! I've seen some amazing stuff and had some crazy experiences over the years volunteering.

If anyone is interested the link to the thread is in my sig, or just email me at [email protected]
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What do you guys that have been before think about taking a 45' Prevost bus and camping out away from HT? Will I be able to get in and out without getting stuck?
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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45 Prevost Bus getting stuck?
Stuck In traffic Saturday morning when a lot of people leave?
Stuck in sand when you get too far from HT?
Stuck in the mud if it pours rain?
Stuck in the desert when you high center it on a mound of dirt?
Stuck paying for the interior cleaning to get all the dust out?
Stuck with the fuel/rental fee when your buddys bail on you?
Stuck has many meaning!
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What do you guys that have been before think about taking a 45' Prevost bus and camping out away from HT? Will I be able to get in and out without getting stuck?
You will be fine taking that coach out, the earlier the better as flattest areas will be taken, don't pass Boone road and try to do a U turn or don't try to take it off road. Best area is right past bridge on left
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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So what's Plan B if El Nino turns the lakebed into a lake? If it hasn't already? Is this a rain or shine event?
I was curious about that also last year it was a mess down in the pits .Do they have another option for the pit location and Hammertown ?
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I was curious about that also last year it was a mess down in the pits .Do they have another option for the pit location and Hammertown ?
Should probably let somebody from HK answer, but realistically no. First, you need a clear, relatively flat area of decent size that's easily accessible to both crowds and to large vehicles. Second, you have to design a race course months in advance that works around that location. Third, you have to get BLM approval of the whole plan months in advance. Fourth, you have to start setting up that location weeks in advance of the event. Fifth, . . . Sixth, . . . Etc.
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply I just didn't know if they had an idea of maybe moving it closer to 247 up on higher ground. Guess we will find out once they post the construction pictures. Thanks again have a safe week out there if your going .
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply I just didn't know if they had an idea of maybe moving it closer to 247 up on higher ground.
A lot of that higher ground on the way in is private land. For instance, I think where everybody camps just over the bridge is still not public land. The public land doesn't start till a little ways farther down Boone Rd toward the lakebed.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply BJLOVER, we will be there.
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply I just didn't know if they had an idea of maybe moving it closer to 247 up on higher ground. Guess we will find out once they post the construction pictures. Thanks again have a safe week out there if your going .
Just got off the lakebed where I was helping to survey Hammertown, it's in the same place as always.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for the update.
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Old 01-22-2016, 05:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Get a race map and explore the course early. There are some hidden gems for spectators with good action. This will be our 5th year and we have our favorites all accessible with a stock Grand Cherokee and just a few minutes from Hammertown. Also ask the race teams where they are seeing the most action during prerunning, that is how we found our favorite spot
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Trying to help my father in law find some good views for the main event. He will be with a couple friends, they range from 65-70 years of age and are all still good a getting around as far as hiking goes. I sent him the link for the course maps so he can down load one. I gave him a couple spots to look for, back door, sledge hammer, chocolate thunder. I would like to give him some more options to look for on the map but I am not that familiar with the names of the trails or the good spots. I would say they will probly gravitate twards the crawling sections of trails, but the more options the better in case fatigue sets in. I will mention binoculars to him as well.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:28 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Backdoor, Chocolate Thunder, and Sledge Hammer are always popular and have the best access.

I like going up the back side of Clawhammer via Remote Pit 2A, then walking over to Wrecking Ball. If I understand the course correctly for this year, you would drive around Boulderdash towards Remote Pit 2A. You will have to cross the race course (like crossing a street), but you won't be on it for more than it takes you to go 20'. BE CAREFUL AND WATCH OUT FOR RACE CARS! Then head up the canyon past RP2A towards remote Remote Pit 2B. At N34 26.391' and W116 27.617' the road splits off to the right (south west). You head up the hill and park at N34 25.982' W116 28.121' (top). DO NOT GO PAST THIS PARKING AREA! Then its a 1/2 mile HIKE along the race course (STAY AWARE but there is plenty of room 50' off of the course to walk) to the top of Wrecking Ball.

There is always the possibility that access will be restricted so you need to follow the instructions of the volunteers you come into contact with!

I watched Robbie Gordon roll his car here...watched Shannon Campbell drive up it, turn around and drive down it, then turn around and drive up it again because he got lost or something. The "bypass" Shannon used to get around traffic his second and third time up Backdoor is legendary! Wrecking Ball is a great place, but not real easy to get to. On the upside you are off the race course except to cross it at a right angle once at RP2A.

Buy and map and follow the crowd is also an option.
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:36 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Sweet, good tips! Thanks
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:52 AM   #23 (permalink)
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There is always the possibility that access will be restricted so you need to follow the instructions of the volunteers you come into contact with!
I thought last couple years access back in by 2A has been limited.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:28 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I thought last couple years access back in by 2A has been limited.
It has been and it may be this year. I usually leave Hammertown at 6:00am to get to the top of Fissure to provide RELAY for the race. I would have to drive ON the race course for miles to get there, which is why we would leave BEFORE the race starts so we are well off of the course by the time the first car comes through. This is not going to be an issue this year and I'll actually be able to get off the hill in a reasonable amount of time for once.

The valley and Fissure is not part of the race course this year, except for having to cross RP2A. We won't even make it to RP2B to get to Fissure or the back side of Claw. The walk to Wrecking Ball is not difficult and I wasn't the only one who was there. It's (was) the best kept secret of KOH, except I think most spectators there walked up from the bottom, which is a long road to hoe!
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:32 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Looking for a little info on Melville Dry Lake bed....Is it dry?
I plan to camp there tomorrow night (Tuesday) thru Sunday. I will be arriving late Tuesday night, and I don't want to stay up all night getting the motorhome and trailer out of the mud! Camping on the south east end close to HT.
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