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Old 11-30-2009, 08:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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History of the Hammers and Other JV Trails

We at Extreme Wheelers 4 Christ would like to add some history to each of the Johnson Valley trails on our web site map. It would be great to give recognition to those that put all the hard work into exploring and braking the trails we use.

We would like to know: who was the first to break the trail, what group or club they were with, and the date it was first broke. Any interesting stories or information about breaking the trails would be cool as well. (i.e. broke on 33’s, used Fissure Mtn. trail to access top of sledge…)

Thanks for any help and I will update this post with the info as it becomes available.

The Hammers

Aftershock
  • Summer of 1994
  • Chuck Shaner, VV4W Members
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers
Back Door
  • 2003
  • Jon Nelson, Larry McRae
Bender Alley
  • Lower – 2003, Tin Benders
  • Upper – April 2008, Rick Mooneyham
Big Johnson
  • 2001-2002
  • Jon Bundrant
Boulder Dash
  • Tim Florian, Matt Ruskow
Chocolate Thunder
  • 2005
  • John James, Mike Hendrix
  • Named after Mike’s intestinal issue at the time
Claw Hammer
  • Chuck Shaner, Mike Wickham
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers
Dirty Luv Double Up Elvis
  • 11/07/09
  • Scott Porter, Don McDonald
  • KOH pre run with Jeff Knoll & Mark Matthews
Fissure Mountain Trail
  • Chuck Shaner, VV4W Members
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers
FOH – Full of Hate
  • 2005?
  • Jason Berger
  • First unassisted - Tom Wayes
  • Broke mostly at night
FOL – Full of Love
  • Matt Ruskow
Gatekeeper
  • 2001 or 2002?
  • Julio Monroy, Kelly Lee, Tom Boyd, Tom Haus, Randy Stockberger, Don McDonald, Larry McRae
Highway 19, 20
  • 2004 or 2005?
  • Larry McRae,Walker Evans, Kelly Lee, Jon Nelson
  • Named after Walker's number, 20
Highway 21
  • John Reynolds, Scott Ellinger
Jackhammer
  • October 1994
  • Chuck Shaner, Mike Wickham, VV4W Members
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers
Martel
  • November 2009
  • Wayne Isrealson
Misery Mile
  • Brandon "Misery"?
Nightmare
  • 2007?
  • Grocery Getter Gang?
  • Named because the 3 or 4 trips to camp for parts lasted into the night.
Outer Limits
  • Chuck Shaner, Mike Wickham
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers
Resolution
  • Chris Ridgway, Randy Slawson, Eric “Nerple”
Short Bus
  • December 2006
  • Jeff Degnan, Keith Ratzburg, Kris Revallier
Sledgehammer
  • Sept. 1993
  • Chuck Shaner, VV4W Members
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers
SOS - Stickies on Sixties
  • April 24, 2009
  • Rick Mooneyham, Total Karnage Crew
Spooners Canyon Sunbonnet Pass Trail – from the plaque
  • September 1996
  • Chuck Shaner, Mike Wickham
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers
Turkey Claw
  • 11/22/07
  • Bobby & Tina Long, Odie ?, Corey Young, Larry Gipson, Billy ?
  • The name coming from breaking the trail on Thanksgiving
Wrecking Ball
  • Chuck Shaner, Mike Wickham, Doug Reynolds
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers
Soggy Lake Area

Crowbar Riffel Canyon Shaft Canyon
Cougar Buttes Area

BoulderBash
  • 2008
  • Mike Koher
Bullfrog
  • 2008
  • Mike Koher
  • Named after a Bullfrog rock formation
Cakewalk
  • 2009
  • Mike Koher
  • Named as a derogatory name
Do or Die
  • Late 2009
  • Mike Koher
Hammerdown
  • Sept. 2006 – is when we first ran it and called it ‘Hole in the Wall’
  • Extreme Wheelers 4 Christ (EW4C)
Josh's Notch
  • 34° 29.526'N - 116° 49.299'W
  • Started in Sept. 2006, completed May 2009
  • Extreme Wheelers 4 Christ (EW4C)
  • Josh walked back to camp and said he needed help changing a flat tire, 2 winch's and a Hi-Lift later he was out of the notch and we were able to change the flat.
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Last edited by DCuzzz; 10-04-2015 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I broke FOL- dont remember date

I also broke Boulderdash with Tim Florian -dont remember date

Misery here on the board was the first to fully complete Misery Mile- dont remember the date
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCuzzz View Post

Spooners Canyon
Spooners Canyon was broken by Pete Griffith (me) and Chris Pepin on 12/30/08. We're not with any group or club, exactly. People call us the Break Bros.

Here's the story: http://www.jeepaholics.com/support/t...TOPIC_ID=59033
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Contact Chuck Shaner of Victor Valley 4 Wheelers about the traditional trails.

I had the pleasure of having Chuck as my codawg 4 years ago leading Outer Limits. He had stories of just about every rock.

Amazing day.


Spooners
I'll dig up the names of the two guys that thought they were on OL and got half way through. They called it Spooners because that's what they had to do to keep warm. Survey Boy, Hendrix and a few other Benders pulled them off on New Years morning 2009.

The first guys to run it all the way through were myself and Joe Lelah. We came back a couple weeks later. But how can you top a name and story like Spooners.

Great trail

But how can you top a name and a story like that.

Edit, refer to the post above for the two that broke everything possible on their Jeeps
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought turkey claw was done by the longfield clan?
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Bender Alley-was first run in 2003 by the Tin Benders. At that time we were only able to drive the lower portion. The upper portion of the trail had a waterfall that was completely impassible. After many years of working on the fall it was finally driven by Easy Rick last year (I believe).

Chocolate Thunder-was scouted by myself in 2005 while I was riding my quad. John James was the first to make it to the top. The name came from an intestinal issue I was suffering from at the time.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll delete all the rest of my random posts and consolidate here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCuzzz View Post
The Hammers

Aftershock
VV4W

Back Door


Bender Alley
Tin Benders - Upper Fall by Rick Mooneyham

Big Johnson
Jon Bundrant

Boulder Dash
Tim Florian and Rockware Matt

Chocolate Thunder
Mike Hendrix and John James

Claw Hammer
VV4W

Elvis
  • 11/07/09
  • Scott Porter, Don McDonald
  • KOH pre run with Jeff Knoll & Mark Mathews
Fissure Mountain Trail
VV4W

FOH – Full of Hate
Tom Wayes and crew

FOL – Full of Love
Rockware Matt

Gatekeeper
IE4W

Highway 18
Never heard of it. 20 was broken by Walker Evans. 19 (lower part of same canyon) was broken later. 21 (upper part past the bailout) was broken by JR and Scott Ellinger.

Highway 19


Highway 20
Walker Evans

Jackhammer - from the plaque
  • May 1997
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers
Misery Mile

Nightmare

Outer Limits
VV4W

Resolution
Chris Ridgway, Randy Slawson, Eric "Nerple"

Short Bus

Sledgehammer - from the plaque
  • April 1997
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers

SOS

Spooners Canyon
Pete Griffith and Chris Pepin found it and spent the most time there
Dave Cole and Joe Lelah first to drive it

Sunbonnet Pass Trail – from the plaque
  • September 1996
  • Victor Valley Four Wheelers

Turkey Claw
Bobby Long and crew

Wrecking Ball
VV4W

Soggy Lake Area

Crowbar -
  • 01/02/09 Lower, 10/24/09 Upper
  • Spinnin’ Fours
Riffel Canyon
  • 2006
  • The Men in Black (M.I.B.)

Shaft Canyon
  • 11/24/09
  • Spinnin’ Fours

Cougar Buttes Area

Bullfrog

Cakewalk

Hammerdown
  • Sept. 2006 – When we first ran it and called it ‘Hole in the Wall’
  • Extreme Wheelers 4 Christ (EW4C)
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think SOS (sticky's on sixties?) was broken by EZ Rick and the Total Karnage crew at this years TB Jambo. I'm sure someone will chime in to confirm/deny that.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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FOH-Jason Berger(Scherer's co-pilot) claims finding it while taking a dump. Ill let him chime in on the whole story.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Highway 19 and Highway 20 were broke the same day. We originally called them Upper and Lower Highway 20. 20 was Walker's number. There were 4 rigs and a lot of bodies. I was the first one up, then Walker, Kelly Lee and Jon Nelson. I think it was in 04 or 05.
Gate Keeper was found by Laura Monroy and broke by Julio Monroy, Kelly Lee, Tom Boyd, Tom Haus, Randy Stockberger, Don McDonald and myself. Probably in 01 or 02.
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Crowbar and Shaft were originally scouted and mapped by Mark Matthews of the Spinnin' Fours so I'd give him most of the credit for breaking these. Yes we did assist him in making them into trails but these are his babies we were just his day labor workers. So I'd say it was Mark Matthews and the Spinnin' Fours that did them. He really deserves most of the credit for keeping us on track and moving forward with them.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Could you please change Rockware Matt to Matt Ruskow?

Rockware Matt is a different person and different company! Just a funny coincidence.

Edit: Misery Mile was first driven by Brandon, who goes by Misery on PBB

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Old 12-01-2009, 06:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I went and checked out your trail maps of the area, they are really cool. I did notice that you show Riffel Canyon as a dead end but we took it all the way across to about 2/3's up on Crowbar. At that point you can either go up or down Crowbar. Just don't forget that if you go down you have to go down Ballerina Rock.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Concerning the Victor Valley trails, Chuck Shaner is the only member to work on every single trail and every single work party. Sledgehammer and Fissure Mtn were first, then Aftershock which was completed in the summer of 1994. that's when I joined the club and we started Jackhammer October 1994.
Our purpose was to expand our annual event Fun In the Desert by adding a trail or two each year. Keep in mind, we had to build each trail so our customers had at least a chance of making the trail without much damage and of course almost everyone had 33s or 35s.

By 1995 our work parties had gotten much smaller with 3 to 5 guys about all that would show up and October 95 we started Sun Bonnet. We built Sun Bonnet itself first and later added Hell"s Gate and the slide. About the same time, I purchased a topo map of the Hartwell Hills and Chuck and I hiked all the possible canyons, cherry picking the best ones that would give us the most trail for the least work. Some of the canyons would have required a lot of work to get a Jeep on 33s and we never built them but since then others have run them and named them. After Sun Bonnet, we built four more, about then it was the year 2001, my kids were young teens and we started traveling baseball every weekend. Kids first. I'd like to add more later on the last four.
By the way, Chuck and I will be going out this Saturday Dec. 5th to repair Jackhammer's ridge. If you want to help fix the ridge, we'll be at the bottom around 8:30AM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the info, keep it coming.

I will make corrections and additions as time permits. I would like to get as many of the names as possible in the groups that broke the trails and pin down the dates as close as possible as well.

After reading Pete Griffith’s great write-up on Spooners I’m now in search for more original trail breaking write-ups. I think it would also be cool to get pictures of the original trail breakings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocksurfer View Post
I went and checked out your trail maps of the area, they are really cool. I did notice that you show Riffel Canyon as a dead end but we took it all the way across to about 2/3's up on Crowbar. At that point you can either go up or down Crowbar. Just don't forget that if you go down you have to go down Ballerina Rock.
Last weekend we went and did Riffel for the first time, what a cool trail, it will be a classic. I did map it all the way out and beings it was dark by the time we got to Crowbar we headed down. What a blast, can’t wait to do it again.

Thanks again everyone and post some trail breaking pictures if you have them,
Doug
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Upper Bender Alley work day.
YouTube - Bender Alley
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Here is a picture of Turkey Claw trail, Thanksgiving 2007. Billy is on the left driving the crew cab, he broke a rear CV shaft. I am the bald guy in the middle of the picture, Tina Long is in the red hat, Larry Gipson is next to her, Odie is in the Toyota truggy, and Bobby Long is next to him. There were some vehicles that went half way up the canyon, but Odie and Bobby were the first ones to go all the way up that day.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Short Bus

December 2006

Jeff Degnan, Keith Ratzburg, Kris Revallier

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Old 12-02-2009, 12:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Shortbus? Where's it at?
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Shortbus? Where's it at?
It is a wash or two before the entrance to Backdoor. It is a very short trail which is why we named it that. It does have great potential to continue it but an exit becomes an issue.



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Old 12-02-2009, 01:25 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I think ShortBus might be the same trail we call Front Door.

There are two canyons on the mountain near camp to the left of Backdoor.

One has a two huge waterfalls. I've made it up the first and half way up the second.

The other has big holes and loose rock. I think JR and Scott Ellinger have made it the furthest.

Dave
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:26 PM   #22 (permalink)
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FOH
JB was the first to look at it while going to take a dump. We came back with a collaberation of the FOH crew and the BTG guys. If you could put Team FOH, that should cover it. TW
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I am interested in the Cougar buttes trail you call Hole in Rock. Greg Jevne, Roy Dew and myself busted a trail over there back in what must be 2002. We called it Holy Rock due to the hole in the rock at the entrance to the trail. I am betting this is the same one. We never made it go all the way through. Next time we are together I am interested to see if its the same trail. It was pretty easy but fun. At the time there was a lot of green in that canyon. It was uncommon for the area.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Wayne Isrealson Put the Name "Martel" on that trail we pulled the car out of a couple weeks ago.

I have scouted a half dozen more, but riding them on my bike don't count. I need a car.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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the hole in the wall(hammerdown) at the buttes is prolly the same one, it was a single track back in th 90's, we used it in our motorcycle trials events

bob

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