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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
These trails are in the Soggy Dry Lake area, in the Fry Mountains. Both trails are about equal to Aftershock in difficulty if the easiest route is taken (except for the waterfall entrance to Crowbar, which has only been winched, so far)... there are plenty of alternate lines to play on. Many thanks to my fellow Spinnin' Fours for all their hard work opening these trails!

Crowbar
First run 4/23/05

The dramatic entrance to Crowbar is a 12' - 15' very steep, very slick (water worn smooth) waterfall. I am sure that someone will drive it (and earn the right to name it) someday, but for now it has only been winched.

It is steeper than it looks in this picture.




This well built Sammy buggy with Toyota axles gave up after several tries. There was NO traction on the slick rock.




The first ascent was me on the winch.




This was a tight spot for the Toyotas. You can see where we used a crowbar to pry a large rock off of the wall near the passenger side door. This rock would have taken out my A pillar and gave the trail its name, Crowbar.




The canyon is tight and twisty, even for Sammys and Jeeps.



The canyon is different from the Hammer trails... many of the rocks are set in sand like a Japanese rock garden... you pull up to it with your rear tires and just dig in. This makes some obstacles that look straight forward, much more difficult.



Nice flex, full width axles...



Continues on next post...

Note: This post is a copy of my original post on the Tin Benders BB, 12/2/05.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Crowbar Continued...

The last major obstacle before the bail out.



It is tight, even for a Sammy.



Glad that I took off the top!



Above this point there are no tracks, not even Motorcycle tracks.



The upper canyon is going to take a lot of work to allow anything but a buggy to pass.



Hammer time!



-First trip, up to the 1st bail out, 4/23/05:

-Second trip, in the 1st bail out, finish the lower canyon, and out the upper bail out, 5/21/05:

Next post: Shaft Canyon

Note: This post is a copy of my original post on the Tin Benders BB, 12/2/05.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Shaft Canyon

This trail is similar to Crowbar, but shorter. I thought it was easier, but others thought it was harder... This canyon is named for a vertical mine shaft located half way up, near the end of the main trail.

We bypassed the lower canyon. It, like Crowbar, has a dramatic entrance, this time with a rocky notch that has the potential to take out a lot of sheet metal.

We probed the lower canyon entrance last spring and decided to bypass it and drop into the main canyon a few hundred yards above.

Here Vince probes the lower canyon (last spring) and then goes back down (it was an exploration trip).







Now for the 10/22/05 trip: We bypassed the extreme hardcore lower canyon and dropped into the canyon.

This is the first obstacle.



The Buggy tried this slot, but didn't fit.



A Sammy did fit, and make it!





Continued in next post...

Note: This post is a copy of my original post on the Tin Benders BB, 12/2/05.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Shaft Canyon Continued...

Some fun ledges and climbs.





This notch is the crux of the route, and the last difficult spot before the moderate Cross Mountain Route drops into the canyon at the vertical mine shaft.





And now... for some maps!

Here is a map of the Fry Mountain trails, revised 8/09:



Click here for a full res version of this map, suitable for printing.


Directions to Soggy Dry Lake, Johnson Valley OHV area

From Victorville, exit the I-15 at Bear Valley Road, head East. Pass out of Victorville and enter Apple Valley. Continuing East, intersect Hwy 18 and head toward Lucerne Valley. In Lucerne Valley (the last gas if coming from this direction) stay on the same road, which becomes Hwy 247 as Hwy 18 turns South toward Big Bear.

Head East out of Lucerne Valley for about 13 miles and watch for Bessemer Mine Road (at approximately milepost 31.5). There will be a large BLM Johnson Valley OHV Area sign on the right.

Turn left on Bessemer Mine Road (well graded dirt) and head North for about 3.5 miles to Soggy Dry Lake.

Here is a map of the area:



This is a good off road route from Means Dry Lake to Soggy Dry Lake: About 30 minutes driving time with speeds varying from 10 mph on the whoops to 55 mph on the smooth sections and as fast as you dare on Melville Dry Lake.


Click here for a larger version of this map, suitable for printing.

Recommendations/Updates
(Updated 9/21/06)

I used to say that Crowbar is too tight for full sized rigs. I thought that an Early Bronco is about the maximum width you would want to squeeze up some of the obstacles. The So Cal Big Dawgs proved me wrong at the Tin Bender Jamboree 2006! They got all of their full size rigs up, nice job guys! Of course, body damage was mandatory!






I would recommend that if a full size wants to try Crowbar, walk the trail first. It would only take 30 minutes round trip from the waterfall to the upper bail out, and may save much frustration and body damage.

Full size vehicles could probably do Shaft Canyon (not including the extreme lower canyon entrance). I would still suggest walking it first, it is a very short trail.


Ballerina Rock is driven!

Shane (Whitebrowithafro) was the first to drive the waterfall entrance, 12/10/06, and earned the right to name it. He called it Ballerina Rock because it makes you dance around on it to get up. Unfortunately the link to the video is broken! Outstanding job Shane... stones of steel!



Suggested minimum vehicle requirements:

Toyotas, Jeeps, Early Broncos and similar rigs
33" tires (you will be doing a lot of rock stacking, 35's would be better)

Samurai's
31" tires (you will also be stacking rocks a lot, 33's would be better)

Full Size
Expect body damage, walk the trail first!

All Rigs
At least one rig must have a winch in good and safe working order and a couple of tow straps and clevis' to winch the entrance waterfall on Crowbar. We have found that it is quicker to have the first rig up winch the rest up.
2 lockers
crawler gears highly recommended
rock sliders highly recommended
Hard Tops should be removed (especially 4Runners)!
Body Damage is likely

If anyone does these trails, please let me know what you think...

Note: This post is a copy of my original post on the Tin Benders BB, 12/2/05.

Edited to update, 12/03/09
 

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Discussion Starter #9
willyswanter said:
So your saying when I drive that waterfall next weekend I get to name it? :flipoff2:
JeepRecoveryTeam said:
not if I go out there tomorrow
You drive it, you name it... but it won't be easy! It is really steep and really slick. I think it would be very easy to end up on your lid.

TruckTrader got some Krawlers just for that obstacle and all he managed to do was bend a rear lower link.

Good luck, be safe, and take pictures!
 

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How far is Soggy from Means without going on 243?

I'm wondering if it would be feisable to add it to the Jambo which will be based out of Means dry lake bed.

If so would the Spinnin Four's be willing to lead it?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am thinking 30 - 45 minutes by dirt road... It would have to be an 8AM start from Means. I plan to scout the best/fastest route on New Years.

I have been trying to get commitments from the 3 rigs and 6 people required to lead the run... I am almost there.
 

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sweet pics and a great write up!

thanks for sharing.

you mentioned fullsize rigs. what about an S10 with 124" WB on 37s (dual locked, winch, etc...) the body should be the same as the yotas, but the WB might kill me. I usually go out west once a year and love to see more difficult trails each time. I should have an exo by next spring/summer so that should help.

:smokin:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
1TFROT said:
sweet pics and a great write up!

thanks for sharing.

you mentioned fullsize rigs. what about an S10 with 124" WB on 37s (dual locked, winch, etc...) the body should be the same as the yotas, but the WB might kill me. I usually go out west once a year and love to see more difficult trails each time. I should have an exo by next spring/summer so that should help.

:smokin:
I can't say for sure, but it is possible... The red Toy with full width axles shown has a 116" wb (but a flat bed, which helps). My main concern for Full Size rigs is width.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Im4yotas said:
I'll be out there on New Years and would really like to see these trails. Think I could tag along in my buggy?
Sure... I am up for running the trails if we can get 3 or 4 rigs to go.
 

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Looks like a walk in the park bro.... Randy and I'll head out there for a little exploration to see the "real deal" unless those are the "toughest pics" ;)
 

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whitebrowithafro said:
Looks like a walk in the park bro.... Randy and I'll head out there for a little exploration to see the "real deal" unless those are the "toughest pics" ;)

hey shane, did you think up a name for it yet?! i gotta get back down there with rustynuts. good times.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
whitebrowithafro said:
Looks like a walk in the park bro.... Randy and I'll head out there for a little exploration to see the "real deal" unless those are the "toughest pics" ;)
As I said, it is about like Aftershock in difficulty (except for the waterfall entrance). Buggies like yours and Randys won't be challenged by the easiest lines, but you guys always seem to find fun alternate lines, and there are plenty of those on this trail... give it a try, something new...

Our intent was not to keep up with the trend of harder and harder trails, but to come up with a couple of trails that the average rockcrawler can do and probably not break anything...

There is also the bragging rights for being the first to drive the waterfall! I guarantee you, the waterfall WILL get your attention... (take pictures)

:D
 
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