September 18-19th, 1999 - Slaughterhouse Gulch
near Bailey, Colorado
What a sight ! A group of 12 Pinzgauers making a historical moment by gathering the largest group of individually owned Pinzgauers in the US so far in history!
The Pinzgauer lineup.
An "army" (indeed, pun intended!!) of 710Ms, as well as an 712M (6x6) and yours truly's 710K. This was arranged to be the "boot camp" for the Rocky Mountain Pinzgauers, during September 18 & 19. Boot camp because we have a lot of new owners, needing to test their newly aquired toys and find their limits.
An Army of Pinzgauers.
The old timers, myself included (!), found some new outer limits as well.
Per's Pinzgauer in the woods.
Don Heiden, our designated trail master, picked a trail with a great variety of challenges to learn from, namely the Slaughterhouse Gulch, near Bailey. The trail had it all, rock climbing, mud, off-camber sections, extremely narrow sections causing scratches on my 710K (!) etc.
Donna Roark at the wheel, with Don Heiden.
With a meeting time at 10am by The Fort restaurant, we headed down (up?) Hwy 285 to the trail head...
where Don had scouted out a suitable camping spot during a pre-run. After setting up camp, it was time to go play !
Per's 710K at the campsite.
One challenge was crossing a deep rut at one section of the trail, which made for a superb Kodak moment, when the Pinzgauers lifted their right rear wheels about 3 feet up in the air.
A little air time.
Don Heiden crosses the rut, with Ron Appelhans adding a counter weight.
A little help.
Steve Hale makes the crossing.
Al Fink tries a different approach.
A different path.
Sure enough, one participant, Al Fink, also managed to lay his Pinzie on it's side!!!!! No one hurt, only Al's pride.
Al tips his Pinzie over.
With a little help...
Setting the Pinzie back up.
Many hands make light work...
Back on the wheels.
Back on it's wheels again.
Another section had about 100 yards of uphill muddy trail, ending in a pit of mud, just as you need to climb a 2-3 foot dirt "wall", getting out of the pit.
Jim Walters' 6x6
This proved to be a real challenge, until Jim Walters did a little digging and then took his 6x6 into the pit, and sure enough he made it through !!!!!
Jim tackles the mud pit.
The 6x6 makes it look easy.
Jim Walters' 6x6
The 4x4 Pinzgauers made it through, too.
4x4 in the mud.
Some off-camber sections had us hanging on "for dear life", but nobody flipped their toys...
Off camber road.
only wheels became airborne when getting opposite wheels into deep ruts and holes on the trail.
Jim Walters gets a little air, too.
Saturday night was an evening of cooking, socializing and exchanging ideas and experiences with the Pinzgauers. The suggestion of becoming a "real" organized club, within the Colorado Association of 4WD Clubs, was accepted by all and we will get this organized as soon as possible. More about this later.
Sunday morning came with heavy clouds above us. It was decided to run the trail again, only this time from the opposite end. To our surprise, several spots which were no problem Saturday, now presented themselves as a challenge, not encountered going the other direction. One spot created a severe off-camber situation, which provided some "forest lubrication" to the canvas tops of the trucks, when they were rubbing against the trees while at an angle of about 30-40 degrees of tilt !
We were back at camp by Noon, and several of us started the trip home. About 3 Pinzgauers continued to play in the afternoon, in and around a major mud bog. Of course, Don Heiden "had" to get stuck, but was rescued by the other Pinzies. That afternoon, snow started to fall in the area.
Everybody made it home safely and surely had a great time getting to know their Pinzgauers. We are sure to get out again soon, next time perhaps with the Moggers to show off our new skills !!!!
Rocky Mountain Pinzgauers
Thanks to Mike Roark & Per for the photos.