April 14th, 2000 - Hell's Revenge, Moab, Utah, USA
Kai is actually going the right way. This sign was located at the
fee booth at the entrance to the Hell's Revenge trail. Access to some
of the Moab trails crosses private land, and the land owners are profiting nicely.
Bill Caid, John Wessels, and Kerry Manning on the first approach.
This was my first Moab trail and as I followed Bob Ragain, in MogLite,
up this first approach, my passenger Tom Kuhn and I were wondering what we were in for.
At the top of the first approach we paused to air down and had a spectacular view
overlooking the town of Moab.
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS........ the sound of 32 tires with valve stems removed
while they drop pressure to 20 psi for better grip on the solidified sand dunes.
Follow the leader. Now all we have to do is figure out how the hell he got over there.
At Moab, what goes up, comes down, sometimes with your feet braced on the
dashboard so you don't fall forward through the windsheild.
Dan Johnson eases down the first of many steep inclines.
At our first good "photo op" site, I backed up to get some good pictures,
but didn't want to get too far back, because looking over my shoulder
I found the next step would be kind of hard to recover from.
Dan Johnson taking his crewcab up a big step.
MogLite with the canyon of the Colorado River in the background.
The snow covered La Paz mountains are lost in the clouds of the distance.
Bob Newsome and Dan Johnson pulling up for the first
group photo op with the Colorado River in the background.
We "circled the wagons" for a group photo op and then went over to Hell's Gate
to watch the Warn Jeep group beat themselves up trying to make the grade.
The Jeeps struggled so long trying to get up that
we had time for a leisurely lunch while we watched.
After the Jeeps departed the area, Kai went around to the base of the Hell's Gate
and made it look easy with the Unimoog 2. Lest you have any doubts,
this sucker is steep!
Not to be outdone, John Wessels followed along in the white 404. Kai is spotting
for the best line, as he did throughout the week, making the whole experience
a better one for us all.
After Hell's Gate, we continued our journey as the clouds started to break up.
If you don't think this is steep, note that you're looking at the complete top of
Bob Newsome's expedition, while standing several feet lower than the truck.
MogLite starts up Tip Over Challenge. I was too new to Moab to be concerned about
this one, but after driving up and then watching others, it became apparent that
this is not an easy obstacle. Dan Johnson has fond memories of losing his crawler
gears with a "Bang!" right here.
After Kai led us safely down the cliff to the road we looked down on earlier in the
day (picture # 4), we drove around to the base of Lion's Back. I just happened to be
standing around, reveling in the successful first day at Moab when Kai drove by and asked
if I'd like to go for a ride. Next thing I knew, I was looking over Mary Beesley's shoulder
as we were heading up this monster. The little cloud under the bill of Mary's hat gives you
an indication of the up angle.
Lest there be any doubt, I took another shot on the way back down.
Those little dots down there at the bottom are people. The ride up and back down wasn't too bad,
but turning around at the top was the scariest part of the whole week.
Dan Johnson's crewcab puts the sheer magnitude of the drop off in perspective.
Don't let the shadow on the other side of Dans mog fool you. There's a crack in
there big enough to swallow a mog without so much as a hiccup. Most vehicles leave a
lot of rubber on the first approach incline, as you can see from the black marks. The
mogs didn't seem to have any trouble. Driver and passenger pucker factor is pretty high, however :-)
Thanks to Kent Drummond for the great photos and trip report!