Rubicon Trip To Remember [Archive] - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

: Rubicon Trip To Remember


rubirobv
06-21-2009, 11:43 PM
Our group recently made a weekend trip to the Rubicon. We had two Broncos , two YJs, a CJ7, a Toyota 4runner and my JK. We met at the Loon Lake trailhead friday night around 10:30 pm. By the time everyone showed up and we were ready to go, it was close to midnight. Just about that time, a light rain started to come down which made the trail slick. We made Ellis Creek by 2:00 am and camped there.
Saturday, the rain had stopped, we broke camp and we were back on the trail by 9:00 am. Some of the rigs played at the soup bowl, as we made our way to little sluice. Up to this point, the trail didn't present any problems. At little sluice, the guys lined up to run the box. The first rig in, one of the YJs, broke an outershaft on his D60, trying to push up and over a big boulder. It ended up rolling on its side and it took three rigs with winches and staps to pull it out of the sluice box. After about three hours for extraction and repair, we were back on the trail. The trail from little sluice to buck is tight in a number of places with plenty of opportunity for some body rash. I managed to make it all the way to buck with only a scratch on a door hinge when the Jeep rolled into a boulder as I was coming off a ledge. I had two guys pushing the jeep away from the boulder and one guy hanging on the passenger side as a counter weight so I could clear without any more rash. The group that was blocking the bypass, so I'd have to take the hard line, were just waiting for me to smash up against the rocks.

On our way to old sluice , the other YJ had a rear wheel come off when the wheel studs sheared off. We had the trail tied up for one hour because he broke where there was no way to get around. We finally made it to old sluice. I was the only rig in our group not to go through old sluice after watching a TJ roll onto a boulder at the first obstacle. I chose the alternate route over the slabs to get to buck island. About this time the weather changed and it began to hail heavy on us. With no doors and no top in the back, my daughter was freaking out. We made it to buck a little wet but otherwise safe. I learned later that the YJ , with the wheel that had come off, rolled in old sluice.

Camped that night at buck island. The next day, left camp at 10:00 am. We went about 1/8 mile and the CJ7 had electrical problems. Made the repair and headed on. A short time later, he got a sidewall tear. Plugged that but the plug wouldn't hold. It kept going flat as we went down the trail. It took two more attempts and I don't know, six plugs to get it to hold. Then, somewhere between Little Sluice and Walker Hill, the Toyota broke the steering arm off the passenger side knuckle and busted up the longfield. That repair took a long time. They had to rebuild the longfield. Two of the four studs that hold the steering arm to the knuckle, sheered off. They couldn't get the broken ones out so they tried welding the arm back in place. That lasted a short time before the welds broke. They got the welder back out , this time reinforcing it with some 3/8 flat stock and that held.
We took it very slow the rest of the way out hoping the Toyota would'nt break again. Then, as I was coming through a bit of a squeeze, That I had been through many times, I decided to climb a rock on the drivers side and this happened.






http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0839.jpg

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0840.jpg

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0842.jpg

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0843.jpg?t=1245283407

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0844.jpg

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0848.jpg

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0850.jpg

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0852.jpg

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0851.jpg

In the first pic you can see where my tire was on the rock. Amazingly the damage was minimal. You can see in the pics, it was just the hard top and a door hinge. Look how close the rock was to the B pillar. I was an inch from taking out the windshield. We were just about to come off that rock too. I felt the JK was stable and in an instant we were over. It's a weird feeling, dangling from the seatbelt. We were incredibly fortunate to come out of that the way we did.

Afterward, we took it very slow and made it back to the trailers at around 9:00pm. We left loon lake at 10:00pm and I rolled up to my front door at 2:00am. That was a long day and weekend. Still though, a good time wheeling.

The trail carnage for the trip was three flops, one broken D60, a broken longfield and steering knuckle, a wheel coming off, an electrical failure and three cut tires as the two broncos had cut tires also.

More pics of the other rigs to follow.

rubirobv
06-21-2009, 11:47 PM
The YJs on their side:


http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_82452028Small29.jpg?t=1245285956

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_82392028Small29.jpg

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0664.jpg

Some of the guys in the soup bowl:

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_81552028Small29.jpg

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_81932028Small29.jpg?t=1245286655

Going through old sluice:

Hail coming down
http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_82302028Small29.jpg

The reason I chose not to go through old sluice
http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0688.jpg?t=1245287014

My route to buck island

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0689.jpg?t=1245287283

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0690.jpg?t=1245287479

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0685.jpg?t=1245287601
__________________

rubirobv
06-21-2009, 11:51 PM
Our Camp:

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_82912028Small29.jpg?t=1245287898

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_82932028Small29.jpg?t=1245288222

Sunday morning:

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0708.jpg?t=1245288301

Random pics of the other rigs:

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0730.jpg?t=1245288420

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0833.jpg?t=1245288539

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0652.jpg?t=1245288641

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0654.jpg?t=1245288739

A couple of scenic shots:

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0719.jpg?t=1245288948

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0728.jpg?t=1245289030

Thats it. Thanks for checking it out.

Rob
__________________

Big A
06-22-2009, 12:10 AM
I can't even begin to say how jealous i am...

I hope to be out that way sometime to hit the Rubicon and have my own memories!

Excellent report!

100dollarman
06-22-2009, 12:30 AM
Wow! Rob! One of the best trail write-ups and pics we have had!!! Good job, buddy!:beer:

Glad you guys are ok on your flop! Kinda scary?

We are planning to do the 'Con (especially if you are going on that trip) next month. I was going to get through this weekend, then go into "plan for the Rubicon trip" mode! I am going to need some advice from you to get ready.

Maybe the rain will help keep the dust down!

Thanks for the great write-up and pics!!!!

rage344
06-22-2009, 01:46 AM
glad the trip was fun and everyone is ok i cant wait to come up and try rubicon sometime

SDMF
06-22-2009, 08:36 AM
Great luck missing the windshield frame. Thanks for sharing, looks like a hell of a lot of fun and work.

RODICON
06-22-2009, 08:52 AM
Best trail write-up, Glad damage is to a minimum.

notarubicon
06-22-2009, 09:10 AM
Nice write up and great pics

MaRShiN
06-22-2009, 09:34 AM
Wow, great report and pix. Cant believe all the carnage out there. Anyone in your group make it out unscathed? Also High Five for the roll and minimal damage landing.

chromedome
06-22-2009, 10:49 AM
I've run the 'con more than once and with no where near the carnage you guys took. I still remember 'em all though! I've never run her in the rain but after your adventure I don't think I want to.
Nice pics & write-up.

rubirobv
06-22-2009, 12:21 PM
Wow, great report and pix. Cant believe all the carnage out there. Anyone in your group make it out unscathed? Also High Five for the roll and minimal damage landing.


Marshin, nobody made it out this time without some kind of problem. I've wheeled with these guys before and we've had breakdowns but not like this trip. This was an exception. I hope.

cab76
06-22-2009, 10:30 PM
Sorry bout the flop - but amazing how little was damaged. Hell of a story anyways!

tankcrash
06-22-2009, 10:37 PM
I want to "do the con" so bad but I think me and my littel JK have a lot of growign up to do before we are ready. I cant imagine that kind of trouble in a month of wheeling here, let alone a wekend. I got to learn soem skills and the jeep is goign to need a few more emptying of my pockets before i think ill tackle the con. your pics still made me jealous.

HITMONEY
06-22-2009, 10:40 PM
Wow, great trail report and pics!!

:smokin:

gonna move the thread to the trail and trips report section... let everyone see this.

JeepThing
06-22-2009, 11:24 PM
Wow Rob! Glad to hear you guys are ok and just minimal damage. Those little rock angels were watching out for you! :innocent::innocent: I can't believe how lucky you were not to have more damage. My hat's off to you, you sure know how to wheel that green JK!! Was the family in the Jeep with you when it went over? Great pics and write up man, can't wait to do the Rubicon with you sometime.

rubirobv
06-23-2009, 12:24 AM
Wow Rob! Glad to hear you guys are ok and just minimal damage. Those little rock angels were watching out for you! :innocent::innocent: I can't believe how lucky you were not to have more damage. My hat's off to you, you sure know how to wheel that green JK!! Was the family in the Jeep with you when it went over? Great pics and write up man, can't wait to do the Rubicon with you sometime.


I had Gianna with me. She went through several stages of emotion. One of which was being mad at Dad. We talked for a while and now she brags to her friends about it. Look forward to wheeling with you again.

JeepThing
06-23-2009, 10:24 AM
I had Gianna with me. She went through several stages of emotion. One of which was being mad at Dad. We talked for a while and now she brags to her friends about it. Look forward to wheeling with you again.

I'll bet that was a little tramatic for her. I don't think my girls would be too happy with me in that situation either. Now Ryan on the other hand ... I think he would have just pulled out another one of those, "Dad's bad a--" comments again. :D

RotorHead
06-23-2009, 11:37 AM
Looks like a great trip. That's an awesome result to a nasty flop. Glad everybody made it out OK. That place is beautiful. :beer:

RotorHead
06-23-2009, 11:39 AM
You're daughter looks kind of pissed here. :D

http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt28/jkrob08/Rubicon%20trail%20%20June%2009/IMG_0840.jpg

brokenleaf
06-23-2009, 01:46 PM
Great picts and report Rob! My brother and I are planing a trip in August to the Con. It will be our 4th time there but my first time in the new JK. I did it with a TJ before. I'm not sure I am going to run the Old Sluice either!! I ran it with the TJ but I remember it being so tight. Especially the last bolulder. Man... This report makes you sit back and "respect" the con. Sh!t can happen! Thanks for sharing.

Jeff

jonb96150
06-24-2009, 07:24 AM
Great picts and report Rob! My brother and I are planing a trip in August to the Con. It will be our 4th time there but my first time in the new JK. I did it with a TJ before. I'm not sure I am going to run the Old Sluice either!! I ran it with the TJ but I remember it being so tight. Especially the last bolulder. Man... This report makes you sit back and "respect" the con. Sh!t can happen! Thanks for sharing.

Jeff

I don't think you can get a JK through old sluice without body damage. Maybe, but the odds are pretty slim. I know my 4dr ain't going through it! Hell, the big sluice is gonna be tight on a 4dr.

Mikey's Rubi
06-24-2009, 11:50 AM
Excellent Pics! This is the perfect example of why you have to carry spare parts for EVERYTHING when running this trail. You have to pack in everything...not like something like Moab where you can usually limp off the trail and get to a shop or the road and get towed to a shop.

Your trip reminds me a little of our last trip to Moab. In the 5 previous times all or part of my group has gone to Moab we have had little to no carnage. However, this years EJS was a bad one; broken control arm mounts, u joints, body damage...all more that all the other years combined. Crazy how it just happens.

Great pics and you should share more!!!

yoda13
06-24-2009, 10:00 PM
wonderful pics...thanks for sharing...:beer:

mmm...mud
06-28-2009, 12:22 AM
Amazing write up. Thanks for your time to do that. I cant wait to do something like that one day. Well, minus the carnage. :)

Brigitta
07-07-2009, 09:08 AM
Wow, but by the Grace of God go I......................

We've been running the Rubicon since the mid 80's and never had a trip like that!!

We've run Land Cruisers, 4Runners, and Jeeps through and never even had a breakdown on our part. (Don't ask about our Hammer trips!!)

We've had sun, rain , hail and snow, we've run with no kids and with out. In fact my kids have been running the Rubicon since they were all babes. (They're 17, 14,& 14 know)

Oh we've been stuck in the little sluice a few times, but thankfully nothing was damaged.

Thank God no one was hurt, and I hope your daughter didn't get too scared to got out with you again.

Great write up and pics.

karnuvore
07-07-2009, 09:27 AM
Holy crap. Awesome and scary all at once. How fun is it pushing the red button to release the seat belt when you're dangling like that? I bet your passenger is watching you very closely haha

rubirobv
07-08-2009, 08:59 PM
Wow, but by the Grace of God go I......................

We've been running the Rubicon since the mid 80's and never had a trip like that!!

We've run Land Cruisers, 4Runners, and Jeeps through and never even had a breakdown on our part. (Don't ask about our Hammer trips!!)

We've had sun, rain , hail and snow, we've run with no kids and with out. In fact my kids have been running the Rubicon since they were all babes. (They're 17, 14,& 14 know)

Oh we've been stuck in the little sluice a few times, but thankfully nothing was damaged.

Thank God no one was hurt, and I hope your daughter didn't get too scared to got out with you again.

Great write up and pics.


I think she'll be fine. She enjoys wheeling and camping with me. I expect that we'll both be a little nervous the next time but that's a good thing.

rubirobv
07-08-2009, 09:15 PM
Holy crap. Awesome and scary all at once. How fun is it pushing the red button to release the seat belt when you're dangling like that? I bet your passenger is watching you very closely haha


Karn, If we were near the edge of a mountain, I would have never climbed that boulder. When we flopped, I hardly moved in the seat. Dangling from the seatbelt was strange and I couldn't reach the release right away. I had thoughts of releasing a parachute that is stuck in a tree. Climbing out was weird too. Stepping on places that shouldn't be stepped on. Like my daughters head. Just kidding.

toadontheroad
07-18-2009, 01:40 PM
Rob,
I'm planning a trip in Sept. Going stock. You are increasing my level of awareness and making me a bit nervous - which is good. Keeps me from making bad decisions. But the adventure and location is driving me to do it.

Any suggestions?

igofshn
07-20-2009, 01:55 PM
Going stock

Expect lots of damage, both under the body and on the body. We just ran the trail this weekend and it is definately harder than I have seen in the past. Stock rubi's are really not ready for the Rubicon. Lift and tires are a must.

rubirobv
07-20-2009, 07:09 PM
toadontheroad,

As previously posted by igofshn, I completely agree. A stock jk rubicon probably could run the trail but it would not be very enjoyable. You can expect to get hung up on boulders and ledges throughout the entire trail as well as damage to under carriage, bumpers , fenders, body panels, doors, hard top ( If you have one). It's very easy to break an axle out there, especially the oem axles. The list goes on and on.

We had a group of three jk unlimiteds run the rubicon this past weekend. The smallest rig had four inches of lift and 35" tires, with plenty of rock protection. As a group we chose to take the most challanging lines and we came out with a broken stock tire carrier, a broken tail light and license plate holder and a few minor steering and suspension issues. This trip is considered a huge victory.

The rubicon is truely an amazing and rewarding trail to wheel. Building your rig to run it is highly recommended. Go to Del Albright's website and read about the trail and if you're into hiking, walk the trail for awhile and watch the rigs go through. A person can walk the trail twice as fast as a rig making it's way through. Loon lake is beautiful and a great place to setup a camp.

Hope this helps some.

Mr.RonGilbert
07-20-2009, 07:23 PM
No doubt a trip to remember. Sorry about all the damage... kudos for having the nuts to stick it out! Great write up and great pics. Thanks for sharing.

:beer::beer:

toadontheroad
07-22-2009, 07:35 AM
Rob (and igofshn),
Thanks for the points - well taken. Believe me I am under no false idea that I can walk thru unscathed. I have already taken out the "still makin the payment" trail fear by running the Deer Valley trail, Slickrock, Hollister, the little playground at Carnegie and half a dozen other runs my said I shouldn't do :D

I am aware that I should focus on the skids/lift and tires and that would help, no doubt. But I’m not going so I can prove something. I have no problem taking the easier lines, bypasses, and whatever else to get thru. I would be happy just to say I was there. As my buddy put it, if you have to break it, good opportunity to make it bullet proof for next run. I know you have run it many times, but wouldn’t you say this run was unusual? Last trip we went on (North of Cow Mountain the locals head into the Mendocino Natl forest) was the Toad with a YJ, a ’75 Cruiser and full size Tundra. All kinds of things happened that were flukes. 1st time my stupid xfer case cable bushing came off. 2 ripped tires on the Tundra. Air compressor valve stuck. Lost dog... etc. These things happen, and we can learn from them.

The guys I will go with have been on the Rubicon and many other runs dozens of times…(old guys). They have been wheeling for 30-40 years and their rigs are completely built, cusomized and trailered to the trail head. They are more than willing to help me thru help make it an enjoyable experience.

I am first and foremost a hiker/backpacker and always avoided the area because of traffic. But I really like your suggestion to walk the trail first. That’s a good plan. Thanks.

Toad

rubirobv
07-23-2009, 07:11 PM
Toadontheroad,

I don't wish to discourage you from going. What I like about the Rubicon is that a person can make it as easy or as hard as they want, depending on the line they take. Sometimes though, you don't have an option and sometimes the easier options are still difficult.

Stock rigs have run this trail before and I'm sure you can too. You'll have experienced wheelers with you and they will help alot. It seems you really want to go, so I say go for it. :beer:

toadontheroad
07-24-2009, 12:00 PM
Rob,
You couldn't possibly discourage me, especially with the awesome reports you've been laying out! I just wanted to get across that I'm not gonna be some noob out there gunning it and making the enviroclastics point and go "SEE!? CLOSE IT!" I will be careful and tread lightly and pack out. And try hard to not make an impression. I have backpacked much of the JMT and other remote areas of the sierras. I would not like to find Jeep body parts near the Crabtree ranger station so I'm not going to leave any myself. ;)
Thanks for your good words.