Mountaineer Offroad Jambo 2009 [Archive] - : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

: Mountaineer Offroad Jambo 2009

07-11-2009, 09:31 PM
Thanks to Mountaineer Offroad in West Virginia for hosting a really fun event ( Combine great wheeling, beautiful scenery, cool weather, fireworks, a pig pickin', and a hot tub back at the cabin, and you get a totally awesome weekend!

I am initially just linking in photos from my wife's camera. I'll go back and add photos taken by other club members shortly. The Picasa album is here (

Our club ( met a bit north of Lake Norman on I-77 to caravan up around 10:30, and had lunch just over the NC-VA border. Our JK was the only non-trailered rig, so we had the doors off all set for wheeling and a few days at the beach afterward. The weather was SUPPOSED to be sunny all week, but the rain started rolling in after lunch and made the last hour or so quite the adventure. Fortunately, when we arrived, the rain had stopped and one of our long-distance members from Alabama already had the hot tub warmed up at the cabin at Songer Whitewater Center (

We tarped all the Jeeps and swapped over to my new IROKs and HMMWV beadlocks, which we had tossed in the back of one of the tow rigs. Why wear out the play tires with highway miles?

See all the photos here. (


07-11-2009, 09:31 PM
Friday was in the 60's and overcast with lots of tree cover. Perfect summer wheeling weather! It felt like fall and everything was an amazing deep bright green. It was more like the Oregon coast than anything I've ever seen this far east.

I don't know all the trail names, and since most of the guys in our club have been attending this event for years, we went off on our own. It appeared that there was a mix of organized trail runs and clubs doing their own thing.

We made a run up Little Sister and stopped up the hill after the split to Diablo to watch some of the insanity below.

Diablo has a couple really steep climbs with slick rocks and one of them is also very badly off camber toward a very large tree.

See all the photos here. (


07-11-2009, 09:32 PM
We also ran the Waterfall trail. This was by far the most fun trail we ran.

Everyone in the club tried that ledge at the very start of the trail and nobody (not even the guys with 42s and V8s!) made it. Some of the locals came by bragging about doing it with broken lockers, etc and they didn't make it either. The rest of the weekend, people were lined up to smoke their tires and sling mud, but I didn't see anyone get up it. I've heard there is video of a buggy on Rockwells doing it. I'll hunt that down and link it. The long wheelbase was a huge help here and a couple other places, but I was too unsure of myself what the Jeep was capable of (clearly more than the driver) so I wasn't "gettin it".

After flexing some, I noticed that the pinch seam had to go. My rear axle is shifted back a bit and it looked like the tires would clear, but they were sometimes rubbing. No tire or body damage yet, but it was clearly time for the Big F'in Channel Locks and a Hi-Lift. The call for body mods (no matter how small) on the "new jeep" was like throwing a dead carcass out for the vultures. Everyone wanted in on that action. John was the most excited about this so he got the honors. My wife couldn't believe that I was smiling during the whole thing and she had to get a photo of it.

See all the photos here. (


07-11-2009, 09:35 PM
After everyone played on the ledge, we took the bypass which really wasn't any easier, but was more suitable for winching. It was a short steep hill of loose dirt and tree roots. Of course it wasn't a straight shot either, so we would go about half way up, set the winch for safety, and go up some more. Then we'd move the cable to another tree, make the turn and finish the climb. The only casualty here was John's windshield frame tagged a tree and got a dent. John loves the skinny pedal, hence the "Mr. Excitement" decal on the hood. The Waterfall trail starts at the waterfall ledge and goes up the (dry, at this time) creek bed in the bottom of a very narrow, steep, and winding valley. Lots of big rocks, trees, and tight turns with ferns and vines growing up the steep hillsides and a dense canopy overhead. It was absolutely beautiful. Its one of those places where we were too busy either driving or looking around to take any pictures. I guess it takes a dedicated photographer to get the GOOD wheeling or scenery pics.

Friday night there was a pig roast and fireworks display at the whitewater center. They also served breakfast Saturday morning, all included in the registration cost.

The last day was a Diablo run and the lower part of Little Sister again, followed by another out-of-the-way trail called Sacrifice. A group of folks on ATVs heard that we were going up Diablo so they followed us out there to watch. The rest of the club made a run up Diablo, and my wife and I rode along in a couple of the more built jeeps, who's passengers did not want to ride that trail. This trail has a pretty high probability of body damage. We then used the JK to ferry folks up Little Sister to where the trails re-join at the top. We ate lunch and watched a few more jeeps make their way up Diablo, then headed back down Little Sister. Tom was the first one up and he somehow managed to stand the jeep straight up on its tail. He would have gone end-over-end 2 or 3 times down the hill before hitting anything if a little tiny tree hadn't gotten wedged between his left front tire and the tube fender. Here is a pic after we got him off that little tree.
The other 3 made it up without incident. Everyone needed some winching, and there was no damage except for some scrapes where Tim and Brandon scraped cages on the big tree everyone hits. The ATV crowd ended up getting involved in righting Tom's jeep and pulling cable for everyone. We thanked them with the promise of a few cold ones back at camp.

Sacrifice was basically a very steep hill climb that starts off with just loose dirt, then a rock ledge with nothing to get traction on just before and after it. Beyond that is a nasty rut. It's cut about 5 feet below the surrounding terrain Which is fine, except there is only ONE rut in the mud on the right side. The left side is crushed rock at ground level. This leaves a 45 degree side slope on a very steep hill with a wall of dirt and rock that just scrapes your tires and rock rails all the way up. You can't ride it like a V-notch because the right side is way too loose and you'll just fall in anyway. Tom, in the red Jeep on 42s got caught at the ledge because his wheelbase left all 4 tires digging or slipping on the wet ledge. He pulled a cable, got over the ledge, and then gassed it through the notch, leaning on the right 2 tires. I made it over the ledge and about half way through the notch before getting both axles hung. I didn't use the winch but I would have had to drag my axles over the rest of that rut only to turn around 20 up and drive down. I opted to drive all the way down in reverse. Three words: TRUST YOUR SPOTTER. Thanks John! Big tires and horsepower can get you through some places, and crawling with a long wheelbase will help in others. In my mind, the 2 door vs. 4 door debate is a solid tie.

No pics here of mine. I know, no pics or it didn't happen. :thefinger:

We finished off by dodging traffic on the main road through the property, watching some folks at the waterfall and in the creek along the main road. We ended up taking the creek out since the main road was a parking lot. My wife was very unhappy about riding in the creek and stirring up sediment. There was a ton of trash in the creek so we picked a bunch of it up to make up for it. The creek had a couple tough spots, and Tim almost flopped the orange CJ, but the natural gas pipe running next to the creek saved him! :eek:

The weather held out until we got back to the cabin when the clouds started rolling in. I swapped back to my street tires, tossed a tarp over the soft top to help keep rain from blowing in the side, and put trash bags over the seats. I wasn't done 5 minutes before the heavens opened up. We hit the grocery store for the grill your own dinner night, and it cleared up just long enough for John to do his own fireworks show. He brought some really nice mortars from home, but one of them must have gotten wet. It blew up about 6 feet out of the tube!

Did I mention the hot tub? :smokin: Besides having a dry place to sleep and store tools, the hot tub was the other perk to not roughing it in a tent. That is definitely the way to go.

Apparently I missed one of the drain plugs and there was still 2 inches of water in the jeep on the drivers side. We packed up in the rain and headed out. My wife and I got some strange looks driving in the monsoon with no doors, especially at the toll plaza. We stayed surprisingly dry with just the soft top up and only got wet when a truck passed. An hour and half down the road, the rain stopped and we got gas and breakfast. Over the next few hours on the way to the beach, the typical summer-in-the-South weather kicked in and the temperature went from 62 and wet to 94 and sunny.

I was very surprised at how few JKs were there. I only saw 2 others and both were Unlimiteds. I met Mossman who is on this forum with his Rescue Green JK, and there was another, who's owner I did not meet. It was a silver Sahara with a 6.1 Hemi, Trex sliders, and 37" Goodyear Kevlar MTRs. A very nice ride! I got quite a few people asking "What is that you're driving?" and one guy saying to his wife "he's going to take a $40,000 jeep down that???" I guess I'm just used to seeing JKs all over the place in the Charlotte area.

This was by far the best wheeling trip I've ever been on. I can't wait to go again next year.

See all the photos here. (


07-11-2009, 10:12 PM
Nice trail. Looks like you had a great time.

07-11-2009, 10:27 PM
Man, that had to be an awesome trip. I was wondering about that ledge in the waterfall pics. Looks tough. Great story and awesome pics. I got caught in a thunder storm with the top and doors off, the last time wheeling. I threw the tarp over too. It's cool driving in the rain. :beer::beer::beer:

07-12-2009, 09:04 AM
Saw your Jeep out there, but the rain put a damper on walking around Sat. night & talking to people. Waterfall is a great trail! Is that Diablo with the flopped TJ, if so did you run it? We were thinking hard about it but decided it was a long drive home if we screwed something up! We stayed in those cabins the last couple years, they were really nice... the wives didn't go this year so we roughed it. Definately missed the hot tub after being in the woods/jeep all day!

BTW... You guys were nuts going down that cliff drop off to get into the creekbed! I hate downhills like that!

Edit... re-read that it was diablo... how was your JK on sacrifice(meaning get any damage)? I've never run that one before.

07-12-2009, 09:16 AM
On a side not, we are heading to the outer banks for 2 weeks in sept... is there any wheeling nearby that you know of? I'm going to try to talk my wife into letting me slip away for a day to go wheeling.

07-12-2009, 01:19 PM
The drop off into the creek was pretty wild. It is such a sharp cut from the flat road to that steep drop-off that you have to just get out, pick a line, and then blindly aim for it. You can't see where you are going until you are half way down.

We only did the very first hill climb of Sacrifice because there were trees down at the top, and it didn't look like anyone had been through in months.

As for wheeling in the Outer Banks, I've never been there but heard there are a couple of beaches you can drive on. There is supposed to be some good camping areas too.


07-12-2009, 01:36 PM
Waterfall is a great trail! Is that Diablo with the flopped TJ, if so did you run it?

That is Diablo, and that is an old stretched CJ-5 that always runs great. D60 up front, D70 in the rear, AMC 360 with TBI conversion, and riding on 42" TSL SX tires. That picture is AFTER we got him righted from the tail stand and un-stuck from the tree that saved him from a multiple endo down the hill.


07-13-2009, 06:42 AM
Yeah, there is no way you could get me to drop down into that... way to steep and way too long! Props to your group!

Wow, that is a nice 5, didn't look at the pictures close enough. LOL... ugh, I would have been shaking for the rest of the weekend if that had happened to me!

x2 on the outer banks, we are staying in a house on the 4wd beaches... sand driving is fun, but it gets old after an hour or so IMO. My buddy lives at Lake Norman so hopefully he'll meet up with me(as long as his wife doesn't have their baby) and hit some mountain trails.

07-13-2009, 08:18 AM
Great pics and story Bryan.

08-30-2009, 10:07 PM
Another club member just posted a video on youtube of the trip with some more good photos.

YouTube - jamboree 2009 photostory (