Washington Winter MitZOO Trail Run 

---Seven Mile ORV Area-------------------------

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Author: Doug Miller
Photographer: Don Huysmans
Edited by: Phil Hansford - 3/2001

Members of the Mitsubishi and Isuzu Trail Talk Forums team up for a great day in the snow:


the players
The Mitsus and Isuzus, ready to dig some snow

I recently spent the day playing in the snow with some of the guys from the Isuzu board. We went to an offroad area an hour from here and had great fresh snow to play in. Don showed up from Vancouver with his Pajero and claimed the mileage award - gotta be close to 800 miles roundtrip. He picked up Kary (AKA "Big Blue") on his way through Seattle. In addition Jesse, Micheal and Craig showed up from the Isuzu board. Technically, this meant there were three Montero enthusiasts and three Isuzu enthusiasts, though Craig's energetic dog Ruth tipped the scales.

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Doug's 99 Montero 4 door looms large Don's 87 Pajero throws snow with street tires "...a gigantic playground with no rules"


We hit the trails with Jesse leading the way to Seven Mile ORV area on a morning with fresh overnight snow, bright sunshine and plenty of snow already on the ground. While we were lined up and airing down, a military Hummer arrived from the nearby airbase with 4 guys in fatigues intent on a quick play in the snow. Fatefully, the driver casually challenged us to a hillclimb.

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A hummer joins the party... ...and makes an attempt at the hill... ...before backing down to try again.


hummer4
The Hummer bogged halfway up, turned around, and moved on. 

Not wanting to miss the chance to see a Hummer in action, there was a quick hop to the trucks to follow it down into the first of a series of bowls with Jesse in hot pursuit (lockers F/R, lots of body lift). At the first hill, the Hummer bogged halfway up. As soon as they'd cleared the way by backing to the bottom, Jesse cruised past them and motored casually all the way to the top. The Hummer driver wisely left the bowl immediately to seek other challenges.

Within minutes, I was the first needing a yank, with Craig's clean Trooper (rear ARB, MileMarker, TSLs, rocker protection) providing the motive power. Then he got bogged before we could disconnect the strap and we played tug of war with each other until we were both on better footing and could drive out under our own power.

hummer_hill the_players2 the_players3
Appraising the "enemy's" defenses before the attack. Don is in good company, so he doesn't mind wearing street tires. Just couldn't resist a glamour shot with the Hummer, could ya Don?


We spent the next few hours listening to whoops of laughter on the CB and the occasional request for straps followed by the inevitable "where are you?", playing follow the leader, and having a blast. The area is less of a trail system than a gigantic playground with no rules. We were the first out in the fresh snow and had the place to ourselves for several hours. 

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Chains are optional, but they sure help! Craig's dog Ruth enjoyed the day too. "How about if I just push you up?"

Jesse picked a great lunch break spot - at the top of the meanest muddy/snowy climb around and we yakked about trucks and such before one at a time the hill lured us all to give it a shot (we arrived from uphill). By this time, I'd put cable chains on the fronts but it was not enough to get me up. Everyone else made it except Micheal and I. Don in his totally stock 2dr Montero with street tires got extra credit not only for making a harder line next to this hill, but for catching serious air in his 6th try for glory. 

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Even the chains couldn't help on this ascent. "Lunchtime! Who brought the ice?"

We pulled a few other vehicles out, got to watch Craig's winch in action with that unique fiber "cable" and got to see Micheal pick a treacherous line uphill through some tight trees only to find the only sheet of sheer ice in the county guarding this particular trail. 

Jesse was virtually unstoppable in that mighty lockered beast, and was an excellent trail guide as well as the point man for many stucks. 

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It looks like this ravine still has a glacier in it. The joys of winter wheeling...

I learned a lot about snow offroading and in reviewing the video those darned Isuzus were fun to watch as they kept creeping and crawling their way up all manner of slimy, snowy hills. I had a great time and will be bugging you guys to do this again somewhere in central Washington/Oregon in the summer. 

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