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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

As a few of you know I have been on a trip to Windrock in Oliver Springs, TN. This place has 70,000 acres and has about 13 windmills on top of the mountain. We arrived early Friday and started our trip. The snack shack offers a map of the area and I recommend getting one and when it says Difficult, they are not joking. I ride hard trails all the time, and can handle about anything nature throws at me. Well we took several trails to get up to the Windmills and everyone was getting hungry. So we started down a trail to get back in the woods and help break up the wind and rain. We found trail "39" and on this trail was an old shack and we all got in out of the rain and ate a bite. So we look at the map and it says 39 is difficult. Everything we had been on was Moderate and it was easy. So we are thinking this would be like normal riding. Well trail "39" goes down the hill, and there is a tree marked "39" Difficult. I looked at my friend and said you sure you want to try this? He said oh yeah! Well we get about 100 yd's on the trail and there is an off camber rocky hill. I had to help the 1st 4 wheeler up it, feel in some deep ruts with rocks and winch my way up. Then I had to winch a 2 wheel drive 4 wheeler up the same stuff. I was like there is no way I will go down that. Without the winch I would have flipped over on my side. So now we are off to finish the trail. I had a thought that the trail could get worse, but then it is easier for me to go up than go down. So we go through some deep mud holes. Deep enough that large logs are floating in them. Then we come to a large hill climb of about 300 yds of nothing but rock and bolders. Guys I am not kidding. The Ranger was tough and when I had to go over a bolder I would pull up on it and then Winch up the rest of the way. Thanks to my 2 friends with us they were able to hook the winch to the tree saver while I winched. There was 3 times I could have flipped without having the winch hooked up. It is bad when all you see is tops of trees and the sky. At this point my friends are wanting to turn around and go back. But it is getting late and almost dark. I run up the hill, legs shaking from holding the brakes for so long to see if the gravel rd is ahead. Lucky me there is a gravel rd. But guess what? There was a 20-30ft. vertical ledge to climb to get to it. Looked around and this is the only way up. So with all the rock crawling and rigging experience I am thinking we can do this. It was going to take my friends, my wife and my buddies wife to make this happen. So I go back down the hill and tell them about the trail and the gravel rd. So now they are with me and we continue to get their atv's up to the point mine is. They still haven't seen the wall we have to climb yet. My first thought was to get them up and then let them hook to me with a tow strap and use my winch to a tree. But then how was I going to get them up safely? I decided to go first so I could winch them up. I told my wife what to do with the winch, and how to hook it to the trees with the tree saver. And I hooked a 20' tow strap to the cage of my ranger for my buddies to keep me up right in case I start to roll. There was 2 trees I used to winch my way up. And another tree I had my friend wrap the tow strap around while I was going up. I made it half way up and had to switch the winch cable to another tree. I had my buddy pull tight on the strap while I let off the winch. I eased off the brake a little to see if he was holding me. And he was! I was nervous at this point cause I was to the steepest part of the hill climb, swapped the cables to the only other tree I could use. The tree was to the left and caused me to be pulled over at an angle. My buddies kept tension on the tow strap while I winched my self up the hill. Let me tell you I was shaking, and in the back of my head I was like please winch do not fail me now! If I was to flip right here I would have went about 100yd down the hill. The line the winch was pulling me at got me most of the way up the huge rock but I needed to go straight and the winch was pulling me hard to the left. My buddies got on top of the hill and told me to let out on the winch so they could see if they could pull me in the right direction with the tow strap. So now relying on my friends to help me the rest of the way I gave it plenty of gas and came on out. I ended up winching both of them up the hill and got done about 30 min after dark. We made it back to the truck around 8:30 and was tired, hurting, and happy to be back.

I would like to tell everyone who goes out, be prepared for the worst. You never know when you might get out there and something go wrong. And it is better to have it than not.

As for the winch, I will always own a Viper on my Off Road Vehicles. A lot of us look at cost for the reason to by a Viper Winch. But for me from now on I would still buy a Viper if it cost as much as a Warn. You might ask why? But if you read the above statements and considered your life to be on the line and a product like Vipers Winch to pull you through you would understand.

Josh

O0 Viper Winch O0
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You are not kidding my friend. I am thinking of getting the 4500lb to go up front and making a bracket to put my 3500 in the rear. The 3500 did the job, but now they have come out with a 4500lb and I got to have it. If I had a winch in the rear I would have went back down the first hill we came up. But sense I didn't have a way to ease back down we had to finish the trail out.
 

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OUCH! We had a similar thing happen to us on the Hatfield McCoy trails. We were all on 4x4 quads and decided to take a black trail.
No one made it with out winching and two guys flipped their Artic Cats in the process.

What made it even worse was when we got about 3/4 of the way up and could see the road ahead we all had to winch the last 100 feet and one guy disturbed a nest of yellow jackets. I was a lucky dog because I had already made it to the top and was doing most of the winching but a couple of the guys took a bunch of stings from those nasty bees.

If any one of our winch cables had snapped on the last 100 feet, the quad would still be where it landed at the bottom of the Hollow with no way to ever get it out.

For the next two days of riding we got a little smarter and asked about which black trails to stay the heck away from. Difficult trails are fun but some should never even be attempted and it pays to know where you are going and what kind of mess you are getting in to. After our adventure we all agreed we would never do that again!

Gary
 

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Those rides are fun, but the 'pucker factor rating' is TOO high!! been in a similar situation at Wolf Pen Gap, outside Mena, Ark., in the Ouachita National Forest.........I stay away from certain trails there with my quad.........it ain't worth it!!! a few days before we were in that situation there, a guy from dallas rolled his quad off the top, and it was still there..what was left of it anyway.......took several hours we were told to get him out, and then get him to another area for a 'Dust-off' ride.........I think they said he was in serious condition
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here is a video I found of the Firstpart of the hill climb I made. Now you see why I didn't need to go back down it. This is a jeep trying to make it up it but you can see how bad it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV_4B9mWXDM
 
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