Sunday, December 13, 2020
Bunce School Road & Ironclads

Snow started falling last Thursday evening and it continued, slowly, through about 4pm Friday. Accumulation was only in the two to three inch range with a light and fluffy snow. Saturday evening saw additional snow, but it too was fluffy with only about an inch of coverage. The curious aspect is "how much did the mountains get?" We're looking to visit a local trail - but would the snow be too deep?  In the end, no, and what snow the mountains received would help cover the pine trees for a nice look.

Sunday presented a blue sky, warm sun, and very little breeze - a treat to be enjoyed.

The trail we're looking to visit is Bunce School Road. The old schoolhouse is at the north end of the road. Some folks in the group, me included, are looking to try out new tires - how well would they work in the snow?  The tires I recently purchased (Patagonia Milestars) work much better than the prior set (BFG KM) - I did not install tire chains - where the prior set I likely would have.

At the trailhead we ended up with a group of seven vehicles. Three 4x4 group members, three friends, and one vehicle we met at the trailhead who asked if they could tag along - certainly.

We entered at the north end of Bunce and headed south to see how far we might get. We made it to the seasonally locked southern gate with no issue. Once the trail gets more snow, the southern portion is the difficult area - deeper snow with some uphills. All of the tires in the group performed well enough.

At the southern end of Bunce, folks were interested in going to the more difficult "Ironclads" trail - with a stop near the beginning to talk about it. Two vehicles declined to tackle it while five gave it a try. We looked to run the loop clockwise. This would present a ledge as a first obstacle to get up - all five made it up but not far after after came another difficult spot - three of the five made it. The two backtracked and the three, myself included, completed the loop.

I and another exited the trail system by what I call the side exit - just to travel different trail and not backtrack to the north end.

A nice day out in the forest.

West of Longmont heading towards Lyons

Mount Meeker (fore) and Longs Peak (aft)

Heading up the St. Vrain Canyon (HWY 7) SW of Lyons

Bunce School Road - near the north end, heading south.

Ahhh - first tracks in the snow too - bonus

Click for a larger version

Here and there we could see snow getting whipped up.

Nearing the intersection for Ironclads

Ironclads - spots that, when dry, would be of no issue change with water or snow/ice.

The Ledge - the far left (looking down) is the easiest spot. It's perhaps two+ feet high once you move to the right.

Looking out to the plains

Done with the loop of Ironclads - heading out towards Bunce

Backgracking down Hwy 7 to Lyons

There are several pull-outs along the road, down by the creek. Today I'll stop...

The jeep used to have chrome wheels with white-letter-out tires. The wheels were a mixed set (4+1) with some rust on the four. With the new-to-me tires (about 2000 miles on them) I decided to buy new wheels for a matched set as I'll be doing a five tire rotate. Black wheels with black sidewall out changes the look a bit.