Snowbash is an annual event put on by Big Sky Four Wheelers that our buddy Anthony (of Montana FJ Cruisers fame) participated in this year. This was his second year at the event, and although this year looked a little different due to COVID restrictions, he still hit the trail with approximately 100 other rigs on January 16. Things were a little dicey this year, but we'll let Anthony tell you about it... -Pat
Hey everybody! This event has been going on for a while, but this was only my second year joining. All were a little disappointed that the annual banquet and raffle portion of the event weren't able happen this year, but we still got to make a run as a large group of about 100 trucks (compared to around 250 last year).
This year's run took on the Wild Bill OHV Trail just south of Kalispell, Montana. Everyone met up at the Flathead County Fairgrounds where we separated ourselves into three classes: stock rigs, medium rigs (33-35" tires) and large rigs (35"+). The big rig guys went out about an hour before everyone else and then the stock and medium (where I fit in) left at the same time but headed on different routes.
As Pat said above, the day was a little dicey and full of problem solving (but what else do you expect going up a Montana mountain in the winter!). We left the lot thinking we were following the group leader and soon found out the actual leader was behind us. The guy in front quickly slid off the trail and blocked the trailhead, so we had to spend awhile getting him out. Once we got to the trailhead, it was just too icy and no one could get up, so we all turned around and decided to take a different trail. As our group of eight from Montana FJ Cruisers proceeded to the other trail, we lost two of our guys along the way. Not a great start to the day!
We eventually got up to the top and did some of the obstacles that Big Sky Four Wheelers set up. I did an obstacle with a steep climb and quickly found out that the top was complete ice. Unsurprisingly, I slid back down and hit a tree, and we had to spend 45 minutes getting me unstuck.
Next, we decided to run a trail that we had actually done in the summer and on the way there, our group came across two trucks that were stuck. So we spent nearly 3 hours digging, wenching, and getting them free.
The event organizers had lit some bonfires in a couple areas, so we took a break and got the drone out (see our video here) hoping to find a way to catch up with the larger group we'd lost. We got on their tail (along with finding another driver in need of assistance) and finally got to the top with the other 20+ rigs in our medium group. As a celebration, we spent some time up at the top and played in the snow a bit.
But the relaxation was short lived as we tried to find a suitable way down the mountain. At this point, we were 6-7 hours into the day and it felt like all we'd been doing is digging guys out. Two rigs were stuck and blocking the path down the hill so we spent some time turning them around only to start the journey down and coming across a new truck stuck on the trail with broken front axels. Luckily, Big Sky Four Wheelers was able to tow this guy out so we could finally sail to the bottom.
So, for us, Snowbash was kind of a mess this year compared to normal, but I guess we wouldn't expect any less!
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