Jeep recovery in Alder Springs Wednesday 12/6 | General 4x4 Discussion | Forum

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Jeep recovery in Alder Springs Wednesday 12/6
December 4, 2017
8:58 pm
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kris_olof
El Dorado

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Long story short, on Sunday I went out Christmas tree hunting and my Jeep is on its side needing extrication in the Alder Springs area. No injuries.

Long story long after dealing with family issues on Saturday I was excited to get the Jeep out Sunday for our annual Christmas tree trip. On our way out we hit ice and went off the edge on a steep section of hill. The Jeep went on its nose, pivoted on a tree stump, and hit a tree with the back corner and slid down onto its side. Everyone had seatbelts and the whole incident happened so slow that there is only cosmetic damage. I went back today in the daylight and will be going back Wednesday to recover. The Jeep is about 1/3 the way down a slope that has an old logging cut at the bottom. Once down, the Jeep will be easy to drive out or tow out if there is an issue starting the Jeep. There is about 500ft of logging trail that will need saplings cleared at the bottom but the Jeep will be off the steep hill by then. Once down there is 1.5 miles of level forest road before pavement an a tow truck.  

If anyone is up for a little hiking Wednesday please let me know. 

December 4, 2017
10:09 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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Kris, sorry to hear about this but glad everyone is oaky. I can probably help you. I will confirm tomorrow. Approximately where is Alder Springs? What tools or other things should we bring?

December 5, 2017
4:45 am
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JohnDF
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Glad everybody is okay.

I used to wheel a lot. . .

December 5, 2017
5:32 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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Just an FYI, I will be assisting Kris tomorrow. Hopefully all goes well and we get his Jeep recovered.

December 5, 2017
8:49 pm
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Mike G
Newcastle, CA
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Wow Kris sorry to about that I'm glad everyone is ok and sounds like the Jeep is ok too. I wish I could help out but I'll be working tomorrow

December 6, 2017
7:06 am
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Josh
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Glad your ok Kris. Good luck on the recovery. 

Semper Fi

December 6, 2017
7:35 am
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Tyler - K6TLR
Rancho Cordova
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Wow, glad everyone is okay.

I just saw this... dunno if its too late, text me if you guys see this. I don't have either of your numbers. But I would be down to bring the 4runner up and help. 5593000144

December 6, 2017
9:59 am
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Gregulator
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Bummer, just saw this also.  Let me know if I can assist in anyway.  Tyler, I texted you Kris's number.

Um...what?

December 6, 2017
2:51 pm
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davesjk
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oh no, i hope everything works out.  Glad everyone is ok Kris. Sorry I couldn't help

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December 6, 2017
2:51 pm
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bear_dog
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I would be available to help tomorrow if you need it. I live in Placerville. 

December 6, 2017
3:01 pm
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Guy and Lynda
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So glad to hear no injuries. I'm tied with work, but I hope all goes well, please keep us all informed. If you reschedule, please let us know as well.

December 6, 2017
9:48 pm
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70dustpan
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Just saw this tonight. Were you able to get your keep?

December 6, 2017
10:55 pm
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Jeff_R
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Long day but mission accomplished. I will let Kris elaborate.

December 7, 2017
3:04 pm
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kris_olof
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Recovery went pretty much as planned.

Got to the location at noon and had lunch before hiking up to the Jeep.  Brought in a chainsaw, straps, d-rings, come alongs, and a snatch block.  The Jeep was lying on its side on a 42 degree slope with the back against a tree about 40 ft down from the edge of the road.  The slope increased to 60 degrees at the top and there were no anchor points on the other side of the icy road making removal out the top unlikely without heavy equipment.  Below however was a gradually decreasing slope (about 30 degrees at the bottom) and a logging cut about 80 ft below.

Around 1pm we began to set up a bunch of rigging including the winch through the snatch block to a tree above capable of holding the load, a safety strap as backup, and a come along to each side of the rig.  We used the winch on the Jeep to pull it off the tree it was resting on and uphill about 2 ft to clear the tree and a stump.  We then used a come along hooked to the roll cage to bring the jeep near the tipping point of being back on its wheels.  I then tightened a second come along to the passenger side to let it down smoothly.  With Jeff on the driver's side giving the last few cranks and me on the passenger side pushing and setting the comealong with enough slack, the jeep tipped and was then lowered softly onto all 4 wheels.  

It was then that we could see the extent of the damage to the passenger side which was fairly minimal due to the loose soil and pine needles everywhere.  It was also at this point that we verified that the passenger rear tire had come off the bead.  We hooked the larger of the come alongs to the rear and pulled the rear of the jeep about a foot to clear the stump.  Once the Jeep was clear of the stump we began lowering the jeep a few feet at a time and checking and lengthening the safety line.  

The length of the hill and being in a 2:1 configuration with the snatch block meant we had to let the jeep out on the safety line and re-set the winch point twice to reach the bottom.  The hill was loose and a mix of clay and ice under the pine needles but being in gear the jeep would actually hold on the hill meaning periodically we would have to lean in the door and push the clutch pedal to get the jeep to roll over the ruts stopping it.  Once we were confident that the Jeep was secure on the winch and safety line and after it had been upright for about 45 minutes I bumped the starter a few times to listen for and potential oil in the cylinders.  After all the winching we were concerned about the battery but the jeep fired up and smoked a little for about 30 seconds before idling normally.  After that we would start the jeep twice more as we went to be sure that the winching wasn't draining the battery too much.  Near the bottom we had to pull the rear of the jeep over once more before finally getting the jeep to the logging cut about 4pm.

Once on the logging cut we packed all of the recovery gear in the jeep and began the 1,200ft trip out to the lower road.  About 300ft from the road we stopped and Jeff and I made quick work of the brush and saplings on the remaining part of the logging cut.  Once out on the road we took a break and I was able to call for the tow truck a little before 5pm.  After having to call back because of my phone dying in the middle of the first attempt and a number of phone trees questions, we had the tow truck ordered a little after 5:30pm and an arrival time of 6:47pm.  

Once the truck was on its way we separated our recovery gear back to the correct rigs and moved all of the remaining items out of the Jeep to my daily driver.  We then jacked up the passenger rear of the Jeep and reset the bead.  The 1200ft of driving through brush down to the road had ripped the valve stem out so i was able to use a Colby valve for the first time.  With the valve in place and a big ratchet strap around the tire we hooked on an air hose and pulled the tire to the outer bead which caught after maybe 30 seconds of adjusting the tire and set at 20 psi.  We then shuttled the Jeep to the pickup point at the trailhead 1.5 miles down the road and came back to pick up my daily driver.  We had everything packed and to the pickup point by 6:40pm and then proceeded to wait for the tow truck until about 7:10pm before we drive a few miles down the road to get cell signal and check.  Turns out that AAA provided me a map with the correct location but this information was not shared with the driver who simply got a street location.  He was about 10 miles down the road and headed up to meet us.  By 7:45pm the tow truck was pulling out and we were following.

About 20 minutes down the road i noticed that the truck put on its brakes to enter a turn normally but that I was coming up on it too fast.  Just then a deer came out from under the tow truck and we had to swerve to miss it.  A small buck had jumped right in front of the truck.  The driver stopped and we went to look and found no damage.  Jeff and I moved the buck out of the road as it was in the middle of the lane on a blind corner.  

Despite the long drive involved, the recovery went well and the damage appears completely cosmetic/tub related.  The Jeep is parked and waiting for insurance adjusters to review and some shops to provide quotes.  And as the claim wont include a $5,000 bill for an off road recovery, it should be more likely to be repaired than totaled.

I would like to thank Jeff for the help and for trusting my recovery plan.  Despite using redundancy and taking precautions, a recovery on such a steep hillside means that it is impossible for everyone to be in a safe location the entire time.  Because we were going down and the slope was decreasing, stresses involved were less with every winch re-set and each successful action improved our confidence as we went.  I made more trips up and down the hill setting and recovering gear than i needed to in the interest of safety which added time but I feel was worth it.  Best of all, we were all home before 11 which makes this one of the more on-time recovery trips.

December 7, 2017
5:06 pm
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Mike G
Newcastle, CA
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Wow crazy glad it worked out for you if you would have had a full-size truck you could have used my trailer and not had to wait for the tow truck. 

Hopefully you don't use your AAA card much cause you only get 4 services per year

December 7, 2017
5:36 pm
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davesjk
Carmichael
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what an awesome recovery! Jeff you are the man!!! Glad your out of there Kris

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December 7, 2017
6:09 pm
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kris_olof
El Dorado

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Both my dad and I have a diesel and 10k+ rated flat beds. That said, I had a 200 mile tow on my AAA card that I already paid for.  Much rather use that tow than spend the time, fuel, and tire wear to move the Jeep myself.  

December 7, 2017
6:27 pm
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70dustpan
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What insurance company to you have Kris?

December 7, 2017
7:05 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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Kris went up on Monday and in true Kris Olof fashion, did an incredible job of planning his recovery strategy (as if anyone could expect anything less from Kris!). As a result we were able to get his Jeep recovered in one day without the assistance of a professional recovery crew. Given that it is a six hour round trip just to get to the site and back, I really appreciated Kris's advance planning. The tow truck drive was equally impressed that we were able to recover the vehicle by ourselves. The driver's boss somehow already had pictures of the vehicle over the bank and showed them to the tow truck driver and told him that he bet this was the vehicle he was dispatched to tow. He said that conditions were so bad on the Sunday of accident that they were instructed not to go on the dirt road where the accident happened. It was a good forest service road but Kris just happened enter the turn at the worst time of day. The driver said there were two other accidents up there the same day.

Had the Jeep not struck a tree and come to a stop about a third of the way down the hill, the outcome for the occupants and the Jeep could have been disastrous. This was another unfortunate incident where when you walk away you can only count your blessings! Perhaps Kris can post some pictures.

December 7, 2017
9:16 pm
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Josh
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Congrats on the recover Kris. I hope your repair bill is not to bad for you. 

Semper Fi

December 7, 2017
9:29 pm
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Gilbert & Betty
El Dorado Hills
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Wow what a recovery it would of been cool if you could of videoed the recovery.  But I'm glad all went well and your jeep had minor damage.

December 8, 2017
1:56 am
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richfroh
Acampo, CA
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I just saw this post. I'm glad everyone is ok. It's good that the Jeep isn't severely damaged. Did you get your tree?

December 8, 2017
5:17 am
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JohnDF
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richfroh said

Did you get your tree?  

Haha... Good question!

I used to wheel a lot. . .

December 8, 2017
6:18 am
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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I posted some pictures in the photo gallery. Look at how high up the Jeep struck the tree.

December 8, 2017
7:03 am
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Guy and Lynda
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Glad to hear the recovery was a success & no one was hurt doing so. Thanks Chris for sharing this event with us & thanks Jeff for helping to make this successful as well. This is a testament to all of us that anything can happen anywhere & anytime, where a simple excursion can become a serious event. Thank God it wasn't any worse, where people could have been seriously hurt...try to imagine what choices you would have then. 

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