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SilverBob

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 #76 
Paul, I don't think anyone is guilty of promoting anyone's propaganda here.  I posted the original report with pictures to show people exactly what the conditions are on the North Pass Road.  I described it as accurately as I could, then said I probably won't do it again until the road is fixed. 

The day after I posted my report, I got some "unofficial feedback" from a friend who works for the Park.  He said that his bosses weren't too happy with my posting a report saying you can make it to the Springs by driving around the "Road Closed" sign.  He went on to say that the NPS rangers have been kept quite busy lately, rescuing tourists in rental cars who have been driving around the signs down in Death Valley proper.  They didn't like the fact that my report seemed to encourage that same behaviour in a much more remote place.  I replied that my report is accurate, and I never encouraged anyone to follow us, in fact I specifically recommended against it.  I have not heard back from the NPS yet.

I also need to clarify that all the rescues I was told about happened over in the "real" Death Valley, not in Saline Valley.  They were mostly caused by getting stuck in deep sand, in ruts, or high centering on rocks. Tom, if I didn't make that clear in our earlier conversation, I apologize.

Paul, I think you and I think along the same lines when it comes to preparedness and personal responsibility. Don't go to the dance if you can't pay the fiddler.  See my reply to Sparky of SoCal, above.  If you're really prepared, go for it.  Just don't say I told you to!
paul belanger

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 #77 
Hey, that's what this forum is for, letting people know what is going on down there.  If you think you have the right rig and are up for the challenge, and the HEAT, go for it.  What are we?  Promoting NPS propaganda?  Did the NPS threaten to close the Saline Road permanently 'cause a-holes get stuck and need pulling out?  If the NPS is hauling people outta there, they should be charging them a tow fee.  Hell, the Feds should be MORE than what Miller's charges.  Government types are more expensive to employ than normal private enterprise employees.  Don't freaking go down there if you don't have money for a tow out.  I have a satellite phone and a credit card, for worst case scenarios.  Hell, you can break down any time of the year out there.  Don't say we here at the SPA forum didn't warn ya.
Salt Peter

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 #78 
There are three other ways in the valley but I agree about waiting. Just personal preference due to the heat in Saline.
oregonjohn

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 #79 
I agree with Major Tom that it is time for other activities or other springs easier to get at right now. The North and South pass are CRAP. Silver Bob is extremely prepared and has a rig that will crawl over the worst terrain. The Park Service has enough on it's plate right now towing tourists out of places they shouldn't have been in the first place.

OJ
Major Tom

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 #80 
I would like to put a serious qualification on people's considerations about using the road in its current condition. The Park Service has closed the road and folks should take this decision seriously. It is my understanding that the Park Service has had to go in on several occasions and pull people out of the valley after they got stuck or broke down. They are doing this (rather than Miller's Towing) due to the high temperatures and I am not sure if folks are being charged with a bill, but we should respect the fact that road conditions currently are about as bad as they can be. Good time to go fishing in the High Sierras and leave the valley below till we get reports of real road improvement.
SilverBob

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 #81 
If you're prepared for the Rubicon, you'll have very little trouble in Saline Valley.  I probably still wouldn't do it solo.  Make sure you report on what you find.  There's another month of thunderstorm season left to go!
Sparky of SoCal

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 #82 
I am doing Rubicon last week in August and just because, I think I will scoot down thru the Valley coming home just to see what Mother Nature has done.
hbmurphy

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 #83 
Makes me want to gas up and leave right now!
Major Tom

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 #84 
Amazing photos. We certainly don't want anyone else coming in though, so shhhhh! Somebody might clean the Wizard pool.  (Sarcasm being my second language.)
SilverBob

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 #85 
I agree with the "One Track" policy.  That shouldn't be a problem though.  Once you get there, it's apparent that there's only one way to get through.  The only question is whether or not you can make it.

While explosives are certainly more fun, a half-day work party of 8-10 folks armed with shovels and hand tools could make it significantly easier to get through, but that should probably wait till it's not over 100 degrees.

Of course, that would still leave the rest of the 5 mile stretch where the road is severely messed up.  Probably best to wait for the county to fix the whole thing, or find another way in.
Tule

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 #86 

Thanks Bob.  Unless you completely covered your tracks those who follow will find them.  I think its better to have one track rather than people driving huckley-buck all over the desert.  Looking at the "notch" as we have come to know it, I'd say three well placed half-sticks would work.

Hi Desert Warrior

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 #87 
Great Recon.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  Sounds like Steel Pass is open, but I wonder in what shape.  To fill the void, we need to know the status of the south route.  I would check it out, but it is just a little to far from Orange County.  I don't plan on going to the springs until late Sept. or early Oct..  I think we will be very lucky if the county road dept. will have the north pass road in operation by then.
pugsly

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 #88 
excellent update, really appreciate all the pictures and detailed narrative!
SilverBob

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 #89 
I do recall the tire spike incident.  When folks started to use the old (historic) alignment of the road to get around the washed out section, someone took it upon himself to make their lives miserable. 

That shouldn't be a problem this time, because this storm took out the old road as well! 
Rusty Scout

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 #90 
Great Report!!!!!!!!!  If memory serves correctly the last time this road was seriously blown out in the same location ( like over 5 years ago) the improvised detour was reportedly booby trapped with nails. Does anyone else remember reports of boards with nails slightly buried?? Or was that just a bad dream?
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