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Recovery Attempt


Well-known member
Feb 24, 2021
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Boulder, CO
So I went out on the first serious Offroad Recovery in my Trail Boss: from Boulder 4-1/2 hours out to Garfield Peak near Aspen. Two young fellas went up a little higher than they perhaps should have, and where the road had been supported with timbers and rocks ... it collapsed and put their 4Runner in a precarious spot. The two other volunteers that were supposed to also go out, and with more experience and really capable Jeeps, couldn't get a trailer tow rig arranged.

If we had two vehicles, we probably could have had one winch from up above and from the side, while another pulled the Toyota backwards. But we didn't have that, my truck could not get around in front, and the young guys were just so stressed out after nearly two days without rest, they didn't want to risk having the 4Runner get loose and roll over off the mountain. I didn't feel the need for an argument, and I just don't have the experience required. Maybe no one could have done it with just one vehicle.

So they will get with a professional recovery company, from which they already have an estimate for the job: $3,500. It is very difficult to get to where the vehicle is. The road is very rough and up the mountain side it is really steep and treacherous. And it is 9 miles from the nearest pavement. I registered back in March IIRC as a volunteer for recovery jobs that we don't charge for. This is through the Offroad Portal. There was no one else available within 100 miles. I left today at noon, and just got back at 1:30 AM.



We left the Toyota tied to a rock about 200 feet above it, using all of the recovery ropes, straps and shackles that I own. This gave the owner a lot of peace of mind that his vehicle won't slip and descend down the mountain side.

edit: This is an example of what a Trail Boss is great for: the job required two rigs, and just one of ANY sort could probably not have done it.

But the highway capability, speed and efficiency, and then offroad capability, meant that the Trail Boss could get there ... when other rigs could not. I was getting as much as 27 MPG on my way out, and even coming back home on I-70 the TB showed better than 21 MPG. And the Downhill Speed Control was absolutely necessary coming back down that mountain. (Approximate location at Arrow.)

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That's some impressive MPGs you saw on the way out. What engine do you have? I can't even sniff that kind of mileage with the 6.2L.
That’s some great pictures!! They definitely got that 4 runner in a very bad spot… Hopefully it end well for them…
that recovery service is pretty cool, never knew it was a thing. In my 16 z71 I got stuck in some deep mud on the bay side headed to the pass in Galveston had big f150 and f250 try and hank me out didnt even budge. My nephew tracked down some jeep guys and they had to hook up 2 winches and use a Tahoe as a anchor so the jeeps didnt slide. Everyone was super cool and they were all surprised that i made it so far through the ruts lol anyways a few months after that I traded it in for a 21 TB lol
That's some impressive MPGs you saw on the way out. What engine do you have? I can't even sniff that kind of mileage with the 6.2L.
Mine has the 5.3 gas engine. I shift to Neutral a lot, and roll down hill ... lots of hills in Colorado. Accelerate from stops very slowly, usually drive at or slightly below the speed limit, try to drive very carefully. When going uphill, gradually slow down until cresting the top, don't allow the engine to downshift. I had two five gallon jugs of extra gas, because this recovery site is about 50 miles from Aspen, the nearest town. The route on the way out was country two-lane roads, with speeds seldom above 55. All routes to this site are twisting, up and down mountain roads.

The two young fellows could see my average fuel mileage displayed in the instrument panel ... always a very good way to sell the Trail Boss.

After seeing our photos, the very capable Colorado 4x4 Recovery outfit says that this recovery is likely more complicated and more dangerous than it may seem. They say we made the right decision to secure the vehicle and get their help. Their videos on utoob show them often using multiple recovery vehicles for some very radical recoveries. They agree no single vehicle should attempt this kind of recovery.
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