Tuesday November 30, 1999 - Tuesday November 30, 1999
The Calgary Nissan 4x4 Club was heading into its 2nd official year and we decided it was time to plan an event where Nissan 4x4 enthusiasts could come out and enjoy a weekend of trail riding that was geared towards stock to moderately modified Nissans. And by moderate we mean SAS Conversions with 35” tires!
Our area of choice and for most other OHV fun is an area just North West of Cochrane called the Waiparous Valley. In here you can find everything from dry gravel trails to class 5 vertical cut lines. Just like most other areas right? WRONG!!!! This area is nestled in the Alberta Rocky Mountains with some of the most breathtaking views one could ever hope to see. With the help of the (AURS) Alberta United Recreationists Society and its volunteers this valley is one of the best maintained OHV areas we know of. But that’s another article all together. The real action gets started Friday night after supper when a group of 10 trucks head for a destination called the Upper Falls. Most of this trail is set on gravel so travel is quick. We attempted some rocky cliffs on the 1st creek crossing, tested some flexing and a few tested the underside of their frames on the rocks. The highlights really happened when the trail split into 2 directions, then 3, and then 4. Well long story short we lost 4 trucks in that maze and never did find them again until we got back to camp. They did get to the end of a trail. It even had the sign END OF TRAIL posted on a hill top. At one point while waiting for stragglers some of us were entertained by bats picking off moths attracted by the 100Watt lights on my truck. The Upper Falls Trail passes through plenty of challenges and we did spot a few cutlines that piqued our attention for a daytime attempt. The most notable part of the trail is the 3000-4000ft vertical cliff valley that the trail ends in. Saturday morning had 2 groups heading into the mountain trails. One group of 8 selected Lost Knife to Margaret Lake. Lost knife is a main trailhead with plenty of offshoots that still need exploration. In dry conditions this trail is easy and most make it with little to no problems. When its wet, this trail becomes a snot-covered mess with mud holes everywhere and most of us who are familiar with this trail can hardly wait for rainy days. A few highlights were when Al high centered his Locked Jeep Cherokee in a deep rut. From what I understand getting a picture of Al stuck is very rare so I took a picture before I pulled him out. Hope you’ll leave that one in the article Al. Al returned the favor a short time later to our club president who managed to put his 2000 Frontier in a muddy water hole so deep it started to flood the cab. On the way back to camp 3 maybe 4 of us, hard to tell with the dust, decided we would rally the trail back to Waiparous Valley Road. At times we were pushing 60-70 km and could see nothing but a tail lights of the truck in front.
The second group selected a hard trail known as Little Red-Deer Loop. For those who want a challenge well this is it. Near impossible verticals, ruts that are 3 feet deep and in some places wide enough to swallow you whole. On a pucker factor of 1 – 10 this thing is an 8 or 9.
Eight trucks hit this trail and after several hours of deep ruts and various types of vehicular carnage the “sensible ones” decided they wanted to find a way out.
A Super Charged 2003 Xterra (with only 3 or 4 months on the road) was out with this group. Poor bugger lost so much plastic people thought he was having a Tupperware sale. He smiled all day so it must have been fun. This trail crosses, rocks, mountain goat cut lines, sand and in some places muskeg.
Any way…3 trucks remained on the trail, a Toyota SR5, a Mitsubishi Montero, and a Nissan Pathfinder. These 3 animals went into what could only be called the worst this trail had to offer. I never saw a 4 wheeler smile so much after a run. The pics just don’t do the trail justice.
Saturday night our long time sponsor, Brasso Nissan, provided a great supper for all the participants. After dinner all the drivers took part in a Blind Fold Run. Most of us had never done this so a quick explanation was given. The driver is blindfolded and put behind the wheel of their ride. The passenger, picked at random, becomes the eyes. A true test of how much you trust a person. The best time was just under 6 minutes. The worst time was 11 minutes. And both got a prize. First place was a Glass Trophy built and donated by Sandra Ungstad. Thanks again Sandra. Last place won glass cleaner a squeegee and paper towels.
Later that night prize draws were held and we gave away tonnes of goodies! We the members of the Calgary Nissan club would like to thank all the sponsors who helped make this event even better: ARB-USA, Autosmart, Brasso Nissan, Campbell Mack Supply, Cloverdale Paint, Hi-Lift Jacks-USA, Hostess-Frito Lay, Mr. Detail, Modern Motors, Remington Tire Supply, Shawnee Station OK Tire and Warn Industries-USA for all their generous donations.
Special thanks from myself to Albert Vandervelde of APV Publishing for attending our 1st annual event. As this article is being typed the 2nd Annual event is already well underway in the planning stages. Hope we have a great turnout for that one. Keep the shiny side up!
Calgary Nissan 4x4 Club