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So some of you knew something was up but we did what we could to keep the details under wraps for as long as possible for various reasons.
Fact is, a group of 6 Nissans just tackled the Rubicon! This trail has been a dream of mine for decades, a few of us have been talking about it for almost 2 years and we've been planning this trip for 6 months. So here's a quick heads up on the characters and we'll all get pix posted up in here asap. Most are still on the way home.
3 of us came up from Vegas, one of the forum royalty came in from Reno, one from Utah and the last from the bay area.
Crewmaxxis, JeniorNV, JCBaert, myself and 2 of the Vegas locals in their Xs were on the guest list. Needless to say, all who were invited literally jumped at the chance. These were a very select, hand picked group of wheelers in A-list rigs who we knew could be counted on to not only handle themselves on the trail, but to help make sure that this trip was amazing in every way.
This trip has been a bucket lister for me for over 10 years and I know many of the others feel the same. I've been building my truck with the ultimate end goal of running this trail and DAMN was it worth it!
Anyway, let's get to the details;
We all met in Georgetown, CA on friday am at about 8am to gas up and hit the road to the Loon Lake trail head. The plan was to make the trial in 2 days. since none of us had ever done the trail we had no idea what to expect. I know in recent years the trail has been heavily modified and many will say that it's mostly for the worse but I'm gonna tell you right now that the current trail is no joke! We figured that we'd make the Rubicon Springs (the half way mileage point) area our camping stop for the night but not having run the trail before all we had to go on was mileage. Let's just say that mileage isn't really the qualifier to use on the Rubicon. The first half of the trail is a non stop ball buster! It is absolutely relentless. There are no breaks to relax and cover miles. It's basically 18 miles at an average of 1 mph and the first half is about .6 mph in anything short of a rock buggy on 40" tires! I wish I had a picture of everyone along the way who asked us "Are you gonna take those pickups all the way through?", or " Are those all Nissans?", or just took pix of us as we went by. Not to mention all the outright shocked looks we got :laugh:
So not only did we wheel the Rubicon, but we ended up doing several hours of the nastiest section (from Little Sluice to Rubi Springs) in the dark!
In any case, we all survived, had an amazing time and everyone did everything in their power to make sure we all had the time of our lives. Surprisingly, we had very little carnage and only 1 minor mechanical breakdown, that being a single broken CV axle, and no, it wasn't me :nana:
So look for pix to follow shortly. I think Jenn is the closest to home so she should have some up shortly. I won't be home till tomorrow and I'll get some pix and more trail details up then.
Enjoy, we sure did!
 

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Greatest wheeling trip ever.

After dreaming about this trip for years, planning it for months, and driving to the trailhead for hours, we were all happy to be greeted by this sign at the Loon Lake staging area:



Soon after starting the trail, we arrived at the Gatekeeper. Every trail guide warns you not to continue if you encounter significant difficulty here. The obstacle looked a bit intimidating (like most things, more so in person than in pictures) but we all made it through OK.







Shortly after the Gatekeeper is the Granite Bowl. So named because, well, I guess it looks like a big bowl of granite? Here we encountered what would be our only mechanical breakage on the entire trip, in the form of a broken CV axle.















Leaving the Granite Bowl.



I might be getting some of my obstacle names mixed up, but I think this one was called Nobie's Rock (please correct me if I'm wrong). These two rocks in the trail are just slightly narrower than your average modified Nissan.





A few more pictures from obstacles whose names I don't know.











 

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This is a picture of Little Sluice that does it zero justice. Two of us opted to bypass this one.



This fun little thing is called Vee Notch:











I hope you guys like pictures of white Xterras. I have more pictures of Andrew's rig than anyone's because I was following him on Saturday.







My truck on the same obstacle as above:





We passed Buck Island Lake around 5 pm. This would have been a great place to camp. But we were pretty intent on getting to Rubicon Springs on Friday night and so we pressed on. We went through this fun little section as the sun was starting to set:









We didn't make it to Rubicon Springs until about 9:30 pm. We ended up spending a couple hours wheeling through one of the toughest sections of trail in the pitch black.





 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Pretty sure you're correct on Nobie Rock, the last couple are from "V-Rock". That's where we ran into the d-bag with the trailer.
 

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On the morning of the second day (this morning I guess, feels like forever ago though) we encountered another narrow little obstacle almost immediately upon exiting camp:





Soon after that was Cadillac Hill. This is the part of the trail I was most nervous about. It's a steep uphill consisting of loose footing, tight squeezes and some off camber sections. Somehow we all managed to get through it without any sheet metal damage or significant problems.









Observation Point was a good photo op:



The very last obstacle is the Gatekeeper on the Tahoma side. Nomad made it look easy...



Up until this point, I was feeling pretty dang proud of myself. I had the smallest truck in the group, the only one on 33 inch tires. Until we reached the Exit Gatekeeper, I had driven through everything without needing assistance of tow straps or winch lines.

Then at the exit Gatekeeper, the last freaking obstacle on the whole trail, I got so badly hung up that I needed to be winched off.



Oh well, I'm still really proud of my truck. Taking a pickup truck on 33 inch tires through this trail is crazy, but I've never claimed to be sane. Here is my victory picture upon completing the trail:



Overall, we did pretty well in the damage department. A broken CV axle. One of the Xterras broke a tail light when the rear bumper pushed up into the body. A Frontier received some rock rash and a broken tail light when it got hung up on a rock and then the whole truck pivoted into another rock. My truck received some minor rock rash as well:

 

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well, looks like you had a great time, now I guess Sean will have to retire, no other trails will be fun for him anymore :D
 

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Wow .... Really does not put into words what I am thinking when looking at these pictures! Thanks for sharing Jenn .... I am also looking forward to the other folks photos!

By the way .... I like white XTerras .... But like white Frontiers better :)
 

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That's awesome.
 

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Wow .... Really does not put into words what I am thinking when looking at these pictures!

"Wow" also doesn't put into words how I felt while out on the trail or how I feel now reflecting on the trip, and I don't think there are any words that could be used to describe it.

Every dollar spent modifying my truck, every hour spent working on it, every weekend spent taking it out on the trail to acquire the necessary skill set to be able to handle it on a trail like this - so so very worth it.

The Rubicon used to be one of those things that I thought might be sort of cool to do someday, but this is a NISSAN, for crying out loud, and for the longest time it seemed like it was only a dream and not something that would ever be made a reality.

This was the coolest wheeling trip I've been on yet, and I think most of our group felt the same way.

I want to emphasize something that Nomad already stated - it was really the people that made this trip what it was. Everyone was such a pleasure to have on the trail. There was a lot of teamwork involved in getting these rigs through the obstacles relatively unharmed and keeping a decent pace. All of the attendees were real troopers. This trail really is no joke...I have done trails in the past that have had single obstacles here and there that were as difficult as what we encountered here, but nothing like this at all in terms of the sheer number and frequency of obstacles... From Loon Lake to the exit Gatekeeper, it is just difficult obstacle after difficult obstacle after difficult obstacle for miles and miles and miles, with pretty much no breaks in between. They say the average speed on the trail is 1 mph, and on day 1, we weren't anywhere close to keeping up with that average. These Nissans are really tough little trucks and every rig in the group did awesome.

And I'm just kinda rambling now so I'll stop... ;)
 

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Since I'm sure the question will be asked, I want to list out what I would consider to be the bare bones minimum to get a Frontier through this trail.

* Titan swap with at least 4 inches of lift - mandatory. You will need the extra suspension travel. The addition of a drop bracket kit and more lift will make the trail easier.
* 33 inch tires - mandatory. 35 inch tires will make the trail easier. Tires should be all terrains or mud terrains of good quality (no cheapo house brand tires here) with grippy sidewalls and a good amount of tread. It should go without saying that you should carry a spare of the appropriate size and type.
* Rear locker - mandatory.
* Front locker - mandatory if on 33s; very strongly suggested on 35s.
* Lower differential gearing - mandatory if on 35s or if driving a manual. Helpful regardless.
* M205 - mandatory. I would definitely not suggest taking an R180 on this trail.
* Full set of steel skid plates (rad, engine, trans, T case, gas tank) - mandatory.
* Rock sliders - mandatory.
* Steel front bumper with winch - mandatory.
* Steel rear bumper with quarter panel protection - mandatory. I want to emphasize that the quarter panels on a Frontier WILL NOT survive this trail without protection. You will come down hard on the rear end over and over and over again.
* Aftermarket diff cover - mandatory.
* Beefier rear shock mounts - very strongly suggested.
* U bolt flip kit - very strongly suggested.
* As many spare parts (definitely CV axles) and tools as you can manage, along with a full set of recovery gear.
* A ton of rock crawling experience. On the hardest obstacles, you need to have the ability to handle your rig well enough to be able to follow the spotter's instructions. There is a lot at stake on this trail if you blow it - high risk of severe body damage or flipping your truck if you screw up. You also need the ability to confidently choose good lines and navigate through the smaller obstacles without any assistance. If you need a spotter on every little thing, it will take you days to get through the trail.
* The realization that there is a very high risk of body or mechanical damage...and you have to be totally OK with that. Any mechanical problems will need to be fixed on the trail. AAA won't come out here, and getting towed out by another rig is a ridiculously unrealistic solution.

My own truck just barely meets the above requirements. I want to emphasize that I needed more spotting than the drivers in bigger rigs. Had I been on 35s with a couple more inches of lift, the trail would have been quite a bit easier.
 

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This looks like the trip of a lifetime! Thanx all for posting! Incredible stuff.

I don't know much in this topic but is the x's shorter wheelbase an advantage here always, or were there any obstacles on this trail where the longer fronty wheelbase was an advantage?
 

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I don't know much in this topic but is the x's shorter wheelbase an advantage here always, or were there any obstacles on this trail where the longer fronty wheelbase was an advantage?

It really depends on the obstacle in question. The Frontiers tend to do better on ledges, steep climbs and any situation where the rig can get tippy. But the Xterras do better where tight maneuvering is required or breakover angles come into play.
 

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or breakover angles come into play.
Like the picture of your last 'freakin' obstacle? :)

Seriously though, even people like me that don't know much, know about or have heard of this trail. It it's quite an exciting accomplishment to have under your belt. It really is awesome.

If I'm surprised by any anything, I'm surprised you guys have not gotten together and done it sooner, but I assume quite a bit of planning and coordination is involved.
 

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If I'm surprised by any anything, I'm surprised you guys have not gotten together and done it sooner, but I assume quite a bit of planning and coordination is involved.
Being relatively new to the offroad scene, I'm also surprised that this trip hasn't taken place long before I came along... but as Jenn wrote, it takes a number of brave souls, with the right equipment and chemistry, to put it all together.

I think that this group has just established a "new" tradition, rivaling those we know as GoneMoab and WentWindrock... and it's called "Nisscon", apparently. This will become a highly-regarded "event", if the founding members wish to take it in that direction... and why not? I for one would love to take part, if I ever get my rig to that level.

Congratulations, founding Nisscon team!
 

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So excited for you guys! Looks like a complete blast! Might need to do it eventually in the jeep haha
 
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