Pictures from the Dusy Ershim Trail - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 4th, 2015, 12:54 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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Pictures from the Dusy Ershim Trail

After 4 days I'm finally back home from the Dusy Ershim Trail. I wanted to share some photos and if I can figure out how to post it, video as well. We entered the trail with 4 trucks and only the Defender came out in the same shape it entered. Extremely remote and probably the most scenic trail I've ever been to in my life. Highly recommend doing it but make sure you have time, patience, lockers, and a lot of spares. Vehicles:

Jeep XJ- 35s, Atlas t-case, 6 inch lift, Detroit F/R, some crazy jeep suspension, custom gearing

Lexus/Toyota 100 Series- 35s, Factory locker in the rear, ARB locker up front, 2 inch lift, armor everywhere.

International Scout- 6 inches lift, 35s, crawler box, Eaton lockers, Dana 44s, EFI conversion, Slipper leaf springs

How it went:
We got to the trail head around 8 pm and wanted to camp at Voyager Campground, which is roughly 2 miles into the trail. After a little night wheeling we arrived with little drama aside from the boy scout troop blaring music and slamming pots and pans together. The campsite is next to Courtright Reservoir and as a reminder to the drought here in Cali, there was basically no water in it. After packing up and heading out the next day towards Thompson Lake, 50 feet into the trail the Lexus struck a tree and took out the front quarter panel. A few miles later we crossed one of the many log bridges which can actually be exceptionally tough on your drivetrain if not driven with care. The second bridge we crossed snapped the front driveshaft of the XJ.

After 4 hours of winching and dragging to get to a point on the trail where we could pull over and setup camp, we went to work on trying to repair the shaft. Having only worked with Land Rovers, I got to sit back and drink beer with the Lexus guy while the American truck guys tried to fix the weird setup those Jeeps have. With no spares to be had, we couldn't make the parts we had work and the XJ was forced to turn around. Bummed by the body damage coupled with the fact the Lexus was in over it's head, the Jeep and 100 series turned around and headed back on rear wheel drive.

Next day Scout and myself continued on and went up Thompson Hill, the famed obstacle of the trail. Not the hardest obstacle in the world but it's long and technical. It's basically a 2 hour long, uphill boulder field. We camped at Ershim Lake that night where we realized the Scout and sheered off it's driver front Hub causing it to loose FWD. After 35 minutes of hiking back up the trail, we found the hub sitting in the dirt. Drilled out the sheered bolts, took some oversized rusty bolts from my tool bag, hit it with the impact wrench and forced them into the hub. The fix was good enough to hold and we had 4wd the rest of the time. We made it out around 8pm on the third day and camped near the end. Beautiful Trail.
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  #2  
Old August 4th, 2015, 12:57 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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More pics
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Old August 4th, 2015, 01:13 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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I think this obstacle is unofficially called the Gatekeeper as it is about .2 miles from the northern gate of the trail. Dropping off this rock is where I really wish I had tires taller than 33s.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 01:19 PM
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more pics
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Old August 4th, 2015, 01:50 PM
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Scott T
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Thanks for the photos! Looks like it was a great time. I watched one of Rick Russell's 4 Wheeling America videos on the Dusy Ershim years (okay over a decade ) ago, and always thought it looked awesome. Rubicon is more well known, but Dusy looks like more challenge, and more fun to me. But I haven't had the pleasure of being on either, so, I will live vicariously though you for now..
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Old August 4th, 2015, 01:58 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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This spot is on Thompson Hill. What's not in view is a rock that was getting hung up on the frame mount for the driver side trailing arm. Going around it was doable but caused me to get too tippy..

We ended up stacking rocks.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 02:26 PM
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Here are a few pics from the drive shaft carnage
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