Weekend of Powder — And ARB Bumpers — And Winches

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 2, 2007      
Hayden Peak backcountry skiing.
Saturday, Sue P. on Hayden Peak, Lisa in distance, Stammberger face looms above.

That was quite a weekend. Reaped good vertical on Ski Hayden Peak south of Aspen, and had fun blogging about the Elk Mountain Traverse ski race being run by a 6th place team who used rando gear instead of the nordic race gear usually favored by top finishers. All that in Saturday’s blog post (see below, or permalink).

Took a rest day yesterday (Sunday) and got some enjoyable automotive work done. In preparation for busting out trailheads during spring corn snow season, we acquired an ARB front bumper for our Chevy Silverado, along with a winch.

CODE4x4 in Rifle, Colorado, did their usual excellent work on the install and left the winch wiring for me to finish (per request). Because the highway department uses so much mag chloride on our roads, I prefer to install the winch solenoid pack in the engine compartment instead of in the usual place near or on the winch, where it gets nuked by moisture and chloride. Doing so takes some work. First you’ve got to find a good place to mount the solenoid box, then build longer wires using #2 welding cable terminated with the correct connectors. Hopefully I’ll finish the project today.

ARB bumper on 2002 Chevrolet Silverado
Our Chevrolet “TAV” with its new face. To clean things up we’ll replace the protruding winch fairlead with a hawse style one that’s flush mounted, and stow the tow anchors (they’re easy to remove and replace).

It’s incredible how nicely crafted the ARB bumper is. Built to win encounters with kangaroos and what have you, Australian designed ARBs are tested in real crash trials, and engineered to work correctly with air bag systems and associated crush performance. Here in western Colorado, the idea is less worrisome driving north on secondary road routes to Wyoming and Utah, where the deer are thick as fleas yet quite a bit more damaging to your car when you hit one. The secondary (yet still important) purpose of such a bumper is that of mounting a winch.

Since this winch isn’t for recreation but rather the occasional recovery of a stuck vehicle, we chose a budget model that still has a beefy 12,000 lb capacity but slower line speed and perhaps less durability than more expensive models. In other words, it’s a winch for “occasional use.” We’re now looking forward to quick and easy recovery of our truck when we try punching that one extra snowbank and end up high centered — and we’re excited about having the capability of helping others we meet in the backcountry who need assistance with a stuck vehicle.

Our Silverado is turning out to be an excellent traihead approach vehicle (TAV). Full report this summer when ski season is over. Meanwhile, we’re back to cutting climbing skins and modifying ski boots.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


4 Responses to “Weekend of Powder — And ARB Bumpers — And Winches”

  1. Tim Carroll April 3rd, 2007 9:30 am

    That face of Hayden Peak sure looks nice.

  2. Mike Marolt April 3rd, 2007 8:31 pm

    That face of that bumper looks nice. Will get my jeep to those guys later in the summer. Have never been able to find a new carb set so will heed their advice and go with the fuel injection. They seem to be the off road experts.


  3. Winch Guide July 29th, 2010 1:11 pm

    How’s the ARB holding up. I love these bumpers and have one on my Jeep, but my powder coating is starting to get beat up from a couple of salty winters.

  4. Lou July 29th, 2010 1:49 pm

    We’ve since sold that bumper and truck, but it held up well. Powder coat is really not that different from good quality paint. It lasts longer, but it’s not armor plating… sometimes I’d rather have paint as it’s easier to repair…

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