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18' 2.5 Premium 6MT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
554051

All, on June 3rd I drove Cinnamon Pass (12,640’) from Animas Forks to Lake City CO in a modified 2018 Foz. Trip report to follow but here’s the summary if anyone is looking to try it this year. Mods- 15” BFG KO2, Torq-locker, 3” lift with king springs, full underbody armor, 6MT. The road from West to East is cute is rough shape from spring run off and heavy OHV traffic. The small wheels and high speed of the OHV rentals seem to exacerbate the ‘dig out’ of some section resulting in a very rough “road”. My biggest challenge was maintaining momentum which was necessary due to the steep incline, lack of power over 12,000’ and three passengers plus RTT / 3 weeks camping gear / full tank of gas and 10 gallons H20.
Low range gear box would have been a night day difference, that or another 80hp at sea level. Traction was never an issue but frankly some wheel slip would have been preferable in two cases to keep rpm up. While I haven’t driven the CVT version and can’t comment on that, the 3% of us who opted for the MT can make it if you are willing to slip and burn some clutch briefly to get rpm to 2,000 and climb some low speed rocks.
On the west side the drop offs on the downhill side are intense and my copilot was talking to Jesus, allah and Buddha for a while. The junior ranger in the backseat thought it was a riot.
A lift is essential at this time due to limited line choice requiring straddling some rocks, without it I would have had to back down about 2 miles.
On the East side down slope the tight and steep switchbacks we’re three wheel affairs. On the far slope I got a handful of kudos from lifted pickups and modified cherokees (old and best version).
After total 4,987 mi road trip of which about 250 mi were challenging off road the old girl is none the worse save for a ripped off mud flap and some paint chips.
Keep on fozzing!
 

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2017 Forester Touring CVT
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Awesome!!
Ive ridden the San Juans including your exact route several times.
But on a KTM. LOL
Now go drive Black Bear Pass…


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2018 Subaru Forester CVT
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What's the highway noise like with those tires?
Any drop-off in fuel efficiency?
Did you have a spare?
What's your self-rescue kit look like?

I'm considering the Alpine Loop at some point this summer with a largely stock set-up, but recognize tire choice is important; hate to get a pinch-flat or puncture out there just because I went with inappropriate tires. The tow charge from Silverton is likely way more than the cost of a decent set of tires.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,843 Posts
AWESOME! I want to go - just to get out of my 1-teens triple digit heat and hit the snow! But alas, that would be more than a day trip...
 

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18' 2.5 Premium 6MT
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Highway noise isn’t too bad. They add a little hum and the skid plate a missing wheel well liners don’t help. The wind noise of the roof top tent is worse. But Ive done 10,000 miles of road trips with both and it really doesn’t come to mind most of the time.

I pulled the center under trunk foam out and put a full size spare there. I carry a good plug kit and pump as well. I keep a heavy tow strap tucked around the spare to keep it still, have a shovel, good tool kit. For serious recovery your going to need another car with a winch. At 11-13,000’ there isn’t a lot to anchor to if your want to self recover. It was dry the whole time so I do t know if mud is an issue there but traction was never a problem. Because I went with 15” rims I have plenty of sidewall and can air down quite a bit. I only dropped to 24psi as a compromise between increased rolling resistance eating into my hp budget and avoiding punctures. Tires were no worse for wear after the trip.

Based on my experience the biggest risk is a bad line resulting in a broken part, unforeseen mechanical failure or god forbid going over the edge. The overlanding market suggests you need thousands of dollars of gear, external fuel tanks, winches yards yadda. Driving skill is huge, that also means frank risk assessment and knowing your limits. In early June at least there were so many vehicles out there you shouldn’t have an issue finding a buddy to give you a hand if needed.

What's the highway noise like with those tires?
Any drop-off in fuel efficiency?
Did you have a spare?
What's your self-rescue kit look like?

I'm considering the Alpine Loop at some point this summer with a largely stock set-up, but recognize tire choice is important; hate to get a pinch-flat or puncture out there just because I went with inappropriate tires. The tow charge from Silverton is likely way more than the cost of a decent set of tires.
 

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18' 2.5 Premium 6MT
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180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Engineer Pass could be really challenging in stock form. I doubt it could be done to be honest.
View attachment 554057


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My original plan was Engineer but it was still closed the first few days. A week after going over Cinnamon we hiked up the East side of Engineer from a camp spot two miles from the Summit. The East side was no too bad but per my guide book the West face is worse. The west side of cinnamon was worse as well in my opinion.

I got the impression the passes are highly variable season to season and depending on traffic. June 3rd when I went over the snow had just been plowed as there were 8’ vertical drifts near the top. The road was too rough to be feasible without a lift. In stock form and lightly loaded it could be done but damage would be extremely likely.

Drifts just off the top.
BFAAF09F-B832-40C8-A229-9BBB26071E24.jpeg
 
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