As 2015 has progressed, the ICON Vehicle Dynamics staff has been itching to make their way towards the small town of Ouray, Colorado to participate in the 9th annual FJ Summit. Why were we so excited to make the 840 mile trek to Ouray? Well, when trying to explain the beauty of the San Juan Mountains only one word comes to mind – indescribable. This is an event you truly have to experience firsthand as words, photos, and videos cannot begin to provide justice to these mountains.
We started off our first day of adventure by meeting up with the charismatic crew from Demello Off-road at the Poughkeepsie Gulch trailhead. After airing down our tires and dialing the CDC valves back a couple of clicks, we were ready to set off. Although Poughkeepsie is labeled as one of the most difficult trails in the area we were able to maintain a brisk pace over the rough terrain with our Stage 7 equipped Toyota FJ Cruiser – until we came across an obstacle that the locals refer to as “The Wall”. This is a steep, rocky, uphill slope that had been made even more perilous by the intermittent rains that came through the area that week. We approached the bottom of The Wall, shifted the FJ into low range, activated the lockers and A-Trac, and made our first attempt. Expecting to give this a couple tries, the ICON FJ pulled itself up the slope without much drama as the Nitto Trail Grappler tires were putting what little power we had (at an elevation of 12,000 feet) to the ground efficiently. After this success, ICON and Demello Off-road spent the rest of the day spotting and winching fellow FJ Summit attendees up the most difficult part of the trail, as only half a dozen vehicles made it up without any assistance.
On day two we began by making a quick fuel stop, then embarking on a journey up to Imogene Pass. This has got to be one of the most scenic trails in the area as water crossings and seemingly endless views provide an unbelievable amount of photo-ops. In the early stages of the trail we ran into Ray (and friends) from Pure FJ Cruiser, who decided to tag along with us. With a few more vehicles added to our group we headed up towards the top of the mountain. The temperature dropped as we climbed higher into the mountains and leftover snow from the winter was becoming a more common sight – yes, SNOW in the middle of July! Once our group reached the summit of Imogene pass, we snapped a few photos and took in the sights. Heading down the valley towards Telluride there was all kinds of evidence that this used to be a hot spot for the mining industry as there was a good amount of abandoned structures to check out.
As the day grew later, we hit the highway and headed to back to Ouray. We arrived at the Ouray Brewery just in time to setup for the Demello Off-road / ICON / Toytec / Nitro Gear / Baja Designs customer appreciation party. With a much larger turnout than we expected, the brewery was a packed house in about twenty minutes! After everyone crammed themselves inside the building and had the chance to indulge in the amazing food and drinks that the Ouray Brewery staff provided, it was time to hand out some swag. Who doesn’t love free stuff?! It’s safe to say that almost everyone had a great time that night – thanks to all of you that came out!
In between all of our fun out on the trails and in town, we had a wonderful time hanging out at the booth talking to all of you Toyota fans. It’s always nice being able to interact with a crowd that shares the same passion for off-road adventure as we do. The raffle on Saturday night was also awesome, there were a TON of great prizes being given away. Congratulations to all you winners! We would like to give a big thank you to all of the vendors that helped to sponsor the party at the Ouray Brewery: Demello Off-road, Toytec Lifts, Nitro Gear and Axle, and Baja Designs. We would also like to say THANK YOU to all of the ICON supporters out there, we hope you all had a great time and we look forward to seeing you at FJ Summit 10!