Mar 24-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: March: Mar 24-05
Canyon heights    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Nathan Alwine
Down in the valley    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Nathan Alwine
STUCK!    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Nathan Alwine

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 06:43 am:

Another wintry adventure from our resident excursion guide, Nate Alwine. Seems he and a few close friends and relatives, have themselves a mystery spot in Dickinson County. Nate calls it Rock Dam Canyon, but other than giving us a slideshow to get a taste of the area, he's quite secretive about where exactly this is. Wherever it may be in the Iron Mountain vicinity, it looks like a great place for hiking to a spectacular view. A word of caution though…this time of year the rocks and even the road could be a bit slippery, so you'll want to proceed with care so as to not end up off the road like Nate and company. Oh, oh, STUCK! Better get out the come-along, or in this case something called a Z-drag. Another mystery to me! :->

By julie b., MI on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 06:57 am:

Been there, done that! Maybe not this exact location but......... Looks like it was well worth the trip and the trouble of getting un-stuck! Being a wuss you wouldn't catch me that close to the edge tho!

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 07:40 am:

Hey, can that thing track in snow? Just askin'

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 08:25 am:

Oops! Must have been someone from down here in the South driving! (ROFL).

By John / New Hampshire on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 08:40 am:

Good morning to all! Six inches fresh snow in Temple, NH this morning, it just keeps coming! Snow shoes are put away but not the xc-skis which are what the folks in the stuck car should have considered using,..........

By fishing on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 08:42 am:

Happy Birthday Cory Hoffman from Bootjack.

By nate, U.P. on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 09:07 am:

Well the Z-Drag is a poor man's come-along, and I was the one driving. I was driving too fast, and got too close to the side of the road, which was pretty soft, and then I tracked off the side of the road until I bottomed out. If we'd taken the truck that would've never happened :)

Fortunately the Z-Drag, a jack, and some tree branches did the trick and we were out in a flash!

As for snow in the Iron Mountain area, its getting kind of skinny on the southern facing slopes, but in the woods its still pretty consistently over knee deep. Took a hike a few nights ago and really wished I'd brought my snow shoes!

How's the snow looking up in the Keweenaw?

By halwine. MI on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 09:09 am:

The Z-drag we used to get our car out of the snow is actually a technique we use in swift water rescue. However, it only helped a little in this situation. In the end we resorted to jacking up the car and putting sticks under the tires for traction. It was smooth sailing from there!

By LZ, MI on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 09:33 am:

Thanks for today's pictures of the IM area! For some reason I always seem to get more homesick in the spring time. :)

By jAPEi on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 09:36 am:


My NEW homepages is this;

By Barb in Jacobsville on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 09:50 am:

Hey Cory,

I didn't know it was your birthday! Have a happy one!

By Stix out West on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 09:55 am:

Barb, how's the snow out in Jacobsville?!!! Do you get lost in the pot holes on that gravel road??

By Barb in Jacobsville on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 10:23 am:

Stix our West,

The snow is slowly going. Fortunately so far it's been freezing
at night and thawing during the day. The roads around the
loop are lousy, the pot holes are everywhere, but then it IS
spring! Just as long as we have a slow thaw, the flooding won't

By John / New Hampshire on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 10:47 am:

Wow - I hadn't noticed the Z-drag when I looked earlier. Nice work! We commonly use Z-drag when our rescue squad performs low-angle rescue but we also must add a couple of prusik knots to prevent slippage and backsliding which makes it safer for the person in the litter.

By sur5er on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 10:54 am:


What's with the car? To true Michiganers the only mode of transportation is a truck...preferably with four wheel drive...and the bigger, the better ;) Even Maija has the right Michiganer spirit with her trucklet.

A true Michiganer with their truck can say things like, "I took the short cut through the woods into town today," and when their neighbor responds, "there's no short cut that way...what are you talking about?" You can reply, "there is now." :)

By Cori, U.P. on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 11:02 am:

Ah, wonderful Rock Dam! I had a boyfriend from suburban Detroit for awhile during college. On his visit up to my hometown, my dad and I brought him out climbing around on Rock Dam. Poor troll couldn't handle it! Broke up with me soon after.

By nate, up on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 11:03 am:


What type of rescue do you do? Are you a member of a fire dept? or something else? We were spoiled this time. Evan had a pulley with him that had a brake on it. It took the place of the prusik in this case. So far aside from the car in the ditch we've only had to use the Z-Drag to free a few boats.

By Beverly, San Jose on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 11:10 am:

Has anyone thought of carrying a bag of cat litter to use for traction when you get stuck in slippery places.

By NAte UP on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 11:12 am:


Ironically we had that exact discussion not long before the picture was taken

By halwine. MI on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 11:50 am:


The car actually holds up very well in the winter since it is ALL-wheel-drive. However it is desperately in need of new tires. I believe that is why we got stuck. You're right about the truck though! Next time we will take Nate's truck. We needed the passenger space in the car for our wonder-pup Toby and our friend Evan.

By nate on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 12:02 pm:


the 6 inches of clearance we had between the car and the snow probably didn't help either :)

By nate on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 12:03 pm:


but the driver was probably the biggest reason we got stuck (who was that guy again?)

By John / New Hampshire on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 12:09 pm:


I am a member of the Temple Volunteer FD - we regularly practice rescue skills in order to stay sharp. Luckily, we do not have to break out the ropes too often - most of our action is dealing with motor vehicle accidents using cribbing, jacks, jaws, and saws. But you have to be prepared,........

By sur5er on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 12:55 pm:


ROFL about the 6 inches of clearance on the car...that's whatcha call a snow scraper. Come to think of it, I don't think that the plows on the snowplows scrape that close. :)

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 01:28 pm:

In addition to the cat litter maybe helping you with traction, we also put a couple of BIG HEAVY bags in the trunk in NJ, because the extra weight helped with travel! (Don't know if anyone else does that).

By halwine. MI on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 02:16 pm:


You're a silly guy! There's at least a foot of clearance on the car! Hey, weren't you the driver? :)

By Gary also a FF'er, CO on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 02:34 pm:

Nate: Your Z-drag gives you a 3:1 mechanical advantage. I've used it on several successful low-angle rescues. With one more pulley, you could get a 6:1 system. Two more pulleys, you could easily build a 9:1 if your line is strong enough and long enough. Fasten to the chassis or you may end up pulling the bumper off.

By halwine. MI on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 04:25 pm:


Yikes! That's my car we're talking 'bout! Let's not pull any bumpers off! I like the jack method instead! There won't be a next time since we'll be taking Nate's truck! :)

By John / New Hampshire on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 04:30 pm:

Gary: Are you also a member of the RMRG? It sounds like you are familiar with W. G. May's classic text!

By upmama, MI on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 05:10 pm:

Regarding Alex's post about putting heavy bags in the rear for traction: that's the reason the guys invite the ladies to ride along in the backseat - nothing like old, heavy bags to help you through the deepest snow on any kind of U.P. road. Besides, if they guys do get stuck, we're there to help push!

By maijaMI on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 05:24 pm:

UPMAMA: ouch!

I'll stick to my little trucklet and avoid the old heavy bags!

By Gary not RMRG, CO on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 05:36 pm:

John/ New Hampshire: No, I'm just a simple firefighter who has learned a few things about rope rescue over the years. Work smarter, not harder!! And I guess the smartest thing to do would be to not get stuck in the first place, although I've gotten myself into similar predicaments in places more remote. I've learned to always pack food and an adequate sleeping bag, as well as the handy-jack and come-along. You just never know.

By Lowell MO. on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 06:13 pm:

One thing you have to give UPMAMA credit for! She tells it like it is.

By Sherri, Toivola on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 08:24 pm:

Getting stuck is part of the adventure :)

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 02:13 am:

NOW WAIT A MINUTE! That's is NOT what I meant! (That was funny though, UPMama!) I have to admit... The heavy bags of cat litter couldn't push the car! (Evil Grin).

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions