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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Rocky Mountain LHS

In mid November, I'm taking a trip to the Rockies to see mountains. I've never had a chance to really get up close with 'em before, just seeing them far off in the distance. I'll be driving to the top of Pikes Peak, driving to Alma and Leadville, and driving to the top of Mt. Elbert if it has road access (tallest mountain in the Rockies).

Anyway, I'm concerned about the altitude affecting the car. Mt. Elbert is at 14,433 ft. Do these newer vehicles automatically compensate for altitude, or is there something I would need to adjust? Also, what about chains? Are chains safe for the LHS?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:02 PM
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You won't be driving to the top of Mt Elbert, so I wouldn't be too worried about that! lol!

You'll be fine in the altitude with your Trep. Modern, computerized cars aren't affected as much as the old "Carb'd" vehicle with distributors, etc...

I grew up in CO, and I currently live in Utah, so I've got some "winter driving" experience... Every winter, I drive my Trep in the snow, and have made several trips up to the local ski resorts and also several trips through CO in the middle of winter. They keep the roads pretty clean, and if you have a good set of snow tires, or even All-seasons (like me), you should be fine. Just take your time, and enjoy the trip!

Just out of curiosity...why Leadville? It's kinda out of the way of things... lol!

Last edited by slowbra; 09-11-2006 at 03:10 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, I'll be staying in Buena Vista, CO. But I want to drive up and see Alma, since it was the highest incorporated town in the Continental US before some artificial ski resort town took the claim. Then from Alma, I am going to take State routes 10, 12, and 3 over to Leadville.

From Leadville, I had planned to mosey up to Mt. Elbert, but you're right. I found some info after my initial post and it seems I won't be driving up that. I then fell back to Mt. Evans, but that road will be closed by the time I make my trip. I'll still see some beautiful country, I'm sure, but I admit I'm a smidge disappointed by not being able to take a picture of my LHS atop the snow-covered Rockies.

Anyway, thanks for the info! I'll be sure to take some pictures from time to time of my LHS if I can find some grand shots for it.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:43 PM
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i went up to pikes peak this summer and never had a problem with our durango. every now and then the engine would rev, i believe compensating for altitude but i could be wrong. the temp at the base of the mountain was 80~85 and by the time we reached the top, it was snowing. i felt too dizzy up there and a storm was heading in so we had get back down the mountain. just be sure your brakes are up to par...

--rudy--
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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Back in the early '90s I lived up in Leadville for a summer. When you get up to that altitude you'll think your car must be pulling an anchor. The altutide sucks a significant amount of the power, but you should be fine. It was common in Leadville to see snow at night any time of year, I remember waking up to snow on the grass in August. They do take very good care of the roads, so as long as you have decent tires you should be fine.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yep. New tires in July (just BF Goodrich Traction/TA, but they're still new) and new brakes in the rear in August. The front brakes were done in March I think by the previous owner. They looked brand new when I got it in April.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 12:38 PM
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Buena Vista...Leadville... LOL! Wow...I'm surprised to even hear those names! They were in our league when I was growing up....I used to play football and wrestle against them both every year! Do you have family there or something? Can't think of any other reason someone would know or go to those places, unless you're a history buff!

Hope ya have a great trip! Take lots of pics! I do miss the CO rockies, since I am a lot more familiar with them the the UT side of things...
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:22 PM
 
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Nah, no family. I just had a job offer that sounded really good at the time and went south really fast. Moved my whole family to Leadville and commuted to Frisco everyday. I managed an office in Frisco for the hospital out of Leadville. We lived across the street from the ski fence in the old part of town (if you're familiar with Leadville you've probably seen it) and could see Mt Elbrus and Massive out the kids bedroom window. I had an older Toyota Supra when we lived there and had to push some to make 75 going up some of the passes with the family in the car. When I drove a loaded U-Haul up Vail pass I literally had my foot on the floor at 5 mph crawling up the mountain. It's beautiful country up there, love to get back for a visit.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 03:12 AM
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The only thing odd about my LHS in the mountains is the cruise control.

When going down a hill steep enough to raise the speed above the target speed, it downshifts into 3rd.

It really bothers me.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, I turn off cruise control if going through even moderately hilly country anyway, so that won't even be a concern for me.

Though, you do bring up a good point about the downshifting. Do you all think I should maybe downshift (as if I were towing) while going up and down those high altitude inclines and just leave it in the lower gear?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 12:51 PM
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there are signs telling you exactly when to use low gear-at least at pike's peak there were. we used the lowest gear in our durango, maybe a little too cautionary because some people were flying down the mountain. i just could not imagine being that careless going down the mtn. with my family inside. we also had to pull over half way down due to the brakes being over 300 degrees f. there was a park ranger sitting there doing mandatory brake checks with a heat gun. we had to sit in a shop for about 20~30 min while they cooled off. better safe than sorry.
on another note, the views were absolutely amazing!!
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfsram
The only thing odd about my LHS in the mountains is the cruise control.

When going down a hill steep enough to raise the speed above the target speed, it downshifts into 3rd.

It really bothers me.
lol! I noticed that right after I got my Trep. I thought it was kind of odd... I've never owned a car before that attempts to maintain speed from both directions (acceleration & deceleration). I, too, turn it off in the mountain areas where my speeds will fluctuate anyway.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velobard
Nah, no family. I just had a job offer that sounded really good at the time and went south really fast. Moved my whole family to Leadville and commuted to Frisco everyday. I managed an office in Frisco for the hospital out of Leadville. We lived across the street from the ski fence in the old part of town (if you're familiar with Leadville you've probably seen it) and could see Mt Elbrus and Massive out the kids bedroom window. I had an older Toyota Supra when we lived there and had to push some to make 75 going up some of the passes with the family in the car. When I drove a loaded U-Haul up Vail pass I literally had my foot on the floor at 5 mph crawling up the mountain. It's beautiful country up there, love to get back for a visit.
Actually...my comment was for BHS...but cool! Yes, I know leadville fairly well...well...at least the was it was 20 years ago! lol! I still have a couple friends that participate in the Leadville Trail 100's each year. I still think they're nutz!! lol!

Back in the day, I used to just jump in the car and head off for a drive...sometimes for a couple hours...sometimes for a day or two. I used to drive up the canyons all the time. I grew up in Penrose (35 miles SW of Colo. Springs), and I'd usually head up north and end up going west on I-70. Aspen and Vail were always fun to hang out in. If I could afford it, I'd retire in Steamboat! I love that place!! Aaaaaahhhhh the good old days....
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 12:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlkmgr
there are signs telling you exactly when to use low gear-at least at pike's peak there were. we used the lowest gear in our durango, maybe a little too cautionary because some people were flying down the mountain. i just could not imagine being that careless going down the mtn. with my family inside. we also had to pull over half way down due to the brakes being over 300 degrees f. there was a park ranger sitting there doing mandatory brake checks with a heat gun. we had to sit in a shop for about 20~30 min while they cooled off. better safe than sorry.
on another note, the views were absolutely amazing!!
I used to be a test driver for GM in Arizona. Every fall they'd send a team to Pikes Peak for brake testing. You wouldn't believe some of the temperatures they'd during those torture tests, waaaayyyyyyyyy higher than 300. They'd have to change the brake fluid after many of the runs because the temps were so outrageous.

BTW, the downshift in cruise on the downhills is by design, to keep your speed from running up more than about 3 mph on the downhills.
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