Got over-ambitious and slid off the roads

Sunday, March 31st, 2024, at 9:25 a.m. (MT), we received a request for help with an offroad recovery in Colorado. The requester, Mason Wilde, submitted the following information: “2018 Chevrolet Equinox AWD. Got over ambitious and slid off the roads after a sudden-ish shift to deeper tracks. I’m in a bit of a dip, and melted in, so I can’t get enough traction to get out. I think I’m bottomed out somewhere near the front driver wheel as it’s elevated, but I haven’t been able to dig out enough to get it down.
I have a recovery strap but no recovery sleds, chains, or other equipment. / I’m with the vehicle.”

We verified the location, contact information, and current situation. Then, we shared the request with volunteers within a 25-mile radius.

We already had another recovery happening south of this one at the same time, so I tried to activate this one and alert those going on the first group, and those volunteers responding to the first request about this second one.

From the first party attending the other request, we had Blais and Curt already engaged. On this recovery, we had Nicholas Albright, who is also an admin for Colorado, taking over.

Nicholas went on this request with Garret and Noel. By 12:33 p.m., Nicholas closed the request and let us know the vehicle was recovered.

We appreciate the help from Nicholas, Garret, and Noel. Awesome job, guys! (offroad recovery in Colorado 4×4 rescue).

Nicholas later sent us the following report and photos:

After Action Report: Offroad Recovery at Gordon Gulch, Colorado
Date: Sunday, March 31, 2024
Location: Gordon Gulch, near Nederland, Colorado
Recovery Team Staging and Departure Point: Broomfield, CO

Incident Summary:

On Saturday, March 30, at approximately 5:00 PM, a Chevy Equinox with all-wheel drive became stuck in Gordon Gulch. The Reporting Party (RP) opted to stay overnight with the vehicle, initiating a call for recovery assistance on Sunday, March 31, at around 9:30 AM through the Off Road Recovery Portal.

Response Team:

  1. Nicholas A.
  2. Noel A.
  3. Garrett C.

ETA and Arrival Time:

Estimated Time of Arrival: 11:00 AM
Actual Arrival Time: ~11:20 AM

Initial Recovery (Van):
Upon arrival at Gordon Gulch trail, the team encountered a Ram 1500 Promaster van, occupied by fun a couple living the “van life.” Despite being equipped with chains, the vehicle was struggling to make it up the icy hill. Local tow companies were unable (or unwilling/too expensive) to assist. We were able to give a little extra help to get them up the incline and out of the main roadway. 

Main Recovery (Chevy Equinox):
Approximately half a mile further, the team located the Chevy Equinox with the RP and his dog. The vehicle and driver were very capable, only minimal assistance was needed to get him back in action.  An initial recovery attempt by pulling straight back was unsuccessful, due to the soft snow it was just pulling him more off to the side of the trail. To reduce impact to the trail, we opted to re-rig and pull sideways. The side pull using a snatch ring and tree saver did the trick.  With the vehicle back on the trail the driver was able to independently get back to the main (paved) road and return safely to Nederland. 

Equipment Used:

RAM Power Wagon with a Warn 12000 LB winch
Recovery ring
Soft shackle
Tree saver
Rhino axle strap for attachment to the front tire


Both recoveries were completed efficiently, with no complications or drama. Both drivers demonstrated commendable preparedness and responsibility by choosing to stay with the vehicle. 


All parties involved were back in town and home by 1:30 PM. As with all of our recoveries, they are provided at no cost. 


Those venturing into the wilderness should always be prepared to spend at least a couple days in their vehicle in case of complications. Both individuals encountered today were very well prepared and were in no physical danger. It is always a pleasure to come across such responsible people.

We are always looking for more volunteers; If you would like to receive a text message when we get a request near you, create your account here: