Seeing the transporting heavy game thread made me think of some of my most "epic" pack outs. I've got multiple but I'll start with one of my better ones. It was about 15 years ago, my buddy Tim and I were hunting up in the Maroon Belles of Colorado. We started off on a high ridge right at tree line and had spotted some elk far below meandering through the dark timber in a deep and steep bowl. We decided to go for it. Long story shortened, several hours later and just at sunset we found ourselves among a huge herd of bachelor bull elk with a few wandering cows about. I was thinking that we needed to limit ourselves to one bull in this area because the pack out was going to be a as tough as it gets with a 1500' vertical climb in steep and rugged terrain. We both had two elk tags in our pockets, one either sex and one bull tag. I was just going to have a little pow wow with Tim but he'd disappeared, as usual before we could have that conversation. It was at this time that it all "happened" I am standing there and all of a sudden hear the clanking of antlers. Out of the timber a little rag horn 4 and a 5x5 appear at about 60 yards. I raise my rifle and shoot the 5x5 as I'm coming out of recoil I hear Tim shoot just about 100 yards further down the bowl. I am now hoping that maybe I missed my bull. At the shot my bull had taken off up the hill into some thick timber. I listened to him crashing through the brush. Then I heard him stop, fall over and start sliding down the hill. I hadn't missed. It was just about now that I heard another shot from Tim. I immediately thought "geeze I hope that was a finisher and not another elk!" I got busy skinning and quartering my bull. It's a little after dark when Tim found me and tells me his story. He'd shot a cow and had her all quartered up and hanging. I asked about the second shot, Tim says he shot at a little rag 4 that came running by but thinks he missed him. I have him take me over to where the little bull went running by. I find hair, lots of hair but no blood. Tim who was new at hunting back then had not been on the right set of tracks. We tracked the bull it is now pitch black outside and we are using head lamps. We go about 50 yards and there it is in the snow, a crimson drop of blood. Then a splash, then a bigger splash, then a bigger splash, it's a classic heart shot and we find the bull,our third elk down about 100 yards further on in a nasty tangle of blown down cross fallen pines. We get number three cut and hung for the night and haul our own sorry carcasses up to the ridge line and back to the quads. We get into camp at about midnight and crash out in our tent. The next morning we found an old fire cut road that allowed us to get closer and cut our vertical distance to about 1000'. We strapped on our pack boards and headed down into the bowl. We boned out the meat to reduce the weight and were each able to carry about half an elk worth of meat per load. That worked out to roughly 150 lbs per load. Three round trips and multiple thousands of vertical feet later we had all the meat loaded onto the four Wheelers. It is now about midnight and it had started snowing heavily several hours prior to getting the last load up to the road. The snow fall had turned into a massive blizzard and has dumped about a foot of fresh snow. The accumulation rate was getting heavier by the moment. It was time to go. We've got two severely over loaded quads on a steep and nasty fire cut with a massive drop off on the down hill side. Everything was going well until I got on to a part of the trail that was angled, my machine started to slide in the snow, it hit the edge of the trail and flipped. I was able to jump free and watch my quad go tumbling down the steep slope. My pack, my rifle and my binos went sailing into space as the machine picked up velocity rolling down hill. The elk meat miraculously all stayed attached. The quad went about 200 feet down before it hung up on a pine tree and stopped. I found my pack, after a long search I found my rifle. The binos and range finder are still up there as far as I know. I never did find them. We were able hook up Tim's winch line to my winch line and and pull the now bent and beaten quad back up to the trail. Fortunately it was still running. As we got up to the last part of the trail it got real steep and the snow was 2 to 3 three feet deep in areas. We were forced to hook a winch line up to an available tree and winch up for a 100 feet or so at a time. We did this for most of a mile until we got back onto a portion of the trail that was shielded by the timber and allowed us to once again drive the quads with out high centering in the deep snow. We pulled into camp at about 3 AM, severely dehydrated, bone sore, tired and happy to be in camp. We built a huge fire to warm our hands and feet and pulled out a bottle of rock gut whiskey, Canadian Mist I think it was, I remember taking a couple deep swigs and then waking up at some time late the next morning, every bone and muscle in my body was stiff and my head was pounding from the mix of dehydration and the shots of whiskey. We spent the day pulling down camp and headed home that night with a truck full of elk meat and a head full of memories. That was one of my most epic pack outs, but not the most epic.