Death Trail 4x4





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Thread: Death Trail 4x4

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Death Trail 4x4

    Hi guys. I have to share this story with you: Completely unfair! No photos! Sorry!

    In Grande Cache (Canada; where I live) we have a yearly Death Race. 125km of slogging up and over high mountains - on foot! Teams of runners, or individuals, have 24 hours in which to complete this terrible ordeal. (Three mountain peaks to cross, over 10000 (I believe)feet of elevation change. Real gruelling, rough stuff!

    BUT: I was out on the course officiating. Had to assist runners who were not going to make it, and get them off the mountain back to 'beskawing'! Mad buggers all of them really!

    I have lived here for 10 years now, a thought I had seen it all, BUT I could not believe the unspoilt beauty and ruggedness of the terrain I entered on Saturday!

    The day started WET and miserable! My wife had to go up one of these mountains to also assist racers, with my Mercedes. Steep mountain track that is sufficiently wide to allow my ML to go up there. There was one particular section that caused me great anxiety the night before, and it proved to be a huge problem..... for some other cars... A Honda CRV just couldnot negotiate the slimy mud first time around. The girl driving it attempted reversing down this slope - about 35 degrees! But got it a bit wrong and ended up with her back wheels dangling precariously over a side ditch! We had to manhandle that vehicle out of there, turn it around - about a 13 point turn on that section of the road! All the time she figured the SUV'tjie was going to role down the mountain! But it did make it down.... and then up on a second try.

    A Ford- forgot its name - but looks like Subaru Forester, just did not have the balls to go up there and the guy had to hitch a ride form others....Actually he ended up in much the same way as the Honda did!Hanging over the ditch, that is!

    (Now these two vehicles are definitely SOFT ROADERS!)

    The ML performed superbly! Not even a hint of slip, and no trouble with any of the axle twisters and/or large rocks! Easily crept up the mountain without so much as breaking a sweat! Nogal on 'road' tyres! Some relativley deep water crossing too! My wife tells me the trip down was kinda hairy, as it kept on raining during the day causing a goodly amount of gooey mud to collect on various parts of the trail!

    I had to go up a different mountain. This one was higher and more inaccesible. I decided to take my truck- Chev C1500 with a 5.7l machine. Put my quad in the back and set off. My route took me over some mine property, to my station halfway up the mountain. Good wide coal haul road.

    I decided to move up a little further, following some other guy onto a trail that (this is part of the course the runners use!) I was told, is strictly 4x4 terrain. Boy, were they right! Everything started quite innocently with a sharpish decent down to a creek bed. Here we had to cross the creek, and after some loud chassis banging over rocks - no not even close to the vitals!- the climb started!

    I am not talking just a little incline! It must have been 35 degrees at least! I could do just so much to keep the guy driving out front in view! At one point he disappeared around a bend and up some rockface -must be something like Van Zyls- only steeper! I remember sitting there going: How the f*** am I going to get up there!?? Are you completely out of your mind But hey! In for a penny in for a pound and up she went -Low range and all that!

    I was impressed. Now I want to bring this truck over to SA! Never even protested! Impressed with the truck, the view, and the fact that I did it!

    When I got to the top, all I could do was sit down, and attempt to look relaxed so the other won't see my pants shaking! Burnt off some nervous energy by charging further up the mountain to the very top, with my quad. Freezing rain though, and not much fun at all. Now this was really NOT for vehicles! (I guess I could have atempted in a smaller, shorter based Jeep for instance!) Hair pin bends like they are going out of fashion and a drop of of several hudreds of meters and about a 75 degree slant to the mountain side! Precarious!

    Coming down the mountain was strictly Low Range first gear, and just role on down! Never mind the ruts and rocks. At the steep section it was like: "OK now the truck will do a nose stand for everyone to see!" But it just rolled right through it - nothing to it really!8)

    I felt much more at ease doing this trail later on when I was using my quad. A breeze then, but man do I want to go and try some more of the same type of terrain!

    Now I want to do Baviaans and die Poort!
    John van Dyk
    Land Cruiser VX 4.7l V8 1999
    Mercedes Benz E 200K 2005 ma se ryding...niks meer besem nie!
    Kia Sportage 2007 2.0 CRDI -seun se ryding
    Kia Sportage 2012 2.0i AT - seun se ryding
    Noname Boswa
    Honda CRV 2005 -2.0i VTEC seun se ryding...verkoop

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Hey John, sounds great! Wish you had some photos!

  3. #3
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    Cool

    Hi John nice story, rather you than me, looks like you have a vehicle for all occasions. Couldnt you have used one of the quads??

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    I was part of a rapid responce team. Yes my quad was on the back of my truck! I did use it later on in the day to retrieve stragglers and take them back to my truck (and some other vehicles that were on stanbdby), which we used to take people down in safety. I did the trip UP on the trail mostly out of curiosity, but I could not turn around until I got to the point where we were headed! - Oh! Actually I could .....but then I did not want to!

    PS Going back on the same trip in a few weeks. Using quads this time.. will take pics and try to post them!
    Last edited by john_ysbeer; 2007/08/09 at 08:29 PM.
    John van Dyk
    Land Cruiser VX 4.7l V8 1999
    Mercedes Benz E 200K 2005 ma se ryding...niks meer besem nie!
    Kia Sportage 2007 2.0 CRDI -seun se ryding
    Kia Sportage 2012 2.0i AT - seun se ryding
    Noname Boswa
    Honda CRV 2005 -2.0i VTEC seun se ryding...verkoop

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