Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous - Page 5




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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

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    I had a rock to move before I could proceed.
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    The gwala made short work of it.
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    Descent into the donga was easy, but I could feel that as I am limiting the amount of work I am doing the tyres are having a hard time.
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    The Firestone Destinations are holding up well.
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    I used all of my available aproach angle, and as my departure angle is not as good my tow bar dragged a bit, I'll have to fill the dip in a bit. Going back up I had the same problem.
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    As I was alone and it was a bit too slippery to stop on the climb I don't have any pictures there. I managed to finish another 200m before it got a bit dark.
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    The moon although bright is not enough to work with.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneMader View Post
    Very interesting thread and thanks for taking the time to forge the new trail.
    I will be doing the Namakwa Trail from East to West in 2 weeks time. Would love to add that to my route.
    I will contact you via WhatsApp.
    Eugene made contact and we arranged to meet this morning and drive through some of the trail. He was on his way on the Namaqua eco route so we opted to go straight to the fun bits. He is the first member to drive the trail.
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    2 minutes in we spotted the Klipspringer. I maintain that if you don't see them on this route you haven't been looking.

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    His Jeep Grand Cherokee has a 2" lift, but only 265/65 tyres, so we had to be careful on many of the obstacles.

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    Gert se klip.
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    His wheelbase is not too long so passing through the narrows at finger pass went OK.
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    I did have confused moment when I saw that someone had built a step at the drop in Finger pass, it was not needed before, but then I remembered that some of the new Hilux bakkies had passed through recently.
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    And then that step came in handy a moment later.
    I think that without the lift the Jeep would not have been able to do the trail.
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    I was guiding from inside the vehicle so didn't take any pictures on the big hill. This is looking at the trail going up it from the next hill.
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    The Jeep didn't trotter with wheels in the air through the big crossovers like the Hardbody does.
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    Climbing through up to rooi klippe.
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    Exiting Beitel pass.

    Eugene can give his impression of the trail when he is back from the Namaqua route.
    The summary he gave me was that it was more difficult than it appears in the thread and would have turned around early if I was not with him.

    I think that the Jeep with some lift or maybe just bigger tyres is the minimum vehicle you need to do it with. I suspect that removing the mud flaps and some other plastic bits from under my Pathfinder and fitting 265/75 tyres made more difference than I initially thought.

    Anyway, it was good to do it with someone who have not done it before, I hope Eugene has a good trip and come back with some feedback.
    Last edited by Bex; 2018/11/24 at 05:54 PM.

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    Pedro helped me to polish the bit I did on Friday. I went through it a bit too quickly and left some rough patches.
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    The departure angle on the Hardbody is not great, so as long as I can get through I am assuming that most other 4x4's can.

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    We cleared the rest of the route to the start of the climb up the hill. The track will go up to the neck between to peaks.

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    We did some of first part, but I did not try it out as there is no place to turn around.
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    We have to go through this, so progress is going to slow down considerably.
    Last edited by Bex; 2018/11/26 at 07:38 PM.

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    I updated the first post with this message and posting it here.

    Recent visits by a few 4x4 enthusiasts with a variety of unmodified vehicles gave some insight into the dificulty of this route. It is a bit harder than it apears in the pictures. At no point were machines used in the making of the trail and at no point in the past was this a normal road that have deteriorated. It was built as a 4x4 track and in a lot of the obstacles there is only one correct line. This means that if you do not take the correct line you may get some damage or get into a dangerous situatio.

    YES, I have done it with my unmodified Pathfinder without any damage, but I did modify it in that I changed the tyres from 255/65 R17 to 265/75 R17. I also did it with an unmodified Hardbody 4x4, but it apears to have a better break over angle than newer vehicles.

    I had an unexperienced driver try an " easy" crossover with my Hardbody after I did it and he could not do it, so aparently the limited slip diff is not as good as I though it to be, it had more to do with getting the line through it just right and keeping momentum without too much power.

    Take drinking water with you.

    And finaly, I have done the route more than a hundred times in the last year, and it seemed rather easy to me, but first time users disagrees with me, so fair warning it is a Grade 4 route and 4x4 experience is needed as we will attemp to have a guide available on request, but it will not always be possible in our harvest season, So , do not plan to do it alone, and walk through the obstacles.

    I still maintain that the route can be done with a proper 4 x 4 without any damage, but you will need experience.


    I am busy with a route that I plan to be a grade 3 or at least with grade escape routes, but the original idea of the trail was to add something that was a bit more adventurous and a bit more exclusive and that will take you into hitherto unexplored terrainand some stunning views.

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    This thread is like a series on TV, after every post one cannot wait for the next one. Well done!

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  7. #86
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    Making the trail is also like that. I generally drive into the trail at around 18:00, that means I have to quickly drive through all the finished obstacles, and then start clearing the next ones.

    Sometimes I finish one and then realize I don't have time to test it as it is getting dark and I still have to drive back through all the others before it gets too dark, then I have to wait for the next evening before I can test it.

    I don't think there is more fun to be had on a 4x4 track than building and then testing new bits of it.

  8. #87
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    A big "Thank you" to Bex (Jors) for meeting me on Saturday and taking me on his trail.
    I met with him at 9am and the sun was out already. We said hello and he at first thought we should go in 2 vehicles but then I suggested he drive with me.
    This (in my opinion) was a much better option, we could chat and he could direct me around the tricky bits.
    Now, Jors doesn't do any fizzy drinks and even after I offered him an ice cold Black Label (or two) he opted to go for a glass of warm water.
    My opinion on the trail: You would need to be experienced, you would need a strong 4x4 with a good ground clearance. You would also need a good set of tyres.
    Jors and I discussed the trail rating and we both agree that in places it ranges from a 3 to a 4. The trail also doesn't offer you the chance to make any u-turns once you're committed so we agreed that it is definitely a 4 rating.
    The first loop of trail took us about 2 hours with Jors spotting me around the tight corners and over rocks.
    If you did the trail without a guide it would take you at least an hour longer. If you are in a larger group you can easily add an hour extra per vehicle.
    Spotters are a must, don't even think about doing it by yourself.
    And lastly, the photos he posted does not in any way depict the elevation as you would if you were there in person.
    If you are in the area, you should really arrange with him to drive the trail. It is a must.
    Thanks again Jors.

  9. #88
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    It was good to meet you Eugene.

    We are starting our harvest season tomorrow, so I have been a bit busy since the weekend. I am hoping to get a bit of work done on the trail tomorrow early before work, but will just have to see. I will probably go in with the bike for the next couple of trips so I lose less time traveling, and maybe only test what I have done on Sundays.
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    I have no new pictures of the trail, but can share this one that I took a while ago while walking in the mountains
    Who knows, maybe one day in the future there will be a 4x4 standing up here.
    Last edited by Bex; 2018/11/28 at 05:17 AM.

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  11. #89
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    I went in early this morning to fill some gullys on the initial climb on the mountain.
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    We have previously cleared away some of the rocks just to be able to see where we need to make the track.
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    I want to make a road that will stand the test of time, I follow a recipe that to my logic will ensure that rains don't wash away the material that I put in the gully.
    I start by wedging into the gully the largesrt rocks that i removed from the slop and then start filling the gaps with the medium size rocks.
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    Then the smaller ones and lastly the gravel that remains.
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    This may be a better example, it is on the inside of a turn and the track needs to be a bit wider.
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    Fill in the big rocks and then medium.
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    Crush in some of the soft weathered rocks and compact it into the gaps.
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    Rake the gravel in and compact it some more.
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    Level it so that as the water slows down after rushing down the upper slope it deposits gravel here. It may was away some of the soil and sand , but should not cut away the gravel and rocks. Underlaying structure should become stronger as the crevices are filled by the water.
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    Before the work done. in the picturres above the track looks wide enough , but in these pictures you will see that it needs some more work.
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    After the work done.
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    The next bit of the slope , the amount of work needed will increase as I go up.

  12. #90
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    This sure is impressive! I hope to one day be able to do the track!

    As an side. Are you guys into dates or what harvesting are you doing Bex?
    We can't change the wind but we can set our sails

  13. #91
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    Dates and Grapes. currently it is the grape season.
    The picture in post #88 is date trees , for scale, those trees are mostly between 5 and 15m tall. The white square in the right of the picture is my house.
    Last edited by Bex; 2018/11/28 at 10:39 AM.

  14. #92
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    You must have arms like a body builder by now

  15. #93
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    They don't look like bodybuilder arms, but at least sometimes they do feel as heavy after working on the trail.

  16. #94
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    We start harvesting at 02:00 an continue packing till 19:00 each day.
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    Different teams but still long days. During the pack house lunch break I managed to get away for an hour.
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    I hate having to use this rake.
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    But it does make the work go much quicker.
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    I took the bike through to where I wanted to reach.
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    I cleared the rocks away quickly and tidied up the gullies that I filled in previously.
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    Then I started to plan the next bit.
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    From the bike to the rake a few rocks need to move and a lot of leveling.
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    Then I need get across the gully, the drop will need some work.
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    And then start into the serious rocks.

  17. #95
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    This is turning into an obsession!
    We can't change the wind but we can set our sails

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  19. #96
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    This thread is only the tip of the iceberg, it has bee an obsession since I started working on it in July 2017.

    There are some interesting sections like Beitel pas, (chisel pass) where I had to drive chisels into the rock with a sledge hamer and then get an excavator to grip on the chisels to get the rocks out. I broke a lot of chisels.
    Unfortunately I did not take any pictures at that time.
    At the moment I progress about 50m per hour average, in Beitel pass it was less than 1m per hour.

    Then there was the traverse, it forced my to build the rake after I broke 3 of the garden variety.
    At Rooi Klippe I had to look up on YouTube how a man raises 20ton blocks of concrete by hand to work out how to get a 2 ton block of concrete out of a hole by hand, alone.

    So it has been a journey.

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  21. #97
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    I found some older pictures from the beginning. I didnt take everywhere, only some when were testing the road.

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    The is coming out of Beitel pass, i dont have anything in the pass itself.

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    This is "Sleepstang laagte", the departure ange in both directins is such that yuor towbar does some plowing if you are not a bit creative with your line.

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    Climbing out of sleepstang laagte is not bad , but without some sort of difflock it can be trickey.

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    Going up to the traverse , it was not ready at that stage.

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    We were still busy clearing rocks out of the climb to the traverse

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    The traverste took me about 20 hrs to level it is only about 80m long but it was a lot of work, and the reason I built the big rake.

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    Just beyond the traverse there is this natural sheltered place, ideal for a camp site.

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  23. #98
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    Great Stuff ,Keep track as is ,it will build a reputation.
    Can i please pic you're mind ,im doing the Namaqua but i see a lot of tracks on T4A that only reads (permit required)but where do i get one .i have permits for Namaqua but around nababeep there is a lot

  24. #99
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    I cannot really help you regarding the permits, as a local these are just the roads I use normally to transport the people of the area that work for me. Apart from the Namaqua route, some are public roads, some private.
    T4A is not up to date in this area either.

  25. #100
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    Default Re: Ga-Ma "trail" on Klein Pella, Northern Cape for the adventurous

    Under a lot of pressure at work at the moment, but managed a quick getaway.
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    I cleared the path from where I last stopped to where the rake was lying.
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    Now I need to move the big rock where the Gwala is standing and make a level area big enough so you can make a sharp left turn there.
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    Looking back it looks almost completely flat, very decieving.
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    From the Gwala the path has to descend to cross the gully.
    I hope to do a bit more tomorow, working till 21:00 tonight, started 05:00 this morning, this goes on for the next 2 weeks.

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