Trail report - In the gorge (Hekpoort) 28 Mar '10





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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Trail report - In the gorge (Hekpoort) 28 Mar '10

    So... In the gorge was the destination of choice for Sunday’s wheeling

    We met at the Pinehaven Sasol garage on the corner of the N14 and Hendrik Potgieter at 8am before we set off to ‘The Gorge’. We were 4 vehicles, Adriaan in his 90, George in his 90, Rob in his Disco and the missus my mate in his Jeep and myself. He had newly acquired 35” Mickey Thompson Baja Claw’s fitted so we needed to do some testing! Testing we did!

    We arrived at the gorge at approximately 08h45, paid our R100 and after a brief discussion with the owner set out on the VERY wet trail. It had been raining for 3 weeks according to the owner ... he certainly wasn’t talking trash!

    We entered through the 3rd gate and approached the first obstacle of the day, the Jeep went first down the steep and long track decent to the stream below ... let’s just say it wasn’t pretty and we simply fell down the hill. Now, getting out was another story. This track was clay mud which offered no traction what so ever, the Jeep made its way to the top and we then came down to see how the others were doing. Adriaan came down the other track second and had a fight with the ruts and clay mud to get out the other side.


    Next to come through was George


    Next was Rob


    This mud was so slippery that you could barely walk on it without falling, I wiped out in true cartoon style and must have looked like I was flying ... all fours were far from Terra-fir-ma for a good few seconds! As you can see my backside is a tad muddy!


    Once all safely out the other side we had a quick chat and looked at the caked tyres...


    We then moved on to the next section which little did we know would keep us busy for some time later on in the day More about that later though...


    The next obstacle was only attempted by the Jeep, it was very steep with a nasty rock in the middle so when you came sliding back you would more than likely run into it. As mentioned earlier this mud was so slippery that when you got slightly screw on any incline the vehicle would slide sideways ... not always a nice feeling let me tell you




    We eventually gave up on that obstacle and proceeded to the next.
    Now the next obstacle was also going to prove to be a lesson for all... it was a fairly steep uphill which was quite rutted but not as slippery at the previous ones so I attempted it in the Jeep. The picture below kinda shows the way up...


    The first attempt we got about 2/3 of the way up and I ran out of momentum, I tried a few more times to get up from there without luck. As I started reversing the right rear wheel de-beaded so we headed down to level ground so that we could try sort this problem out ... none of us had ever needed to re-bead a tyre in the bush till today that was


    Incrediblebob kindly helped us out with a safety triangle just in case some reckless hooligan came tearing around the corner


    After loads of deliberating about how we were going to get this tyre back on the bead we decided that we would try the lighter fluid trick. One problem ... we didn’t have lighter fluid. Hmmm. Adriaan piped up to say he had some electrical spray (which he thought was flammable) and Rob said he had petrol... Decisions!

    So we tried the electrical spray ... it works a TREAT! Brilliant stuff! We pumped the wheel and had a go at our 2nd attempt ... guess what, the other rear wheel now de-beaded!!! Not impressed Lesson learnt though ... you can’t run those 35” wheels at 0.6 bar! Again we went through the entire process of cleaning the bead and tyre, spraying the magical spray and viola ... tyre on the bead again.

    On our second tyre re-bead Rob even got a photo of the magical spray in action!


    We pumped the tyre and on our 3rd attempt at the climb we got out ... it was quite a serious little climb in hind sight! Adriaan and George tried attempted it a couple of times but just couldn’t get over the step at the bottom.




    The Landy's headed around and up another climb to meet us at the top, here is George and Rob making their way up.




    Once we were all at the top we played around in the ‘play park’ area if I can call it that which was pretty cool. We then headed off again and entered through gate 2 this time only to get to the top of one of the obstacles which the Jeep couldn’t get up earlier that morning, again this was a slippery slope which offered no traction at all ... I don’t care who you are or what car you drive! There was no controlling your vehicle down these descents today they were terrible! We all made it to the bottom and decided to go up the little rocky section I mentioned earlier, Rob went up with little to no effort! The Detroit works a charm I tell you!

    Next to go was George, now the unfortunate thing about this little climb which looks very inconspicuous is that you slide to the side so easily and it just takes a wheel 50mm off line and you’ll end up where George eventually ended. This recovery took us about 2 hours I think ... I will try to remember everything we did...

    In the first picture is where George found himself...


    The second picture is the track he started on...


    The photos really don’t show how slippery it was and as you can see the side slope wasn’t too bad but it was amazing how quickly the vehicle slipped to the right.

    We tried to recover him with a pull strap from the front but the rear end slipped further down the hill. We then tried to recover from the rear but there was a tree that was stopping the vehicle from coming backwards now We then anchored the front of the vehicle to Robs Disco using a tree as a ‘snatch block’. We then attached a strap to the rear of the Landy and used the highlift as a winch to pull the rear of the Landy sideways ... this worked a treat Shortly after that George was able to reverse out and attempt the climb again but without any luck.

    Below you can see the anchor strap and the strap which was eventually used to winch the Landy out


    Adriaan then made it up the obstacle with a fair amount of sliding around but up none the less.

    We then decided to go to the other play area in Hekpoort near the school for a short drive, now this place is seriously over grown since I was last there. The tracks are non-existent and without prior knowledge of the place you’d not know where to go. We did a few of the obstacles, played in the mud hole which proved quite tricky mind you!

    Rob decided he didn’t like the flora very much on the one obstacle and flattened and already rotting tree (with a 200mm diameter I couldn’t call it a branch, sorry Rob ) It did look really impressive though! The 300 point turn was not quite as impressive though when you needed to get out of your parking space .

    We moved along and went down a very narrow gully where the Disco sustained some damage unfortunately, as you can see from the picture below it was narrow!


    The rear window of the Disco shattered after coming into contact with a nasty stump that was sticking out of the ground.

    After that incident we decided it was time to call it a day, we had already bent the Jeeps exhaust, The Disco had also bent its exhaust and now a Window had shattered.

    All in all it was a brilliant day! Thank to everyone for making it an unforgettable day, loads of lessons were learnt and fun had by all. I’ll be visiting the gorge again when it is a little drier though .

    The inside of the Jeep was as dirty as the outside ... the wide tyres and no windows are a problem!


    Thanks again guys!
    GD
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    Last edited by GreenDisco; 2010/03/29 at 03:34 PM.
    Mike


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    Zone Offroad


    TJ Evolution - Jeep Builds - Overland Blog

    "Evolution through carnage, the Jeep will keep what its wants!"

  2. #2
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    that rocky section is a slippery one! last year on the jeep day it was very wet there i took my standard hardbody with cooper road tyres up there alone after a few tries and then my FIL standard grand cherokee and my BIL standard Grand vitara with road tyres!
    but belive me it took us a while to get up there! very little of the jeeps that day could get up there and they were dumbstruck to see us at the top! fun times

    cant get the photos now because they are on my laptop at work sorry
    "Blue Thunder"
    Gert Ferreira
    2004 Hardbody 3.3 V6 D/C 4x4 SEL

  3. #3
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    Good report, i'll skip this for now thank you i like my windows whole
    2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara 3.2 Auto (7.7km/l)
    2008 Honda Civic 2.2TDCi (15.8km/l)
    Ex 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 Auto (7.0km/l)
    Ex Range Rover 4.6 HSE (7.5km/l)
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    Ex Ford Courier 3.0 DC 4x4 (7.5km/l)
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    http://photo.net/photos/Adriaan


  4. #4
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    Thanks AdriaanO!

    The Window incident wasn't at "In the gorge" it was at the other track in Hekpoort town itself.

    The sharp step ups aren't kind to vehicles with average entry and exit angles though, like I said the exhausts on 2 of the vehicles have now been naturally modified
    Mike


    Thanks to:
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    TJ Evolution - Jeep Builds - Overland Blog

    "Evolution through carnage, the Jeep will keep what its wants!"

  5. #5
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    You are now the official report writer!!!
    Very nice!!!

    Thanks to all for a fun day!!!

    I was clever, I delivered the Landy to Sandton Land Rover just like that! They can clean it! lol (I did however inform them that the car is not clean, and they replayed that it is no problem. I do not think he looked at the landy)
    Last edited by RangeRover; 2010/03/29 at 05:52 PM.
    Adriaan

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    Lyk lekker well done
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RangeRover View Post
    I was clever, I delivered the Landy to Sandton Land Rover just like that! They can clean it! lol (I did however inform them that the car is not clean, and they replayed that it is no problem. I do not think he looked at the landy)
    Would love to have seen the workshop managers face

    We had two of our staff clean the Jeep yesterday, it took them the entire day to clean it!
    Mike


    Thanks to:
    M&P Fabworx
    Zone Offroad


    TJ Evolution - Jeep Builds - Overland Blog

    "Evolution through carnage, the Jeep will keep what its wants!"

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