At last- Extreme Trail Weekend!





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  1. #1
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    Default At last- Extreme Trail Weekend!

    I am by no means financially involved

    During my stint with the Trail Masters Competition earlier this year,my responsibility was for the mountain section of the competition.
    Since then I have been wanting to go back to that glorious part of the country to do the trails.
    I've noticed a lot of guys are looking for a challenge....
    Now its on!
    Whos in?



    This weekend is meant to test both driver as well as their vehicle's capabilities on some of the best 4x4 routes that you will find in the Nelspruit surroundings.
    The route grading varies from a moderate 3 to a difficult 5 purely because some areas are very technical.
    But let's start from the beginning; This exciting weekend is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 9-11 December 2011 and will be our last trip for this year.
    According to plan, all guests will arrive on Friday the 9th December 2011late afternoon at the farm Bee Eaters, our home for the weekend. We will put up tents (3 man dome tents) but participants must bring their own stretchers or a matress and bedding. Dinner will be prepared by the team -after we will depart on a nightdrive that will take us through an obstacle course and up the mountain into a valley where one can experience the darkness and quietness of the Lowveld and appreciate the stars again. This night drive will take us on steep inclines and declines, rock crawling, natural dongas and ruts, loose sand and basically everything that you can find on an off road drive. The duration of the route is about 2.5 to 3 hours (7 km).
    After an early breakfast prepared by the team on Saturday the 10th December 2011, we will depart to Louws Creek some 45km away in the direction of Malelane. Today we will tackle a route that is partly know as the oxwagon trail. Just before the Shiyalongubo dam we will enter the first section where we will have to cross the first mountain. Needless to say that one can expect a steep and rocky climb. Once on top we have to continue through river streams, mud, and a natural tree tunnel to the border of Swaziland where we will enjoy lunch. This is an extremely technical route and you can be rest assure that there will be vehicles that need to be recovered or assisted with a winch as some areas are real cross axle twisters. If it rains this route become even more of a challenge....... Back at campsite the team will once again prepare a dinner around the campfire.
    On Sunday the 11th December 2011, after breakfast prepared by the team, we will once again depart, this time towards the Nsikaziriver bordering the southern fence of the Kruger National Park. Today is a day of fun in the river! Depending on the rainfall, once we've reached the river, we will turn upstream and travel about 1-2 km in the river. Loose sand and water about knee height will be in the order of the day. However, this is not an easy trip, as the river floor is soft sand and again some of the more heavier vehicles (like Landrovers) might get stuck. Once on the other side of the river, we will climb a 80 meter high granite rock that will give us a 360 degree view over the Lowveld as well as the Kruger National Park.
    IMPORTANT NOTES:
    1. The routes that we will traverse is not commercially used routes. In fact, it is hardly ever driven. The group must know and be prepared that it is an actual "expedition" where we will have to open the road again, build the road if necessary and be prepared to get stuck specially if it was raining.
    2. The terrain will vary from muddy erotion ditches, slippery rocks and acents/decents to sandy riverbeds and riverbanks.
    3. Do you need a 4x4 - yes most definitely. You need a 4x4 with low range and high ground clearance. It will also be advisable to take of your run boards to prevent them from damaging on route. If the vehicle is fitted with a winch, so much better!
    4. Vehicles must be fitted with proper recovery points and recovery gear is a must.
    5. For the night drive, it is recommended to have proper spotlights fitted, though I don't fit mine as the group normally shine as if it is daylight.
    6. Once in Nelspruit, guests must know that we will cover more or less 300km for the weekend. Fuel is however easy available with a filling station 7km away from Bee Eaters. The areas that we use is on both days are about 60-70 km away from Neslpruit into the Lowveld's bush. I doubt that you will see any other persons once on route!
    7. The route is accessible to standard vehicles.
    8. No alcohol will be allowed on route because due to the remoteness of the trail, there is no medical facilities nearby.
    9. There is no guarantee on the condition of the trail, but all attempts will be taken not to cause damage to any vehicle, and participants must know and agree that the route is done at own risk.
    WHAT TO BRING:
    1. Guests must bring their own stretcher / mattress and sleeping bag / blankets.
    2. Breakfast and dinner are included in the package, but guests must bring their own drinks and beverages as well as lunch for the two days. One might also like to have a snack in the vehicle!
    3. Please bring your own camping chair for on route as well as at the camping site.
    4. Hopefully we will not get stuck, but for that rainy days it is advisable to bring your own recovery gear.
    5. The camping site has flushing toilets and hot and cold water. There is however no electrical points in the tents and you'll need to bring lights for inside the tents
    6. An area will be set up for coffee/tea/rusks/drinking water etc. where guests can help themselves.
    COST: R890 per person that includes the following:
    - Tent accommodation for two nights. (the tents are not equipped)
    - Dinner for two nights (the saturday evening will be a braai menu)
    - Breakfast for two mornings
    - Venue fees
    - Trail fees and permits
    - Fully equipped guide vehicle
    - Generator cost
    Excluded:
    - Lunches
    - Beverages and drinks
    - Snacks etc.


    I normally invite 15 vehicles due to the technical difficulty of the route, but with more experienced guys I am sure that we can go up to 20 vehicles. Remember it is vehicles not persons, for what I care their can be 4 persons per vehicle. More than 20 vehicles might keep us longer busy than what daylight allows!
    .
    The cost is genuine only expenses as I've tried to keep it as low as possible. The most expensive cost is obviously the meals as well as the one permit of R250 per vehicle. That sounds a lot but it seems to be the going rate for trails in this area.
    On the Friday evening we will serve a lamb potjie and on the Saturday a nice braai. Breakfast is breakfast and will be the same as what we've served during the Trail Master.
    A legend in his own mind

  2. #2
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    Hi Bob
    I am defenitly in
    Land Rover Brotherhood
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  3. #3
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    Uncle Bob,

    Would have loved to join you ... miss your friendly banter.

    But ... it is just too far for me to do it this comming Dec. And then ... remembering snakes and heat also - no go.

    I trust that you will have a great time up there. Good luck and have fun.

    PS. How did the Lesotho trip go?
    __________
    Jean
    ORRA: A15

    Smoke a pipe and chill

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Kotze View Post
    Uncle Bob,

    Would have loved to join you ... miss your friendly banter.

    But ... it is just too far for me to do it this comming Dec. And then ... remembering snakes and heat also - no go.

    I trust that you will have a great time up there. Good luck and have fun.

    PS. How did the Lesotho trip go?
    Pity you cant come Jean
    You've been to that area so you know what it will be like

    Lesotho is always great-got some nice trout and yellow last trip

    John-could you pm me your contact details,plus anybody else who adds on the list.
    Who's in

    1. Will of Africa-FJ(needs to test)
    2. John Grobler-Defender
    3. Swaer-Land Cruiser
    4. incrediblebob-Disco
    5.Joagri-Defender 90
    6.Georgethegreek-Defender 90
    A legend in his own mind

  5. #5
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    ek praat nog met Hentie om saam te gaan ek sal jou laat weet
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  6. #6
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    Default

    Damn... I am a guest speaker at the Canon Expo which falls on that weekend... Sorry I cant make it :-(

  7. #7
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    Hi Bob

    I am unfortunately not here then. I am in Namibia on holiday

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  8. #8
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    Great... Die een 4x4 trip wat ek aleen kon gedoen het!

    My pa moet my ma erens heen vat met landie, so my luck is uit...

    Wou my hankooks ook getry het
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    ----------------

  9. #9
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    Default Shocked

    Wow when I open the PM and link sent from Bob, I was so excited about this until I read the post and saw they are talking about our club routes. Except for Bee Eaters, that is Johan Groblers route, who is also responsible for this trip.

    I'm really shocked to see he's talking about "Louws Creek" as we are only 2 or 3 guys that really know where this route is, and Nsikazi (This is right way to spell it ). Only guys that drive there are the local offroad clubs and Gideon Stapelberg of Riverwild. We use different parts of the river. Gideon runs it as tour operator and is the only person who can run a commercial route in the area. He has a contract with the local chief. The clubs do it at no charge.

    We, as Elands4x4 use these 2 trials as non profit trials and are more than happy to take any person on them with no money involved (As we did with the journalist from the Drive out Wegry of June 2011).

    Now comes the part that gets me going, the last 2 routes are not maintained by Extreme Events, where not laid out by Extreme Events, now how can he go around and advertise and use other peoples routes for commercial gain.

    As far as I know, there is a unwritten law amoung offroaders that states that if a route is made and maintain by person X. If person Z would love to drive there, he will contact person X and inquire if he would like to lead them on the trial. If not if it be ok to drive the trial on their own.
    Now this newer happened.

    How would the guys feel if you get to Baboons, and a stranger sits there with a boom and asks you a R1000 to drive up baboons? I'm not talking about a local here, but a guy from SA............? Well, that is how I and a few others guys in the lowveld feel about this post. 15 to 20 cars will destroy 1 of these trials and we would spens weeks repairing it.

    I'm not crying here because I want to do this myself, this is going against all that is 4x4community and offroading to me as person. If I find something amazing, I want to show them to guys that will enjoy them as much as I do, not charge them for it and destroy it in the process.

    If anybody would love to drive these routes, we would love to do it for free, we enjoy it at much as the guys we take on trips, why would I ask money for something that is free already. Again, it goes against my morals.

    Bob this is not to nail you buddy, I just feel delete this post, and let's do it the right way, this is not the way offroaders work. This is like steeling to me!!!!

    Check the link below, we would love doing this at no charge.

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...ad.php?t=97267

    If John is going on with this trip, I would be more than happy to give him another grade5 trip to drive that will not damage the terrain.
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  10. #10
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    Angry

    I support you Castos!

    We as a local club respect and honour the routes and their respective owners in the Lowveld.
    We make use of these routes pearly for enjoyment and not to make a profit, and also have an understanding and respect for the locals and their traditions.

    The way this trip is being organized is going to or already has upset locals. This is not our peace of Africa alone, but we are trying to look after it as best we can!
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  11. #11
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    Maybe some feedback from the organizer would be in order before chastising them .

    I don't believe this is a money making scheme and the cost includes a lot more than the trails. I dont think its unreasonable .

    What are the permit fees for

    Surely these routes\trails are open to all and anyone
    Clayton Miles
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  12. #12
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    Maybe the organizer should have spoken to locals first. As is done all around...

    These trails are open to everyone, but confirmation from the relevant parties must be confirmed before emparking on a venture!
    2005 Toyota Hilux V6 4x4

  13. #13
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    As far as I am aware,the costs are mainly for the food,recovery/guide vehicle,paying the local community etc
    'They' have a deal with Bee-aters Farm/hotel to use their property on the understanding that any visitors use their facilities,restaurant etc for the four meals provided.
    On the Bee-eaters property there is a obstacle course,mountain trail and ablution block,these are maintained by the organiser-Eventsxtreme and have sole use of it all.
    We used this venue for the Trail Masters comp-foods brill
    The other trails mentioned-I haven't a clue...

    But I do understand how you guys feel,I was not aware of this,especially the trail 'ownership'
    So I'm on it,I am trying to get hold of the organizer and I'll ask him the story.
    But I will give him a damn good birch thrashing for not doing the polite thing and contacting you guys.
    I'm sure though that nothing has been done with any malicious intent.

    One more thing in my defence the organiser and two of his team are accredited guides,assessors as well as instructors,myself and one other driver are accredited instructors.
    We do understand about trail wrecking etc
    But,I will get the organiser to add to this.
    A legend in his own mind

  14. #14
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    Rage101, it goes deeper than that. It a matter of respect for one another and the code of offroading.

    I'm not going into the money part of this. If you are happy to pay, then pay.

    Nsikazi is one of our beloved hardcore trips, I would like to see how 15 cars drive 2km in the river and get out before nightfall. Good luck!
    Funny enough, he is using 2 of the 3 routes driven by us during the Wegry article

    My main concern is Louws Creek or as it is suppose to be known, "Piet se Pad"

    This is our little piece of heaven and is sacred ground for the real offroader. It is not meant to be abused as just another trail. If you do not have respect for the trail, nature and your car, you will destroy all 3.

    Only true offroaders are meant to drive this trail and we will fight to keep it that way. You need to earn the right to drive it and after you have done it, you will understand what we mean. It's the same as Baboons, ask any Baboons vet.

    As I stated above, we have a few other grade5 routes he can use and I would be more than happy to show him. But not Piet se Pad. That is off limits.

    Only saw your reply now Bob. Thanks for understanding. As with the phone call, please understand it is not that we do not want you guys here, we do with all our harts.

    Somethings you need to earn and money cannot buy it or give you access to it and as I explained the trail mentioned above is one of them. I'll be more than happy to take you on it as you are an true offroader. But not the way it is planned above.
    Bob the organizer can phone me as well. Lets sit around a table and sort it out as adults and true offroaders.

    Cheers

    You as a true offroader can undrstand this.
    Last edited by castos; 2011/11/21 at 05:05 PM. Reason: update
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  15. #15
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    Reynard,

    Julle het ne n web site vir Elands 4x4 Club nie het julle?

    Franz

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by castos View Post
    This is our little piece of heaven and is sacred ground for the real offroader. It is not meant to be abused as just another trail. If you do not have respect for the trail, nature and your car, you will destroy all 3.

    Only true offroaders are meant to drive this trail and we will fight to keep it that way. You need to earn the right to drive it and after you have done it, you will understand what we mean. It's the same as Baboons, ask any Baboons vet.
    .
    Castos With all respect , What makes you think that the guys wanting to do this trip are not true offraoders , im pretty sure there wont be any noobs and as Bob mentioned most of the guys are qualified 4x4 instructors , they deserve the right to drive it as much as anyone else.

    I wasnt planning on doing this trail myself , i just dont agree with your view on the permission to drive the trail .

    Im also sure there will be many more offroaders wanting to do this trail once red and seen in the Wegry Magazine

    Baboons pass is free for anyone to try anytime without permission or "earning the right" to drive it , I dont see any reason why permission needs to be asked to drive a trail\route unless there is a fence preventing the public from entering the property\land.
    Last edited by rage101; 2011/11/21 at 07:42 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Does the Elands club have exclusive use?

  18. #18
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    Correct me if I am wrong, but is this not exactly the same kind of thing that we have with our annual river trip? Anybody can drive the routes, yet we choose to do it with AndreG, he arranges everything, sorts the locals etc.

    From what I see they are not charging for the actual routes, but rather for the facilities provided?

  19. #19
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    I would love to go - pending a response from the organiser..
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  20. #20
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    I don't think the organiser goes on line at night-I'll prompt him tomorrow a.m
    A legend in his own mind

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