The Sir Frederick Range (on the Sandy Blight Junction Track) - Video

Submitted: Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 23:48
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The Saturday matinee is a look at one of the side trips along the Sandy Blight Junction Track. I've just cobbled some of Scott and Gaby's video together to give you a look at the rather stiff climb up the rocky goat track that Len Beadell graded into the the Sir Frederick Range almost 53 years ago to the day (19th May, 1960).

From a distance, the range appears as a small rocky group of hills that seem smooth, rounded and benign, the reality however is far different and there is a certain degree of difficulty associated with the ascent. On reaching the foothills, the entire range is covered in round rocks seemingly like smooth river pebbles. These range in size from few centimetres up to boulders the size of a microwave oven. It makes for interesting driving as Scott and Gaby's narration indicate ;-) At the time of our visit, the entire area had been scoured by fire making it appear like the surface of Mars.

Just what provoked Len to grade a road up these hills escapes me but I reckon it might have been for the view which is simply magnificent.

Cheers Mick








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Reply By: equinox - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 00:21

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 00:21
Good Video Mick - Love your work...
I may get out that way if I'm lucky in a couple of months.

Frank Hann beat Len Beadell to the hills by 56 years, actually naming them the Sir Frederick Bedford Range. Bedford was the governor of Perth in the early 1900's.

Typically though, David Carnegie beat Hann by 7 years describing them as Low stony hills rough and scrubby, similar to your description here.

All the best.

Alan


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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:46

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:46
Cheers Al. Some rich history to the area with explorers old and new that's for sure.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 02:33

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 02:33
Looks like fun :)
You have given me an idea for next years trip.

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:47

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:47
Just get a car first ;-)
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 23:10

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 23:10
I did say next year :)
It's ordered, due August :((

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Reply By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 04:01

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 04:01
Hi Mick,

Another great and enjoyable video, its a lot steeper to get up than it looks. we did it in 2010.

You said; 'just what provoked Len to grade a road up these hills escapes me but I reckon it might have been for the view which is simply magnificent'. Nothing so romantic Mick. Len said in 'Beating about the Bush';

'When I first visited this range I determined immediately to ascertain whether or not a vehicle could reach the crest. If it could, a bulldozed spur off the main access would greatly help the follow-up survey parties from the National Mapping Council. Heavy equipment was needed at each trig station to carry forward the survey and, where time permitted and if it was at all feasible, I would endeavour to pave their way with a road. Mountains such as Leisler were out of the question for such an operation, and heavy batteries, tellurometers, theodolites, and tripods would have to be carried on their backs all the way'.

Interestingly he drove up in his Landrover before the dozer put the track in. now that was a 4WD challenge!



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Follow Up By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 07:48

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 07:48
Oops Sir Frederick Range not Sir Walter James !

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:48

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:48
Cheers Phil. I was pretty sure Len would have mentioned it in a book but my memory didn't recall the detail. I must re-read...when I can get time ;-)

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Reply By: Axle - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 09:19

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 09:19
G/Day Mick,.. Can you imagine sitting in a 2a Landrover going up there....lol


It was a credit to them way back then.


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:50

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:50
Yep that's for sure. I'm mighty glad I have a track to follow at times (and I did say at times there lol). Couldn't see me attempting that climb in the tuck truck just for the hell of it way back when.

Cheers Mick
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 09:55

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 09:55
Hi Mick

A great video and brings back very vivid memories when we tackled it. Did you love that last wash out right near the top...

I can still hear those large rocks making contact with the Prado...lol

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:48

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:48
Yeah a climb best tackled with caution that's for sure Stephen.

Regards

Mick
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Reply By: Member - ken m4 - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 11:39

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 11:39
Loved the video. If I get out there would try it leaving my wife at the bottom.
The background song supported the imagery well. Now the question, Who sang it and what was it titled
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 12:41

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 12:41
Someone has to look after the trailer Ken. ;-)

"We won't run" is the song by Sarah Blasko
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Reply By: Member - Broodie H2 - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 12:41

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 12:41
Mick, great video, I always new there was some place I hadn't been and now I have to go thank you for the insight to our backyard.
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:52

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:52
I'm constantly hearing rumours of places that are on the tracks less followed. Finding these places is half the fun of travelling!

Cheers Mick
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Reply By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 19:32

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 19:32
Hi Mick,

Saturday night video making is time well spent, can we expect more next week?? lol

Cheers
MJ
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:53

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:53
Mate I even managed a night drive with the Crown Prince on his "L" s and took Queen Vik out for dinner. Man I'm good at multi-tasking.

In answer...no! I'll be packing for an imminent departure.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 20:57

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 20:57
Sensational Mick.

My skwawkometer vetoed it when we were there in 2011. Still waiting on my Lake MacKay permit - 4 weeks now...

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Monday, May 27, 2013 at 09:24

Monday, May 27, 2013 at 09:24
Your skwawkometer - you like living dangerously Mr John - lol.

regards

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Reply By: GrumpyOldFart - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 21:24

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 21:24
Thanks for that Mick
We are now going to go and have a look for ourselves.
Should be easy as we are currently living down the road at Tjukurla managing the Community store.

Working out here in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands we get to spend a bit of time on Len's roads.
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:54

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 22:54
You're a lucky man indeed to have such an impressive back yard.

Enjoy it. Cheers Mick
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Reply By: Member - Scott & Gaby (Canada) - Monday, May 27, 2013 at 23:18

Monday, May 27, 2013 at 23:18
Ok... so it may have sounded like l was a bit stressed heading up what appeared to be a STEEP rocky hill on Mars, but our Lunar Rover aka Guppy only had a few hairy moment and the scene was fantastic. Loved every bit of it and hope to return again.
Great video and memories Mike.
Gabster
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