The Frenchmans Track

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 20:44
ThreadID: 130131 Views:2484 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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I was wondering if anyone has done the Frenchmans Track recently. We are leaving for another Cape York trip on Thursday but in a Canter that we have not taken on a trip yet. We want to do the Frenchmans as we haven't done it yet and we want to know what the conditions are like and if the Canter will make it no worries....we don't have a winch yet! Any info would be good thanks :)
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Reply By: Kenell - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 10:35

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 10:35
My wife and I did the Cape in June. The talk around the camps was that Frenchmans was a difficult drive then. We followed one group of 5 vehicles on Facebook who were attempting it. Only 2 made it and the other three had to be rescued. I understand it is an expensive rescue if you can't get through under your own steam. I don't recall the precise issues they had but I seem to recall there was at least one clutch and one or more CVs. It was fairly wet around the time we were there, particularly on the east coast which may have been a contributing factor. The Facebook pages we followed and found very helpful were To The Cape York Tip and Back and also Cape York Road Report. Info was current and in the main, accurate. My take on driving around the Cape generally was that inexperience, speed, poor research and under prepared vehicles coupled with limited real 4wd experience (not just a run up the beach on Fraser Is.) seemed to be the main causes of grief. Keep researching and I hope you manage to get across Frenchmans.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 12:31

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 12:31
This site isn't current but suggests the track is on the hardcore side:
Sounds like a high clearance 4by is required.
AnswerID: 589790

Reply By: tribe-of-5 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 13:17

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 13:17
Our Canter has very high clearance but has duals on the rear which we have been told are less than ideal in soft/slippery stuff. Add to that the weight and height of it I'm not convinced we will make it. My husband will give anything a go but im a bit more cautious. We will be travelling with 2 hiluxes but I don't think they will be able to pull us out if we get stuck.
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Reply By: BunderDog - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 13:59

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 13:59
Which way are you going? One side is steep, the other side steep and ROCKY!
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Reply By: tribe-of-5 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 16:06

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 16:06
Don't know yet but read it was easier west to east
AnswerID: 589797

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 16:46

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 16:46
When we did it a few years ago the Wenlock was OK but the Pascoe was quite a wet and rough crossing. Depends on water level.

If approached from the Pascoe end it is not far to go in and check the crossing rather than go down the French track to find the crossing not passable. There were also a couple of good holes on Frenchmans Track itself. Ripped spring hanger off one vehicle. Lucky we were able to fix it on the road.

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Reply By: BunderDog - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 17:52

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 17:52
This is the rocky side out......................

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Follow Up By: Chambo - Monday, Aug 31, 2015 at 15:29

Monday, Aug 31, 2015 at 15:29
I know that hill well, towed the ulti up it and was very nervous about it before hand I give you the drum. Ended up doing it easy with the good old GU 4.2 Turbo. Was very elated at the top, I've never heard the missus get that excited about anything lol. Coming down the other side was nearly as interesting, slipped and slid most of the way down, all good fun.
FollowupID: 857801

Reply By: Spanner69 - Monday, Aug 31, 2015 at 13:04

Monday, Aug 31, 2015 at 13:04
Hi tribe of 5.

Our group of 5 vehicles completed the Frenchmans track from West/East in early June. Yes it was somewhat wet in places and rutted out, one would imagine in the wet it would be bloody dangerous. We took our time, and had no issues.
The last picture of the creek crossing needs some serious care as the last 2-300 meters down the hill was littered with very large rocks and again if wet you will need to be carefuland maybe a spotter to assist.
The exit on the other side was a little rutted but I think you will be fine given you have other vehicles to assist.
Your vehicle placement in your convoy on this track is paramount to a secussfull exit. If your going that way head to Chilli Beach evenr for a look, its worth the drive
Enjoy - Spanner
AnswerID: 589828

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