Tackling the big ones - Some dune crossings on our 2015 Expedition.

Submitted: Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 18:35
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Just putting a few clips together for some fun and thought you may like to see how we crossed a few dunes on our desert crossing in last years expedition.

You'll note that Baz, "The landy" barely disturbs the froth on his mid morning cappuccino as he tackles the monsters, making it look easy. Grant launches "Conky" their 79 series skywards, the biggest thing to hit space since the Saturn V in '72 !

Jaydub looks more like he's looking for a parking space at Woolies rather than throwing the 80 and Ulti up the 'Mother of all Dunes'.

It wasn't all beer and skittles believe me and we had cause to dig ourselves out on more than one occasion but never-the-less, a good time was had by all. These little trials are sent to broaden our levels of 'outbackability'.

Cheers, Mick





If it's slow to load on Vimeo, it's on youtube HERE.




''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Reply By: Blown4by - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 19:23

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 19:23
M8 I did it in 1974 in a 4-cyl petrol Landy (no trailer) while working for BHP making fuel dumps along the CSR in readiness for a seismic survey by chopper. The 205l drums were delivered to Glenayle Station and we had to make fuel dumps north and south of there. We also had a petrol 4x4 International 'D1610' series truck but she would only go as far as the larger hills going north before the hills became too much for the truck. We then loaded 6 x 205l drums per trip off the truck in to the back of the Landy to make to dumps further to the north. Going north was OK but heading south became problematic the hills being steeper and with no load because we would start to get 'axle tramp' half way up the dunes and if you know how easy those old Landy rear axle shafts used to break we were getting a bit concerned it being our only means of getting back to the truck and no sat phones back then only a mobile HF RFDS radio that may or may not work depending on climatic conditions and if you find any kind or small tree to get the aerial wire up high enough. We never saw one other vehicle the whole time we were there and the track was so indistinct with high spiniphex grass in some places you would have to back up to be sure you were actually still on the track. Like you, we had to get back on the flat and charge the hills at full throttle and hope you breasted the hill before you ran out of revs because you couldn't change down a gear part way up the hill. No automatic 4x4's then that can change down 'on the fly' no matter the terrain and we only had 7.50x16 tubed tyres on split rims. Every night we would be repairing 4 or 5 tubes with punctures from all the mulga stakes on the south sections. We used vulcanised hot patches and a spark plug pump back then. We had to drive the Landy like we hated it at those hills and at the base the valves would be bouncing but if we didn't make it over the top say in 4th gear low range we would have to reverse all the way down again and have another go in 3rd gear low range. You also had to stay in your old wheel ruts so the next try you had already pushed sand out of the way part way up the hill in the hope that next try you would get further up the hill or if lucky right over the top. The real tricky part was that some hills were like two hills in one joined in the middle so when you thought you were over the top there was a dip and a 90 degree turn and then another short pinch rise before you started to descend the other side. Good fun!
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 21:09

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 21:09
Good stuff I did Siesmic in the 80's we used to sneak off and go site seeing as we had no radios on board due to the explosives...good memories but I rolled an old petrol Landcruiser with fuel tank under seat.. worst 4x4 the company had with the leaf springs bent down the other way and terrible steering.After my rollover they sold them all and got diesel..
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 19:24

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 19:24
Gday
Top stuff Mick, just love it ,,,,,,,
Muzbry
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Reply By: Mick O - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 19:46

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 19:46
Dug this out of the journal which gives you an idea of our methodology. There's a little more science to it than just pointing the vehicle, putting the boot in and hanging on for dear life ;-)


"Leaving our elevated campsite, we decided to follow the laterite ridge east for a while before heading back into the dunes to continue our northerly track. We had a few dunes to cross and what mighty dunes they were with one monster topping 30 metres. Given that there are the added complexities of towing trailers over these monsters, we have developed a routine that is employed with the more difficult dunes. John and Suze, leading, will scout the best path up the dune on foot. Once they have a line established, I move in and run the line in the Tuck Truck to clear the path and identify and soft spots. In the softer areas, the max tracks are laid down as a well as a bit of local shrubbery to provide traction. With the heaviest trailer, Grant is then thrust into the spotlight as the first of the towing vehicles to attempt the crossing. The big twin cab is an awesome sight as it thunders its way up and over, T-van bobbing along behind.


Next up is Pete in the 200 towing the Ulti, then John and Suze towing their trailer and finally Baz in his dual cab. Like me, Baz is not towing, is lightly loaded and has had very few issues with any of the country.


I must confess that I near filled the pants on one occasion though. With me up on the crest of the dune marking a point where vehicles are required to veer right to avoid a large hummock, Grant, on asking Jaydub the best line was told; “See Mick standing up there…..try and hit him!” He nearly bloody did and I was forced to side step like a matador to avoid becoming a bonnet ornament on Konky, thankfully capturing the whole lot on my video camera (Sure to form the basis of evidence for future law suit!)."


''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Reply By: Duncanm - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:19

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:19
Hello Mick, amazing video. I have just spent an hr watching a lot of your other clips as well. Looks like you have some great trips. Thanks for all your video work. I have met some of your regular travel companions (John and Suz) on a couple of Ulti musters some yrs back. Thanks again. Duncan
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:54

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:54
Vik and I have an Ulti of our own now Duncan (598). We went to our first Muster at Ned's Corner in November.

Glad you enjoyed the videos.

Cheers

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Reply By: Member - Young Nomads - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 18:04

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 18:04
Hi Mick.
Where were you going on this trip?
Cheers
Robyn
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Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 19:36

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 19:36
As always great stuff Mick

What model was the drone you used to capture video.

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Reply By: Member - DingoBlue(WA) - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 21:55

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 21:55
Mick,
Cruised up Big Red first go in my 105 series at 18 psi so not sure why the ' legendary ' monniker.
Traversed Yeagerup and Callcup dunes in SW WA last weekend. Callcup is 105m approx 3 times the height of Big Red. I struggled in the 105 but a mate in his petrol 80 series cruised up. ( maybe not cruised, but did it first go).
A bit of momentum, the right gear and correct tyre pressures and most ' icons' can be conquered.
Great videos....
Rather a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!

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