Easy Tracks this Season !

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 14, 2018 at 16:40
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Tracks seemed to be easier this season in High country, wonder if you found the same ?

Just back from annual camping trip around Dargo area and seems to me tracks were in good shape.

Billy goat bluff seemed the easiest it has been for years , no big rocks no significant stepups etc and not even a lot of traffic.
Apart from latent puddles, tracks seemed to be dry after big storms just before Xmas.

You still have to be careful though on narrow tracks, our kids were first on scene of 1 rollover with us a couple of minutes behind and thought it was them but they were simply assisting the dazed occupants.
Interestingly the steering wheel could be rotated several turns without resistance - I guess the steering column had sheared and car just went where it wanted until in rolled.
My brother dragged it out of danger until it could be recovered a couple of days later.

Just before christmas there were storms and a main 4wd drive track (Bulltown spur) had a particularly nasty set of trees down about 18 river crossings up from main Talbotville camp ground , discussions with rangers on a "Show the flag" drive revealed that it was to much for them to clear and they said they would get a specialist crew in somewhat after christmas/new year.
Unfortunately this is a key, and steep track and many 4wds went all the way down from the top to the rivers below and had to turn around and come all the way back up.
About boxing day the kids decided the blockage had to go and we all took off for what would be a tricky operation.

Conditions were not good and I didn't get any proper photos but the main group of downed trees landed right across the chute that lead from an embankment about 3m high into the river.
The only way to tackle the problem was to park in the river and operate from there.
One tree lay at about head hight, right across the chute and was about 800mm diameter.
Even if it could be successfully cut it would roll down the chute, into the river and hit one of the cars parked in the river.
In the end we hooked up a winch and snatch block such that it would arrest the roll of the tree section.

With 3 saws and several people we finally broke thru as the sun set.

To make the most of the session the kids decided that rather than waste the green wood they cut a 2m metre long section right down the center making a 2m by 800mm flat table just perfect for a "Bar" , which was then well used.

The other interesting track section was Ewen spur to the east of Dargo.
I was leading a group down it when the dry steep track became so slippy that the back of my Patrol keep stepping out.
Just at the worst point a rangers work car came up the track and we stopped with our mirrors not 30mm from each other.
The ranger told me a Bulldozer had got stuck there and cut up the place trying to get out.
Another bulldozer was coming up right now to fix things up.
Fortunately as we continued down, the coming up bulldozer made its own path and we were able to just barely keep it all together as we slid past.

All in all a quiet start to the New Year !


Robin Miller

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