What I saw in the Snowy Mnts

Submitted: Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 11:56
ThreadID: 19141 Views:2440 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Just got back from the Snowy Mountians and there were 3 things that were not good to see.

1. A ute with 2 adults in the cab, both not wearing seat bealts and a 14 year old boy sitting on top of all the camping gear, well above the sides of the ute handing on as the driver was going over conservation mounds.

2. The number of people that drive on formed roads in National Parks and don't wear seat belts. Is it me or did they change the law about wearing of seat belts on public roads?

3. A couple, driving a grey import people mover van(4WD diesel). They had a map of the area that was a detailed and showed contour lines. When I stopped them for a chat, I asked if they knew where they wanted to go. They told me that they want to go where I had just come from. I then asked if another vehicle was going with them. On there own with a shovel for recovery, no other gear or radio.

I then asked if they had been on this track before and if they knew what the track was like ahead. They didn't. Just a map. If they read the map they would have seen that the contour lines were getting closer and that means that the track is getting steeper.

If they had gone another 100 mts they would have started a decent that they could not have been able to get out of or turn around until they reached the bottom of the hill. I believe that there vehicle would have not been able to drive back up the hill because of the rutts in the track. They would have run out of wheel travel and just spin wheels. If they had kept going, the track only got worse.

I have nothing against exploring new tracks but only with a vehicle that is set up and only with a least one other vehicle. Someone whould have come along sooner or later and helped them out, but they should not have been there in the first place.

They did turn around and go back the way they came from but only after I had told them what the track was like. They also didn't wear seatbelts at the time.

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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 12:51

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 12:51
Wayne...You should know...you can't save peolpe from themselves. You did save the couple in the grey import. And good on you! I have saved numerous fools out bush from turning their lives in to a disaster. You can't help some people tho'
AnswerID: 91764

Reply By: GUPatrol - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:39

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:39

Unfortunately the situation you mention about the couple is becoming more and more common, with softroaders becoming more popular is even going to get worse.
People think that because they have a 4wd they can go anywhere, they don't even know that recovery equipment exists let alone getting some...
We have recovered several people in trouble this way but recently we had to recover a softroader who ventured down a slightly rutted slightly steep hill with "hill decent control" only to find they could not come back up the hill...
The problem we encountered trying to help them was lack of recovery points on that vehicle, now you run the risk if one of those flimsy hooks comes off and flies through your back window (which is what happens when they tear off)... But you can't leave them there either....
You start to realise how emergency crews and NP people start to get sick of it...
AnswerID: 91770

Reply By: Member - Camper (SA) - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:55

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:55
Ah 'tis the silly season when those who know everything go on holidays and swim in danger, use boats without care, camp in creekbeds etc.etc. All without asking experienced locals about the wisdom of their exercising their right to do as they want.
Good time to stay home and plan the next trip.
AnswerID: 91772

Reply By: flappan - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 16:09

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 16:09
What sort of Van was it. A Delica , a newer or older style (bonnet or not).

The Delicas , especially the newer ones are surprisingly capable. Basically , if a Pajero can go there , so will the Delica.

Having said that though, I dont know the area , so quite possibly , you are 100% correct.

however , in this case , it would seem to me , that rather then the vehicle being the major issue , it was the couple obviously being quite unprepared , and most likely pure novices , that is the main issue, and quite rightly you did what you did.

Chances are though , they could have encountered problems regardless of vehicle.
AnswerID: 91792

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 16:39

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 16:39
It was a Delica, older style I think. Not haveing driven or seen one in action I was only going on what I have seen in the past with L300 vans. No wheel travel and very light over the rear axel. If they had been with another vehicle and had some recovery gear it would not have been so bad.

They were on the Cobberas Trail, coming from Native Dog Flat, going to Snowy River Road.

I know that I was only going on a gut feeling about there experience level,and I think after 9 years of training new comers to 4WDriving I can pick up on some one who has not done much.

FollowupID: 350596

Reply By: merlinp - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 17:53

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 17:53
Wayne and all

Never suprises me the antics people get up to in the hills, I"ve pulled out 4 vehicles over the years, the trucks were ok but the space between the driver ears was running on empty. As a point now I always stop if a vehicle looks suspect, you just never know what you may prevent.

The best one was a 2l hilux 2wd trying to pull an 18 footer fibre glass out of Eucumbene in winter bogged to the rear axle and just spinning. Didn't have a clue.
merlinp. ACT
AnswerID: 91814

Reply By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 21:59

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 21:59
I don't often write stories but this may interest you. About 20 of us were doing a trail ride very early last year on the Culpa track, Red road that goes from Koobooloomba dam near Ravenshoe to Blenco falls. It was still wet and slippery and the tarck pretty boggy, tricky going down hill even on trail bikes. We were in very thick rainforest on a very tight track not quite a car length wide when we came across a guy with 2 young kids under 10 in a Discovery towing a caravan. He had a map that showed a track to Ravenshoe. He couldn't go any further and he couldn't turn around, He was lucky there were so many of us. We unhitched the caravan and he drove off a bit till he found just a little room and did a 27 point U turn. Meanwhile we pushed the van as much into the bush as we could so the Discovery could sneak back past. We then physically pushed lifted and pulled the caravan around 180 and hitched him back up. I noticed his wife wasn't with him and said "she has been 4wd drivin with you before hasn't she" We were doing the last ride through there before the wet proper, if we hadn't found him we would have read about the three bodies in the headlines 3 months later. No radio, no recovery gear, no commonsense. Cheers Rob
AnswerID: 91857

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