Condition of French Line

Submitted: Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 19:47
ThreadID: 34866 Views:1394 Replies:2 FollowUps:6
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Hi all

We are due to cross the Simpson from East to West in July with around 4 other vehicles and we are wondering what the current conditions are like in the desert.

Any info on the track and other conditions would be great.

Thanks in advance

Paul T
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Reply By: Willem - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:06

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:06
Lots of sand dunes with sand crests at the top

Run 20 to 15psi in tyres and you should be OK
AnswerID: 178125

Follow Up By: David from David and Justine Olsen's 4WD Tag-Along - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:10

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:10
Willem,

From your earlier posts, I am of the beleive that east to west will be a fair bit easer than the opposite

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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:36

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:36
David

As a rule West to East is easier as you well know.
The prevailing summer winds this year seem to have come from the south east and have been blowing the sand in the dune corridor up on to the crests and it was quite soft when we were there a month or so ago.

Yes from the east it could be fun but there have been quite a few across already so the crests could be flattened out a bit. Tyre pressure is the secret
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul T- Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:40

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:40
Willem

Thanks for that. We are doing a loop trip this time around; from Birdsville to Birdsville via the Madigan Line.

We expect the return trip (Mount Dare - Madigan Line - Birdsville) to be a little ??? harder.

Cheers

Paul T
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Reply By: Member - Ian S (NT) - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 21:37

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 21:37
Hi Paul,

The desert is taming dramatically over the last couple of months. It is now probably still easier west to east on the French Line as the crests have been knocked down on the whole and the is now a single predominant track. At Easter the tracks east were all over the place and the east to west crossing on the French Line was the hardest I have experienced.

Out there again last week and it is reverting to an easier trip. As Willem says, it is all about tyre pressures and an bit of momentum. Have been out Madigan country but not enough to say if the Madigan is easier than normal. The key factor is that the dune crests in the Northern Simpson are not as bad (from what I saw) as the Southern Simpson.

The first 3 blows on the start of the Rig Road up from the Warburton Track have caused a little angst but can now be tackled as opposed to detouring around.

Otherwise come and enjoy!!
Regards
Ian@Mt Dare

AnswerID: 178158

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 22:57

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 22:57
Yep

My rig pic shows the first BIG dune on up from the Warburton Track on the Rig Road and cming from the west.

The east west run is a lot gentler but the sand is still very soft. Dropped the tyre pressures down to 9psi and drove out of the situation :o)
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Follow Up By: Member - Ian S (NT) - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 23:30

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 23:30
Willem,

Most of the traffic has been concentrated on the Rig Road probably due the bad press on the Rig Road this year. You would be amazed at the difference a few weeks of traffic makes on the track. You had it at its best!!
Been out there about six times this year and due for another trip this weekend for about 4 days.

We returned to Birdsville in early March along the QAA line and it was just about impassable with up to 4 metre lips and we were airborne for about 100 of the crests. Not good on our truck I can assure you!!
Your next trip sounds a good one.
Cheers Ian @ Mt Dare
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Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 10:32

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 10:32
The Madigan is very difficult this year - huge living dunes - good fun, plenty of adventure!
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