Going up and coming down issues

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 22:49
ThreadID: 66875 Views:1980 Replies:6 FollowUps:11
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A mate came around on Saturday and we where reminiscing about a trip we did to the Wonnangatta about three years ago.

On the way down the Zeta Spur track we uncounted a group coming out of the valley. Unfortunately this was at the top end of the track and one of our mob was towing a camper trailer.

I know the track reasonably well, and asked them if they could back down a bit where it’s possible to pass, because it would be difficult to back the trailer up for such a long distance.

The fella I was speaking to obviously had a bit of rum for breakfast and was quite belligerent to say least (not to mention a foul mouth).

What could have been an easy issue to resolve almost finished up in a brawl. In the end he was given two choices. We back up, and he’ll be waiting for at least an hour or more. Go back down and it’ll be over in fifteen minutes.

Thankfully one of his mates had some sense, and that’s what occurred.

Looking back on it now, it was a totally ridiculous situation that should never have happened in the first place.



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Reply By: Member - Wayne David (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 23:41

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 23:41
Kim - Sounds like you handled it perfectly.

As much as you feel like thumping them, in reality it's not the solution. Distance & Time is the answer. The old walk away & count to 10 is the best advice I've been given, and there are plenty of times when I feel the blood boiling that I use that tip.

Don't know why but it very often works. Maybe it gives me time to think, the other bloke time to think, someone to help both parties think...........who knows?

But I like your logic of 1 hour versus 15 minutes. Even a drunk can be made to see logic by his mates.

Well done.
AnswerID: 354224

Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 05:22

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 05:22

We had a group of 6 following a Disco towing a camper trailer down Zeka Spur about a month ago. The fellow couldn't have been more obliging and pulled up to let each of us pass. He passed our campsite about an hour after we set up and we gave him a wave.
AnswerID: 354235

Reply By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 08:55

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 08:55
Always been my understanding that the vehicles coming up should give way - its usually easier to reverse down a hill than it is up it. Of course there will always be exceptions. Its amazing how often those arrogant so and so's are the ones you see a day or two later bogged or with bonnet up or the vehicle on a jack. Their ego's very often overrule common sense.

AnswerID: 354259

Reply By: HGMonaro - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 11:24

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 11:24
I've always thought those decending should give way to those ascending if possible, as the ones ascending, if they stop, might not get started again! Probably only valid in really steep terrain. Every situation is different though.
AnswerID: 354283

Follow Up By: gjcumming - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 12:15

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 12:15
Yep. I've known & practiced nothing but HGMonaros understanding. Not talking about backing up here though. Its allot easier to resume travel downhill than uphill.
Regards: Grant.
FollowupID: 622446

Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:48

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:48
That seems to be the unwritten rule in the High Country.
FollowupID: 622466

Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:13

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:13
Your right. The excepted old rule was to give way to those climbing. However, that also depends on the conditions.

The upper Zeta Spur is very narrow and won’t allow passing in some sections.

It would be completely unreasonable in this scenario to expect a person to reverse a trailer up the track for quite a distance (not to mention dangerous).

Common sense needs to prevail.


FollowupID: 622476

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:34

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:34
G'day Kim,

We had a similar situation a few years ago crossing the Pascoe going to Iron Range on Cape York. We were in a convoy of 4 all towing trailers. Two of us had succesfully crossed and we now had one stuck which needed some effort to extract. Our radios erupted with a strange voice instructing us all to make way and reverse because a police vehicle was coming through. We said mate you could be god and we could still not reverse to let you through better helping us up and out - no response, just a couple of sour coppers when we finally did get out.

Sometimes it is just not possible to please everyone.

Kind regards

AnswerID: 354312

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:35

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:35
If you know that you are coming to a restrictive part of a track would it not be better to send some one on ahead a bit and then if clear they can call the vehicle that is towing to come on through ?

I don't know the track in question but in some cases I think that it is arrogant to take a trailer into a place that is confined and then believe that you must have right of way.

AnswerID: 354313

Follow Up By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:06

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:06
Great in theory...just keep sending someone forward to 'see' if anyone else is coming...what just do little 500m 'bumps' each time??

I didnt read this situation as a RIGHT of WAY?? That is the stupidest statement and has caused soo many accidents on streets and is not even an argument in court!

If you had 'right of way' and did not try to avoid an accident then you are just as liable. Like people barging through round-abouts!!

I read the post, not as to who had right of way but in a plea to common sense or lack of in a difficult situation. What was the problem with pulling over or back to let a vehicle decending with a trailer. The only possible outcome occurred eventually and the tralier vehicles were allowed to descend....no need for anyone to be arrogant hey!

Its very similar on the water the most manuvable craft MUST give way to the least manuverable!! Ahh common sense!!

All the best

FollowupID: 622486

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:14

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:14
Matt, my point is that it would be common sense to avoid the situation rather then get into a position such as was described. If you KNOW that the next section of track COULD cause a problem then common sense would be to send some one on ahead to scout for places where vehicles can pass. Or, if you meet some one coming towards the group then they can be warned that there are vehicles with trailers coming along behind. It's done all the time for convoys in sand dunes and wide loads on the highway. The only trouble is common sense does not seem to be to common these days.


FollowupID: 622522

Follow Up By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:30

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:30
Agree...great in theory but just about usefull as cow teats on a golfball in practice. Unless the track has just one little convenient tight spot that you can plan the complete trip around.

The lack of common sense is the attitude posted when the situation occurred, which is a situation that could occur many times every trip.

I have lost count the times I have met oncoming traffic and you look each other over, assess the situation as to who can easily manuvour and get it done. But you cant seriously blame the trailer driver and believe that he could have avoided the situation and was arrogant to want to get his trailer to a secluded spot??

All the Best


FollowupID: 622529

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:31

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:31
Matt, the guy was in a convoy. I don't blame him I blame the organisation of that convoy.

FollowupID: 622547

Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:59

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:59
Gidday Kiwi

As in the Simpson and similar areas, we use the radio regularly to determine if others are on the track. However, the use of UHF is very limited in the Victorian high country (VHC) as others will attest to.

I’ve not used the method of scouting ahead up in the VHC, but it may have some merit if somebody in the party had prior knowledge of the track. This would only be practical if the ‘scout’ can contact the others by radio in the event of an obstruction.

Oncoming traffic is not the only issue. Fallen trees, landslides, snow and washouts are all part of the interest.

Most people I think will acknowledge that ‘what’s around the next corner’ is a big part of the reason why we do what we do. I wouldn’t like to see that sense of adventure diminished by too much caution. But I do take your point.


FollowupID: 622567

Follow Up By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 11:36

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 11:36
Kiwi Im still totally at a loss as to what blame there is at all for the trailer group?? Have you never ventured in more than two vehicles...that constitutes convoy. Did you have trip logs, convoy orders and contigency plans for a trip along a track?

Hell no! Again nice in practice but does it happen in reality? With a safe approach and stoppiing and thinking if obstacles are encountered (be them, trees, creeks, or other vehicles) you stop assess and take appropriate action.

I have driven all over Aust in regimented convoys and again all over aust in ad-hoc or improvised convoys...does that make me irresponsible just for doing such?

If my mates an I travel together and encounter a problem we deal with it and there is no reason to blame anyone for something that you EXPECT to happen.

The issue was two groups met and the most manouvarable group made a fuss about having to back up for a small distance to allow passage for BOTH groups. It was the only option and there didnt need to be any fuss whatsoever...hence the post. It has nothing to do with convoy decipline or lack of planning or radio operation or anything apart from the attitude that was given was not necessary or constructive.

All the best

FollowupID: 622664

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 13:05

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 13:05
Matt, I usually do three x 6000 km trips in Australia each year. In New Zealand I do convoy trips leading 10 to 20 vehicles about once a month (on bush tracks). If you can't see the point of what I was trying to get across then there is no point going any further.

FollowupID: 622670

Follow Up By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 13:12

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 13:12
I see your point and find it pedantic and not relevant, there was nothing wrong with either groups actions till the pi$$ing competition happened on the hill. There was no need for it...there was no problem just move and move on.

Too many experts now that ruin can the trip thinking they are more important that everyone else out there.

All the best

FollowupID: 622671

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