Dwellingup – A hard day’s fun in the sun
Joel Sierra (Trip Leader)
Keith and Cooper Ranger
Steve, Susan and Steph Nissan
Zeljko and Arthur
Trent Land rover
Donald and Jane Patrol (Tail)
Dwellingup Tourist centre was the meeting point. At 10.00 am it was already heating up. After filling out an improvised trip sheet and reading the insurance blurb, we proceeded to the ranger station to contribute our $15.00 entry fee.
Joel had planned the trip with 4 specific tracks, with each one being a bit more of a challenge. Track 1 and 2 were nice meanders on shady tracks through the pine plantation.
The third track was very a narrow uphill track with lots of Blackberry sharp canes encroaching the track making it a challenge to even walk up the track. However, a pair of lopping shears and chainsaw fixed that problem.
The next challenge was a large rock right at a corner of the track. Joel (Suzuki) just drove around. The Colorado tried the same and had to be winched about a metre before completing the drive to the top. Three others took a more adventurous route over the top rock instead and got up without needing to winch.
The final track of the day was even more of a challenge in unexpected ways (neither Joel or I had been able to get up this track previously due to its wetness). Today it was very dry and offered no shade at all. The track started with an innocent looking steep gravel entry point and Joel just trundled up.
Tony was next and looked to be doing same thing. Suddenly a large dust cloud appeared above the trees. Tony was stuck! He lowered his tyre pressures and tried max tracks. Still stuck. After some effort and a pull backwards Tony was mobile again steaming up the track. However, within a metre of the top he staked the left rear tyre then rolled the tyre off the rim of the front right tyre. As he came to a stop all that could be heard was the pssss of air escaping.
Everybody jumped in to help. A snatch over the crest saw our Patrol creeping towards Tony and Tony’s Ranger staying put. The same happened when we tried to winch. Trent had a longer winch rope and to improve the angle of the pull, the rope went from the Land rover round a tree and down to Tony’s Ranger.
But then the tree began to move. Pull out more winch rope and use a second tree. Eventually the vehicle was literally dragged, slowly millimetre by millimetre to the top. There was a collective sigh of relief as the Ranger emerged.
Once on flat ground one tyre was changed and the other re seated back onto the rim and we were good to go. A late lunch at 16.00 hours under shady trees beside river was a great place to cool down before driving home.
Take home message: going 4wdriving can a challenge. Doing it with mates is always better. In this case having a range of equipment and knowledge made all the difference. Nobody carried all the gear; everybody shared what they had and it took 2.5 hours and a lot of sweat!
3 snatch blocks
6 rated shackles
3 tree trunk protectors
High lift jack
3 cable dampers
1 winch extension strap
Story By Done, Jane and Joel