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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, we completed another Cruise this weekend, but because of the weather we've been having down here in Mexico, just about everything was inaccessible, one way or the other. We started our Cruise at Tallarook, as a way to kill some time while waiting for one of our group to come back from Thailand on Sat morning. Tallarook was OK, nothing overly challenging, but enough to keep us amused for a couple of hours.

Our original plan was to go from Tallarook to Mansfield and then over to the Howqua and then King Billy, but the track closures ended that idea. Instead, we went south to Jamieson and initially planned to go to Woods Point and work our way to Licola, but a last minute change of plan had us going to Licola via the Jamieson-Licola Road. We dropped down McMillan's Track into Rumpffs Flat and stayed the night there, before heading to Licola the next morning.

The next day, our plan was to go down Dingo Hill Track, through Caledonia Track and then down Zeka Spur Track into Wonangatta, but on our way down Dingo, we came across another group on their way back who told us that the Caledonia River crossing was impassable, so we turned around and decided to go to Billy Goat Bluff and then to Talbotville. It was a bit of a longish and boring drive from Licola to the Pinnacles, but we got there in good time.

The Pinnacles was like Burke Street at peak hour, so we stopped for a short lunch and then headed down Billy Goat. It's been at least a year and maybe more since we last did Billy Goat and the weather and traffic had made it a bit better than the highway it was the last time. That said, it wasn't all that big a deal, though apparently enough to stop more than a few vehicles (mainly at one short section where there was a mild rock ledge).

Once at the bottom, we headed off to Crooked River, to make our way to Talboville. That was a bust as well, as the first crossing was again way too high and fast. We found a spot nearby where to set up camp for the night and on hearing another group of cars head towards the river, we went to have a look. In the half hour or so between us checking out the river and setting up camp, a 100 Series petrol had attempted to come across from the other side and had nearly made it, only to stall three quarters of the way across. They'd been trying to Tirfor their way the last 20 or so meters when the other group came across them and hauled them over.

The Cruiser was absolutely waterlogged, with the console cup holders full of water. It took them a long time to get things going, but eventually they must have got the Cruiser running, as it wasn't there in the morning. We had more important things to do (beer cames to mind) than watch the Cruiser all afternoon, so we had headed back to camp before he got going. Next morning, we had another look at the river and it was still flowing fast, thanks to the overnight rain. However, there was another group of vehicles on the other side, who were now effectively stuck on an island, as they couldn't go forwards or back. I guess they'd just have to wait until the rains stopped and the water dropped. Hope they had enough beer.

So our next move was to go up Randalls Track to Talbotville and then the plan was to go down Bald Top, up Sara Spur and around to Wanangatta. Not so! On the way to Bald Top, we came across another group who'd tried just the same and the crossing at the bottom of Bald Top was again impassable. The next option was to go back to Talbotville and try to get onto Racecourse Track and then Cynthia Spur Track. The first river crossing was pretty good, not overly wide, but well over the bonnet going across. The river crossing to Racecourse was another story, pretty wide and flowing fast. The day before, it had claimed what looked like a brand new Prado, which was still sitting in the river (no one was injured).

The group that we'd followed decided to go across, by attaching a long snatch between the heaviest vehicle (a GU) and the others in their group. The first across was a pretty standard looking Navara and it went across quite well, but getting the snatch off was a whole world of hurt. The current was dragging at the snatch and was a bugger to get off. We decided that it just wasn't worth the effort and made other plans, but the group did get across safely. As things would have it, Cynthia Spur apparently wasn't passable for some reason and the group had to come back across (this conveyed by radio traffic as we worked our way back out of Talbotville.

Now the Talbotville Track/Road was another thing again. When we came down it, there were several narrow sections that made passing pretty tight and at one spot, I'd pulled over to let another vehicle go by when I felt the Patrol slowly starting to lean to the left. I didn't wait and just moved out more onto the road as the other vehicle went past. Probably not more than a couple of hundred meters on, I saw what clearly looked like marks left by a vehicle that hadn't stayed on the track; but there was nothing other than the marks. On our way back out of Talbotville, we came across another group going back down that warned us that a vehicle had rolled not far up the road. An 80 Series had gone wheels up because of the soft edges and their group was trying to get it back on the road. Not an easy task with all the traffic on the road.

So we headed back down to Dargo, with a plan to tackle Castleburn Track to Horseyard Flat for that day's camp. We thought of going back up Billy Goat, but didn't want to basically repeat what we'd done. We eventually found Castleburn and went up a fairly new(ish) firebreak track until we came to a junction of Castleburn and Scrubby Creek Track. Castleburn was the one we had to take, but after a walk down the track, it just wasn't worth trying that late in the afternoon. It was very steep and rapidly turned into a greasy slide. Someone caught our conversation on the UHF and said it was best to avoid, so we did.

All in all, we managed to do a few good tracks over the weekend, but covered barely anything that we really wanted. I think once the rains have subsided and summer comes around, there may be some very good drives available in future Cruises.

Here are a few shots from the weekend.

Grahame receiving his wicker basket for his Jeep (Grahame is Yom's Mexican representative on the Forum):



Our first campsite at Rumpffs Flat:



Keeping dry:



Randalls Track:





Prado in Wongangarra River (the day before, the water was up to the roof rack):



Here's a short video of the Prado (2.6Mb)

http://www.australianimage.com.au/HCC/hcc5/PB012255.wmv

Cheers

Ray
 

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Rogue
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Looks like a bit of fun considering the weather.
How far has the Prado washed down from a crossing?
 

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Part of the furniture around here
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Discussion Starter #3
Looks like a bit of fun considering the weather.
How far has the Prado washed down from a crossing?
It was about 50m from the crossing and got caught in the tree (don't know how the people got out). We heard that there were four vehicles with winches trying to get it out, with no luck. It looks like some big machinery will be required, once the river drops.

Cheers

Ray
 

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Autos are Superior
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It does make you wonder how they got out. I would have thought the river would have looked like it was moving at huge rate of knots regardless of the depth making it "I would have thought" impassable.

Cheers

Justin
 

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Nice one Ray! It is good to know that the weather doesn't scare you off. We went into the north east and only saw a three conveys all weekend. Cup weekend is always an adventure and full of suprises. That is what makes is so much fun. Very rarely do you actually get to complete the planned route. We did a little better than what you did, but still didnt get to the complete many of the tracks that we planned. We also didnt get to see any stranded trucks or have to worry many deep river crossings!

Here are a few pictures from our weekend:











Here is a full report of our trip with lots more photos:

Overlander 4WD :: View topic - High Country - Cup Weekend 2010, North East Victoria
 

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geez, i hope it dries out before i get down there in 4 weeks! is there one uhf channel that everyone uses in the high country?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice one Ray! It is good to know that the weather doesn't scare you off. We went into the north east and only saw a three conveys all weekend. Cup weekend is always an adventure and full of suprises. That is what makes is so much fun. Very rarely do you actually get to complete the planned route. We did a little better than what you did, but still didnt get to the complete many of the tracks that we planned. We also didnt get to see any stranded trucks or have to worry many deep river crossings!
Excellent stuff! We're looking at doing a Cruise back again to Davies Plains and surrounds next year. That is one fantastic area that simply blew us away when we went there last year.

Weather doesn't bother us one jot and we go out no matter what. There are no blouses on our trips, though we now do have a Jeep driver, but we are a considerate bunch of blokes.

Cheers

Ray
 

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Here's the Navara going over. I didn't get the complete crossing because I didn't have my glasses on and I didn't think my camera was running. You can see the tension that the water flow put on the snatch strap. The strap wraps around the front axle of the GU that is acting as an anchor/safety vehicle. Click on the pic to run the video:



We turned back because we didn't want to join the Prado.

On the way back we had to cross Crooked River a couple of times. Click on the pic




 

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It does make you wonder how they got out. I would have thought the river would have looked like it was moving at huge rate of knots regardless of the depth making it "I would have thought" impassable.

Cheers

Justin
X2 i would have looked at it and thought :badidea:
 

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On Monday we did 3/4 of Zeka & it was wet. We heard from others coming up that the bottom end had been badly torn up by someone winching a caravan out of there.:crazy:

This is toward the top end of Zeka & there were many of these all the way past 1/2way camp.





The day before we did Mt Margret Track which was a good run, after morning tea the sun came out & stayed with us until the camp fire started that night.

GU Duke Crossing the Avon
 

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Prado in Wongangarra River (the day before, the water was up to the roof rack):
From myswag

stevo said:
The poor bugger with his wife and two little kids in the Prado shown were actually camped 5 metres from us.
He crossed the river and found it running a lot swifter when he returned and got caught out by the current. We went looking for him when we heard a Prado was washed away and put two and two together when he didn't return to his camp.
The second crossing after leaving Talbotville was over the bonnet on our GU. Never seen the rivers up there like it. I have heard that 50 people are stranded in Wonnangatta, after being advised by the ranger on Saturday that it could be very wet.
 

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The Prodigal Child Has Returned
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the missus won't go out after, her father sank his 4by when she was young. She had to sit on the roof rack after she was passed out the window. She won't gett in my 4by even to go to coles now.

doubt that family would even drive in the rain now.
 

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Prado in Wongangarra River (the day before, the water was up to the roof rack):



Here's a short video of the Prado (2.6Mb)

http://www.australianimage.com.au/HCC/hcc5/PB012255.wmv



Cheers

Ray
actually i know 2 of the guys that helped the ppl out of the pickle. the owners of the car got out well b4 the car filled with water and sat on the roof and waited for help. luckily my mates came on the scene about 5 to 10 mins after they went under. all ok.. wifey not happy at all. stock prado.. not even a snorkel!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
actually i know 2 of the guys that helped the ppl out of the pickle. the owners of the car got out well b4 the car filled with water and sat on the roof and waited for help. luckily my mates came on the scene about 5 to 10 mins after they went under. all ok.. wifey not happy at all. stock prado.. not even a snorkel!
They're bloody lucky to have got out, but I guess the million dollar question is 'Why?'. What on earth were they thinking when they decided to cross that river on their own? The river was clearly a lot higher than it was when we got there, as where we camped the night before, on the start of the Crooked River Track, no one was crossing the river.

Cheers

Ray
 

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I was first on the scene. What a day that was. Feel sorry for the family. But like I said to Vince they really didn't have a car suited. Diesel with no snorkel and not much experience. They did how ever cross the river the day before with no problems but lack of experience and not realising that with the amount of water we had the night before would effect the crossing. Just lucky no one was hurt.
 

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I was with itssam when it happen. I help them get off the kids and wife off the roof of the car. Kids were crying but once we gave them a towel and food they running around again. The wife said to me that she's never doing this again. The owner said he lost the rear end and that made him drift down then about half way down then car turned off. He also called his 4wd club and said that they would be fine to go where they went.
 
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