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Old 16th July 2012, 23:52   #1
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Default Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

I don't really know if this deserves an entire thread or so, but I thought I'll pen in my whatever little thoughts and pics into it, and let the mods do the judgment.

As mentioned in the title, this was my 1st real off-roading event. Even though we have done and do some silly and serious stuff frequently, with a couple of Jeeps and more, this was the 1st time I was in an event with ~65 vehicles. And, this is the 1st time I'm coming to know about the +ves and -ves of a mass event. So, along with a detailed (by my standards) report, I'll try my max to shed light on the +ves and -ves of the event - The Wayanad Splash Off-Roading - July 2012!

Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!-hdr-2-ev_0-ev_1-ev_fused.jpg
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Old 16th July 2012, 23:56   #2
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Default July 12th - Registration

July 12th - Registration:

All the participants were asked to report and register officially for the event on July 12th, Thursday after 3:00PM afternoon. but, I could make it only at 5:30 PM. However, as there was a strike in coorg, all the coorg participants could leave coorg-to-wayanad only at 6:00PM , nothing really happened till about 5:30PM at the registration counter. After which, Bangalore guys, Chennai guys etc.. started arriving and the registration started.

Marshal Jeeps resting after the hard work @recce! Amidst which is parked my humble Jeep.
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The registrations, stay for participants with families, officials from Mahindra, breakfast, scrutiny of vehicles.. well.. everything major was @Kallat Hotel, Kalpetta.
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Participants vehicle scrutiny also happened there, the evening of the registration. However, for the lack of time, I opted for scrutiny the next morning. During registration, we were given t-shirts, ID cards, and food coupons (which were not really used ). We were also briefed regarding the rules and regulations and driving etiquette to be followed the next day. The registration desk and process were crowded, but I guess that happens.

One good thing that happened on Day-1 is, I met one Hemant Patel!. Well, as I have mentioned earlier, this was my 1st real event, and I was a bit anxious about whats gonna happen and how things worked. However, after meeting Hemant, it was all sorted out in a moment!. He was one helluva genuine guy with EGO as far away as possible, which is rare in the current off roading scene... and he was asking advices from me! LOL! To him, the main gear lever was 'Ram', and the 4x4 TC lever was 'Laxman'. Further some lightening comments followed and that lightened me up.

Further on... fellow bhp'n and member of the O-Team Sreejesh introduced me to Jagath Nangappa and Tom ettan from coorg! Jagat Nanjappa a legend and Tom ettan (Thomas Desouza) were just awesome! He drove a 1.8 Isuzu petrol engined CJ3B with Isuzu 4x4 GB, Isuzu TC and 8x18 (tractor tiller's) MT tyres from Coorg with only his little son accompanying him!

One regret I had and still have is why the O-Team decided on a horrendous color for the T-Shirt and cap!

Damn!!!... Check this out!!.. Imagine how a dark person would look in this outfit.. I guess they really wanted the participants to stand out.
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@ about 9:00PM I turn back home, which is about ~20kms from the hotel. That is also when I met fellow bhp'n and moderator Samurai!.

Rest all the participants stayed back. Bachelors were sent to some Baba home stay dormitory and Families in Kallat Hotel. IIRC Baba home stay dormitory is not at all worth the 800 bucks the O-Team charged per head. A very bad move by the organizers :(..
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Old 17th July 2012, 01:45   #3
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Default Wayanad OTR - July 2012: Day - 2

Wayanad OTR - July 2012: Day - 2

The 2nd day morning, by the time I had reached Kallat for registration @7:00AM, the place was humming and easily identifiable with all sorts of Jeeps parked in and around.. It was quite a sight to see!.

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Now.. Whats this?: Well.. I'd rather call it a Hybrid. Mansoor's Jeep. Armada Grand Chassis, Scorpio CDRe engine, wide axles, raised intake, raised exhaust and what not! A promised performer.. Hoping to see how it does!
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Prado with suspension lift! I heard that the lift kit alone cost ~2.75 lacs!!.. Add to that the, monstrous MT Tyres!
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ATV's were the prime attraction of the show! They literally clinched the show among localities!.
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Tom's CJ:
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My humble Jeep. The very few(I guess 5-6) which came shod with AT tyres. To make matters worse, half of the thread was worn off:
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Thar from Mahindra. Driven by Vinay.
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Breakfast was ready, which, well.. was the only food I had that day! After which, Sibi ettan (Sibi Paul) one of the main people who made this event a success, proceeded with the vehicle scrutiny.

I got number 19. Which was really lucky, considering the fact that only about ~20 Jeeps could finish the trail.

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After the breakfast and scrutiny of vehicles, we proceeded towards SKMJ School ground, for the official flag off.

Vehicles lined up/lining up for flag off!
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Fellow bhp'n Sreejesh in deep conversation with Tom.
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Now, this looks attractive and sounds monstrous, with its V8 petrol, but is it up to the task?!.. Well.. we'll see..
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Front + Back LSD = Sreejesh's 550XD!
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SPOA 540 from coorg.
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Tom's CJ. 1.8 Isuzu engine, Isuzu GB + TC, Back LSD, 8x18 MRF Tractor Tiller tyres!. Unbeatable combo in slush!
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As mentioned before a Hybrid! I wonder if he would ever get RTO approval!

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The ATV's lined up and ready for the flag off.
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In total, there were about ~60-65 vehicles. Out of which there were many SUV's. Sam's LC, a lifted Prado, a land rover, a pajero , a Montero etc... etc.. Well, seeing the SUV's, and having experienced the track before, I silently prayed, that they would atleast not block the others from having fun.

Jagath Nanjappa brifing before the flag off!..
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Last edited by dhanushs : 17th July 2012 at 10:00.
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Old 17th July 2012, 10:56   #4
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

Day - 2: Trail.(Note: I was driving and hence I dont have much pics.)

Its the 1st time Kalpetta town is seeing such buzz and activity of Jeeps and the locals were quite thrilled. Especially seeing the ATV's stunt a lil' en route to the trail.

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Another good thing about the trail was that it was through very scenic estates. LOT of scope for nature photographers/lovers.

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The 1st stop, which I guess was to lock the FWH's.

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After which the scenic estate roads leads to the forest.

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No chance for 2WD Jeeps! The Major, IIRC is of one of the organizers, parked to turn back to get food and stuff.

My friend Arun posing humbly. Little did he know how much hard work lay ahead.

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The 1st Obstacle:

Not that we did not need any 4WD before, but then this: was the 1st real obstacle. Where, I heard, some winching were required. A narrow rocky entry to a stream filled with boulders, followed by a slushy incline.

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Momentum and the right track were the key factors. With half thread AT tyres, I really needed the former! Even though 1st High dug up less, I opted for 2nd Low, for proper momentum. And, by gods grace, I came up the 1st try!

Some jeeps trying the incline.

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As mentioned before, there were more than 60 vehicles, and each one had to do it individually. Now, that meant a LOT of waiting.. IIRC, the Jeeps at the back, like Samurai's could do it only around afternoon.. ?

2nd Obstacle:

The 2nd obstacle was similar to the 1st one, but a lot more tougher. The incline after a stream was steeper, and there was this HUGE rock at the top, which was trying to eat up your underbody.

Well, I was 19th, but still, I could see all the Jeeps above getting stuck at the rock in a very helpless way. Meaning, they were sitting like a sea-saw, with the fulcrum being the rock and gearbox cross member. The monstrous MT tyres which went ahead dug up the mud in and around the rock too much, so that now, it was really big.

I washed my tyres off-slush in the stream, slotted into 2nd Low, and gave it all it can from below. Managed to make the front tyres cross the rock, but, the lack of grip of rear tyres and the incline got me stuck. I didn't bother to try it again, as it was obvious, with my tyres, I'm not gonna do it, and only spoil the terrain more and waste everybody's time. Opted for winching out.

Now, a good thing about the organizers was that, they had expected winching at all difficult inclines and tractors with rims as winches were ready. One side of the tractor would be jacked up and the rim of that side was used as winch. Pro of the method is, its really fast. Con, I think huge stresses on your Jeep's chassis.

3rd Obstacle:

I'm sure it was not really an obstacle at all for the 1st few Jeeps. Infact, they would not have even noticed this!. But, after all those ~18 jeeps ahead went a ploughed the mud, with my humble AT tyres it needed two tries.

1st time, I tried in 1st high. Didn't really think I needed momentum, and as a result got stuck at the top of the incline. The 2nd try, I came all the way back, as far as I could gain the max momentum, slotted into 2nd low AGAIN! and raced to the incline. Damn!!.. I thought I was going to get stuck again, but luckily my humble AT tyres found some god given traction.. and the Jeep pulled itself up. Much disappointing to the tractor driver who came with the tow rope!
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Old 17th July 2012, 11:33   #5
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Default Things start to get delayed

Things start to get delayed, and hey, where is the water, snacks and refreshments they promised?

Well, after this incline, things started to really slow down. The waiting time after each movement or incline, increased from 10-15 minutes to more than 30 minutes, which even extended to an hour sometimes. Well, it was also when I started to enquire about the water and refreshments they promised en route.. only to know that, few Jeeps including mine, missed the green refreshment bags! Now, if they were given during flag off, was my Jeep invisible, or too fast for them to notice? . Damn!!..

Thank god, I had bought 3 bottles of water, some soft drinks and enough cigarettes to kill time.

Waiting.. waiting.. waiting mixed with hunger, anticipation, excitement for the convoy to move on and discover what lays ahead!...
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The convoy moved slowly.. at snails pace... Several tricky inclines and came, and was tackled. After a while, it was really funny to see how difficult it was to move even on small inclines, with your tyres filled with muck. Well, the rear stepping out of the track even on perfectly straight tracks was funny as well a a bit dangerous. I started seeing most of the Jeeps lying diagonally or so.. LOL!..

Also, during this idle time, I made a lot of Jeep friends from Coorg, Bangalore, Chennai etc.. Thank god they had gotten the refreshments, so that I could share. Never knew buiscuts would be so tasty and desirable.


Time: ~3:00PM.. Where is LUNCH???!!!..

Well, it was pardonable that they missed giving refreshments and water to some Jeeps. But, missing lunch too??!!.. Now, that's getting too much. I had my breakfast at ~7:00AM and till this time, we got nothing!. Well, upon asking, I was told that the lunch which they bought got over.. Strange, how the organizers thought to buy the exact number of Fried rice and nothing extra.

Ok.. so, after a number of complaints, they decide to order food again. Some ~100 biriyanis.

Time: ~5:00PM... Where the hell is LUNCH????!!!

Now, couple of hours passed and we were still waiting for lunch to arrive.. even at 5:00PM, no sign of lunch, or any refreshments. To make matters worse, the convoy was not not even moving! The only consolation was the sound from the exhaust of gypsys coming from up above the hill.. It was well... orgasmic!

Also, by this time, there were no marshals around, and my friends in the marshals, started to cover up their orange coats!. LOL!.. Silently, I digest the fact that lunch will no more arrive and decide to move on.

Atleast I got some more driving to do!

Last edited by dhanushs : 17th July 2012 at 11:36.
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Old 17th July 2012, 12:04   #6
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Default The last obstacle: The toughest ONE!

The last obstacle: The toughest ONE!

After all the disappointment regarding lunch, we move on to the last obstacle. No doubt, this was also the most tough!. With 2 foot deep slush and a incline and a 180% curve, it was next to impossible for me to cross this!

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Again, to cross this, my tyres had to plough through the slush in to the hard mud below. But, my humble tyres, couldn't do the task. So, the only solution was momentum. Slotted into 2nd low AGAIN. I couldn't really floor the throttle as there were tree roots and huge boulders lying on my path. However, I managed to floor when I got a chance, but got stuck half way through the curve.

Somewhat like this (This is a Thar CRDe with MT, Maxxis Trepedor tyres):

Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!-dscn7701.jpg

I got down to check till what extent I got stuck, only to realize, that I had a flat! Only my front right wheel.. Damn!.. I guess the tree roots weren't that friendly!!..

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I was winched from the back to a clearing. Where all the AT's were resting peacefully! .. Notice the Thar with a dent in the left fender. It went straight to the trees. There were couple of other vehicles too which ended up on the trees. About ~10 burst their tyres, like me.

Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!-dscn7700-copy.jpg

I used Patrick's hi-lift jack from his gypsy to change my tyres.

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Well, after which, the time was about ~6:00PM and I decided not to continue the trail with my AT tyres. Decided that much better and modded vehicles behind me needed the terrain more than I did. Atleast they had a chance in conquering it.

Well... I was wrong!. Even they were winched, but, then, they got much ahead than me.

A couple of videos.





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Old 17th July 2012, 12:39   #7
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

At about ~6:00PM, we decide to turn back. Reason: only about ~20 vehicles came this way. Rest all were stuck down below after the 2nd obstacle. Waiting for them was pointless, and moreover we needed to get out of the forest by about 5:30PM. Which was.. well.. over.

Turning back:

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While turning back, even though I couldn't climb the last incline, I was happy and content with my Jeeps performance so far. Also, I thanked the O-Team for designing a track that tested your vehicles to the max! However, on moving a bit, we again were stuck in a block. Only then did I realise what a mess it was down below.

Right after the 2nd obstacle, all the SUV's were lined up!. None of the SUV's could do the 2nd obstacle, involving the rock at the top. The underbody was so harshly damaged for some that it was really sad to see such expensive vehicles in this condition. Some had their bumpers hanging, some burst tyres, some bent axles etc..etc...

Now, a white Montero burst both of its tyres due to heat while spinning on the rock!.. Damn!.. If these vehicles were not fit, then why the hell were they allowed? The worst part is the plight of the Jeeps behind these SUV's.. None of them could complete the trail, as these SUV's took up the majority of time.


Time: 8:00PM.. Still stuck in the Forest.


Now, it was 8:00PM and I was still stuck in the forest with Patrick, his family and a Thar guy and his family and about ~20 more Jeeps.

Why? A 540 toppled!

Well, mistakes like these do happen in OTR's but, then, in an event where roll cages were not a must, this SHOULD NOT have happened. The O-Team should have made the terrain a bit softer, or at-least identify the roll-over spots during recce, and given a strong warning to all the participants. Only after the 1st Jeep toppled did they warn the other Jeeps. Now, how is that for safety?

Afterwhich, when I went to the spot where the vehicle toppled, I was surprised to hear that there was only ONE marshal at the location. Also, none of the helpers or recovery team were there! It was the fellow participants who helped to set the Jeep straight. After which, it was winched from the back, and Vinay Thomas from Mahindra took it down safely.

Thank god no one got hurt and the Jeep wasn't damaged that much.

---------------------------------


The beauty of organizing this event is that, even some of the organisers were stranded and I had to give them a lift till the nearest town!. I was coming down inclines with 9 people on board!. Damn!.. I had no words to explain.

It was already ~10:00PM by the time we came out of the forest. Still no food!.. But thankfully, the local shops near the place were open anticipating some business from the participants. We halted a while there, bought some water, some snacks and some cigarettes and proceeded towards Hotel Harithagiri. However, being a localite I knew the route to the hotel and none of the other participants knew. So, I had to show them the way myself. Again - The beauty of organizing the event.

After which dinner and refreshments were served in Hotel Harithagiri. Then only I came to know the quality of food offered. Now, I didn't miss lunch much. . I had good company at Harithagiri, with Sibi Paul, Tom and organisers Sreejesh, Vipin, Shibu etc..

I turn back home @ 1:00AM!!.. In all a satisfying day with many glitches.
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Old 17th July 2012, 12:47   #8
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

Day 1: Summary. (Well, kicksperliter, has also summarised it very well in his post - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...ml#post2841257 (Wayanad Monsoon Off-Roading 2012))

Pros:
  • Super trail. It will be really enjoyed by Off-Roading enthusiasts. Only if you had some skill could you save the vehicle, and reach the destination!. Now, that is some real off roading!.
  • Super climate, and scenic location of the trail.
  • Adequate and satisfying length of the trail.
Cons:
  • Very badly organized. The lack of experience showed.
  • Horrible Food.
  • Bad facilities.
  • The trail was most suitable only for hard core off-roaders. Read: Jeeps and Gypsys. SUV's and AT/HT tyres didnt have a chance!
  • T-Shirt and Cap color!!...
Quoting kicksperliter's post. He has summarized it well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kicksperliter View Post

Like’s:-
• Scrutiny of the vehicles (headlights, brake lights, tyres, engine conditions, wiper working, indicators, etc) – one of its kind checking, quite impressed with it.
• Hard work behind recce and terrain setup.
• Recovery methods using tractors one wheel – First time coming across different kind of winching
• ID cards – Each participant was provided with printed ID card with details of the participant – Quite similar to Company’s ID card. (Again, first time seen around in OTR’s)
• Quality of t-shirts and hats were good.

Dislike’s:-
• Worst food – at least 40+ people complained about it.
• Accommodation for bachelors were Dormitory with bunk kind beds with common toilets – NOT HAPPENING (This was not even communicated during registrations, this should have been clearly communicated, so that few could have made certain arrangements themselves)
• Most people were frustrated because of the kind of accommodation provided.
• Lunch during OTR, never reached participants AT ALL. Very poor arrangements from the organizers. Many participants were with family and children and those who were in the middle of the trail never received the food at all.
• Participants had to walk down the tough trail for more than few Km’s to get food.
• Lack of Marshal’s during the lag end of the trails – by 5pm we don’t see as many as the marshals we had seen in the morning, pathetic. A jeep toppled and I believe hardly 1 marshal was around rest none seen. When called main organizer, he was away and couldn’t do much help.
• Strict NO drinking and driving was announced, but noticed many drunk by that time of return.
• Heavy vehicles like pajero, MONTERO (with HT tyres were allowed which caused lots of issues to other participants making them get stranded for couple of hours.
• Though vehicle scrutiny was performed, they allowed MONTERO with HT tyres to participate in the trail.
• Long chasis vehicles should have been announced as Strict NO to such terrains.
• Lack of communication.
• Poor crowd management during competitive event.


P.S:- I expect fellow bhp'ns and members of the O-Team Sreejesh and Shibu to comment on the above!

Last edited by dhanushs : 17th July 2012 at 12:48.
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Old 17th July 2012, 12:54   #9
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

Note from Mod : Thread moved to OTR Excursion section. Thanks for sharing this report.
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Old 17th July 2012, 13:02   #10
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

Fellow bhp'ns and participants of the Wayanad Monsoon OTR, please feel free to add color to this thread with your pics and suggestions and points that I missed out, while I come up with a report of the 2nd day!

Samurai, sreejeshmp, kicksperliter, KMT, mac187 and others, please chip in!.

Thanks,

Dhanush
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Old 17th July 2012, 13:31   #11
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Right after the 2nd obstacle, all the SUV's were lined up!. None of the SUV's could do the 2nd obstacle, involving the rock at the top.
Actually, the first 6 vehicles to return were Mini Prado, Land Rover Discovery, Scorpio, Pajero, another Pajero and our Thar. All managed to climb down the big rock with varying amount of drama. I have videos for some. There was no winch help this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
or at-least identify the roll-over spots during recce, and given a strong warning to all the participants. Only after the 1st Jeep toppled did they warn the other Jeeps.
To give credit where it is due, the sweeping marshal Sreejesh did warn all the first batch of returnees very seriously about the big rock. In this batch only the Pajero drivers were newbies, rest were veterans.
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Old 17th July 2012, 14:23   #12
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

How did the participants bring their ATVs to the venue? The Polaris side-by-side looks impressive - didn't know it was almost as big as a gypsy!
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Old 17th July 2012, 15:20   #13
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
How did the participants bring their ATVs to the venue? The Polaris side-by-side looks impressive - didn't know it was almost as big as a gypsy!
No It wasn't as huge in size of Gypsy. They had transported the Polaris ATV's from chennai through a truck. Basically there were 2 trucks transporting 3 Polaris ATV's. One ATV was 500cc, another 800cc and another should be either 150/250cc.
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Old 17th July 2012, 15:32   #14
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Day 1: Summary. (Well, kicksperliter, has also summarised it very well in his post - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...ml#post2841257 (Wayanad Monsoon Off-Roading 2012))

Pros:
  • Super trail. It will be really enjoyed by Off-Roading enthusiasts. Only if you had some skill could you save the vehicle, and reach the destination!. Now, that is some real off roading!.
  • Super climate, and scenic location of the trail.
  • Adequate and satisfying length of the trail.
Cons:
  • Very badly organized. The lack of experience showed.
  • Horrible Food.
  • Bad facilities.
  • The trail was most suitable only for hard core off-roaders. Read: Jeeps and Gypsys. SUV's and AT/HT tyres didnt have a chance!
  • T-Shirt and Cap color!!...
Quoting kicksperliter's post. He has summarized it well.




P.S:- I expect fellow bhp'ns and members of the O-Team Sreejesh and Shibu to comment on the above!

Thank you Dhanush for this Wonderful report with Pros&Cons. Will try to explain some of the Cons cos My finger's are locked by My friend Bhpian.

When the Event was planned the decision was Max 30 Jeep/Gypsy + 10 Marshal Jeeps (No SUVs) and What I know and Understand was got 35 Entries and The Entry is closed on 5th. But when I was helping to arrange the Stickers I sadly understand few of the O-team members are decided to take spot entries I asked about it and the answer was more disappointing few of the O-Team members have a privilege to Block entries (We really Sorry Rajith) this Extra 30 Vehicles including SUVs made all the Food problem. Normally in OTRs the last vehicles won't get any food but this time the first.

Accommodation for bachelors were Dormitory with bunk kind beds with common toilets – NOT HAPPENING (This was not even communicated during registrations, this should have been clearly communicated, so that few could have made certain arrangements themselves)

Again this also kept as secret I don't know Why. On 12th evening My friend Rajesh From Coorg Called me and asked where is the stay arranged I Confidently told him Its at Kallat Hotel,He smiled and told me to call them and Confirm, Then I got screwed again.

as Samurai mentioned I was sweeping the back of the SUVs But somehow I managed to give way for 4-5 Jeeps who were standing between SUVs and sadly watching the SUV Drivers 1L Driving.But the main thing is SUV Drivers know their vehicles can't do this trail but their EGO was not allowing to agree.
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Old 17th July 2012, 15:38   #15
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Default Re: Wayanad OTR - July 2012: A Report!

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Actually, the first 6 vehicles to return were Mini Prado, Land Rover Discovery, Scorpio, Pajero, another Pajero and our Thar. All managed to climb down the big rock with varying amount of drama. I have videos for some. There was no winch help this time.
Aha... That Pajero and Land Rover Discovery got beaten up to the core, I heard!

Winch support for downhills was provided only for a few vehicles.. When we returned, there was only one marshal and no vehicle!

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
To give credit where it is due, the sweeping marshal Sreejesh did warn all the first batch of returnees very seriously about the big rock. In this batch only the Pajero drivers were newbies, rest were veterans.
Hmm.. yes.. OK.
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How did the participants bring their ATVs to the venue? The Polaris side-by-side looks impressive - didn't know it was almost as big as a gypsy!
Quote:
Originally Posted by kicksperliter View Post
No It wasn't as huge in size of Gypsy. They had transported the Polaris ATV's from chennai through a truck. Basically there were 2 trucks transporting 3 Polaris ATV's. One ATV was 500cc, another 800cc and another should be either 150/250cc.
Polaris came from Chennai in trucks. Actually, IIRC, they were not road legal, and had no plates! The participants came from Thirunalveli, and Cochin.
Kicksperliter, two of the polaris were 500cc and one was 800cc.

The cost for the single seater 500cc one was 8 lacs, double seater 500 cc was 13 lacs and the 800cc costs ~23 lacs!!..

The FE for single seater 500cc one and double seater 500 cc one is ~8-10kmpl of petrol. The FE for 800 cc one is ~4-6kmpl..

Info shed by Guhan Shetty!

Last edited by dhanushs : 17th July 2012 at 15:42.
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