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Old 4th June 2008, 14:33   #1
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Default Unexpected Scorpio offroad in Wayanad

First, mine is not a 4x4, but still this trip is worth mentioning about because of the terrain.

I wanted to see a particular place in wayanad (near to meppadi) and went there with the help of some local friends.

This was a visit to a cardamom plantation, very high in the hills, and there are no tarmac roads, only forest roads, usually used by 4x4 mahindras and tractors when there is a need to haul anything up there.

The path up there is through thick forests and cardamom estates, and can accommodate exactly one vehicle. Rocks all through. Half way up, I wanted to turn back, but there was no place to turn other than reaching the top.

initially it was through tea plantations, and I felt great, then the road was muddy and narrow, I thought, no problem. then the road started climbing up with rocks the size of foot*****, the scorpio managed it easily in first gear, crawling up. in the end it was a climb for 2+ hours in first gear.

Almost at the top, the road turned almost flat, and I was told that I can take a 3 point turn, up half a km, and while going there, the left side was a deep drop, so I kept to the right most side of the road, guess what happed next, the right side front and back tires sunk deep into loose mud, because it was raining previous day.

I had a drop on the left side2-3 feet away, and less than 6 inches on the right side to a hill side, so cannot open the driver door.

3 guys stood on the running board on the left, took hold on the railing on the roof of the scorpio and started rocking it, and I had to reverse while the right side came loose from the mud. In between all these I was scared that if one of them loose the grip from the car, he would have gone straight down the drop.

I wanted to hire a 4x4 there and I was told that scorpio will easily reach there, but once we reached the top, one of them remarked, "now we know scorpio will also reach" !!!!

Scorpio is NOT an offroad vehicle, but I never expected it to perform the way it did on that day.

I am trying to get some photos that my friend took.

After all that, I sat at the top thinking, what would have happened if an elephant came across that road, which is very common in that area.


About the cardamom plantation: Other than one watchman who stays there in a building deep inside the forest no one else is around for a few miles.

I am planning to go there again after the rains, but this time I will be taking friend's Gypsy.
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Old 4th June 2008, 15:51   #2
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An experience of a lifetime! Please post the pictures when you get them.
Just curious, did you get that adrenalin rush after you got out of that tight situation? As in involuntary trembling etc.?
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Old 4th June 2008, 16:05   #3
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fantastic! glad you managed to prove the value of the scorpio even if it was unintentional!
but i do agree, for regular driving in such terrain and on narrow muddy rutted roads, its better to use a lighter 4x4 like a gyp
the scorp is heavy and may get bogged down if the mud is too much.
just a thought for the future - usually in extreme mud conditions, to get the vehicle out, they slide flat sections of metal under the drive wheel to give it better traction. If this happens again, you could try inserting a flat piece of wood under the rear wheel to give it that traction which is necessary. It may involve digging up the ground under the wheel for a bit though.
I did this with success once in my old 2WD Bolero when we got stuck in deep mud in coorg.
cheers


Quote:
Originally Posted by pvrajan View Post
First, mine is not a 4x4, but still this trip is worth mentioning about because of the terrain.

I wanted to see a particular place in wayanad (near to meppadi) and went there with the help of some local friends.

This was a visit to a cardamom plantation, very high in the hills, and there are no tarmac roads, only forest roads, usually used by 4x4 mahindras and tractors when there is a need to haul anything up there.

The path up there is through thick forests and cardamom estates, and can accommodate exactly one vehicle. Rocks all through. Half way up, I wanted to turn back, but there was no place to turn other than reaching the top.

initially it was through tea plantations, and I felt great, then the road was muddy and narrow, I thought, no problem. then the road started climbing up with rocks the size of foot*****, the scorpio managed it easily in first gear, crawling up. in the end it was a climb for 2+ hours in first gear.

Almost at the top, the road turned almost flat, and I was told that I can take a 3 point turn, up half a km, and while going there, the left side was a deep drop, so I kept to the right most side of the road, guess what happed next, the right side front and back tires sunk deep into loose mud, because it was raining previous day.

I had a drop on the left side2-3 feet away, and less than 6 inches on the right side to a hill side, so cannot open the driver door.

3 guys stood on the running board on the left, took hold on the railing on the roof of the scorpio and started rocking it, and I had to reverse while the right side came loose from the mud. In between all these I was scared that if one of them loose the grip from the car, he would have gone straight down the drop.

I wanted to hire a 4x4 there and I was told that scorpio will easily reach there, but once we reached the top, one of them remarked, "now we know scorpio will also reach" !!!!

Scorpio is NOT an offroad vehicle, but I never expected it to perform the way it did on that day.

I am trying to get some photos that my friend took.

After all that, I sat at the top thinking, what would have happened if an elephant came across that road, which is very common in that area.


About the cardamom plantation: Other than one watchman who stays there in a building deep inside the forest no one else is around for a few miles.

I am planning to go there again after the rains, but this time I will be taking friend's Gypsy.
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Old 4th June 2008, 16:29   #4
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That's a scary experience. You were very lucky that you guys were able to pull it out. A stuck SUV can be very difficult to pull out without towing equipment.
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Old 4th June 2008, 16:34   #5
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Dear Rajan,

You certainly have a large heart, i must admit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pvrajan View Post
In between all these I was scared that if one of them loose the grip from the car, he would have gone straight down the drop..
In that moment of shere adversity, you were more worried abt someone fallin over and not everyone including ur heavy armoured 'Scorp'.

Would love to see some pics of the place where this incidence took place.

Keep that Off-Roady spirit going.
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Old 4th June 2008, 17:02   #6
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Looks like you traversed the road which leads from Meppadi towards Nathamkunni. Can you confirm ?

I think you need to venture out even more, next time ask your friends to take you to this place called Vadunvanchaal. Once in Vaduvanchaal ask anyone for directions to Maamalakunnu . Try some off-roading there . Good luck .
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Old 4th June 2008, 17:15   #7
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hey rajan

that was a thrilling and exciting thing.. at the end everybody is safe (that is most important)... great to know you did on Scorpio without 4x4.. ride safe.. happy riding..
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Old 4th June 2008, 17:49   #8
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Rajan, must say that you folks were plain lucky. God forbid if the wheels had been stuck up in the slush/mud, you would have had a hard time.

I have experienced it in my Gypsy and believe me, as Samurai rightly says, getting a stuck vehicle out of slush/mud is a daunting task without towing equipments.

Do take care next time and enjoy the climb with a suitable 4x4.
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Old 4th June 2008, 18:05   #9
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Post the pictures...

Once you get back from these kind of experience and thinking of going again, you get a shiver up your spine. I had two scary experience with my Bolero (4x2), one was in Coorg around 5 years ago, it was steady steep climb with slippery rocks to the top of a hill (this was near Mahindra resort, not sure exact place), hardly there was a road and 2 local guys where with us, they told me to take the Jeep to the top of the hill (may be around 1+km climb) and I hesitated, then the local guys telling me, 'it is a Mahindra man, it wont fail you..everyday we are driving these..dont worry'. Still hesitated, but did not want to show them my concern and started the climb, few places it slipped (it was raining the previous day), but reversed a bit and tried again and we could get to the top. Once we reached the top, it was a beautiful view.
That was the tallest hill. Here the picture.

These are very capable vehicles and once you know how to tame them, it will be a fantastic experience. Hope you dont mind me attaching one of my pictures. Wish you many more thrilling experiences like these
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Unexpected Scorpio offroad in Wayanad-dsc00121.jpg  

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Old 4th June 2008, 18:48   #10
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Default winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
That's a scary experience. You were very lucky that you guys were able to pull it out. A stuck SUV can be very difficult to pull out without towing equipment.
Can you get a good large capacity electric winch in India? Even if you can get them I know that mounting them can be a big problem.


Anybody have any luck with hand winches? I have seen goods carriers and others use them to get out of ditches etc.
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Old 4th June 2008, 18:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Can you get a good large capacity electric winch in India? Even if you can get them I know that mounting them can be a big problem.


Anybody have any luck with hand winches? I have seen goods carriers and others use them to get out of ditches etc.
Arka and a group of jeepers including 'Jyobeb' imported electric winches in bulk,last year.
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Old 4th June 2008, 19:21   #12
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Wow another spine chilling incident just like dolphins
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Old 4th June 2008, 20:20   #13
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Wow!! An exciting and equally scary experience i must say. In the end everyone is safe and you now know the performance capabilites of the scorp off road..
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