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Old 11th September 2009, 14:11   #31
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I remember catching a brief exchange between Mr.Lobo and Mr.Gowda before we left. Mr.Lobo was asking what kind of offroad vehicles are present. And Mr.Gowda replied that all vehicles are the small kind (Jeep & Gypsy) that can go anywhere and even have two winches, not much chance of getting stuck. Basically a self-sufficient group that wonít need any external help for recovery. When I thought about it, it was very much true. We were armed to the teeth in recovery gear and everybody was experienced and knew their machine well enough.
+1 to that

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As we started driving I realised one drawback of being in small experienced group. If nobody gets stuck, there will be hardly any time for photography. Also, I was mostly in the rear part of the convoy, so I got very little opportunity to capture the action of others. Since it was raining most of the time during our drive, it was not really possible to get out and shoot whenever we wanted. Therefore, this was mostly an offroad driving event than photo-op event. I am not saying I didnít enjoy it, in fact I immensely enjoyed it. However, I am also feeling bad that I canít retain any of that action except in memory.
Yes, even i thought so, but had it been a big group with BIG vehicles, we would have only come out the trail by 12AM

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As we went up the incline to the top, I noticed that Sreeraj and Shakir didnít follow us. After a long wait, Viji drove down his winch equipped Jeep to check out. Sreeraj had a problem, his starter got damaged by water and he couldnít start the engine. The Jeep had to be push or pull started. After that Viji reversed his Jeep all the way back to the top. After that Sreeraj never switched off his Jeep most of the day.
I came back to Bangalore went to my mech next day expecting a huge hole in my pocket, guess what, removed the starter cleaned with petrol, greased properly and fixed back, not even a single part is changed Bingo!!! it sounds like a new started now. One more thing i realized is, there is NO WAY 550s starter will suck water its completely water proff. I do not know what went wrong. I suspect the contacts on starter solenoid. You see i am learning. Next time i can remove the starter myself

Thanks
--Sree--
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Old 11th September 2009, 15:33   #32
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"conspiracy to malign the off roading capability of a jeep" ??

come on jeepers , relax!

i thought jeepers were tough guys , didnt know they would be so sensitive towards a jeep getting stuck at the hands of a gypsy driver!
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Old 11th September 2009, 16:02   #33
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Well, we have to keep up the healthy tradition of Gypsy-Jeep rivalry.
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Old 11th September 2009, 16:11   #34
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Well, we have to keep up the healthy tradition of Gypsy-Jeep rivalry.

yes! i completely agree with you.
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Old 11th September 2009, 17:24   #35
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Awesome, seems like I'll be hooked to this section of TBHP, travelled this section for the first time and I'm in awe.
Would love to join you guys sometime but I don't have any off-roader :-(
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Old 11th September 2009, 20:54   #36
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Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
Awesome, seems like I'll be hooked to this section of TBHP, travelled this section for the first time and I'm in awe.
Thanks Kaushik, I am surprised you haven't been here. You should explore offroad photography, very cool stuff. Search for my threads in this section (4x4 Excursions), I post more photos here than in the photography threads.
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Old 11th September 2009, 21:13   #37
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We must have spent little more than an hour on the mountain breathing the cool air, watching the scene change every minute thanks to the fog.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063591.jpg

The two moderator rides stare down at the changing fog.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063592.jpg

Briefly we see the sun lighting a small portion of the valley. It looked lot nicer in real.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063593.jpg

Viji is not able to stay in one place. He points to the next mountain and says he wants to climb it. Finally Vikram Gowda suggests another place with lot of mountain climbing, and so we take off.

As the mountain top clears up, I stay back to take some profile shots of the CJ340.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063595.jpg

My Jeep does have some tilt to the right. According the local Mahindra service station, it is normal in a 4x4 Jeep because the front differential is not centred. However, I have seen many 4x4 Jeeps with no tilt.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063596.jpg

As we get back to the outhouse where we had found the LR Discovery, I realised that we skipped the slushy muddy strip (where I was stuck temporarily) by taking a different route. So I and sreeraj turned back to make sure we cover it. My cousin was not too happy, he had been sprayed with ample muddy water in the previous effort. I told him it will be different this time since I will do it in 3rd low. No Spidey to mislead me this time. So I quickly switched to 3rd low and just ripped through the entire stretch without the smallest hitch. Plus the very rocky climb after the water challenge to the outhouse is very interesting. But CJ340 is a crawling champ, I could easily deal that with 2nd low.

When I reached back to the outhouse, more interesting developments were afoot. Viji was quite convinced that Spidey can climb walls.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063599.jpg

When that didnít work, a rock was used under each tyre to give some leg up.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063600.jpg

When that too didnít work, two rocks were placed under each tyre to extra leg up.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063601.jpg

When that too didnít work, I humbly suggested a ramp. The advice was rejected and the experiment was shelved. Hmm, may be next time.

Now we were ready to conquer the next obstacle, in fact a series of them.

A small stream crossing on the way. Spidey again ahead of me, how does that keep happening!!!

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063602.jpg

And Sreeraj behind me.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063603.jpg

After climbing up from the stream, we were in the open and were staring at our objective. The mountains... here we come.

To be continued.
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Old 11th September 2009, 21:45   #38
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Samurai, superb pics. I would say you have got almost 99% of the beauty on those hills in your pics. So detailed...

Vijai - See the wonder of Olympus
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Old 11th September 2009, 21:52   #39
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Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Vijai - See the wonder of Olympus
He is already thinking .

Samurai good you posted the photo of spidey trying to climb that obstacle but it was not possible, check out below link guys how spidey climbed it.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...-munnar-2.html (Mini OTR at Chancellor Resort, Munnar)
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Old 11th September 2009, 21:59   #40
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Samurai good you posted the photo of spidey trying to climb that obstacle but it was not possible, check out below link guys how spidey climbed it.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...-munnar-2.html (Mini OTR at Chancellor Resort, Munnar)
I think its because of the rear traction. The concrete slabs helped the spidey and pushed a bit, which would have been sufficient for the front wheels to take it from there.

But here, the rear also has lose mud and the tyre was just spining. Right?
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Old 11th September 2009, 23:20   #41
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Samurai...
Beautiful photos and narration!
Bisle is one ghat which i have not covered. Wil do it soon after looking at ur snaps.

Regards
Pramod
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Old 12th September 2009, 08:41   #42
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Originally Posted by pramod View Post
Samurai...
Beautiful photos and narration!
Bisle is one ghat which i have not covered. Wil do it soon after looking at ur snaps.

Regards
Pramod
thanks to samurai we know this place exists on the map of karnataka.
awesome pix and narration. keep it going.
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Old 12th September 2009, 15:10   #43
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As we burst into the open country, I saw Vikram Gowda parked at the bottom of a hill. He just pointed at the top of the hill and said go ahead. I could barely see a faint track and followed it to the top.

Wow! What a view.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063613.jpg

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063607.jpg

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063609.jpg

One by one every vehicle came up and crowded the top.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063616.jpg

The local Jeepers Vikram Gowda and Chandan stayed at the bottom, having seen it too many times.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063617.jpg

Spidey was already turned around to make sure it was ahead of me. See how the conspiracy unfolds?

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063605.jpg

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063619.jpg

All the while it looks like a simple posing.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063618.jpg

Obviously, we thought this was the climax of the day. So we posed for group shots preparing to return.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063620.jpg

But there was a twist in the story. None of us had accounted for George CloonyÖI mean George Mallory of our group. Viji is George Mallory, he sees a hill, and he wants to climb it, because itís there.

Right now, the hill you see in the next image, was there.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063606.jpg

This is no virgin hill, it has been climbed before, but not recently, so there was no track. And you have to take a circuitous route to avoid falling into invisible ditches in the thick vegetation.

So Vikram Gowda drew a rough map in the air indicating the general route. Still, it was fraught with risk. Since ground canít be seen unless you walk it, the first Jeep to attempt it will be playing with danger, just like any pioneer. But with the amount of recovery gear we had, there was a measure of comfort.

So Viji plunges down the steep hill and turns right to follow Vikram Gowdaís rough route. He overshoots the next left turn, because it is not there, but turns in time to climb down the current hill. It was at this time I realised that I hadnít even taken out the camera, so I rushed back to my Jeep. This had to be recorded, I have not seen this kind of path breaking before. And the terrain is to kill for.

There he goesÖ as the fog moves between us.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063622.jpg

You can see the tracks behind him, but not ahead of him.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063623.jpg

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063624.jpg

Almost there, one more swish of fog.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063625.jpg

Mission accomplished. Hmm, where is the flag?

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063626.jpg

Now others follow.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063627.jpg

Pretty soon I too get there, following the faint track, sometimes missing it. I climbed it in crawl mode, in 2nd low. And there we are.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063628.jpg

Remaining vehicles follow.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063629.jpg

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063630.jpg

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063631.jpg

As the last vehicle comes up, another fog front moves in clouding the previous hill.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063632.jpg

I am sure many of you have heard the proverb that goes ďPissing in the windĒ. On the top of this hill, couple of guys found the literal meaning of it. Since the wind keeps changing direction, it is really hard to pick a direction and commit to it.

As we stood there taking in the mountain air, fog, wind and frequent rain blasting from every direction, Shahnawaz and I agreed that this experience tops the fun we had in Munnar this January. I guess it has to do with the season. We visited Munnar in dry season, but this place in monsoon, which can make one hell of a difference in vegetation, views and offroad terrain. Wonder how Munnar would feel in this weather.

Yes, I know it is dirty. Being Sunday and all, the mountain top car wash service was closed.

Monsoon Offroading/Trail-driving in Sakleshpur and Bisle Ghat-p9063635.jpg

Meanwhile, Viji decides to be the pioneer once again, on the return path. As they say in offroad lore, the same trail can pose a different challenge when you try it the other way. And it turned out to be very true in that very hour.

There was trouble in the paradise.

To be concluded in the next part.
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Old 12th September 2009, 15:33   #44
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excellent Samurai.. can you someone post up the route map here.
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Old 12th September 2009, 16:20   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
... Viji was quite convinced that Spidey can climb walls.
....
When that didnít work, a rock was used under each tyre to give some leg up.
....
When that too didnít work, two rocks were placed under each tyre to extra leg up.
....
When that too didnít work, I humbly suggested a ramp.
. That place was dripping wet, the mud wall had NO bite. Same for rear tyres.

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Originally Posted by Sha View Post
..

Samurai good you posted the photo of spidey trying to climb that obstacle but it was not possible, check out below link guys how spidey climbed it.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...-munnar-2.html (Mini OTR at Chancellor Resort, Munnar)
There are subtle differences there. First, the munnar wall kind of thing was NOT vertical and had a bit of slope for front tyres to get contact. The other thing is the hard sufrace/ground below + dry conditions.

Infact, in such places I believe that the high torque diesel engines would work great by the natural engine torque and not the 'simulated gearing torque'

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... He just pointed at the top of the hill and said go ahead. I could barely see a faint track and followed it to the top.

Wow! What a view.
This place is to die for -- words/pictures can't capture the beauty of this place. Here is a picture of the same hill from last year:




This time around, the vegetation/ferns were a little small. Last year they were like waist high on other hills and myself & dwaraka had got stuck on the hill to the left near where Vikram & Chandan had parked. The vegetation & ferns hide ditches & small but dangerous rocks below and one has to be very careful



see a ditch beneath the ferns

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