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|28th June 2010, 15:42||#17|
Join Date: Apr 2008
Thanked: 511 Times
I realised that it was a rather inappropriate time and place for the leg-raising but I guess it happened on just the 3rd obstacle of my first OTR and I didn't realize I could have made it worse for myself.
Nevertheless, am wiser now and realize it was wrong but it sure was scary
Unfortunately the video attached here does not capture the side slide because of some bushes in the viewing angle.
Was an awesome experience meeting you guys and look forward to seeing you again in future OTRs.
|28th June 2010, 16:15||#19|
Senior - BHPian
A Great Trail, great people, a great opportunity of making great new friends and a great learning experience. Thats how EXAMM was for me. The turn out was huge. The organizers will be able to fill you out on the exact number.
The trail was great. steep, steep inclines, 4X4 bashing, articulation testing, mud sliding, slush fest terrain. What can i say more. For a first time event, the organizers did a super job. The great locations turned breath taking on account of the rain and fog.
Our convoy consisted of 2 CJ3Bs (Soumya's-with Prasad) and mine-with Jignesh and Cyrus), one GPW (UBS and team), one Gypsy (Alok aka Desmocidici) and one Thar (Behrambhai) reached Lonavala at Tiger point, a little over one hour above the scheduled time. Fog, refueling (car and man) was the cause. Actually the Gypsy and the Thar left from Mcdonald's Panvel with us but must have reached Lonavala way ahead of us three, for reasons not unknown
Fog had set in and at Lion's point there was a huge line up of 4X4's dominated by Mahindra vehicles (what else did you expect?).
Badges and stickers were handed out to participants, rules explained and disclaimer forms signed. from there on it was follow the car ahead of you. Met up again with Guru (GSferrari), Khan Sultan and a lot of old friends.
Soumya (Genesis) smiles after some crisp hot corn bhajjia and tea. Great looking vehicle which would prove its mettle in the coming days
The CJ3B team. Only three of them were Hurricane powered, Soumya's DKG's and Mine
Got a chance to meet Jaggu, Samurai, DKG, Khan Sultan and so many others, some of whom you have met and most of whom you have never met before. This was an opportunity to put faces to the names. People you have been interacting on the forum for various reasons, people who have become part of your virtual life, people whom you joke with and interact with on the net but people whom you have not personally met. Funny but so true.
The first obstacle course, a mild descent down the trodden path onto the slippery grass and rock strewn terrain,
slipping below to a sort of a deep chasm,
to make ones way, articulating around the bend in the chasm
and a sharp turned climb back to the grassy terrain.
This was a hard core Jeep obstacle and i dont think any Gypsy could get around completing it. Please correct me if im wrong. Even the MMs and the lot had a tough time completing it. I saw very few clear this at one go, besides the three Hurricane powered CJ's and the Qualis engined FJ from Hyderabad. In fact the FJ made it look so easy, as if there was no obstacle at all.
|28th June 2010, 16:23||#20|
Join Date: Jan 2005
Thanked: 13,495 Times
From the inside it was not that scary since I am used to such tilts in my raised CJ340. So I simply focused on getting the Jeep back on track. Only when I reached below, I heard all the commotion.
I know there are lots of theories about what happened, but I'll describe what really happened when I write my detailed report.
|28th June 2010, 16:33||#22|
Join Date: May 2008
Thanked: 27 Times
Finally the EXAMM is over and I am back to my normal work, but sadly without my vehicle; probably broken all the gears of transfer case in my gypsy.
Thanks to Mahindra Guys for towing me all the way from Sawarsi to Mumbai.
EXAMM & AKC had everything to offer, right from climbs, hill driving, mud, slush & crazy descents.
The terrain was very nicely selected; the EXAM syllabus was mainly Hilly Terrain of Sahyadri Mountains where AKC was at foothills of Sahyadri Mountains, so in three days everyone got the chance to test their machines in Hills & River beds, really appreciable, good show organizers.
Few satellite shots below to give you an idea of the terrain
EXAMM (Day 1) – Route & Waypoints
AKC (Day 2) - Route & Waypoints
Drive from AKC to Sawarsi. -Route & Waypoints
SAWARSI (Day 3) – Waypoints (Sorry forgot to save the Route)
Enjoy the terrain, pics will follow soon.
|28th June 2010, 17:08||#23|
Senior - BHPian
.....more pics from the obstacles....
participating vehicles awaiting their turn
Many Gypsies tried but it was just not easy for them as this was a high torque terrain. Im sure with the determination and skills of Allan and Devang these Gypsies would have made it up that path definitely but being organizers and seeing the line up increasing and time flowing by, they decided to take all Gypsies up another path and give participants in other vehicles a chance to complete the obstacle. Wise decision as the trail was long and the excitement had only begun.
The Gypsies taking the other path up
In fact it was not an easy terrain even for the sure footed. Required coordination between man and machine
The Hurricane powered CJs crawled in, with occasional taps on the gas and little effort
With every obstacle my respect for this humble engined, low rpm-ed, go anywhere vehicle, with oodles of torque, was beginning to grow greater and greater. In fact now i had three such machines to see. Of course, its not the machine alone.
The next obstacle was a short route on the tarmac road, again going down to a decline into a now dry river bed which i suspect turns into a gushing river with the advent of ample rains. Judging by the slope, it in all probability, is a gusher when filled in.
The second obstacle.
....more more more... hang on!!!
Request:- Hey guys i have little or no pics of mine from these trails as i was on the wheel mostly. Please post the pics and videos if you have. Thanks
|28th June 2010, 17:18||#24|
Senior - BHPian
Naam nein kya rakha hai, Bhavnaon ko samjho!!
Last edited by V-16 : 28th June 2010 at 17:35. Reason: Adding couplet :D
|28th June 2010, 18:50||#25|
Join Date: Apr 2008
Thanked: 59 Times
Can you all please stop posting teasers. Someone please post a complete report with pics. God the wait is unbearable. More photos I see, the more I curse my luck to have missed this event
|28th June 2010, 19:32||#26|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2008
Thanked: 4,766 Times
Ah! Finally i get some much needed sleep!
A big thanks to all the participants! My fellow extreme offroaders, allan and devang have already thanked everyone who helped and i echo the same!
A special should out to the Mahindra Team. They did a commendable job in recovery. Vinod, hat's off to the guys.
I would also like to thank my muddy buddies devang and allan. Guys, it was awesome! Now we take it a step ahead next year.
I'll post detailed write ups and reports tomorrow; still catching up on rest.
If any one has anything to say off the forum to us, please email us at email@example.com
We would appreciate the feedback.
|28th June 2010, 21:08||#27|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Thanked: 55 Times
Was really excited about My first OTR, but learnt a good lesson , never fix what's working fine.My gypsy broke down , I missed the entire lonavla trail, wish i'd missed the lunch too.
Dhanya gave me a drive back to my Gypsy thanks to her I could get it fixed in time .
The Sawarsi trail was super, I did almost all the obstacles , and also did a decent,so i am over that fear, now for a more extreme one..Thanks to UBS sir for sitting with me through it.
Allan Tejas Devang and Mohan you guys are really good at organizing , all the back stage effort is applauded ,
Manan, Misal and harshXX you guys are a fun bunch ,
Also colonel (whats the name and handle ) you are brilliant at directing . You get me out sir.
Arka you are a great motivator.
|28th June 2010, 22:08||#28|
Senior - BHPian
The next major obstacle was a long decline. Long and steep, o make that very steep. I don't know of one person who tackled the decline without stopping and first inspecting the terrain ahead. One cardinal rule in an OTR is that if you are not dead sure about the terrain ahead of you, stop the vehicle, step out and if possible do the route on foot yourself. If not possible in steep inclines and declines, deep ditches, water fording amongst a few situations, then at least assess the terrain ahead by taking a good look at it and mentally chalking out a plan on how to tackle it.
The decline was not only very steep, it was grass ridden and wet. Thanks to the constant downpour. Also with every vehicle that went down, the next was at a slight disadvantage in terms of traction. Traction being very important here. Experts were advising each participant before he took the plunge. there were also others who threw advice at you whether you needed it from them or not. "Keep the steering straight, dont use your clutch, forget you have a clutch, dont get tense, dont turn left or right, go down in so and so gear, dont brake, brake, dont downshift, dont shift, follow the track (which one?), stay calm, etc etc.
What makes this decline more difficult and dangerous is the fact that its grassy (long uncut, thick kind of "Jangli" grass, which faces downwards with every vehicle passing over it. As the number of vehicles pass, they make their own track, exposing the wet mud and making traction more difficult. To top that there are a whole posse of persons giving you directions on how to handle the incline and then as you tackle it, many more shouting instructions at you making matters worse.
The descent. A view from the top
Jiggy (In Blue) discusses with Amol (In Red) about the terrain a little into the decline, while Pinky paaji and our Hyderabadi friends work out a strategy to handle the decline
Devang was also explaining to me how to handle the decline. He decided to go first and i stayed back to study the way his Monstar rides down. Devang in his "Monstar" lines up. Thanks for your timely advice Devang.
and goes down while UBS, Jiggy and group discuss modalities. Meanwhile im studying every little move the Yellow Gypsy makes. He sails down beautifully which makes me more confident to attempt.
Technically being a newbie, (only two OTRs old, only one as a driver) I walked to various places to check out how the vehicles were coming down, what was the angle and what should be the driving technique. Sharat aka Samurai and UBS were always by my side giving me the all important advice i needed for whatever obstacle. Better to ask what you are not sure of rather than go on an ego trip and make matters worse.
Thanks Sharat and UBSji for your timely and well given advice. Was very much needed and appreciated.
The Thar handling the decline. A bit too fast for my comfort.
Me tackling the decline after a lot of discussions, pros and cons and advice from experts and trust me there were many around
After one slid down another obstacle awaited us which can be seen in some of the pictures I have posted above. Two ways to get to the other side where the cars were parked, all through slush-rock-stone. Very very few got through this. The catch was to steer into the slush till a particular area and then get traction on the rock at the corner of the huge mud filled ditch. Not very easy to manoeuver a vehicle in deep slush with mud coated tyres and virtually no traction.
Sorry i have no pics of the same. Im sure someone took them, kindly post them.
Here i almost tried to take the easy way around when i saw veterans like Arka and a whole lot of other experts get stuck here. Sharat again appeared from no where and asked me what was my plan. When i told him he looked surprised and said.."You??? You want to take the easy way around? You came here to get around obstacles the easy way?" Come on get in your Jeep il guide you.
There were three ways out of this, the slushed one, the semi slush and very rocky (spelt Slippery) and the normal easy route. By the time i got around sitting in the CJ and lining up behind a few others, he realised that eventually i would get stuck too as the slush got deeper and deeper with every vehicle crossing, getting stuck and all that. He suggested i come from the rocky path which was by no means easy. Just then Patric appeared and shouted.." Gogi come on man, what you're thinking so much, come ill guide you, if you do as i say you will make it through, trust me. You have to make sure one tyre is on the rock for traction" I trusted him and yes he guided me out of that place i one attempt. Thanks a lot Patrick awesome spotting, navigating and confidence boosting
We drove to a path with thick foliage on either sides at a slant. One side was barbed wire ridden and the other was a sheer deep drop. In between lay a path, thin and boulder ridden. One wrong move or slip would land you in the ditch for sure and too much avoidance would take a toll on your underbody.
We tried to remove some stones but found that they were bigger under the earth and were not stones but boulders. Here again i was guided expertly by Patrick. Thanks again boss for being so helpful. Notice the shrubs on the side, well that was the sheer drop. Patrick stands with his hand on his hip supervising every move
I every step and every obstacle i was learning and registering the advice from the experts. Each obstacle was making me a wiser person not to mention a more experienced offroader. No rash advice given even from those whom i expected it from.
The Thar was making its own road through the dense foliage.
Last edited by V-16 : 28th June 2010 at 22:10.
|29th June 2010, 00:54||#29|
Join Date: Jan 2005
Thanked: 13,495 Times
I am very technical about my offroading, I don't just assume things. I see the terrain, watch how the vehicles are behaving, then make my recommendations.
I watched Gyspies going down in 1st low without skidding, but Jeeps were skidding in 1st low. At first I thought Jeepers were braking, then I realized that even seasoned Jeepers were skidding all the way without any steering control. Remember, when you are skidding, there is no steering control. That is why ABS was invented.
Now, I have done this experiment many many times in my office backyard. In the small 45 degree slope there, I have descended in 1st low as well as 2nd low under different conditions. Except in the most grippy condition, I have always skidded down in 1st low, because the weight overcomes the traction in 1st low. In the faster 2nd low, I have never skidded in the worst of slipperiness. Therefore, 2nd low is the best gear for the Jeep while coming down 45 degree on slippery surface.
Let me give some mathematical proof:
Crawl ratio = gear ratio X transfer gear ratio X axle ratio
Crawl ratio of Gypsy in 1st Low = 3.652 * 2.268 * 3.727 = 30.869
Crawl ratio of CJ340 in 2nd Low = 2.368 * 2.460 * 5.380 = 31.34
Crawl ratio of MM540 in 2nd Low = 2.393 * 2.46 * 4.88 = 28.72
In other words Gypsy 1st low gives roughly same crawl ratio as 2nd Low of CJ340 or MM540. Since I knew this, I started advising Jeepers to take 2nd low. Many who took the advice, went down without skidding, but some decided to take 1st low despite my advice and skidded all the way down.
Meanwhile some argued with me that everybody should take 1st low, Jeep or Gyspy. I disagreed saying Gyspy 1st low is same as Jeep 2nd low. This basically resulted in Jeepers getting conflicting advice. Since the slope was too slippery, braking was anyway useless except in vehicles with huge buttons.
When AVR (aditya) asked me to drive his Jeep down, I naturally told the official spotter that I will take 2nd low as I advised others. However, my drive down was not smooth as expected, and many came to the conclusion that my advice itself was wrong. In the end of the video, you can see the obvious conclusion that was made.
My skidding had nothing to do with 2nd low. My speed was normal along the slope until I saw the rock. Even I was not clear why the Jeep turned so violently when I gently twitched the steering to avoid that big rock. Today when I saw the video, I see that the Jeep bounced up around the same time I had tried to avoid the stone. Somehow the combined effect was the wheels turned fully to the right and as a result the steering violently spun out of control to the right. As the Jeep turned right and started tilting to the left, I instantly reacted by taking control of the steering wheel and turned it with all my effort to the left and regained the original track. I have to thank Arka for drilling that lesson (always turn towards the tilt) repeatedly when I first learnt offroading under his wing.
Therefore, I coming down in 2nd low had nothing to do with the freaky turn of event. I momentarily lost control and then regained it. I was not planning to explain this until my OTR report, but decided to explain right away since I heard some rumours claiming it was all my fault. If Jeep 2nd low was dangerous in that slope, then it would have been equally dangerous to all the Gypsies except Spidey. If any of you think I was wrong in using or advising 2nd low here, please explain me why.
PS: I will be driving whole of tomorrow, so I won't be responding until late.
Last edited by Samurai : 29th June 2010 at 00:56.
|29th June 2010, 11:22||#30|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Aug 2006
Thanked: 651 Times
I am not into ratios and numbers. And I am not an expert. But I believe in common sense.
More momentum (2 Low) + Gravity downhill + slippery terrain + longer terrain + lower crawl ratio = more speed = more jumpiness = lesser time to correct steering = more dangerous.
Did you see MP Sreenivasan tackle the climb down? He did it right after you. He did it in 1st Low, gave the right steering inputs, and **probably** tapped the brakes (no de-clutch) where required (tap-release-tap-release) so as to not lock the wheels or stall the engine. He did it the best out of the lot - none of the others came even remotely close to the skill he exhibited.
Was your 45 degree climb in your backyard as "long" as this one? The longer and steeper it is, the faster the momentum - dont you agree?
Anyway, you survived with the poor owner for another trail.
** = to be confirmed by MP Sir.
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