Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > 4x4 & Off-Roading > 4x4 Vehicles


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th March 2015, 23:20   #1
Distinguished - BHPian
 
BlackPearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 2,182
Thanked: 3,298 Times
Default Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Having been to Sandakphu several times and showing it off at every opportune moment has resulted in a hype about the place amongst the fellow adventure seekers on Team-bhp. Thanks to the popularity of team-bhp, even non bhpians have to come to know about these trips and the so called risks involved. Since then several bhpians and non bhpians have been to Sandakphu and back. There is no doubt that it is one of the toughest routes in West Bengal but I have always said that anybody can do it with a 4WD vehicle with a low ratio gear box. But that is not the point for starting this thread. The point is to find out if an AWD Duster can scale the slopes of Sandakphu or not. We have had several debates regarding this in multiple threads but there has been no definitive conclusion. So what we did last Sunday was to invite fellow bhpian Sayantan (GhostRider28) with his Duster AWD to a place we fondly call Sukno Pukur (dry pond) in Bengali. It has a few steep slopes and the idea was to stop the car mid way on a slope and then try to climb again.

Himadri (himadrimondal), fellow bhpian and an authority on Sandakphu, had taken his 2WD Duster till Tumling, a feat that only the bravest will try. Avrendu (Avrendu), another bhpian has trekked to Sandakphu. Both Himadri and Avrendu were there to see the performance of the Duster AWD. We came to a general consensus that if the Duster was able to climb the slope after a midway halt, it would be able to scale Sandakphu. But before that, please watch this video where several 4WDs climbed the slopes of Sukno Pukur.



Coming back to the topic of Duster AWD and Sandakphu, to find out what happened next, check out this video



A few pics of the Duster

Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?-dsc_3075.jpg

Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?-dsc_3088.jpg

Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?-dsc_3089.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 31st March 2015 at 16:05. Reason: Spacing :)
BlackPearl is online now   (38) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 23:48   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 37
Thanked: 93 Times
Default

A very crisp and precise coverage, BlackPearl! That was a treat to watch! The Duster AWD is, no doubt, a very able car, and having seen it in action first-hand, I can vouch for it! :-)

For the proud owner GhostRider28, Sandakphu is now not far! Although the Bolero, being completely manual, armed with the 4L, has been outright devastating to the myths that Sandakphu is Land-Rover-Only territory, the Duster AWD can be foreseen to be another myth-buster!! ;-)
JKDS is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 00:09   #3
BHPian
 
GhostRider28's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 52
Thanked: 217 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Big thanks to BlackPearl for inviting me and inducting me to the 4x4 club! Your cadet will make you proud by taking Chameleon (aka Girgiti) to Phalut! Getting down from there might be trickier though! :P

Plans are on for this year itself. But it will definitely need more practice sessions before trying that - so eagerly looking forward to my next trial!
GhostRider28 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 00:18   #4
BHPian
 
himadrimondal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 418
Thanked: 857 Times
Default

Fantastic thread to start with. Honestly confessing, I actually did underestimate the capabilities of the Duster until that day with reference to the stop and go video. Yes, I always wanted to buy the 4WD Duster but since it was not available during its launch in India, went ahead and purchased the 2WD version. With solid dynamics and a superb ground clearance on my side, I braved the Sandakphu route till Singalila National park gate after Tumling, only to realize 2WD will fail miserably on the last stage of the climb.
This is where the Stop and Go test comes into the picture. Wanted the Duster to stand still on an incline of almost 40 or may be more and then crawl ahead. Test conditions were more or less similar to the road to Sandakphu. Asked BlackPearl to stop at a point I mentioned while coming up the incline. Stopping there and before the GO he mentioned 'not possible'. The angle was really insane. Rest, the video speaks for itself. So will the Duster scale Sandakphu? Yes, it will for sure at the hands of an able driver like BlackPearl.

Last edited by GTO : 31st March 2015 at 16:07. Reason: Typo
himadrimondal is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 01:31   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
1100D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 4,141
Thanked: 2,244 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

I have been saying this from Dec 2013!!

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3319376 (Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110))

That too on Himadri's Thread!!
1100D is online now   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 09:23   #6
BHPian
 
psurelia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 237
Thanked: 437 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Before last Sunday I never believed that AWDs can do anything like this! Congrats to Sayantan for making a very practical choice.
psurelia is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 10:29   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 13
Thanked: 58 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Thanks Black Pearl for the wonderful coverage. The videos are excellent. Even I am sure that the Duster AWD will cover 95% of the distance from Maneybhanjan till Sandakphu/Phalut with elan. The remaining 5% (since I have actually walked the entire trail) will need a very able driver and some real nerves . While coming down, as usual, it will need more attention and abilities of the driver as there are a lot of switchbacks and "twisted hairpin" bends which can be really tricky.

Congratulations Sayantan for the wonderful acquisition and I must say the colour of the chameleon is wonderful and that the name is apt.
avrendu is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 11:13   #8
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,856
Thanked: 15,420 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Okay, I may be the party pooper here, but I feel that Sandakphu is too overrated. In the time of low power DI engines without turbo power, most vehicles struggled, and hence a legend was born
Now, with powerful engines, and AWD, even something like a Yeti or a CRV will do that from the videos I have seen.
Technology has won this war and a narrow hilly road with reasonable traction is not really much of a challenge, esp for smaller vehicles with a tiny turning radius. You just need an AWD for the traction, and enough power to climb the incline. That's it.

Its like the Manali Leh highway. There are legends about the tough terrain etc., etc., but seriously, any high GC vehicle can do it. Even sedans do it with skilled driver. If Sandakphu was on regular tourist circuits, we may have seen 2WD high GC vehicles also reaching like we see on Manali Leh highway.
tsk1979 is offline   (20) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 11:49   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,690
Thanked: 8,744 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

I feel, as much its about the vehicle, its also about the driver, i'd rate it 50:50. Few days back, close to my place in the aravalis we went out for some fun in Mud in Rexton MT and my XUV. There were places Rexton had to attempt twice and even scraped, but XUV done it easily. Now if we swapped the drivers the results would be bad enough to shame the XUV, my friend who was driving the Rexton is experienced enough in driving on road but off the road he did now know the techniques. I have been having fun with my XUV for years now, i know my car intimately well enough to survive through where other not experienced with the car may find it tough.
.anshuman is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 12:23   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
1100D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 4,141
Thanked: 2,244 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Okay, I may be the party pooper here, but I feel that Sandakphu is too overrated.

even something like a Yeti or a CRV will do that from the videos I have seen.

a narrow hilly road with reasonable traction is not really much of a challenge, esp for smaller vehicles with a tiny turning radius. You just need an AWD for the traction, and enough power to climb the incline. That's it.

Its like the Manali Leh highway. There are legends about the tough terrain etc., etc., but seriously, any high GC vehicle can do it.
Will have to disagree here. The Last 3 kms climb from Bikheybhanjan is still way too steep. Plan on a trip here, we'll go together!

For the Duster, as I had pointed the first gear crawl ratio (alongwith its final drive) makes it almost equivalent to the vehicles with separate low-range. So far, Yeti and CRV's had not done it. Besides, Sandakphu has always remained very hot on the tourist interest side. Only deterrents were the absence of proper transportation options.

However, the last time I went there, I found that a considerable amount of the forest section, as well as the hairpins on the last steep climb is concretised (no roller can go there), and few of the narrower trails widened So yes, it has become easier, and will become more accessible in the coming months.

https://www.facebook.com/TheDarjeeli...=1&pnref=story

But Sandakphu was definitely one very tough destination (probably to cite an example that you will relate to, the last 500 meter climb to Marsimik-La, the last 3 kms is steeper than that and goes on and on, worse on the way back)
1100D is online now   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 12:34   #11
BHPian
 
heydj's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Rotterdam/Delhi
Posts: 306
Thanked: 274 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

@BlackPearl nice sound track in the first video.

Never thought Duster AWD would be able to do stuff like this, but I guess in testing scenarios anything is possible. Though in my opinion it depends a lot on the drivers skills.
heydj is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 12:57   #12
BHPian
 
psurelia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 237
Thanked: 437 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Okay, I may be the party pooper here, but I feel that Sandakphu is too overrated. In the time of low power DI engines without turbo power, most vehicles struggled, and hence a legend was born
Now, with powerful engines, and AWD, even something like a Yeti or a CRV will do that from the videos I have seen.
Technology has won this war and a narrow hilly road with reasonable traction is not really much of a challenge, esp for smaller vehicles with a tiny turning radius. You just need an AWD for the traction, and enough power to climb the incline. That's it.

Its like the Manali Leh highway. There are legends about the tough terrain etc., etc., but seriously, any high GC vehicle can do it. Even sedans do it with skilled driver. If Sandakphu was on regular tourist circuits, we may have seen 2WD high GC vehicles also reaching like we see on Manali Leh highway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I feel, as much its about the vehicle, its also about the driver, i'd rate it 50:50. Few days back, close to my place in the aravalis we went out for some fun in Mud in Rexton MT and my XUV. There were places Rexton had to attempt twice and even scraped, but XUV done it easily. Now if we swapped the drivers the results would be bad enough to shame the XUV, my friend who was driving the Rexton is experienced enough in driving on road but off the road he did now know the techniques. I have been having fun with my XUV for years now, i know my car intimately well enough to survive through where other not experienced with the car may find it tough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Will have to disagree here. The Last 3 kms climb from Bikheybhanjan is still way too steep. Plan on a trip here, we'll go together!

For the Duster, as I had pointed the first gear crawl ratio (alongwith its final drive) makes it almost equivalent to the vehicles with separate low-range. So far, Yeti and CRV's had not done it. Besides, Sandakphu has always remained very hot on the tourist interest side. Only deterrents were the absence of proper transportation options.

However, the last time I went there, I found that a considerable amount of the forest section, as well as the hairpins on the last steep climb is concretised (no roller can go there), and few of the narrower trails widened So yes, it has become easier, and will become more accessible in the coming months.

https://www.facebook.com/TheDarjeeli...=1&pnref=story

But Sandakphu was definitely one very tough destination (probably to cite an example that you will relate to, the last 500 meter climb to Marsimik-La, the last 3 kms is steeper than that and goes on and on, worse on the way back)
Dear Anshuman and Tanveer, with due respect to your extensive experience and contributions, I have to say that there are still some roads like Sandakphu that you have to experience to believe the magnitude of the challenges they throw at you. It takes something more than technology and skills to conquer such roads - it takes sheer grit along with all other things that each one have mentioned on this thread. Every word in Anirban's (1100D) explanation here is true if not understatement. Therefore, I would suggest you guys should definitely take his offer since "the man" (who has done it number of time) himself has offered his company
psurelia is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 12:57   #13
BHPian
 
himadrimondal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 418
Thanked: 857 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Okay, I may be the party pooper here, but I feel that Sandakphu is too overrated. In the time of low power DI engines without turbo power, most vehicles struggled, and hence a legend was born
Now, with powerful engines, and AWD, even something like a Yeti or a CRV will do that from the videos I have seen.
Technology has won this war and a narrow hilly road with reasonable traction is not really much of a challenge, esp for smaller vehicles with a tiny turning radius. You just need an AWD for the traction, and enough power to climb the incline. That's it.
Just for the information sake, they have all tried. The 2WD Boleros, Tata Spacio and what not and have all landed flat on their face. And for the Yeti and CRV you call them SUV's with the kind of ground clearance they have!, sorry to say but cannot use more smilies here. They too have tried and have failed so miserably which their makers will be ashamed off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Its like the Manali Leh highway. There are legends about the tough terrain etc., etc., but seriously, any high GC vehicle can do it. Even sedans do it with skilled driver. If Sandakphu was on regular tourist circuits, we may have seen 2WD high GC vehicles also reaching like we see on Manali Leh highway.
Please come and visit Sandakphu before you comment. Your statement is an insult to the Sandakphu terrain when compared to the Leh Manali highway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I feel, as much its about the vehicle, its also about the driver, i'd rate it 50:50.
Well said.
himadrimondal is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 13:28   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
akshay4587's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chandigarh/Mohali/Ambala Cantt
Posts: 3,759
Thanked: 1,534 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Okay, I may be the party pooper here, but I feel that Sandakphu is too overrated. In the time of low power DI engines without turbo power, most vehicles struggled, and hence a legend was born
Now, with powerful engines, and AWD, even something like a Yeti or a CRV will do that from the videos I have seen.
Technology has won this war and a narrow hilly road with reasonable traction is not really much of a challenge, esp for smaller vehicles with a tiny turning radius. You just need an AWD for the traction, and enough power to climb the incline. That's it.

Its like the Manali Leh highway. There are legends about the tough terrain etc., etc., but seriously, any high GC vehicle can do it. Even sedans do it with skilled driver. If Sandakphu was on regular tourist circuits, we may have seen 2WD high GC vehicles also reaching like we see on Manali Leh highway.
Now that you have done ladakh extensively, and driven the Duster AWD as well.
What do you think about, Short cuts at Barlacha La/Gata Loops/Tanglang la, can a Duster AWD, do them without any stress?
akshay4587 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2015, 14:17   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 13
Thanked: 58 Times
Default re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Dear tsk1979,
If you put in your comment just to keep this thread going then I must say you have succeeded. Kudos to you

If you have done that on a serious note, following is what I would like to say :
Overrated ?! I am amazed at how you without even knowing the terrain properly and by just watching some videos, made this comment. The Leh Manali highway atleast has tarmac at places and one need not be an ace to drive on that.
The videos do not, I repeat do not do any justice to the terrain at all. With the kind of modern gadgetry and the advanced software like shake control etc any terrain looks like cakewalk. So I feel videos should not be the base of any terrain judgement unless you have actually seen it.

Someone mentioned a decent 2WD with decent GC can do it. I invite you to show us while you do it and enlighten us. And I would like to tell you that we are not responsible for the consequences, including the incumbent landing in Nepal from any of the switchbacks.

Anirban has already invited you. He being a regular in that sector mentions the last 3 to 4 kms. But for a newbie in this sector, almost the entire length is untimely poop enhancing, let me tell you that. I second 1100D's invite. Please come over to WB and see for yourself.

Thanks
avrendu is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bangalore-Raichak (West Bengal) Jan 2011 drive_or_die Travelogues 3 18th November 2010 21:10
Petrol Pump Buying in West Bengal - Need suggestions akaushik Shifting gears 3 8th April 2010 22:12
Xylo at Deomali - Highest peak in Eastern Ghats H3LIOS Travelogues 27 2nd January 2010 10:46
My say on West Bengal traffic esteemer Street Experiences 17 3rd July 2009 21:41


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 10:56.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks