Club training day at Downfall fire trail 

Saturday 3 November 2018

Distance 300Km
Difficulty Difficult

Tote – Defender – Trip leader/trainer
Paul and Kaylene – Disco 2
Russell – Disco 4
David – Disco 4
Merle and Bob – brand new Ford Everest
Chris and Chris – Defender
Dave – Defender
Rick and Megan – Prado

Paul and Kaylene arrived at the rendezvous early to find all others already gathered; so we volunteered to do the trip report.

With Tote leading and Russel doing ‘Charlie’, we headed off to meet the Greets, Chris and Chris, at the Western Distributor near the bottom of Clyde Mountain. With the whole group now assembled we made our way to the start Downfall fire trail.

Tote coached each driver/car combo up the first gentle practice slope. Explaining each car’s capabilities, he had us stop on the slope and do a ‘stall’ start. We all made it up stage 1 without incident. 

Stage 2 involved a reasonably challenging climb. Ruts and a steep incline tested both car and driver. For some of us, and one very new car, it was a first at this type of terrain. The secret? Pick your gear, low second for us autos, and be confident and keep up the momentum. It was a lumpy bumpy climb but everyone made it without any real problems.

Success on stage 2 encouraged us to tackle stage 3 which Tote said was not as challenging. I’m not too sure about that, the nasty uphill left hander with ruts and big rocks wasn’t easy but again all successfully made the top.

We all breathed a sigh of relief, you could hear the cars sigh too, at the top where we had lunch. Bob spent his time reading the manual for the new Everest.

What goes up, … means we had to descend. Kaylene and Paul had had a nasty experience with hill descent failing on a previous trip and so we were a bit nervy on the steep downs and rock ledge drop-off. Our D2 performed well, restoring some confidence.

There was a minor casualty – Russell ripped a side wall and showed his experience descending the worst bit, and the drop-off, with a flat front tyre. Thanks Russell for then providing a tyre change exercise.

All in all a great day, ably lead and instructed by Tote. Mention must be made of the very capable showing by the new Ford Everest. It has some new scratches to show for it but it did very well.