Eighteen vehicles wheeled out of Byford, with participants looking for some 4WD fun on the hills around Harvey Weir.
At the weir (and after having picked up another vehicle along the way) tyres were aired down and the convoy was split into two groups. Nick Carroll lead the first group and Brian Hunt lead the second.
Within minutes of departing the start, Nicks group came across their first hill. Upon investigation Nick found the track to be quite soft underneath the firm crust. Good news, both thongs were recovered.
Almost immediately, the second group was into some tricky country – an eroded, uphill scramble. This track is deeply eroded with plenty of places to catch the unwary.
All vehicles made it up the hill and around to a more level area although those without suspension lifts had to exit half way up and take an easier line. The standard Triton (Nate) and Pajero Sport (Roger) acquitted themselves very well. Nate overshot a bit and got a bit of air under his right rear wheel. He reversed out with no issue.
After a morning of enjoyable tracks, Nick’s group pulled up at Harvey Dam to meet up for lunch.
Nick’s group headed off from a short lunch break and within a short distance found the next obstacle. A hill leading away from the dam.
Brian’s group drove a number of tracks of varying levels of difficulty, crossed a couple of muddy sections, drove up hills and drove down hills before it was time to head to the meeting/lunch point.
Brian came across the first climb of the 2019 Harvey Hills Day Trip. After a recce on foot Brian decided to tackle the hill. As matters eventuated, this turned out to be a bad decision.
Brian drove his Triton half way up before it lost traction. He decided to winch the vehicle over the hump it was up against. Murphy intervened. The winch failed, dropped the Triton into a ditch and on its side. Exciting times for both the driver and those watching!
Everyone pitched in to assist in retrieving the vehicle. The situation could certainly have been a lot worse. It took just over 90 minutes to get the Triton back on its wheels and down the track far enough that it wasn’t going to slide off sideways – at which point Brian was able to reverse the rest of the way down the hill.
David Macdonald and Stuart Clifton-James both used their vehicles’ winches to effect the safe recovery of the Triton. Nick’s group arrived to offer assistance.
Once the Triton was down the hill, Nick’s group headed off for some more challenges and came across a great photo opportunity on a granite lookout.
Brian’s group headed to the water’s edge so that the kids and dogs could have a play. – and everyone could have a rest!
Nick’s group re-joined Brian’s group at the water. Some had had enough and others wanted to continue on. Nick lead out those departing.
Brian lead the others around to the far side of the weir, via some more mud and a steep descent that had a couple of drivers a bit nervous. Well done to Jax for her first guided, downhill crawl.
David (Macca) got himself stuck in a mud rut, wedged up against the side of the hill. To avoid damage to the vehicle Brad attached his vehicle’s winch and pulled Macca’s vehicle out and away from the wall. Soon all vehicles were back on the move.
The Day Trip finished around 4.30 p.m.
© Cockburn 4WD Club 2020
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