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Coal Pit Road: May 13, 2023

Report by Kevin. Photos by Keith, Colin and Kerrin.

Wow, another awesome trip! Bad weather meant expected conditions were a bit iffy and Trip Leader Keith decided to arrive early and drive the track before returning to the meeting point before anyone arrived. That’s real dedication from Keith and much appreciated.

30 of us (maybe a record?) gathered at the first gate on Coal Pit Rd in cold and mist. Harry arrived and discovered an overheating problem so had to pull out before we started – bugger. 13 trucks headed off and as we headed up to Coal Pit Saddle the mist and cloud cleared then it was great weather and magic scenery all the way.

We had an over-supply of Dave’s on the trip and we had a few laughs when Keith radioed to Tail-end Charlie “Big English Dave – not the other Dave’s”! That name might stick, Dave. It was fairly easy going at first then Dave S demonstrated an elegant ‘rear end slide’ and got a bit stuck – just a chance to use his winch.

Shortly after that we were surprised to hear a rumour that Jake, driving Jen’s Jimny, got stuck briefly. Not sure if there are any club rules protecting a serving President from such allegations?

Onwards to the summit and then the trip got really interesting. On the downhill run we had dips, hollows, deep ruts and lots of places to test drivers and trucks. Keith arranged for spotters at the tricky bits to get everyone through safely.

Everyone enjoyed the challenges with the more technical driving required as we headed down towards Doolan’s Creek and lunch. Dave vB, probably disappointed that Big English Dave and Dave S had been getting all the attention, tested out the team’s winch recovery and spotting skills! Some great photos of this downhill section.

After a chance to relax in the sun and out of the wind, we headed back up the hill and again used spotters to get everyone through the fun technical spots.

This was more about choosing good lines and avoiding slipping into deep ruts that would easily deliver some unintended modifications to doors and panel! The return uphill was just as much fun…

Back over the saddle we stopped at the Coal Pit area and Kerrin shared his knowledge on the history of the area. Another great spot for photos. Michael, Dave BED, Kevin and Keith tested their trucks through a deep watery bog and then on to a challenging rocky climb, which was more of a narrow trench than a track. Dave BED got through unscathed, while Keith and Kevin added some modest panel modifications to their tracks as a reminder of that track!

Heading back down the hill we aired up at the bottom gate then on to the Gibbston Tavern for a debrief. Just another great day enjoying a classic 4WD experience in our backyard. Thanks Keith.

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