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The Track in the Skies

Difficulty: 4-5 depending on weather
Danger: 4-5
Views: 4-5
Interest 4
Suitable for: Must have low gears. Not fear the height.
Time needed: 1-2 hours

So you wished to continue the hard way? I hope you have a gearbox with a 4-low position. But it's your burrial, not mine.

 

After some hundred metres there is a track coming from the left.

Go straight on until you come to some large stone blocks. When I visited it (September 2001) I couldn't find any trafic interdiction. You can easily sway around them.

Soon afterwards the track becomes badly eroded. Ruts may reach a depth of 70-80 cm. The picture right doesn't render them correctly. It's time to switch to low box. You will stay in FIRTS low for more than an hour. If in doubt keep to the main track.

 
Waypoint 114: Great view of the valley below to the west. You can see for miles and miles. And all you notice are almost vertical mountain ranges.

Picture above: I first visited this track way back in the early 80's. At that time I was a proud owner of a Lada Niva. Guess it must have been 81 or so. My notes from that time read: "Track badly eroded. Large stones almost made progress impossible. Heavy wind gales made leaving the car dangerous. Large stretches of slippery mud. Track narrow."

You see, there weren't that many changes in those 20 or so years.

Waypoint 115: Suddenly tarmac appears followed by a group of serpentines. It's so badly eroded however that I always wished it hadn't been there. Anyway, just leave your transfer box in low, it's not worth getting it out.

Waypoint 116: Tarmac vanishes and the badly rutted track reappears.

Waypoint 117, Picture right: Water runoffs brought a large quantity of stones down the mountain and deposited it on the track. No problem, it leaves enough space to pass.

 
This is the condition ALL the track is in. No way to get out of 1st low. You better have tough tyres mounted. Mending or changing a tyre here will be pure horror. Also know where your diff is. There are countless places where large stones try to rip open the thin steel. This is definitely NOT a point-and-go track like so many others where we only have to choose the direction and leave the work to our trusty Rovers. A wrong decision here can mean hours of walking followed by a horrendous recovery bill.
 
Later you come along some water troughs for the sheep and cattle living up here. Now the track gets slightly better.

Waypoint 118: You must drive up a short but steep hill but have your co-driver first open the electric fence on top of it. Remember to leave the fence exactly like you found it

Waypoint 119: The hard part is now over and you can switch back to long gears and turn off the difflock. Turn left down the mountain.

 

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