Drie Berge
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all the info.... Another tent....... TWTFAWC -2 hours ago

The missing third... Beplanning... (Chapter II my vaardigheid)

Submitted by TWTFAWC on Tue, 12/11/2019 - 06:51

This up-coming adventure, (The 10 passes) is one of South Africa’s premier 4x4 routes.... for good reason..

To add to that, this is the very first time I’m going off hard surface with an auto box, so, as part of my beplanning  I really needed to get a little practice in with an auto box as part of my planning

(I'm 100 % fine with a maual box)....

And as I've alway said it's a partnership between the car & the driver, so both have to be ready.... Car serviced and ready & driver up to date....

So on Saturday night it rained quite nicely in JHB and on Sunday morning I went out to find a wet road to try-out the performance of these Chinese tyres I’ve fitted on wet tar....

Unfortunately, it had all dried up by the time I was ready...

I did however manage to get onto a reasonably technical gravel hill climb & descended back down again (damp but firm with loose stones) (For those of us who know these things, behind the pump-station at the Lido Hotel) Mainly to test the TC & HDC with my load,

kept it in 1st in LR - diff lock

Comming down, felt a bit uncomfortable with relying on the HDC as it allows the bus to get a bit fast for my liking so I went back to basics did the usual cadence braking and basically ignored the HDC.... Seemed to work fine, I did not have any slippage while descending, so I did not have to accelerate to regain traction...


Still happy with the tyres, still don’t know grip on wet tar.

HDC seems to be OK as a back-up but I won’t be relying on it.....

TC played some part on the section with loose stones going up.... so that works

CS (crawl speed) with the auto box is fine..... Nice and controlled

Figure I’m ready.....

Fortunately, there are “virtual drives”  that can be watched on U tube, and, as part of this phase of planning & preparation, I’ve been watching them....

Here is one of them, the Ben Mac Dhui above the Tiffendale ski resort, divided into 5 parts; just to give you chaps an idea of the difficulties

Waar my wa staan


Wed, 13/11/2019 - 17:43

Warren we did the Ben Mac, in one word, breathtaking.

It was one of the most spectaculer tracks we ever done.

We did it right after a rain storm and battled with traction in odd spots.

Not too dificelt, but a little bit hairy in places, specially the blind spots.

The most dificult part was the last 200m, I think if youre alone it will be a bit hairy!?

Luckely I had Petra to guide me around some obsticals.

Well worth doing, great fun and spectacular views, we even got the T shirt as proof that we have done it.

In my opinion the dificulty/technicality is close or the same as Sani.


I've always taken the standpoint that there are 2 parts to off-roading successfully, which I extend into most things of an outdoorsing nature...

4x4 recovery / camping / fishing... Just about anything.

There is the "vaardigheid" of the equipment (in this case it's the vehicle) and the "vaardigheid" of the individual...

But I think, it's not a 50 - 50 split... More like a 60 - 40 where the "vaardigheid" of the individual plays a greater role than the gear.

Having said that, I always try my best to understand as much about what I'm doing, before I get into things.... Think that's the right way to go about stuff.... And so all this planning...

For me, (not having done that one) the Ben-Mac is challanging because of it's technicality, (and that's on me)

Here (below) is the bastervoetpad and here the challange is definatly weighted more to the vehicles "vaardigheid"

What makes this whole particular adventure VERY interesting for me is that I've picked one of SA's premier 4x4 routes and: -

I'm going on my own, ... My Landy is 17 years old, ... I'm running untried (Chinese) tyres, and tyres are a huge factor in this sort of thing, ... This is my second attempt, I lost out on the Baster and canned the adventure, (I did Jouberts & Naudes, you've no doubt seen my pics), and And I'm adding "the missing third" round the base of the escarpment to complete the encirclement of Lesotho.

Anyway here is the virtual drive of Baster... I consider this one to be the real test on the vehicle... And, as I said, mines 17 years old....

Alway's liked a challange... 




After watching most of the virtual drives, and what Arrie mentioned, I'm concerned about the turning radius of the Landy, which is 12m

I know with gravel passes, what you see today will not be what you encounter, but at least now I have a very clear idea what I'm getting myself into, and can at least prepare for it so that I set myself up for success and not failure..

Switch-backs on some of the passes are very tight (up to 170 - 180 deg) with sheer drop-offs on either the passanger or driver's side, some of them are on gradient's as steep as 1;6 and I'm going solo so I do not have the luxury of a co-pilot / guide.

I would have 10 kinds of puppy-cats if I had to do a 3 point turn on conditions like that, without someone to guide me...

Looking round for solutions, I've found a way of improving the turning circle of the Landy by replacing the wheel stop locks with shorter ones that can be adjusted so that the wheel does not catch .

Looks simple enough using a 17 spanner, remove the existing ones and replace with shorter ones.

So I may have sorted that out, I'll see over the weekend.

yes, I will have to watch, the CV.... but if I turn full lock but go BACH a half turn, I think it will be OK....

I'm also considering taking some 1.5 - 1.8m 10mm round bar stakes with reflective tape at the one end and sharpened at the other, stop before the obsticle (EG switch-back) and stake out the edge of the drop off so that I can see it from the driver's side....

planning planning planning




Hello Warren

I am no expert on the problems you envisaged, but did you consider to mount 4 cameras on the 4 corners[wheels] of your Landi. Then with a single display on your dash, you can actually see the wheel position with a flip of a switch.