North Wales 29/04/18

Sunday the 29th of April, and we’d decided – as you can hear in Brett’s introductory video below, to re-run an old route near to Oswestry, but with some new ‘lanes tagged on here and there –
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Starting at Halton McDonalds (near Chirk) and ending up at the Corwen Car Wash, some 39’ish greenlanes in all !
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A big turn out! Brett on the left, no passenger, as “TLB” (The Lovely Becky) had had a better offer and was visiting family, and on the right Alan and I. There was supposed to be someone in a Land Rover with us, be pulled out due to technical difficulties…
Above, Brett is undoing his anti-roll-bar disconnect, mine was never done back up since the last trip… Whoops!
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Leaving McDonalds after breakfast, so about 8:20am I recall?…

Brett’s Customary Introductory Video πŸ™‚
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And we’re quickly onto the first greenlane of the day, as is mostly customary a fairly gentle one as a warm up! πŸ˜‰ Above photo shows us going back under the A483…
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As on the map above, i.e. where the PH (Public House) is

Brett’s YouTube video of lane #1 above, note how they’re building the new properties and particularly the access road to them sympathetically to the Right of Way crossing it – drop kerbs for access πŸ™‚

Brett’s Video of lane #2 a new one to us – with a climb very reminiscent of the dreaded BTL (“Brown Trouser Lane”) ! LOL

Lane #3 turns out to be all tarmac, as in Brett’s YouTube Video above.
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Lane #4 then!

Trialwise (the national database of rights of ways) says it’s narrow and may be a bit too tight for 4x4s, but not our little Jimnys?, so we get out for a look –
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Ahh, two thirds of the way down though… it’s washed out into a gulley!
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Indeed, probably motorbikes only?!
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So I walked back to find a spot to turn around…

Hmmm, too tight to get a lock, so we walked back to find the next gate up…

And then drove back up as can be seen on Brett’s YouTube Video above…
Ah well, you can’t beat them all, onto the next ‘lane then!
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Lane #5 then…
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“Bronygarth”

Brett’s YouTube Video of it…
This ‘lane was blocked by a fallen tree when we last attempted to drive it, but we’d heard back that it had been cleared.
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Next we went to look at the ‘lane above the words Plas-onn on the map above
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We’d been told we could drive it? But…
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This says very definitely not, so we’ll report back on that one!

So, as in Brett’s Video above on our position on the map above we went to drive the above going north-west on the map…

Next… Pantfadog loop upwards! When we came down here last time Brett had remarked he’d like to drive UP it… Weirdly it didn’t feel as steep going up as it had done coming down?
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At the top – red crosshair on the map above…

And then the middle bit going east and down the V in the middle…

And then down the right hand side heading south again.
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Next,Β  up passed the mast…

The “Did you bring any sausage rolls?” is a reference to our annual Christmas trip when Brett brings homemade sausage rolls along, and we usually stop on the moorland after the trees to eat them, drink coffee and have a chat…
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Normally about here on the map above πŸ™‚
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Pausing to shut the gates behind us…
Then down to the farm and over passed the motorcross track, and we find…

The farmer laying a strip of sheep food behind his Gator, hence the line of sheep having a munch below –
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On we go…

Loads of lambs! Again passed where another fallen tree had once blocked our progress…

Next, “Derwen Deg” to the tree stump STILL blocking the Right of Way, shame as it leads through a nice little ford along the way…
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Here, for reference, this “white” (UCR) is still blocked…
The “Danger Area” on the map is the rifle range mentioned on the sign at the start of the video above…
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HUGE tree stump!
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The ‘bikes can still get through though!
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Next, another couple of favourites…

Heading south towards “Priddbwll” on the map above, on the first ‘lane…
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Tight passed the fallen tree cut on a diagonal to let you squeeze through…

“Pridbwll / Lie Down lane” (a reference to our-Colin having had his Jimny have a little lie-down on the ‘lane some time ago), it took some going to get through the middle bit, momentum is the key so you don’t get bogged down… That might contribute to the end of the story later…

Off that ‘lane and straight across the white road at the bottom / middle of the map above and we’re downhill on the next ‘lane…
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Nice!

Next! flat, but on the way πŸ˜‰
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And then we’re at Jericho Hill, the BOAT heading south above…

The first bit, until…
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The guys are out checking the map, it’s the left we want here, but just checking!
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Nice sign for the ‘bikers… round the ‘lane loop and not on the throttle and up the bank πŸ˜‰

Halfway through the video of the second bit you can see these two climbs –
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And my diff skidmark, getting up might be fun, I seem to remember being here many years ago?!

Lane 16 turns out to be just tarmac…

This new ‘lane at Llanfyllin starts with an odd ford –
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And is a nice climb up after that (on the video)
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The next bit is just where we are above on the map, a seemingly diversion around the farm…

Whoops! We’ve gone the wrong way…
At 3:18 into the video you can hear Brett say “it’s a bit slippery, you might want to put ARB on?”…
At 3:50 you can here me shout for help!!!
We’d slipped a third off the track, both nearside tyres over the edge…
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As you can see and hear on Brett’s video, he quickly reversed back to us, and Alan bravely jumped out of the passenger door…
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They positioned the front winch rope to a tree in front of me, but as I spooled in and attempted to drive forward the rear was swinging round and over the edge…!
So, out came the rear winch to another tree to the right of my rear winch bumper, and I winched in on the rear, and then the front, etc, etc until I pulled myself back to the safety of the track!
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Strange how such an innocuous looking ‘lane can be one of the worst! A wet slippy top and a fairly heavy Jimny and a bit of gravity… could of been nasty that, if it weren’t for a couple of great mates to the rescue! Cheers Guys!

And… on we go again! Safely off that ‘lane… bit twitchy that was!
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Next ‘lane always makes me smile… One of our oldest ‘laning mates (Hi Gary!) always used to complain that we rarely stopped for long to eat and have a chat, so on one occasion when he didn’t come, we threw out a picnic blanket and ‘staged’ a photo of us sitting having a picnic in the sun!

Brett’s video of up to the point where it gets a little confusing, but it is right at the property…

Having gone the right way passed the property. now where? πŸ˜‰

But we’re soon on our way…

To the end of the ‘lane…
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A ford next…

It looked deeper (by the ripples) than it actually was…
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Here we were…

Next ‘lane, a nice climb that we nearly missed…
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… here on the map.

A short clip, but look at the mad chicken’s crazy waddle!!!

Next! We’re at about lane #22 of the day, out of a possible 39 we’d planned… Again one off Trailwise…

Carrying on and pausing to repair the fence a bit, where the barbed wire was off the top…

Down further…
By now I had some grating noises from the front axle, and feared a CV had gone…
As I progressed it got worse sounding, to the point it was grating on every revolution, so we were now looking for the way out and back to the safety of tarmac!

Getting to the end of the ‘lane, we could see the farm in the distance, and Brett went down for a look, I couldn’t risk it incase there was no way through as I wouldn’t have got back up the hill without four wheel drive…
We thought we’d just be able to limp down to the farm and out to the tarmac beyond, but Brett came back and reported that there was a series of two gates out of the field, with a pile of farm rubbish between them, so it didn’t look like any way out!DSCN7674.jpg
So only one thing for it… towed back to the rough bit of the ‘lane, and…
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Winch back up off tree after tree…
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Until we got back to the property at the start of the ‘lane, where I winched off the back of Brett’s Jimny to get back into the farmyard and onto hard ground, and started to limp home…

Brett’s closing remarks, indeed a fine day, only marred by my damage 😦
BUT! Back at home and in the man cave the following day –
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“Luckily”…
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It wasn’t the passenger shaft or CV…
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Or the driver’s side shaft or CV…?
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The combination of abuse over loads of greenlaning trips from large tyres, a crawler-box, an LSD in the front, and TrialGear HD shafts and CVs, it was “only” the crown wheel that had spat some teeth! So not too bad an (ongoing) repair (as this is being written) πŸ˜‰

Thanks to Brett and Alan for another great day out, we should have another blog next week after our annual pilgrimage for the punch hunt with the guys and gals of “Shropshire ‘lanes” facebook group… Until then πŸ˜‰