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Chockstone Forum - Gear Lust / Lost & Found

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Author
4 wheel drive : how useful for climbing in NSW?
Siderunner
17/06/2013
10:53:48 PM
I've recently relocated to Sydney and am about to buy a car. I'm a keen and committed trad and sport climber who climbs in the low 20s and likes adventurous multipitch climbing (having done big routes in the alps, red rocks, Yosemite, Dolomites, Mexico, etc).

I anticipate doing a lot of climbing in the Blue Mountains, occasional trips to Araps and the Grampians. The question is: am i best off with a 4 wheel drive vehicle? And if I do get a 4wd, do I need the ground clearance of a proper 4x4 or will a jacked up wagon like a Subaru Outback suffice?

Any feedback or advice would be appreciated! Andy

pmonks
18/06/2013
1:45:58 AM
I never owned a 4WD while living in NSW and didn't really miss it*. There's a near infinite amount of rock that can be accessed with a 2WD + Shanks' Pony.

I guess it really depends what else you're using the car for (commuting? road trips with the family? monster truck rallies??) - if it's a pure climbing car then I'd go for a high clearance 4WD, but even a 2WD with high clearance would be fine in almost all cases.

What's probably more important is knowing how to drive on deeply rutted roads (keeping the tyres high, knowing how to cross a deep rut or dropoff etc.) - I'm gobsmacked how many seppos think a 4WD is an excuse to turn your brain off.

[edit] Apologies if you're a seppo and that comes across as a personal attack - it wasn't meant to sound like that.



* except for that one time I crossed the Wolgan, it rained for 3 days, and then I had to figure out how to get my Corolla back across the (now flooded) river. It was the one and only time I was in a car with water up to the windscreen...
mikllaw
18/06/2013
7:35:19 AM
about the only 2 times I've wanted a 4WD were at Mt Corree (ACT) which would save 6 minutes walk, and to get to Simples, saving about the same amount of time.

nmonteith
18/06/2013
7:53:28 AM
I agree with the above. In NSW you don't need a 4WD for 95% of the climbing. Here is my list....

Blue Mountains - bitumen and a few kms of flat graded dirt roads
Bungonia Gorge - bitumen
Warrumbungles - bitumen
Kaputar - bitumen
Point Perp - a few kilometres of flat dirt road
Nowra - bitumen or a few kms of flat graded dirt roads
New Nowra - a few km or rough dirt roads
Wolgan - flat graded dirt road with a one optional water crossing

If you're into crag exploring and new routes then a 4WD is a lot more useful, but if you're new to the area than you will probably be happy with the normal crags. It rains heavily in Sydney and I like the security of 4WD on normal roads when this happens... but maybe that's just me.

The Grampians is a bit of a different story - you would want something with a bit of clearance and softroader 4WD ability. The dirt roads are longer (sometimes up to 40km in a go) and less well maintained and can sometimes involve steep climbs and rocky sections.

My suggestion is just get something like a Outback or something with a bit of clearance and the ability to switch to 4WD if you need it. A 'proper' 4WD is not required at all.

nmonteith
18/06/2013
8:09:15 AM
p.s. I should point out that I own a large 4WD in NSW, but it's a leftover from climbing in the Grampians for 11 years. I'm looking to replace it with something a LOT smaller. I've found there is much less camping and carpooling in NSW (compard to Victoria) as well, so having to have seats for 5 people and their camping/climbing gear is a bit of a waste of time. It's mostly one of two people and their day trip stuff.

rodw
18/06/2013
8:16:43 AM
I have and SUV which gets me most places, miss my real 4wd I previously had but I tend to do a lot of crag hunting and hate walking so tend to take the SUV were I really shouldn't...but I think you will find its not essential for most established crags.
widewetandslippery
18/06/2013
8:26:16 AM
Rod I seem to remember you also took the real 4WD places it probably should not of gone as well.........
technogeekery
18/06/2013
8:43:15 AM
Agree with all the above. We have a Forester, which has been very useful on some of the dirt. I love the high clearance, and low range comes in handy about 4-5 times a year, but isn't essential by any means. We are trading up to a Pajero, but that is more because my family has outgrown the Subie and long weekend camping trips are seeing us overload it substantially - but for accessing climbing in NSW we've never needed more than the Subie, and unless you plan to go exploring remote areas and campsites in the bush, you won't need it for climbing.

So can I suggest you buy this one : http://www.carsales.com.au/private/details/Subaru-Forester-2011/SSE-AD-2183454/?Cr=2

:-)

BundyBear
18/06/2013
8:59:30 AM
On 18/06/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>I agree with the above. In NSW you don't need a 4WD for 95% of the climbing.
>Here is my list....

What about the new mega crag near Ikara :-)


IdratherbeclimbingM9
18/06/2013
5:33:39 PM
On 18/06/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>Blue Mountains - bitumen and a few kms of flat graded dirt roads
>Bungonia Gorge - bitumen
>Warrumbungles - bitumen
>Kaputar - bitumen
>Point Perp - a few kilometres of flat dirt road
>Nowra - bitumen or a few kms of flat graded dirt roads
>New Nowra - a few km or rough dirt roads
>Wolgan - flat graded dirt road with a one optional water crossing
>
I will get in ahead of kuu, BA, and maybe jrc and some others... ☺
~> I remember when Bungonia, Warrumbungles, Pt Perpendicular, and Wolgan were all dirt road access and often in poor condition at that ...
Most of us didn't have a 4WD and if you did, it was an old series landrover with only basic creature comfort. Yes, in the days before Toyota 4WD's(!), which when they first came out, only had a three speed gearbox, but much better seats ...
Kernmantle, slcd's, ringbolts and 'soft-roaders' on tar roads. What will the next 50 years bring?
;-)

Snappy
18/06/2013
6:48:36 PM
On 18/06/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>On 18/06/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>>Blue Mountains - bitumen and a few kms of flat graded dirt roads
>>Bungonia Gorge - bitumen
>>Warrumbungles - bitumen
>>Kaputar - bitumen
>>Point Perp - a few kilometres of flat dirt road
>>Nowra - bitumen or a few kms of flat graded dirt roads
>>New Nowra - a few km or rough dirt roads
>>Wolgan - flat graded dirt road with a one optional water crossing
>>
>I will get in ahead of kuu, BA, and maybe jrc and some others... ☺
>~> I remember when Bungonia, Warrumbungles, Pt Perpendicular, and Wolgan
>were all dirt road access and often in poor condition at that...
>Most of us didn't have a 4WD and if you did, it was an old series landrover with only
>basic creature comfort. Yes, in the days before Toyota 4WD's(!), which when they
>first came out, only had a three speed gearbox, but much better seats ...
>Kernmantle, slcd's, ringbolts and 'soft-roaders' on tar roads. What will
>the next 50 years bring?
>;-)

Maybe we should form a club.

We can call it Dangerouser Roads Australia.

Damn numpties coming and retro-bitumening our dirt roads.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
18/06/2013
6:52:31 PM
On 18/06/2013 Snappy wrote:
>Maybe we should form a club.
>
>We can call it Dangerouser Roads Australia.
>
>Damn numpties coming and retro-bitumening our dirt roads.

&kenoath said Too right!
;-)

Big G
18/06/2013
7:25:08 PM
Seatbelts, brakes, pffft! I have it on good advice that ODH and macciza have had these pointless, spurt climber accessories removed from their vehicles.

Don't even start me on side curtain airbags....

nmonteith
18/06/2013
9:30:35 PM
On 18/06/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>~> I remember when Bungonia, Warrumbungles, Pt Perpendicular, and Wolgan
>were all dirt road access and often in poor condition at that...

...and we had military conscription, aboriginals didn't have the vote, women got paid less than men for the same job and homosexuality was illegal. Those were the days hey?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
19/06/2013
8:27:27 AM
On 18/06/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>On 18/06/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>>~> I remember when Bungonia, Warrumbungles, Pt Perpendicular, and Wolgan
>>were all dirt road access and often in poor condition at that...
>
>...and we had military conscription, aboriginals didn't have the vote,
>women got paid less than men for the same job and homosexuality was illegal.
>Those were the days hey?

You forgot to mention that we were also allowed to shoot things too ;-)
... as well as the fact that Dr Eric Dark reckoned his first ascent of Tonduron was one of the gayest (in the true meaning of the word - most light hearted), ascents of his life!

Yep, those were the days; ... when almost every ascent was an adventure.

( ~> I wonder what Ed Hillary, if he was still alive, would post as a response to your sense of nostalgia?)


Even going down the Hume Track (now highway), was an adventure back in the days of single lane each way, hills and corners; ... especially before they brought in the 60 mph (later to become 100 kph) general state speed limit!
~> Four people, camping and caving gear for weekend, cram(B)ed into a VW beetle, going down the last big hill before Marulan (midnight Friday nights, & when that section of road was first improved), we actually got it up to 90+ mph; ... then filling the water containers at Marulan servo, and crawling at 10 mph to Bungonia, having to get out at some cattle grids along the way to lighten the load and let the beetle bump over them without getting grounded.

Did I ever tell you about the time at Wolgan before the original pub was relocated-
Heh, heh, heh.
gfdonc
19/06/2013
9:28:14 AM
Ah, the four Yorkshiremen are alive and well and living on the Internet ..

There are 16 messages in this topic.

 

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