TRACK PROGRESS REPORT: Hells Bells at 19.38km
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
With the ever present threat of rain within the grey skies that we have become used to, we set out to collect further data for our Hells Bells Track. This time, we gladly took out a shorty in the form of a 1993 Daihatsu Rocky with all the bells and whistles. Matthew has been out with GONE before and I thank him solemnly for thinking of us when he was up this way looking for an adventure. The tyres on the Rocky were 31" Bridgestone All-Terrain Desert Duellers.
By mid afternoon, and as the track is still wet under the heavy rainforest canopies, I opted to turn back and call it a day as it was getting late and although we were equipped with a winch and ample recovery gear, we did not want to risk a recovery with the ever-present threat of rain.
The point at which I made the call to turn back was the beginning of a long hefty climb of unexplored track. It was welcomely well rutted and coloured with the infamous Kenilworth red slippery clay. The topo map would have had us traversing some good climbs ahead by entertaining us with short 50 metres bursts from 200 metres up to 450 metres altitude. It has now been way pointed as a continuation marker whereby the Hells Bells Track route will continue. We can see how long it can take before we take a track commercial.
Anyway, the juicy bits will follow.
Track Data Covered so far: 19.39km
Average Moving Speed: 8.2 km/h
Max Speed: 38.2 km/h
Max Elevation: 167 metres
Min Elevation: 127 metres
Average Moving Pace: 7:17 mins/km
Number of Creek Crossings: 7
Low Range Demand: 70% High
At the risk of sounding bias, the track so far is absolutely fantastic to drive because it offers the 4WDer a fistful of technical challenges and mad angle moments. But not just that, 4WDing is not always about pushing the limits. This track has some of the best scenery you will ever see in the Sunshine Coast. Period! But it is only accessible via your 4x4. You may have read that we have uncovered a piece of track that is truly reminiscent of the Blue Rag Range Track just not as high. When we found this place, we had to get out of the vehicles to soak it all up. It would have been a sin to keep driving without acknowledging was we were experiencing.
Also, there is something quite majestic about river and creek crossings. Maybe its the sense of conquering nature or perhaps re-igniting out primitive instincts that our ancestors were forced to use millions of years ago. Whatever it is, 4WDing through here is pure bliss and forces you to let go of civilisation entirely.
Hells Bells is turning out to be a spectacular piece of 4WDing where both hands must be on the wheel to tackle whats coming. The scale of 4WDing, exploring and adventure of the Hells Bells Track to date are tremendous. I am willing to go on record to say that its as good as the Winterfield Peaks Track. Winterfield would be the track to go for before you hit up Hells Bells because with Hells Bells, there is no warm up track.
Hells Bells Track so far is a demanding but incredibly fun track that will see you in 1st and 2nd gear Low Range for the majority of the drive. There are small little stretches where you could stick her back in High, but I don't see any real need. The hill climbs are committing in most cases in the sense that you need sure footed throttle, good lines, driver experience and confidence in the rig.
Remember though, the old saying in Kenilworth and Imbil of "just add water" is NOT to be taken lightly. This place is a beast that takes no prisoners and will swallow you whole if we are not careful or try and be a hero. Hells Bells, in the wet, will be interesting for many drivers. The testing that we did on this day (July 3), was done in my car, a 2017 MQ Triton and a 1993 Daihatsu Rocky and the track was quite wet. Testing will also be done with an 80 Series Land Cruiser. So all in all, the track will have been driven by a short wheel base smaller vehicle (Rocky), a mid-size 4x4 (mine) and a larger vehicle in the form of a Cruiser. All bases covered.
We thank you for your patience whilst this track is being routed. But I assure you that this track will impress. That is for certain.
And the views from up the top? Well - that's something you will need to find out when the Track is cooked and ready for serving.
As always, we will keep you posted. Please share this post and if you haven't already, PLEASE INVITE your mates to Follow us on Facebook here and our Instagram too right here. Your support is always appreciated.
See you guys on the track,
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