TRACK REPORT: Hells Bells Track. The (Near) Complete Walk Through.
I've had a few questions regarding what the Hells Bells Track is like. There is no way to describe a track that runs 50km besides driving it, but I will give it a crack in this blog. I have deliberately skipped a lot of the details out because its too big to write about and could fill a novel.
We meet up at Charlie Moreland Camp Area and after we travel about 500 metres into the track and out of the way from civilians, we air down.
The track starts with some flat driving and a couple of casual descending hills with some views to the right and a small creek crossing. The lead up to this crossing is a little bouldery and the creek itself is usually about 6 inches deep. From here, we enter the mouth of Hells Bells Track by negotiating through a few wombat holes that are perhaps a tyre deep on either side. Momentum is key here or you will get hung up.
This area is ALWAYS wet, even when there has been no rain from months. The terrain does an incredibly good job at holding water. So it is constant slop. Once we have moved on from the wombat holes, we come across a challenge that has you slowly force the vehicle into a deep steppy rut created from huge tree roots. This bit is like a huge bucket and I would recommend 2nd Low to exit out of this so you can immediately position the vehicle into one of two lines and be ready for the next set up, which is a rut that puts the car at a very uneasy angle and moving to quick on this section could roll the car over. An alternative is to drive another line that also puts the car at a crazy angle but the exit is like a wall so clearance is crucial. There is a chicken track if you opt out of driving this piece of goodness.
Once we are out of this section, we have another couple of creek crossings involving a small stepped descent and the exit out of this crossing immediately puts you in mud slop on a hard left hander. There are strictly two lines you can take here. You can see strong evidence of tyre tracks slipping off the track and harmlessly into roughage which would need a winch to get you back out.
We then move on to a 80 metre cruise smack back into a foot and half deep creek bed with a real slow bouldery exit that makes use of 1st Low. Once we are out of here we have a small climb offering a medium and hard challenge. I leave that to drivers on the day. They are both great drives.
We then move onto some really really cool stuff. We begin a long climb up and what goes up must come back down. The down section is where it can get tricky and raise concerns if it is not taken seriously. There are 4 DEEPLY rutted wash outs offering only 2 dodgy lines. Good tyres here is imperative. Tyre that have aggressive rock biters on the side walls will come up trumps on these sections. If customers don't have rock biters on the side walls, then I will not take them down this section as the risk is too high.
Following this section, we have another climb and it is bouldery mid ascent. It wreaks havoc on momentum as a result, and the pinch at the very top has you given it some berries to get over. Believe me when I say you want to get over.
We then have another 2 creek crossings where one of them is where the creek opens up river like. Sometimes in can get pretty deep, but not always. After completing the the creek/river crossings, we start a gradual climb littered with more ruts yet again. There is a little"off ramp" near the top and I always ask the brave few if they want to put there money where they're mouths are if they are up for it.
I then lead them across what I call the mini Blue Rag Range Track for the most incredible views. We then take another side track where we face a mental descent: The Devils Staircase. The Staircase is like leaping off the edge of the Earth as it is steep and the notorious section is full off boulders just as you step off. As you take this, you will lose traction momentarily as you bounce and slide around till the car settles and continue our way down.
Completing this, we then take a link track that involves yet another creek crossing with a wicked rock step up out of it. Line is crucial or you risk rubbing the diff nicely up against it. This link track is a constant climb that bestows upon the driver lots of sunshine coast red slippery clay. If its real wet, things get interesting, but usually its not a problem. When we get to the top of this link track we then have a series of steep descents and unreal climbs before we take another turn into Hells Gates.
The section from Hells Gates takes us 4 wheel adventurers through yet another series of extreme bouldery drop offs and crazy climbs. One climb in particular requires a good committing line. At this point, we are sitting at well above 500 metres altitude and there is no better sense of being remote and gleefully away from civilisation than here (unless of course you've been to the Victorian High Country).
Once we have completed this, then its an epic direct descent into The Abyss. It is called The Abyss because its a direct route in one direction: DOWN! Its washed out, rutted, massive rocks, steps and a committing drive. The fun is off the hook!!!
We then finish this off at an undisclosed secret track which is well....a secret.
THIS TRACK IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and it covers a hefty chunk of the Imbil and Kenilworth region - a region that has become prominent and iconic for 4WDing if you know where to look.
To book a tag-along trip of the Hells Bells Track, please click the link below or give Kev a call on 0422 299 099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org