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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Road Trials

On Sunday I was joined in Askam by my Norwegian dancer friend Helén Rønning and her dad Halvard. The weather was cold and icy, but brilliant clear sunshine. We decided to put my new X-Trail through its paces on Monday. First a trip up to Coniston to look at the boats, and then through Langdale where a stop for a good English cup of tea at Boot was the order of the day. Thus refreshed, it was time to consider whether or not to undertake the next phase of the road trials. Ahead of us lay the dreaded Wrynose and Hardnott Passes with their treacherous 1 in 3 (30%) hairpin bends, single track road with few passing places and in many places the edge of road falls away perilously vertically to the side. One misjudgement at this time of year and you're a gonner.

We decided to proceed and after tightening seat belts we commenced the ascent to the Wrynose Pass. Soon we were above the snow line but, locked into 4-wheel drive, the vehicle seemed secure, even negotiating the treacherous hairpins in first gear. Approaching the summit, a less fortunate vehicle had evidently lost control on the ice and had slid over the edge and was hanging vertically nose down. There didn't seem to be casualties, so we stopped to admire the view, from the Isle of Man in the west to Lancaster in the south.

Helén and Halvard at the summit of the Wrynose Pass

The next trial was the equally fearsome Hardnott Pass, but thoughts of complacency were discarded and this too was carefully negotiated as we descended into Eskdale. There was time and good sunlight to visit Wasdale and Wast Water (the deepest lake in England with the steepest scree slopes) where a pub with more welcome tea was waiting at Wasdale Head.

Wast Water

All in all, a very successful trial, and I'm extremely pleased with the vehicle.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

MUCH better photos!

12:36 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

It's people like you that should have these kind of vehicles. You obviously get out into some fairly rugged terrain!

4:32 am  
Blogger simon said...

yes I agree kiwi!...

10:05 pm  
Blogger simon said...

I was thinking today jus how important it is to have reliable, economical transport. We should all make an effort to use our cars less, and enjoy bikes, feet etc more.... So I am sure tha you wil and are happy this this vehicle Jim really!

6:53 am  
Blogger simon said...

how deep is waste water?

5:05 am  

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