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We use trees as brakes

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this is a pictorial diary of my last outing in Val Borbera (>Piemonte>Italy,erm).

Plan was to do a recce before organizing a little scale Rover gathering,

due to the previous snowfall,cold weather and location (some trails went up to 900/1000 mts. assuming you can get there) we decided for a 3 Rovers max.

So on Sat the 21th I picked up my friend and trusted navigator Mauro in Milan,

and headed to Piemonte to catch with Antonio aka Spaz (trail leader) and our friend Nando who lives close.

Trucks were:

1)my Cube II,90 Tdi,twin ARBs and dwarf 32" 'pedes,8274.

2)Spaz's 110 Td5,no lockers,remould Trekkers in 7.50 size,Come-Up (9K IIRC).

3)Nando's 90 Td5,full gizmos,ETC/ABS with twin Detroit Soft Lockers and Warn 9K (IIRC).

After some gentle greenlaning (snow and mud) we stop in front of a steep ascent and opt for on foot recce,

as nobody has been through since December.

This is the view from the top of the ramp...


Back from the recce (Spaz and I) agree it's safe to go on,so we hit the trail.



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We climb the ramp,the 110 spinning the tires in search for grip,slippery ground doesn't help,and a bit more momentum is needed.

Nando speeds up so to have the Detroits working,and we follow with the Cube II making light work of it,almost on tickover



sorry for this (and others to follow) cr@ppy scan


We stop as the 110 lifts a front wheel and Spaz gets ready to winch...


cable out,nice background...







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This is the last pic I took of Nando and his 90 in LR shape.


After this,I & Mauro stop for a while chatting and having fun traversing a side slope,

my Lev-O-Gage toy says the Cube is leaning from 30° to 35°/40°,

Mauro is navigating on foot.

We have a laugh and soon realize everyone has disappeared in the meanwhile.

Mauro jumps in and we proceed closing the last tricky section,another short ascent,

well slippery and with a root,after a failed attemp I apply a bit more boot and we go,

just to realize I forgot to re-engage the central diff-lock!


2 ARBs engaged helped...


Worst-and supposed to be dangerous!-part of the trail is over,and we enter a nice track

in the wood,wide enough for a LR,half covered in snow,on the side of the mountain.

Nobody before us.

I swear a little,as it's not a race,and everybody knows I'm slow as death,when I see Spaz's co-driver (can't remember the name at the mo) running down the lane.

"WTF?" I ask.

"Slow down,something happened...Nando..." says Mauro.

This is what we see,30 meters down the ravine on our right side...



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2002 MY 90 goes to scrap.

The chassis was so badly bent that the rails were misaligned,the front crossmember failed,the bulkhead moved forward,roof windows exploded due to the roof folding,the nose went so back that the front RH wheel couldn't turn,and so on.

He's going to take the engine (minus the rad and intercooler and other bits),g-box + t-box and axles out.

All the body is gone.

I have yet to upload the photos of the recovery,will do when back at work,need a BB connection


I'm glad you enjoyed the thread,seems so quiet around here...


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He ordered a brand new one with all the extras the day after...


...you get the idea.

If it had happened to me,I think a Corgi model would have been my only choice for years to come.


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He ordered a brand new one with all the extras the day after...


...you get the idea.

If it had happened to me,I think a Corgi model would have been my only choice for years to come.


Wow, good man :D

you could have a radio controlled 90 & still drive :lol:

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He ordered a brand new one with all the extras the day after...


...you get the idea.

If it had happened to me,I think a Corgi model would have been my only choice for years to come.


Yuck, me too but silver lining for Nando at least

Looking fwd to seeing the recovery pics, doesn't look easy. But what happened to cause the 90 to go astray?

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Hi all,

I'll finish the write up tomorrow with the last pics.

I was late and Spaz had driven through before,so Nando was alone when it happened.

You'll be able to see (with the next pics) that the lane was half covered in snow.

It melted in the middle,but was intact on sides;this could give the impression the lane was larger than it really was.

So he suddenly felt the rear of the 90 sliding aside and then the whole truck following.

I have yet to understand how,but he managed to steer and make the Rover turn the nose

(without rolling!!!!how on earth!!!)

so he was able to drive straight down to the tree and use it as a barrier.

This saved him from a freefall down the mountain side.

You'll see the pic,but just to give you an idea,I was the 1st to jump down the ravine to check him out;

I struggled to climb up again and I had to help myself with hands.

I'm not saying it was a vertical wall,but a really steep incline.

Will,I'll bring my old reflex as I did last year.


More more films this time!!!!


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OK,the recovery chapter now...


First a view from the edge of the lane:


and a nice shot starring Mauro needing an helpful tug to climb up


this gives the idea of how steep it was...

How to recover it:

1st Spaz drives on as he needs to reverse,none of us has a rear winch (mine is yet to be installed,damn).

While he's away I and Mauro make room cutting all the young broken trees Nando has ran over

and make a "lane",so nothing can mess while the 90 is getting winched up.

Then I choose a tree.

Plenty of but no one is really old and big,all young ones,I just hope it's up to the job and doesn't fall on us.

I take my 2 pulleys out,and Nando has another one as backup.

Spaz gets back with the 110 and we secure the tails to other trees to prevent from sliding aside.

Then connect the 2 ropes and we cross fingers (I fear of the weight+steep incline etc etc)...

Up she comes!!!



Nando is a bit shocked yet and we stop every now and then when I realize he's a bit toooooo close to the tensioned rope...!





we make it easy and absolutely no fuss at all!





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I love this photo of Mauro spotting from behind a tree.

He has a 2 yrs old daughter and I have to be on the lookout (him and my Rover!)



And yes,bonnets opened for added safety


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This is my first post here ...reading this thread I guess I can consider myself as "already introduced" by Michele... anyway: hello everybody!

I had no pics at all of the accident (that day I was not in the right mood to take pics) so I asked Michele where I could download his pictures and ... here I am!

I must say that Michele and his co-driver Mauro did a great job that day: the situation was obviously not easy, Nando’s car was badly damaged (one of the front wheels was totally jammed by the smashed right wing and by the bent bumper) and, of course, mud and snow made everything harder but Michele and his friend definitely proved they know how to recover a crashed car in the woodlands.

Great job indeed!


P.S. Michele do you really think I drive too fast? This is new to me, everybody has always told me I’m deadly slow when I drive... :P

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Important things first:

welcome newbie!


Again,thanks for the kind comments,Mauro will keep telling this story to everyone for a long time


Some photos miss yet,but I'm gonna leave to UK for the MWWC tomorrow

so no chance to finish my write up now.

Will do next week.



I AM deadly slow,all you other guys have yet to learn




I too wasn't in the right mood to take pics,but...ya know...the call of the storyteller...


I just started shooting after I realized nobody (Nando) was hurt and the situation was under control.

In fairness to Nando I did not post this pics in any of the Italian forums (I don't bother anyway).

This is such a cool and polite forum instead...


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  • 2 weeks later...

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