Peake Training Weekend, June 2021

Day 0 – The Peake sand training was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in the last week of June. However, everyone was so keen that we all made our way to Peake by sundown on Friday. Peter P, the trip leader, escorted vehicles that needed guidance to the campsite. Everyone promptly setup camp for the weekend. As the temperature dropped, each person made their way to the fireplace, and we all told tall tales and then retired to bed.

Day 1 – We woke up to a nice fresh morning and gathered around for a briefing. Partway through the briefing, there was a distraction and a car that was left on to warm started to sound like it was going to die. Next, we all drove to a sandy area where Trevor spent a good half hour digging out recovery gear and explaining their function to the group. The troubled car had joined us after getting a borrowed battery. The highlight of this session to me, was the home made, remotely activated, door unlocking device (Speak to Trevor for more info).

The group split into two and some set out driving while the rest stayed back for a snatch recovery training. The tail in our convoy, Les, had to be quickly replaced by Jim, as Les managed to get himself stuck within the first two minutes. Perhaps it was Les being helpful, as the other group needed a bogged vehicle for the snatch recovery.

We drove over some rocky sections, then some  slippery side slopes and then tackled a few tricky sand hills. We failed to get up some of them in a couple of tries but the group mostly managed to  get across.

We regrouped after lunch and went to the other side of the property to tackle more sand dunes. Since our group had not done the snatch recovery training, Mark was kind enough to get himself bottomed out on a steep dune.  We  managed to free him after some careful digging and snatching.

Peter had brought a used wheel for us to practice plugging tyres on. While most struggled to plug the holes, I got  lucky as I was given a different reamer, which made the job much easier.  In the evening, we all sat around the      campfire once again, telling tall tales and enjoying food and beverages. As the night got colder, the numbers dwindled, and the circle kept getting smaller. By the time I bid good night, we were almost standing inside the fire pit!

Day 2 – We woke up the next morning to find a thick layer of ice on the cars (see photo, right). Trevor was excited to announce that the mercury had dropped down to minus 3.5C at 6.30am.

This explains the floating ice inside the kettle and kitchen sink.  After a quick discussion it was agreed that we were going to try out a few winches by getting cars stuck in a tricky spot. Before we headed out, we received a demonstration on how to connect multiple snatch straps . Clapsticks for a 4WD recovery, who would have thought…

A few of the ladies took the cars for a drive, with Barbara and Les  guiding them. Jim intentionally got his car stuck and we set up the winch for an advanced recovery. This included anchoring onto two trees in different locations. Some minor re-adjustment of setup was required but Jim started moving up the sand under Mark’s directions.

Mark joining recovery straps together

While the next vehicle was positioning itself for another winch recovery, the ladies arrived back to camp. I had to pack up and leave to be back in time for a kids’ birthday party.

Overall, it was a memorable weekend for us. We learned a lot from the experienced members of the club and our confidence levels were boosted.

Trevene L