Saturday, 30 January 2010

Wheely tyred

As I suspected, it fell to me to go back and sort our stricken snowtrac. I assembled the necessary tools and the fixed wheel in our argocat and, along with 2 helpers, headed for the hill. We got about 400 yards before we found that our ford was a raging torrent of meltwater. OK, Plan B was to trailer the argo across the river. We hitched up a trailer to a rover, brought the argo 'in aboot' and........and found that, with its tracks on, it was too wide for the trailer. Hmmm.

Plan Z was to walk up carrying everything up on our backs. Unfortunately we didn't have any Plans C to Y.

So carry them we did, with our trainee drawing the short straw and having a long climb with a wheel in a rucsack. (The college didn't mention THAT on its syllabus.)

And, an hour and 1000 ft later, what did we find? The nice level bit of snow we had abandoned the blessed machine on had melted and it was sitting on a corrugated and extremely boggy bit of ground. This and a howling gale made the next couple of hours very uncomfortable and difficult. And in a bid to lighten the load, we brought a spanner that just wasn't man enough to tension the track once we did manage to wrestle the tyre back on.

I can assure you we were in no mood to go and get another spanner so we drove it down anyway. Very, very slowly and very, very carefully.

We made it down without it throwing a track (or me throwing a Wobbler) and as soon as we reached the level ground of the glen floor we fetched ALL the tools and got stuck in. Tracks were tensioned, drive chains were tensioned, a dodgy carrier wheel was changed, bearings were greased, and a windscreen wiper tightened. Then it was loaded onto a trailer, towed to HQ, washed, tyre pressures checked and, finally, it went back into its shed.

By this time I was ready to throw a match in after it. Furthermore, I had a horrible feeling that it wouldn't be needed for another 3 years.

As it happens, one of my colleagues used it the very next day and, apparently, it ran 'like a Swiss watch'. Now there's an inappropriate similie.

On a completely different note, on Friday we had the pleasure of having a couple of Blog Followers come up to give hind stalking a bash. Previously, they had only ever visited the estate in the height of Summer and I think they were somewhat amazed at the difference. The 2 inches of snow that fell on Thursday night only heightened the effect.

It was a day of sunshine and heavy snow showers, a biting Northerly wind and spindrift. To their credit, they handled the conditions with good cheer and they were rewarded with 7 hinds/calves between them. How did they describe the experience?



  1. It was incredibly hardcore but brilliant, brilliant fun, MANY thanks Andy! Louise

  2. Wow - I've managed to post a comment for first time in yonks.... for everyone else having problems, I think the trick is to select "anonymous" in the "select profile" menu.

  3. Glad you appreciate the snowtrac Andy. They were developed and manufactured here in my homeregion in sweden and have turned many riders down -made them hardcore... /Magnus