Team UNIMOG Punga 2010 @ Elevation 14200ft – DeeMog & BeeMog via Babusar Pass-Sheosar Lake Deosai – Burzil Pass – Minimerg – Butogah Pass
July 15th – July 21st 2010
2 Unimogs carrying 12 Jays in 7 days had most thrilling and adventurous drive of the lifetime by passing through the 4 highest motorable passes of Pakistan (4000 Meters +) which are definitely falls in the Top 15 Motorable passes of the world, Top 3 are probably in Tibet & Ladakh. Another unique achievement of the Team Unimog was that DeeMog & BeeMog were the 1st Unimogs which have visited Shoesar Lake Deosai (13600ft), the 1st mog through Burzil pass (13500ft), Butogah Pass (14200ft) and I am not sure about Babusar Pass (13700ft)
Each day we had 15hrs of drive covering 1700KM in 7 days and quarter of that mileage was off-road in low revs pulling jays on the high altitude to breath light air & descending on the sharp curves. We descended approximately 6000 feet from Burzil Pass to Minimerg in less than 10KMs (The Burzil Pass (el. 4,100 m (13,500 ft)) is an ancient pass and caravan route between Srinagar in Kashmir and Gilgit. This route was active up to Pakistan's independence…. wikipedia), it was the trust on mog’s pulling power which kept us moving. From Minimerg onwards DeeMog only knew the way forward and there was no turning back till Islamabad thanks to excellent turning circle of Unimog which proved enough on the sharpest of curves.
Dasbala Water Crossing (20KM before Chilam Choki) - The current in the water crossing near Dasbala didn’t let us to cross, it was simply suicidal, the rock flowing in the water and their size was massive, making the track unstable and immediately after the track there was a 20-30 feet ditch. I can well imagine NN’s situation on the water crossing before Shindoor I read in the IJC Summer Camp Thread. We had to stop there for night while on our way up to Chilam and on our return as well . We slept in mog and few jays opened a local school room one first night & on return a local kid opened an abandoned road side hotel for us and we stayed there. We also tried camping on that night but the water immediately changed its flow direction and our camp base was under water within minutes. DeeDee kept on singing Soota Na Milla as he went out of stock that night. Kashif found some friends from Peshawar who were also stuck on the water crossing and for a change he conversed in pushto . We also witnessed a huge Army recovery truck of FIAT with monster tyres (in front of our mogs) equipped with latest technology which crossed the water, it was huge in size and weight, and engine had beautiful sound. The navigator was a Captain who also stopped us to avoid crossing the water in the night else he would have to return back to recover us…
Track to Butogah was most adventurous, the valley above chillas with old gigantic maple trees on the road side was a pleasure to watch and the cold water was too good for refreshing up the jays. We started that day very late at 11:30am reasons were more but discussion was one “via Babusar or via Butogah”. 3parties, 1st party saying go via Babusar, 2nd party saying via Butogah, 3rd party was quite and fourth party including 1 jay was sleeping …. In driver/navigator meeting DeeDee said either we are going via Butogah or “See u in Naran”…. This sentence is now a part of G4 Clan Code of Unethic . Sohaib Kiani & Asad Marwat from IJC gave us the directions, we reached Naran in the midnight and jays skipped 2 meals. Apart from thrill of off-road, while on our way up-hill to Butogah the trek was blocked by an enormous tree having at least 3 times weight of our Unimogs, which was toed and pulled by BeeMog to clear the road for us & local Tractor walas carrying baraf from Butoagh to Chillas. Mog pulled that tree with an ease by displaying immense pulling power it is known for. Rainfall started when we reached Butogah summit and it continued on our drive till Naran, rain made the descend slippery and more technical and we were literally crawling on the descend and Jays were quietly enjoying the extremely cold rainy winds and on water cross (12:15am), after a 20min trek search by DeeDee, Fateh & Kashif, it went well for BeeMog but DeeMog was 200 yards back and it got deviated from the track, thanks to high air intake and DeeMog enjoyed the smooth swim by following BeeMog’s brake lights and DeeDee kept on driving in the straight line with the flow .
1. Adeel Khalid aka DeeDee
2. Basharat Ullah Khan aka Basharatu
3. Kashif Qayyum Khan aka Fihsak
4. Fatah Ullah Khan aka Mr. DIY
5. Nabeel Ahmed Zafar
6. Malik Muhammad Umer
7. Shehzada Umer Naseer aka Aa ub loat chalain
8. Atta Ur Rehman aka Freeman
9. Zarar bin Zubair Mian aka Time Keeper
10. Nasir Ahmed Khan
11. Mian Zia Ul Haq aka Sakoon.com
12. Farooq Malik aka Sleepiest Person ever!
The chain email for K in North planning started much before the trip to decide when to go and where to go, how many KM would we be covering and what would be Unimog drive time for the same, we missed Guru G in the trip who was part of the planning team. Outcome of that email was a long list to prepare our mogs for North, few international forums helped us on the most critical things to do and rest was the local experience from mogging in Ravi Black Water & trip to Neelam via Nurinar back in 2008. We distributed the tasks e.g. I built a Unimog toolkit which had everything we needed & DeeDee prepared a box of spare parts and each one of them was used, also a medical kit (as per Janj’s list uploaded on Punga plus mouth wash for smokers). Nabeel was taking care of food & grocery items, Janj assisted us in the tin packing of boneless chicken and aloo keema, Fatah assisted us in completing the pending jobs on Bee & Dee Mog, hunting dala frame in the last week for DeeMog & Ustaad Pima did the magic by stitching the parachute for both the rides and we were ready to assemble on July 15th @ 0005hrs
Mog’s DIY by Mr. DIY (DIY maximum time was 30 minutes)
Mog mechanic skipped the trip on the last moment and we were counting on our elder bro Mr. Fatah Ullah Khan aka Mr. DIY, the true technical expert of Unimog and he is definitely a life saver with naturally gifted ability to diagnose the issue and then finding a solution. Following is summary of things he did on mogs to keep them moving!
1. July 15 0005Hrs, BeeMog’s Diesel pump’s cylinder cover is missing, we sourced the cover plate but its length was not right, Mr. DIY fabricated the plate to cover it up & from thereon he did the magic throughout the trip
2. July 15 0030Hrs, DeeMog is taking some air with fuel, engine is not performing as per expectations, Mr. DIY fixed the issue
3. July 15 0930Hrs, BeeMog’s one of the hose pipe having hairline fracture, replaced by Mr. DIY just after Balakot
4. July 15 1330Hrs, DeeMog caught fire due short circuit in the heating plugs & situation was panic, DeeDee used his good presence of mind and used sand to control the fire. Mechanics and Electricians of Naran didn’t extended any help so Mr. DIY started from the wiring and removed the burnt wires and then unplugged the problematic heater & defused the same by breaking the heater into two parts and then installed the defused version back in DeeMog (since we didn’t found the 24V heater in Naran) and we were back on the trek .
5. July 18 0930Hrs, BeeMog’s left hub seal had leakage and front brakes were malfunctioning due to that reason, Mr. DIY, Mr. Dee, Bash & and an army driver (having past experience of Mogs) started the DIY on the hub, replaced the seals, washed the wheels and brakes leathers with patrol, re-filled the oil which was also a DIY for to prepare a CL gun using a 1.5Liter Nestle bottle and a diesel fuel line… and Bingo
6. July 20 2030Hrs, BeeMog engine stopped firing, it was dark, rainy and cold. Mr. DIY came again with his toolkit and diagnosed that the diesel pump (mechanical) is not pushing any fuel, Mr. Dee pointed out a spare fuel pump of 24V installed in DeeMog & shared the fuel line which he replaced in Rawalpindi July 14th (thankfully he kept the old pipes). Mr. DIY installed the electric fuel pump & gave it a 24V connection and Bingo , he is a life saver!
Travel log written by Basharatu…..