IJC Snow Cross Country Jan 2009
@ALL IJC members and Friends, It was a super duper weekend and a super duper event. I know all of us had an amazing weekend full of fun with lots of driving + snow + snow fight + cold + rain + breathtaking views. Looking at the pictures, I must say that these pictures don't convey even 5% of the environment. One can only see few colors of nature and man with its machine at its best in just one frame. In terms of organizing, I believe the IJC group has an awesome team. Aamir bhai (Captain IJC) who is an absolute ace in terms of mobilizing people. Then there is Ibad-ul-Haq aka ibad, who is the real master mind behind this idea. He was the one who dreamt of this, kept on the pressure and finally got into the driving seat, There is Salman, Shabab, Jahangir and last but not the lest Rizwan bhai aka Cotec who really put their heart and soul when it comes down to the eleventh hour things to be done the champions on the ground who are masters in getting things done no matter what the cost. All these gentlemen shouldered mutually agreed to responsibilities admirably and ensured everything worked smoothly.
It was a special weekend for me as my 07 year old daughter accompanied me. We (my daughter and I) picked up Aamir bhai from his place and drove to the meeting point. I saw everyone to be amazed and baffled when they saw my child of this age to be accompanying me in a soft-top without a heater. As you all know soft-top are notorious and are never air tight. To my astonishment, my daughter was not inclined to sit in a comfy SUV and preferred to sit with me. I had already planned for this and had ample warm clothing for her.
We finally started towards Murree and reached at Shahbab's place. A beautiful place I must say. Shabab's hospitality is commendable. Had tea and started the bon fire. Jahangir started the bbq along with other friends and he was tagged as the KABAB UNCLE by my daughter. I must say that it was because of Jahangir that all that bbq was cooked. He is no doubt a remarkable person like all the rest of IJC members and friends. A take all charge guy!!!!
The food was excellent, the company was immaculate and the weather was unpredictable as we thought but was an experience. To top it all, we were surprised to know that two IJC members who could not make it before were on their way, Qasim Khan and Hassan Aziz. We were astonished to see them in Qasim Khans open commando jeep. It was a great gesture and off-road spirit from them to come at that time in an open jeep. They stayed for the bbq but had to leave. Their presence was and is highly appreciated.
After the bbq, some members and friends (elderly) went of to Shabab's place and were snoring before we could say aaaachoo!!!! :D. The rest of us stayed up till late night and then decided to head off into two groups, one would stay at Shabab's place and the other would go to Salman's place on Mall road. We left our 4x4's at Shabab's place and headed towards the mall in Shabab's Safari and Rizwan bhai's Adam thanx to both of them. As we reached the mall, the snow fall started and man it was a treat to be in it.
We slept late and were woken up by the group that had gone of to sleep early at Shabab's place. The weather was immaculate as it has snowed and rained all night with chill wind blowing. We dressed up appropriately, and went to Lintotts Restaurant to have breakfast.
There we were joined by MJC. We had paratha's, omelets, fried eggs and hot hot tea for breakfast. I know everyone there was famished as the cold does tend to increase appetite. After the breakfast, Salman and I went to get our rides from Shahbab's place. Rizwan bhai was kind enough to drive us there. We caught up with the group at kuldana and there we meet Asad Marwar and friends. It was nice of him to provide us with more walkie talkies which really helped us organize the remaining part of the journey in a professional manner. Finally we started off towards changa galli.
Changa Gali was and experience of its own, the beautiful white soft snow and the snow fight :D..... My daughter and I had lots of fun there. She threw snow balls at others and in retaliation, I was the target... enjoyed a lot, slipped and dropped on my behind twice hahahahah.... lot of other people did it too
Finally after Salman got fobak's jeep out and climbed to the top of the hill, had a photo shoot session of the whole gang (IJC+MJC & friends) and was decided to head towards Nathia gali. The real experience starts here....
As soon as we were on the ice road to Nathia gali, my daughter feel asleep. I was alone in the jeep with friends and members in front of me at a great distance and when I looked in the rear view, I could see Salman and others which really kept my wits intact as the visibility was low, there was heavy snow and I was dam slow (my God, I’ve started to rhyme) and after every five to ten min’s, I had to stop and clean the windscreen. The snow stuck to the wiper blades and then the windscreen was layered with a thick sheet of snow, could not see anything.
Got to Nathia gali and the hotel where we had lunch was nice. The food was excellent, the spicy chicken roast, dal mash and roti was a treat. The snowfall was heavy and the light was fading out. We got information that the roads to Murree are blocked due to heavy snow and two wheel vehicles as they could not get traction. We decided to head off towards Abbotta bad.
I shifted my daughter in Salman's jeep (thanx to him) due to cold, as he had a heater and his sopftop was more secured than mine. Jahangir sat with me and was my co-pilot. Thanx to him and his navigation, I drove my jeep down the traitorous icy road and dangerous bends safely. The road to Abbottabad was all paved and would be nice in summer time but with this much snow fall and sharp dangerous bends, it was an adrenal rush I must say. All of the caring friends who were worried about me especially as the general perception was that Pink's would get stuck, slide or something will happen, I am grateful for all your concerns and thank you for the genuine gestures. I saw a lot of people were very concerned about my jeeps condition and specially the tires. Believe me I deflated the tires thrice and they still were pumped up... I ran them on 12 pounds of air and they still looked like they were not deflated enough... :D. I had read up before this event on how to's and tips on snow & ice driving with big tires and lifted suspension so I had a little knowledge and a lot of support from all IJC & friends...
We reached sea level safely and then the engines were gunned.. Akif and Aamir bhai were on my tail all the way down hill and am thankful. I was for some time a tail runner due to poor visibility but eventually caught up. We stopped mid way and switched passengers and luggage as now we were racing towards our homes. We reached hometown around 10pm safe and sound.
I know the whole story might seem long and I may have missed few things but believe me, words cannot express enough the experience my daughter and I had. In short my heartiest congratulations on a safe and successful event to the IJC team, MJC team and friends.
[highlight][highlight]I missed IJC members and friends who could not make this trip due to their busy schedules and would have loved to have them with us.
- Ehsan Kiani aka ehsan
- Hassan Aziz aka male_dude
- Rizwan bhai aka LRDefender
- Qasim aka GreenJeep
and many more[/highlight][/highlight]
There are many more who helped in making the event a grand success. Its not possible to mention all the names but events of this scale do require a large army of volunteers.
It’s a totally different ball game and I cannot but respect what has been achieved by these highly accomplished off-roader’s. I just mentioned this because whole exercise of comparing old with new, one brand with another is a totally futile exercise, at least in my humble opinion. I like them all, old and new, from Jeeps to LC's, CJ's, LC's, Willys.... The world of off-roader's is only richer thanks to all of these machines. Hope you guys got to enjoy them as much as I do.
My special thanx to
IJC & friends
Shabab, Khizer & his friend
Jahangir & Bilal Ch
Ibad & Friend
Akif & his friend
Punk & his friend
Asad Marwat & his friends
Omair, Mihsin, Rawas & Taimur
MJC - Spl thanx to
G.M.Qureshi (Sen. Member)
Ishtiaq Ahmed (Sen. Member)
Zaheer Bhatti (Sen. Member)
spancolor: #ff0000""Once again ...... IJC ROCKS !!!!!!!!