Climbing A Dam In A Land Rover | Series 22 | BBC

Climbing A Dam In A Land Rover | Series 22 | BBC

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Richard Hammond has to climb Claerwen dam in a sixty four year old Land Rover. Can he do it? From , Series 22 Episode 4.Subscribe for more awesome videos: YouTube channel: TopGear.com website: Facebook: Twitter:

Oh, God. The dam I'll be climbing is Claerwen
in Wales. It's 1,200 feet wide and, more worryingly
for me, 200 feet high. To make things worse, the Land Rover
I'll be using is 64 years old. So, in order to do what they never managed
in the TV advert, we've added some bits. When they made that advert,
there wasn't a winch around big enough to take on board all the cable
you need to go up a big dam. So, we… well, not Jeremy and me, somebody else has built
this ginormous one. Then there's the matter of the engine. You see, when this thing starts
to go up the dam it will go vertical and, at that point,
the engine at the front will cut out. Problem, because we need the engine
to power the winch. Solution… a second engine just for the winch. Best of all this is built
so that it can pivot. As the Land Rover goes vertical,
this stays level. None of this gave me
much comfort, however, when I was standing at the bottom. Oh, bloody hell. It's much steeper
than the other dam in the advert. For a brief moment,
I thought I was off the hook, because the start point
looked completely inaccessible. Sadly, the producers had thought of that. I hate problem solvers. And this is just a little amuse-bouche. Eventually, I was in place. The winch cable was attached to the top. And it was time to begin. That's the engine in the back that powers
the winch, remember, 'cause of the angle. Um, I'd love to think of something else
to say or do. I can't, so I'm going to go. So, um… Right, here I go. Oh, it's tensioning up. This is okay so far. Oh! There it is. Oh, my God! I know it's slow. Any faster and I risk burning out
all the winch motors and things. Plus, there was an issue
with the face of the dam itself. The one on the advert was smooth concrete.
This is rough stone. I didn't take that into account. What I've got to do is steer between
these rocks, where they stick out from the face. Oh! It's jerking. I'm having to read the surface. Oh! This vertical off-roading
gave me another problem. Because the Land Rover
is winching itself up on its own winch, the cable has to feed
evenly onto the drum. If it doesn't do that,
everything gets ruined. I couldn't see the drum, so, up top,
the producers were spotting for me. Straighten up, please, Richard. Because it's so slow I've got time
to think about what would happen if… I can't. I daren't. I am now terrified.
I am now absolutely petrified. Past the halfway point,
it started to get even worse. I can feel the front wheels
now going very light, because… where it goes concave,
where it bellies in like that, my winch cable is pulling
the front of the car off the ground. Oh! And I can't tell you
how horrible that feels. -Stop, stop, stop.
-I'm stopping, I'm stopping. Honestly, mate,
you've got about 20 seconds. I'm [bleep] scared, okay? And I mean it. Okay, take your mind off it,
take your mind off it. Um, this… The water behind this dam can supply
Birmingham with 79 million gallons a day. Who gives a [bleep] right now? It's all right, we're good. It's really vertical now. Oh, God. I can hear the lines. I can actually hear the tension
in that wire. As I get to the top,
the cable becomes less strong. Partly because, as well as the weight
of the Land Rover and me, it has to be carrying the weight
of itself and the winch. Oh, God, I'm depending so much
on things made by other people. Every single part now… the brake
that stops the winch feeding out, the engine, everything. In the face of unutterable terror,
I was, finally, nearing the top. We have nearly done this.
I've nearly cracked it. Two hundred feet of near vertical rock. Just a few more inches,
another few turns on the winch. What a fantastic way… to pay tribute… to the car… What? It was at this point
the producers broke the bad news. Because of where the winch cable
was attached, the Land Rover wouldn't be able
to climb over onto the flat dam top. And this meant only one thing. I'm going to have to go back down. I'm going to have
to winch it down the dam. I really need a piss! Thank you. It was nothing, really. It was nothing. So, you failed. Well, I almost got to the top. Yeah, but then you just came
straight back down again. I'm sorry, Hammond, if I said,
I'm going to drive to Bristol and then got nearly to Bristol and came
home again, that's not going to Bristol. Look, the main thing is, I gave the Land Rover Defender
a fitting send-off. Yeah, but, Hammond,
they're working on a new Defender now and it looks exactly
the same as the old one. So you said you'd drive
to the top of a dam, which you didn't, to pay tribute to a car that you said
was about to die, but it's not. Yeah. Well, that means you're a liar
and you've completely wasted our time. Yeah. And on that bombshell,
I'm afraid it's time to end.

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