The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
News Editor 

Rock crawl this weekend at Broken Boulder

 

August 9, 2017

Andrew Christiansen file photo

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: A car crawls over rocks during last year's W.E. Rock Crawl Series in Goldendale as the spectators get a front-row view to the action.

This weekend, be prepared for out-of-your-seat, up-close rock-crawling action as the World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship Series (W.E. Rock) returns for the sixth straight year to Goldendale.

Drivers from around the northwest should be arriving this week and registering Friday night, with the rock crawl kicking off Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. while spectators are allowed in at 9 a.m.

Two-day passes for adults ages 16 and older are $25, and a one-day pass for the same age group is $15. Costs for children from ages 8-15 is $5 a day while kids ages seven and under are free. There also is a military discount to those with identification for $5 off the gate price.

The course here in town at Broken Boulder Farms (290 Pipeline Road) is one of the favorites of the drivers. It also gives excellent spectating positions as well as an up-close chance for fans to interact with the drivers. Goldendale in general also has welcomed the W.E. Rock series back in open arms since it returned to Klickitat County every year since 2012.

"The way that Broken Boulder Farm is set up, and the kind of rocks that are there, are really technical and big," W.E. Rock President and CEO of 17 years Rich Krehbiel said. "Really exciting, which the spectators love and I think that's pretty much the same thing that the competitors that come out enjoy."

"The community's always really nice and open to us," Krehbiel said.

The W.E. Rock series has a Western Series, with competitions in Arizona, Utah and California, and an Eastern Series in Tennessee, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, but host the rock crawl in Goldendale as a chance to draw out more riders in a noncompetitive atmosphere.

"We try to get in some areas that we know there's teams that will show up," Krehbiel said. "The Pacific Northwest has got a lot of 4-wheel drive enthusiasts. So finding something in the area in Oregon and Washington was really important to us and Goldendale fit that bill."

Krehbiel and the W.E. Rock series first came to Goldendale in 2004 and returned every year for about five years. After a three-year absence from Goldendale, the series returned in 2012 and have been back every year since.

Andrew Christiansen file photo

ROCK CRAWLING CRUISER: Another car is shown maneuvering down a large group of rocks at last year's W.E. Rock Series

The majority of the riders come from Oregon and Washington, with some coming from California, but Krehbiel also said there will be drivers from Arizona and New Mexico this year in Goldendale.

Back in the hay day of the sport, Krehbiel said they used to draw around 80 cars and drivers, but numbers have dropped and he's expecting about 25-30 cars this weekend.

Spectators are allowed in many places near the course, including right up close and next to the vehicles.

"The way our course is and the type of sport that we have, it's really easy for spectators to be up close and safe," Krehbiel said. "Spectators can get absolutely right on top of the competition and be completely safe."

"The drivers really like that because it gives them a chance to interact with spectators and they become friends," he added.

 

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