The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports Editor 

Rough riding for off-road rock crawlers


August 16, 2017

Jaryd Cline

ROCK AND ROLL: A driver manages to stay inside the cones during one of his runs on Sunday while the spotter tries to figure out the next move.

The 10 courses set up out at Broken Boulder Farm proved to be a tough task for the many rock crawlers in their suped-up jeeps and off road vehicles.

That's how it was supposed to be, said World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship Series President and CEO Rich Krehbiel.

Although Friday and Saturday's W.E. Rock exhibition wasn't a part of the Western Series with no season points being awarded, drivers were still greeted with tough, custom-built courses similar to those seen throughout the competitive rock crawl season as well as the W.E. Rock Grand Nationals in mid-September.

Multiple drivers flipped their vehicles while gunning the gas pedal trying to climb the crooked courses all while staying inside the cones that seemed only as wide as the vehicles.

Others got stuck, burned out and just had trouble with the steep inclines with huge, jagged rocks that seemed bigger than the vehicles.

Courses are designed to be completed in ten minutes or less. If a driver fails to complete in ten minutes, they will receive points only for their progressive gates. Each course generally has elevation changes, crack lines, cone placements and other obstacles designed to challenge the drivers and spotters.

Last weekend's event just outside of Goldendale wasn't associated with the Western Series of the W.E. Rock competition, but a chance to attract the off-road fanatics in the area.

"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."

Jaryd Cline

OVER THE TOP: One driver tries to get over the top of a rock almost as big as the vehicle on Sunday.

Drivers from Washington, Oregon, California, and even Arizona and New Mexico hauled their rigs up to Goldendale to climb the unique course.

"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."

It's certainly easy to see why the spectators love this event.

Fans are able to get up close and personal to the action and are allowed to get as close as the edge of the course that was marked off in black flags.

Fans lined the bottom section of the course, and had to be alert in case one of the vehicles turned over and rolled down the hill.


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