Trail Breaker 2017: Extreme Rock Crawling in Moab, UT

4/29/2017
Jocelyn Fechner, Staff Writer

Trail Hero hosted the annual Trail Breaker event at the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari—an extreme rock crawling challenge over virgin obstacles—and it was one for the books!

What is the Trail Hero Trail Breaker? Rich Klien of Trail Hero, the course designer, looks all over the area for the biggest, baddest rock formations possible, keeping in mind that the goal is to have the best rock crawlers and drivers fight it out to see who gets named the trail hero of the event.

 Trail Hero Trail Breaker event in Moab, Utah

Rich found a spot in Area BFE, located about 13 miles south of Moab, Utah, that had some huge boulders stacked up the side of a mountain with holes the size of cars between each rock, and angles that would test every piece of the machine and every nerve of the drivers.

The course was laid out in 3 stages. Each driver had 15 minutes to complete a stage and then the driver would have 5 minutes to walk the next stage to construct a plan of attack. The drivers are all kept in a corral area where they cannot see the course, keeping the competition fair by preventing the drivers from learning from each other’s technical choices.

Trail Hero Trail Breaker event in Moab, Utah 

No spotters or outside help was allowed. The driver could self-recover but was not allowed to use a winch. Only if the driver called the stage did the recovery crew step in and help recover the vehicle.

Trail Hero invited drivers from all the United states to compete in this event, but was limited to 10 competitors, with names form a cup to set the starting order.

Greg Mulkey of Raceline Wheels was on hand as MC to keep the crowd informed on the progress in each stage. Each stage also had a ground crew responsible for timing and safety as well as several recovery vehicles placed in strategic areas.

Tradition says that the event winner gets the honor of naming the trail beaker trail. So what did Moab local and 2017 winner Steve Nantz choose to name the trail? “Disturbed.” You can probably guess why.

Trail Hero Trail Breaker event in Moab, Utah 
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