Rock Crawlers Climbing Mountains

Rock Crawlers Climbing Mountains

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Jed Boal Reporting Four-wheeling has grown here in Utah since the first Jeep ever left the road. Now some of those die-hard drivers have taken the sport even further, with rock crawling competitions and custom buggies built to climb walls.

Move over Hummers, Jeeps and custom tough trucks. Rock crawlers are climbing the mountain.

Randy Torbett, Rock Crawler: "It's exciting, you got an adrenaline rush. If it wasn't exciting, or we didn't like it, we wouldn't do it."

Randy Torbett of Tennessee is the Super Crawl World Champion. He earned the title in October on a manmade course at Rocky Mountain Raceway, the only one of its kind in the country. His spotter, Eric Dixon, picks the route through the rocks and tells Torbett where to turn.

Randy Torbett: "Gotta be a team, gotta work together."

In competition they wind their way through a course marked by cones, problem-solving on the roll.

Randy Torbett: "The whole thing is being in the position and trying to make the right decision between you and your spotter, safely and not turn over."

Torbett let Jed Boal hop behind the wheel to see how the buggy handles. He says, “It's an amazing sensation to have this much control and power on a steep rock like this, and you truly feel like you're crawling."

This weekend 50 pro teams will creep around the rock puzzles.

Ranch Pratt, UROC Founder: "This is the toughest of the tough as far as obstacles go, and the hardest competition you could find yourself in."

Ranch Pratt of Salt Lake founded U-ROC, the United Rockcrawling and Off-Road Challenge. The upstart association is adding events and drivers each year.

Ranch Pratt, UROC Founder: "You look at stuff like that, and you think there is no way a vehicle can go up that. And then to see it, it's just unbelievable."

The competition starts Friday and Saturday at 11 am, if you want to see unbelievable feats of riding the rock.

The rock crawlers are pricey, around $100,000. Torbett and his team are mechanics so they handle their own ongoing repairs.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast