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ZUKIWORLD online at Upper-Helldorado

 

Moab’s Upper-Helldorado Trail -Junior

MOAB,UT. -By the time Friday rolled around and most everyone was on their last day of Easter Jeep & Zuk-Safari, some didn’t really care if they broke. It’s their last chance to show it off and let it all hang out. Upper-Helldorado is known for breaking rigs and causing a fair amount of body damage. I mean come on, where else do you have to winch up a near vertical rock wall just to get off the trail.

ZukiWorld’s new ‘Project Tricker-Kicker’ was right in the middle of it when some eight or so Suzuki’s decided to run the trail Early Friday morning. Among some of the names where, Eric Bewley, Tim Lund, Brent Bradshaw, and many others. Each of whom were will to show us what they had.

There are two sections to Helldorado, upper and lower. Throughout the week each of us had run lower at different times with other groups. Each trail is short in length but packed full of four-wheeling fun. Lower carries a 4 rating while upper boast a 5-plus, on a 1-5 scale with 5 being the hardest. These trails are made perfect for Suzuki’s and other short wheel based rigs. Most longer wheel based rigs take far longer to do the trails and usually sustain more body damage.

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Tricker-Kicker in Lower Helldarodo earlier in the week.

You’ll know you’re at the upper section when you see plenty of parked spectator rigs and a pile of tops and door that had been removed from the willing drivers eager to take their chance on the boulder infested ¼ of a mile run. Kicking things off is a ‘V’ shaped obstacle that if done wrong will take out one side of your rig instantly. Then you have to back out and do it again. This first of many body munchers has been known to turn away multiple rigs and their drivers.

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Brian’s rig completely wedged.

Some avoid all obvious lines and make up their own getting in. Here Brian, friend of Brent Bradshaw’s, decides he’s going to take the toughest line of all. He put on quite a show doing it, but inevitably needed to winch. Brian’s Samurai proved to be a tough as they get. There just wasn’t anything too hard here for this guy. The second obstacle is slightly longer but far more forgiving. Suzuki’s can usually avoid body damage due to their width and ability to turn sharp. The same can’t be said for wider rigs such as Jeeps. Take a look at this TJ driven by Joe Piper. He narrowly escapes damage by steering far right. It was here I broke a front left CV joint. In an attempt to put Project Tricker-Kicker through upper with minimal body damage I elected to take a slightly different line getting in. Easier sure, but no doubt holds it’s share of pucker factor. A perfect line for smaller tires, and someone that truly would like to avoid body damage but just doesn’t want to be left behind.

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Joe Piper in his blown Jeep TJ.

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Junior’s alternate line.

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FS: 1989 Sidekick!

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Quite a sticky situation.

Stopping for a victory shot, ok ok, we really haven’t done anything major yet. The line was backed up already so a picture was in order. By this time a crowd of on lookers had collected, as did another 15-20 Jeeps wanting to get on the trail. If you didn’t line up at the first obstacle it was assumed you weren’t going and you’d get pushed to the back of the line. So there I was making my way around the second obstacle and bang goes the CV. Three wheel drive wasn’t going to do it so I was forced to winch out. I’d brought spare rear axles and wouldn’t you know it the front breaks. Note the distance between the protruding rock and the rock wall on the passenger side. Obstacle 3 proves again that Suzuki’s were made for this trail. We watched Jeep after Jeep struggle through this very tight section while Suzuki after Suzuki climbed right up and over. In fact, we witnessed a Samurai pulling a TJ through here. Photo not available, you’ll just have to trust me. Note the minimal clearance from the rock wall to Tim Lund’s left quarter panel. Not that Tim’s too worried about quarter panels as you see later.

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Whew, that was close.

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