When I first started reading off-road mags like 4Wheel and Off Road and Four Wheeler, the basic premise of off-roaders were easily grouped into categories. You had sand runners, you had mudders, you had those who lived to beat the everloving snot out of the poor rig, and then there were the rock crawlers. And out of all of them, the rock crawlers were the ones playing chess instead of checkers, the ones who had to understand nuance, technique, and skill. Seeing Jeeps, Samurais, and vehicles larger but not necessarily better for the conditions tiptoe through boulder fields, articulate radically, and get into positions that defined “compromised” was inspiring, but also concerning. Many pictures in those pages said that if the driver sneezed at one point, somebody’s Jeep was going to go rolling and might not stop for a minute.
Welcome to that fun. This is the 24 Hell And Back challenge, an event sponsored by BFGoodrich that is designed to grind down the drivers. The driver does not sleep, The trail does not get any easier, and things are going to break…badly. Busted Knuckle Video’s Matt brought out what would normally be considered a well-modified Jeep JKU to the event…and found out that “more than you can chew” isn’t just a phrase, it’s a feeling you get deep in the pit of your stomach when the opening portion of the trail takes you into water deep enough that only the tops of your 39-inch tires can be seen…if you take the correct line.