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35th Anniversary Celebration! Moab, Utah Come join NAXJA at the 35th Anniversary Celebration of the XJ. Moab, Utah. October 9-13, 2018

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Old October 17th, 2018, 21:25
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TORXreport: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

35th XJ Anniversary Event
October 7-13, 2018
Moab, Utah

It was hard to believe it had already been five years since my last Moab trip for the 30th Anniversary. With news of the 35th Anniversary taking place this year, myself and a few other NWC members began to make plans to head down for the can-not-miss event.

Nick (redjeep2.0), Scott (nw-zj-scott), and myself hit the road for Moab Friday after work. We loaded the truck and Jeep on the trailer in what seemed like a monsoon here in the Northwest, and hit the road eager to make the pilgrimage to Moab. With three of us, we drove through the night. The 1000 mile drive seemed to go quick, with no issues.

We arrived in Moab late Saturday afternoon. We settled into our condo for the week, and then enjoyed some dinner at The Blue Pig.

I made a tentative trails list prior, and knew I wanted to make this trip count. Sunday morning Scott got his rental JK, and we were ready to cover some ground!

One of many fuel stops. Apparently I was contemplating which flavor to get, and appear to be 4'8".

Headed up to Sandflats ORV for a little Hells Revenge action to kick off our trip, in the rain none-the-less.

Dialed in our the Moab tire pressure, for me I stuck to 12psig all week and it worked like a champ in the Falcons.

The start of Hells Revenge always seems like a reality check as it's so surreal.

Trying to re-learn the "Moab bump." The rain definitely was noticeable, but surprisingly traction still wasn't too big of an issue. We're from the Northwest after all.

Graphic sign.

Colorado river overlook.


Came here to wheel, challenge accepted.

Up Hell's Gate. No bubbles no troubles.

The optional climbs are addicting. Always trying to find your limit.


Dipping in the Hot Tub.

Arrived at Escalator.

Go time.

Had a clean run up with no spotting needed.

Scott and I continued on finishing off the trail with Tip Over.

After Hell's Revenge we dipped down to check out Potato Salad Hill.

Couldn't just stare at it.

Had to feel it out a bit, with a couple bumps to neutral to prevent going over, but eventually she climbed up.

The benefits of only having two rigs in a group is you can cover ground quick. With the day still young, we brain stormed on what to do next.

Last edited by TORX; October 20th, 2018 at 01:54.
Old October 17th, 2018, 21:42
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

We cruised back into town, and hit up Gilberto's taco shop for some lunch, would not repeat. Looked through the trail guide book, and decided to check out Flat Iron Mesa. We talked about Kane Creek, but with the recent rain we were hesitant about heading into a canyon trail.

17 miles of highway later.

Big thanks to Nick for being the unofficial NWC photographer. Half of these pictures are from him.

I love these flat sections when you can bump into high range and get it.

Gorgeous views as the day was coming to an end, and the rain had let up.

We eventually got to "The Chute" obstacle.

It was actually a pretty good one that had me puckering when I was getting a feel for it.

Just had to commit and send it. The rear end had to over come an undercut, which wanted to unload the front.

Stay in it, and she'll pop right up.

No JK's left behind, we yarded the rental up after.

Finished the trail, and pounded the highway back to town. Dinner at Zax's for a beer and burger.
Old October 17th, 2018, 22:28
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Monday morning rolled around, and we had more ground to cover. Met up at the City Market where Ken, Karl, and Ralph joined us. Plan for the day was run the triple trail (Poison Spider, Golden Spike, and Gold Bar Rim), with the addition of Where Eagles Dare.

Taking care of some morning chores before starting the trail.

Ralph and Ken coming up the switchbacks on Poison Spider.

Recovery anchors, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do when you lack trees.

Karl stretching it out.

V-notch action.

High speed mesa.

Prepare for take-off.

Continuing up the slick rock.

The Summit.
Old October 17th, 2018, 23:10
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Climbing out of the canyon.

With the fresh rain, the holes in the canyon were deep.

Two trails down, onto the third.

Karl at the base of the "very steep climb".

The views on Where Eagles Dare are amazing.

Ralph dropping down from the climb.

Group shot of the XJ's.

Continued on back onto Golden Spike, and it borders the highway along the cliff-side.

Scott giving lessons.

Arrived at the infamous Golden Crack.

Karl taking an alternate line across.

Ken across the crack.

Ralph crossing the crack.


Nail Salon does the crack.

Old October 17th, 2018, 23:31
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Double whammy after The Crack.

Ralph on Double Whammy proving an XJ on 33's can be a point and shoot setup with the right driver.

Gold Bar Rim

Rain picked back up, and the water began to rush.

Got to The Waterfall on Gold Bar Rim. Totally could have drove it, but the torrential down pour at the time killed any hopes of traction.

Heading out through Gemini Bridges.

Finished up the day, and tossed some air in the tires for the drive back into town. We had zero issues all day, and covered a ton of ground.

We hit the highway, and cruised back to town. Gave the Jeep a quick rinse at the self serve car wash, and then we grabbed dinner at Pasta Jay's!
Old October 19th, 2018, 00:16
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Tuesday morning marked the official start for official event runs. I was nominated to lead the group up Moab Rim, a relatively short but technical trail overlooking the town.

Met up at the trail head with a good turn out of eight rigs total.

What were you doing StreetPirate?

Started up the trail, and of course I had to try a bonus line. There's just something about trying a ledge climb with a cliff side overlooking the Colorado just feet off the driver's side.

Worked my way over, and almost ended up on the hood of the rental.

Ralph continuing on up the trail.

StreetPirate aka Dan aka "the rear main seal guy"

Tim joined us in his super clean 2001, which he bought brand new off the lot!

Ralph getting it done as usual.

Mr. New York requiring a little different line up.

Little bit of skinny pedal, and the YJ hopped up.

Continuing on up the rim.

Ralph making his way up the Z-Turn.

Continuing up the rim, Ron from Texas, and the New Yorkers behind him.

Once on top, you can walk out and see over the town.

After a quick break, the group continued on for the second portion of the trail, the back side. Dan and Ron making their way down the slick rock.

Group shot.
Old October 19th, 2018, 19:04
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Mr. Black on the slick rock.

Long way from New York.

Poser status.

Group continuing down the trail.

Ralph climbing up the trail to the overlook at the end.

Group shot at the overlook. Jay got some great drone pictures of the group when we were stopped.

Moab Rim is an in and out trail, so after a quick break at the overlook, we headed back.

After making our way up the trail, and just before getting ready to drop down the rim, we got a call on the radio "we have a dead Jeep back here." The YJ came off a rock, and lost its fuel pump. Fish on, Stefan was getting dragged down Moab Rim.

When it came time to start heading down the trail, we used another Jeep behind Stefan as a safety line. It actually worked flawlessly with no issue.

For anyone who has done Moab Rim, going down without power is not something I'd want to do.

Ralph dropping the Z-Turn.

SP following suit.

We got the group down the Z-Turn all in one piece, and then tackled dropping the corner overlooking the cliff side.

We had an awesome day on the trail, good obstacles, and good people. Thanks to all who made it out!

After making our way off the trail, we all headed for the KOA where we, the NWC, hosted the Tuesday night Pizza Party M&G. We wanted to thank everyone who made the trek out for this event, and what better way than pizza and beer. Everyone brought their appetite as Scott and I had to make a second run for another round of pizza!
Old October 19th, 2018, 20:45
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Wednesday morning we got a semi-late start, and decided to do our own thing. After a tasty breakfast at Hidden Cuisine, we decided to hit up Behind the Rocks trail with Scott riding with me and Nick in The_Rental.

Follow the house rules.

Beautiful day behind the rocks.

Nick and I had a good pace on the trail, and eventually arrived at High Dive obstacle.

Scoped it out, and dropped in. High Dive had high consequences if you got off on the wrong line.

Had the Jeep just about teetering on two tires crossed up. Pictures don't do this last drop any justice.

Continued on, ran Upchuck, Hummer Hill, and eventually got out on the slick rock.

We cruised on down the trail, and found ourselves looking down White Knuckle Hill. The main obstacle is a six foot drop. Nick said, "I'm out!"

Meanwhile my dumbass thought it could be fun, and began to drop in.

Just before the point of no return.

Safely at the bottom, Jeep in one piece. There's a video out there somewhere, but all in all it wasn't a bad drop. I felt the front touch down, rear end got really light, and I blipped the gas to pull it back down.

Nick back tracked around to the bypass trail, and we eventually met up and rallied out the 10 miles of desert back to the highway. With the day still young, and we set off for Steel Bender to cross another trail off the list.

Dropped down into the canyon, and crossed the creek crossings.

Steel Bender canyon just before one of the steep ledges.

Cruised up the trail, and made our way to "The Wall", I was able to shoot it in 3.8 1rst gear. Nick was enjoying The_Rental.

With the Show-N-Shine starting within the hour, we kicked it into high gear (literally) and finished up the loop portion of Steel Bender. Made it to the Show-N-Shine at the arena right on time... both Jeeps covered in mud because we're classy like that.

Show-N-Shine had a great turnout, and lots of different builds to admire.

Big thank you to the Midwest Chapter for hosting the Show-N-Shine and BBQ for the evening!

We headed back to the condo, and I began to give the Jeep a once over in the garage in preparation for Pritchett in the morning. It had been doing great, but after four days of solid wheeling, I figured it would be a good idea. When I jacked up the front end, I noticed a ton of play in the ears of the passenger side shaft. All the needle bearings in the caps were dust! Reached out to some folks for parts, and a huge thanks to everyone who offered to help, but Macgyvr saved my Pritchett run with a new Spicer 5-760X. Over to the KOA work bench, and we swapped out the joint. Jeep was buttoned up, and ready for Pritchett Canyon!
Old October 19th, 2018, 22:08
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Thursday morning we geared up, and rolled into town to take The_Rental back. It was pouring down rain, and I was having a sanity check with myself on running Pritchett Canyon in this current hurricane.

Met up with the group at McDonald's, and we then rolled out to the staging area to pay our dues.

Nick who constantly raves about his carpet and full interior was now dressed like a greenhorn on a crab boat and riding with Ken... who has no windows or interior.

Start of the trail, and entrance to the canyon.

Again, had to do a sanity check when we were fording water the entire way into the canyon.

It got deep, deep enough to swallow John's 37's.

We pressed on.

Cool costumes!

John dropping into a muddy crossing.

Jeff from Ohio out for his first Pritchett run.

Mark working on the ledges after the crossing.

Tail gunner, Ken.

I noticed a lot more "named" obstacles this year, where as in years past these were just obstacles between obstacles.

BMFL dropping Down and Dirty.

Caption this?

After dropping down, it gets a bit tippy on the exit line.

Rob dropping in.

Jeff and Ken.

We then arrive at Chewy Hill, the first "real" obstacle in my book, because it's an intimidating bastard.
Old October 19th, 2018, 22:35
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Trail leader Karl aka Los Lobos was first to put tires on Chewy. The rain wasn't helping our situation, and Karl called in Warn for assistance.

I knew the general line from years past, stacked some rocks at the bottom ledge, and shot it first gear 3.8. I was up the first face, and then it was a matter of finessing the Jeep over and exiting the off camber climb out. Thanks to some great spotting, Chewy was conquered.

John followed suit, and also had a clean run up.

Mark lined up at the base, and shot it but couldn't quite hook up. Chewy has a way of spitting you out, and at that point you'd be wise to just pull cable/rope which Mark did.

Rob hit Chewy full throttle, and pulled a wheelie on his first shot. The second shot resulted in a blown out rear driveline, and grenaded mystery part in the front Dirty_Thirty.

Good spirits though because... Pritchett Canyon.

We talked it over as a group, and debated on sending a few rigs back out with Rob, or continuing on. We chose to keep pushing forward knowing we'd have to work to winch Rob through the obstacles to come. Two winches got Rob up Chewy.

Bob winched the first face, and was able to drive out the off camber exit.

Jeff's seat will never be the same. Jeff demonstrated some amazing trust with whoever was spotting him the whole day, and followed every direction to a T. Great driving!

After we got everyone up Chewy Hill, we continued on and dropped down the off camber ledge.

"Co Dawg" award winner Nick was at every obstacle helping to get the group through easily and quickly.

As the day went on the rain let up.

Ken radioed in, "I just broke my track-bar in half." We hiked back to him, and grabbed his sheared track bar. I had some welding rod, and Rob had a welding kit. Nick wired up a make shift 24V welder, and started stacking dimes. Just another day on the trail.

Now that Ken had a one piece track-bar again we continued on through the flats. Rob's grenaded front end mysteriously began to work during this section.

Rocker Knocker was a sloppy mess. The thick clay was ruthless and killed any hopes of traction. Karl had the line, by the hole the driver's tire usually climbs out was bottomless today.

Ken had the same result, just four tire fire.

On the winch.

Even the climb out proved to be a challenge.

Rob back on the winch.

John letting Jason drive the LSXJ up Rocker Knocker. Even horsepower could power through the sloppy mess.

Old October 19th, 2018, 23:02
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Mark on the rope.

We eventually got everyone up Rocker Knocker, nobody managed to pull it off without winching. This was kind of a disappointment since it's such a fun obstacle when dry. None-the-less the group was still in mostly one piece and still pushing on.

Onto Axle Hill, where Karl had already setup a rigging operation to get Two-Wheel_Rob through. Jason still driving, piloted the LSXJ up unassisted.

Mike in his brand new Rubicon might have been the most crazy of anybody, but his driving skills proved he knew what he was doing. He still had us all on edge more than a few times.

Jeff on Axle Hill.

Inline5 Ken.

While the group finished up on Axle Hill, I continued on up to Rock Pile to continue forward progress. There was no way I was driving up Rock Pile (8ft vertical wall), but Son of Rock Pile looked doable. With some help from Mike and Scott I was able to shoot it and drive up. With my rig up top, I then towed Mike up the wall of Rock Pile, which then started a daisy chain effect towing each other up.

Last obstacle of Pritchett Canyon was Yellow Hill. A steep slick rock climb out. Karl chose the more technical right side line, and winched out. I tried to shoot the left side climb, but I guess I didn't throw my purse at it hard enough because I had to winch too.

Then there's this guy...

To be fair Bob Loose was first to drive Yellow Hill out without winching, but caught us all off gaurd. Jason shot it in the LSXJ like a champ, and then Jeff put all of us 4.0L guys to shame by driving it as well. Great way to end the day!

Thanks to everyone who helped out throughout the day, and made this a really enjoyable day. We had some pretty intense breaks, but they really didn't even seem to phase the group. We just dealt with them, and pushed on. Awesome group to have on the trail!

After Pritchett it's a long road back out to the highway. We drove out under the moon light and LED's. After nearly 13 hours on the trail a few of us headed to Pasta Jays in town for some late dinner, and to unwind. After all, we just conquered Pritchett Canyon.
Old October 20th, 2018, 00:43
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Friday marked our last day of wheeling. Scott picked up a new rental JK, and would be our trail leader for Cliff Hanger for the day. We met up at the Branding Iron to find it would be EricsXJ and I joining Scott for his run. Small groups rock, so we set off for the trail head.

At the trail head off Kane Creek Road.

Dropping down the ledges at the beginning.

Creek crossing at the bottom, wasn't too deep today.

Continuing on up the trail.

Cliff Hanger has a good consistency of technical sections.

Jalopy still holding together.

Eric's XJ flat works, and looks good doing it.

Continued on up the trail, and got to the off camber ledge climb. Kicked it in stupid low, and let it crawl up.

Arrived at the overlook at the end.

Nick is fascinated by heights.

Old October 20th, 2018, 01:03
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Re: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

The landscape is so surreal.

We wrapped up lunch, and began our trek back.

Arrived at the cliff side obstacle, definitely a fun one.

We survived the cliff, and continued on dropping down the obstacles we'd come up.

We wrapped up the rest of the trail, bringing a great end to the week. Twelve trails, and six days of solid wheeling.

Friday night banquet and raffle had a great turnout, and was a great time. Huge thanks to all who worked to put this event on!

Headed back to the condo, and began to pack up. Loaded the tuck and trailer Saturday morning, and hit the road.

See you all in five.
Old October 20th, 2018, 05:21
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Re: TORXreport: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Excellent write up!
Benedict Bryson--Traitor with a YJ
Old October 20th, 2018, 09:09
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Re: TORXreport: Moab 35th Anniversary 2018

Thanks Dustin for documenting the runs so well, especially Pritchett Canyon!! Thanks too for the compliment! I'm still hoping someone will have a picture of the Rubicon with the driver front lofted, that was an interesting feeling
'97 4dr. high mileage oil leaker in need of shift solenoids and an exhaust manifold, hell yeah!!

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