Rock crawlers hunt for traction at Donner Ski Ranch |

Rock crawlers hunt for traction at Donner Ski Ranch

Justin Zachary/Submitted photo to swright@sierrasuTodd Tamietti and John McCoy of Truckee work together as driver and spotter during a World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship Series (W.E. ROCK) competition at Donner Ski Ranch this past weekend.

From slightly modified production trucks to hand-built custom crawlers, Donner Ski Ranch hosted the third stop of the World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship Seriesand#8217; Western U.S. Nationals this past Fatherand#8217;s Day weekend.

Rock Crawling is a motor sport where the driverand#8217;s mental acuity, the spotterand#8217;s problem-solving ability and the vehicleand#8217;s design are challenged to their limits.

Itand#8217;s the spotterand#8217;s role to serve as the eyes and ears of the driver, who frequently canand#8217;t see over or around the giant boulders that make up the course. The spotter scrambles to stay in front of the vehicle and communicates with the driver, and, with brute force, adds or removes boulders from the vehicleand#8217;s path in the hunt for traction.-

Entry into the sport requires a very athletic friend with no fear, a vehicle ($12,000 on eBay!) and time to develop the driving skills and teamwork needed to excel.

Father/son teams and husband/wife teams competed this past weekend, yet there was no shouting or arguing over directions. Hundreds of spectators and competitors enjoyed the view and participation in this growing competitive sport.

The World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship Series, also known as W.E. ROCK, wraps up its Western U.S. Nationals at Salt Lake City on July 30-31. For more information about the W.E. ROCK series, visit

and#8212; This article was submitted to Sports Editor Sylas Wright at

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