Fire and Ice Lost Trails Extreme Scale Challenge
Presented by Team MRB
Wild West Motorsports Park, Reno, Nevada
February 18, 2017
Words by Matt Soileau
Pictures by Skeeno and Alec Van Den Brink
Team MRB, aka the Moon Rock Bashers started hosting the annual Fire and Ice Extreme Scale Challenge a few years ago and the event has become a staple of Northern Nevada scale adventure seekers.
This year, the event had to be moved from the traditional location of Moon Rocks because of some bureaucratic molasses. Luckily, the Wild West Motorsports complex opened its facility up to Team MRB and welcomed scale adventure seekers from all over. They even had another driver from Austria make the trip over the pond to participate.
The Wild West Motorsports Park hosts ULTRA4, Super Crawl, Rock Racing, and Short Course races. Check them out at http://wildwestmotorsportspark.com/
As usual, there was a little line to register. This year drivers collected their score cards and picked cards for the Poker Run style scoring. As per tradition, there is no charge to participate, but donations were greatly appreciated.
These cool laser cut plaques were on display. I wonder how many Mike Pham will take home.
Of course Two Chainz Scalerz were on the scene.They were seen passing out special trail swag to youngsters out on trail.
I spotted the Jurassic Jeep out in the parking lot. I hope we don’t run into any T-Rexes out on the trail.
It’s not really an off-roader, but it is scale…and one of my all time favorite bodies. The rear wheels just need a twinge of camber for the authentic VW stance.
What happens when you park to close to a berm at King of the Hammers? You catch a roost rock from some show boating KOH drivers. Luckily, Mr. Van Den Brink got hooked up with a custom Axial window repair courtesy of Mr. Rodney Wills. Thanks to the meticulous digital camo tape job, it almost blends in seamlessly.
This crew rolls deep! How many rigs did they bring? I lost count after 20.
I’m always drawn toward the Warhawk motif. This Bomber also has a little POV camera hooked up. The owner let us all take it for a spin.
Here, Skeeno Jr takes it out for a drive. That smile says it all. Is POV scale driving going to become a thing in the future?
Mike Pham tells the truth, 2.2s are training wheels.
This rat rod was amazing, and it was a real runner. I saw it running trails up on the hill.
Before we headed out, Franklin and Russel gave instructions. Most importantly, stay out of the off limit areas and police your trash. We want to be invited back next year.
Team MRB OGs, Frank and Russ are also Axialfest veterans.
To start, drivers had to first climb this long steep road to get to the courses.
Thankfully, I had full VIP media treatment. JJ chauffeured me up and down in the CKRC UTV.
Here’s a look down on the climb up. You can also see the Ultra 4 track in the background.
This year, there were three courses to test the drivers; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. This was the start of advanced trail. I saw some guys stuck on this hill for over 30 minutes. Russ didn’t hold anything back on this course.
This Bomber was looking good, but that loose rock tested every rig.I’m pretty sure a winch was mandatory on this course.
This doesn’t look good. Two rigs strapped together and both with the rubber pointed in the wrong direction.
30 minutes in and the first break of the day, darn axle pins or darn heavy skinny finger operating the skinny pedal…
Over on the beginner-scaler-single diamond course, things were going a little smoother.
It was a little more laid back on this course.
But that doesn’t mean it was a walk in the park. These rocks would bite if you weren’t careful.
I got to see my long time friend, Mr. Rock Hugger Paul has been crawling and scaling since back in the BPRCA/AWCC days. He slept in my truck at the first Axial West Coast Championships back in 2007. It was great catching up, Paul. I hope we get to see you at Axialfest 2017.
Skeeno Jr. brought along her “friend” for his first RC experience.
I loaned him my G6 Edition Deadbolt and he proceeded to chase Skeeno Jr. up the hill. He didn’t make it too far before he did a little modification to the transmission.
These guys worked this bridge for a while. I’m not sure if anyone made it up without help. It was harder than it looked.
There’s Skeeno Jr. only on TM62. She went through 3 batteries on the way to the top and back.
Hold up, I spy the official shoe of the Ultra 5K Enduro, the Altra Lone Peaks. This pair is owned by CKRC’s owner, Jason Copeland.
I love that NuKizer back there following the Honcho’d Honcho.
Oh, here’s another one. I think I need to add one of these bodies to my collection.
The Mighty FC is another one of my favs. This one a modified Honcho cage and EXO rack on it. It looked great.
If this Cherokee breaks, he can ride his XR400 back down to get parts.
Here’s our new friend from the Czech Republic. I don’t know what it is, but Northern Nevada attracts a lot of international drivers.
First Daniel, then Chris, then Rick, and now Ra Un. Will we see you at Axialest 2017?
Donde esta el driver? He must be out locking in his hubs.
Lunch break! Pizza Maestro came out to make pizza and dogs for the drivers.
Skeeno Jr. and her “friend” were hungry and didn’t want to wait for them to get set up, so we headed back to the car and had some good ol’ Mountain House for lunch.
On the way back, I spotted these guys enjoying the pizza. Looks like it was a hit.
Two Chainz Scalerz accosted Skeeno Jr’s “friend” in the parking lot. He passed the interrogation and earned Uncle Elio’s seal of approval.
They gave Skeeno Jr. and her “friend” a little trail swag for him to remember his first RC adventure.
These two had me wondering why I didn’t pack my CT70 out here. It would have made getting from course to course a breeze.
After each trail was completed, drivers went to see Russ to add to their poker hands.
Pick a card, any card.
Looks like these guys finally made it to the top of the advanced trail.
Owensville in the house!
Big Country replicated his Diff Bells that he uses on his 1:1 for his 1:10. If it rings, back up and pick another line.
Someone dropped a contact lens, good luck finding it now.
One of the easier parts of the advanced trail.
Broken shoulder and broken axle, dang it was a tough day.
The bumper looks a little wonky.
If Buford T Justice attended the Fire and Ice Extreme Scale Challenge, this would have been his rig.
The Wolfe’s are RC ironmen. This was their third event in three weeks! They made the drive from King of the Hammers up to Reno before heading back home to Las Vegas.
I hope they have a gas sponsor.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, is this one Donatello?
Curtis packed in his dog.
When I got home I maintenanced the batteries and did a little inspection to my transmission, yup there there’s the problem…
…this gear is supposed to have teeth. Looks like I’ll be visiting CKRC before Axialfest 2017 to make sure Skeeno Jr. and her “friend” have trail ready rigs to run.
I knew we’d see Mike Pham down here. He always makes the podium,
1.9 1st Mike Pham, 2nd Justin Hanely, 3rd Korey Ericson
2.2, 1st Sean Heaton, 2nd Jason Adams, 3rd Caleb Bennett
Highest Poker Hand Winner!
Axialfest Swag bag? I know what that can be used for: http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts/1073915285
Feel good story of the day, this young man and his dad made the drive from Boise, ID just to drive in the Fire and Ice event. He broke after one course and was feeling a little bummed that he didn’t have the parts to fix it. Luckily for him, 2Chainz Scalerz were on the scene and loaned him one of their rigs, so he could finish. On top of that, his name was pulled at the raffle and he got to take a new SMT10 back home to Idaho! Not a bad weekend for the Lillywhites!