Desert Turtle Racing KOH 2018 Race Recap

Desert Turtle Racing KOH 2018 Race Recap

KOH 2018 Race Week:
First and foremost, we were stoked to be setting up our pits in the Lasernut Laser Town hanger. We arrived at Laser Town and got the Turtle set up in the hanger and set up all our camp stuff. We did a little last minute shock tuning on the Rock Krawler shocks to get them dialed in for race day, then headed over to get registered for the race. Monday was our qualifying day and in practice we discovered that the motor was running not so peppy. We learned that we had to shift to 4-Lo just to get up the hill climb and then shift back into 4-Hi to finish the lap. It hurt our qualifying times a bit but we were still able to get an 11th in class start for Thursday’s race. We also discovered that we had a melted coil pack and spark plug that were causing the engine to run poorly. We were able to get in a run around Lap 1 of the KOH course and mark down some trouble spots on GPS as well as set up our lines to get through the new “Notches” area that Ultra4 added to the course this year. We were feeling pretty good about the course of Lap 1 and the car was running well. We headed out for a pre-run of Lap 2 and got through a couple trails but unfortunately cracked the oil pan on a couple big hits and that caused us to call the pre-running extremely short. A big part of our pit support this year was provided by Dust Junkies Racing and they just so happened to be near where we broke down and gave us a helping hand to get back to Laser Town. We spent the rest of our pre-running time hunting down an oil pan and making repairs to the rig and studying the course map.


KOH 2018 EMC Race Day:
Let’s just start with, the green flag dropped and we were off and running! Darin was behind the wheel and ready to attack the desert lap. The first few miles had us on edge, knowing that race nerves can cause you to overdrive the rig and/or potentially suffer flats. As we clicked off the early miles we passed many rigs that had suffered exactly that, and a couple others with some quick driving decisions. We were able to maintain a good pace and cruise through unscathed. As we passed by RM12 we felt the rig was doing well. We radioed to Dust Junkies at Remote Pit 1 that we didn’t need a tire change and opted pass through without a stop. They responded with “Well done. We’ll catch you on the flip side at RM48”. We waved on the way by the pits and were feeling great about the rig. We kept clicking off the miles, passing other racers along the way. As we arrived at “The Notches” a little ways past RM24 we followed a couple other rigs into the banner area. Again, we passed a few others that were floundering in the rocks not knowing where to go. We stuck to our pre-planned route and managed to maneuver around a couple more. As we exited, we were on the tail of a 4800 rig and we decided to go for the pass in a whooped-out section to the drivers left. We made the pass, but we also went for a good ride when the front end got bucked pretty high, and we were reminded that we needed to tone it back.


We got back on our pace as we rounded the half-way point at RM32, and we continued carrying a good pace, picking our way through the tight desert section before reaching RM47, where we again needed to radio to the Dust Junkies at Remote Pit 1 what our plans were. We chatted for a bit about how the rig was doing, we were not hearing any strange sounds, and we again didn’t need to stop for a tire change. We hit the pit zone and again gave the big thumbs up as we passed by. Heading out crossing the base line we knew the speeds were going to pick up as we rounded the big bend at RM52. Around RM54 we had a close encounter with a bird — this bird was about 20 feet off the deck and clocking us for speed about 50 feet off the front passenger corner of the rig. At least it seemed that close. So we mashed the gas to pick up the pace and see what they would do. We gave them the applause and enjoyed the camera man hanging off the side of the helicopter. Let’s hope it makes the cut into some footage somewhere.


We reached the intersection at the baseline exit and headed out across the dry, dusty Melville lakebed. At times we couldn’t see much more than a few feet in front of us. Picking our way up into the top of Resolution, preparing for our drop down it and Backdoor, we knew we had just a couple more miles before we were back to Main. We had a bit of a close call at Backdoor — we got in a little bit of a hurry to prevent another rig from passing us and did a great nose pose with the rear tires straight up in the air. We hit the gas to prevent the roll-over and hit the rear bumper hard on the rock wall behind us… BUT we were down and all four wheels and the rig was still moving. We called in to pits that we were down but took a hard hit and would need to look the rig over really well. We made the last of the little climbs before hitting the short course and the Main Pits. At this point we were pretty stoked Darin just had a VERY clean run on Lap 1 and suffered ZERO flats with our Falken tires. We had a feeling that we were sitting in a pretty good position and it was time to change drivers.

And so the race continues… Lap 2 — Randall is now in the driver’s seat and ready to take on the rock sections. Before we got there, we had to run through the first 8 miles of the Lap 1 again, and then around the desert for another 9 miles before reaching Remote Pit 2A. Again, we kept a descent pace intent on not overdriving the rig. As we reached Remote Pit 2A the rig was feeling pretty good and we called in to let them know that we would just be passing by. We headed into the first rock trail, Boulder Dash, and made pretty quick work of it. We headed down Upper Big Johnson and continued across the valley and around to the bottom of Wrecking Ball. While we were in Wrecking Ball we had a few difficulties leading up to the waterfall but cruised right up the bypass line and continued on. At RM85 we headed over to Fissure Mountain to run across the top of the range and down to Sledgehammer. Another new thing for the Ultra4 race this year was the addition of two trails at RM90, Idle Issues and Her Problem, two trails that I did not get to pre-run nor even see. As we approached the trail we saw the trail markers but the terrain looked untraveled and there were no obvious lines. There was no stopping us on this trail we picked it apart, as if we were cutting a new trail. We had a little trouble getting through Chocolate Thunder but were able to keep our cool and get back on track.

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Once we got over into Jack North we felt something strange in the steering and decided we should stop and take a look. What we discovered was the mount on the axle for the Hydro Assist Ram has been torn off and the Ram was just hanging there cycling left and right. We also discovered that all of the drive flange bolts on the rear axle (BOTH SIDES!) had backed out and we were leaking a ton of gear oil. We tightened up the flange bolts, removed the hydro-ram and capped the hydro lines so we could continue the race. We wheeled up to the crux of Jack North and, like a replay of last year, Darin got out and spotted the rigs through and then got us through and we headed for Jack Hammer. The problem with not having Hydro Assist is that every rock the tires come in contact with will jolt the tires one way or another and that makes it very difficult to steer and stay on the line that you need to get over the rocks. Coming down Jack Hammer we made sure to plan way ahead and keep the car on the right line. Heading up the sand hills at RM93 was pretty fun with the new motor screaming as we made our way. We got around to Hells Gate and continued to struggle with the ability to steer and stay on the right line. Thankfully we had a new ZEON 10 winch from Warn on the rig to get us quickly un-stuck when necessary.

We cruised down Devils Slide and headed over into Sunbonnet Pass. We came upon a few other rigs in the trail and made passes when we could but also got stuck a few times, and again had to use the winch to get unstuck. Somewhere in Sunbonnet we got lodged between two big rocks and had to use our jack to get out, which cost us a significant amount of time. At that point we also discovered that we had cracked the oil pan again and it is was dripping. We took some time to look at the leak and see if we could spot the crack. We debated continuing the race with the leak but the concern was, if we cracked the oil pan even worse, we could damage the motor and possibly be stuck in a trail until the race is over. We agreed that we would make our way out of Sunbonnet and then reassess the condition of the rig. It’s always a hard decision to make but we had to make it. We decided to make our way to the stock bypass split at RM100 and call the race. We didn’t want to risk severe damage to the motor and didn’t want a late-night team recovery after the race. We got in touch with our pit crew at Remote Pit 2B and had them relay to Race Ops that we were out of the race at RM100.

We finished our race as the 1st place DNF, putting us officially in 4th place by progression. Yes, you read that right — There were only three 4500 class rigs that finished the race, and only another nine rigs in the 4800 class. This race was a difficult one — Not because of the number of rock trails or a difficult desert lap, but because Mother Nature has not rained on the Hammer trails in some time, and that caused the dirt to be very dusty and the rocks to be covered in dust, and some holes to be extra deep.


We would like to give a special thanks to several sponsors – To Off Road Development for providing the shop space for us to get ready for KOH. To Sucuri Security for stepping on board to support the team this year. To Warn for going above and beyond standard customer service to solve our winching issues. To Dust Junkies Racing for providing pit space and pit support at the race. To Lasernut for providing us space in the Laser Town Hanger at KOH. To Rock Krawler for their continued support in our race program. To Falken for providing ZERO flats this year on the Wildpeak M/T tires. And to our DTR team… Without them we would not be able to do what we do. We are a team that is more like a family and we are all in it together. Even though we did not finish, we did not lose. We come away smarter and stronger. We are still a young team and we continue to learn at every race.

Thanks to all of our sponsors for your continued support: Rock Krawler Suspension | Falken Tire | Sucuri Security | Axial Racing | Poison Spyder Customs | Raceline Wheels | DJ Safety | Fuel Safe | Rugged Radios | J. E. Reel | Rugged Routes | Lasernut | Currie Enterprises | Magnaflow | CTM Racing | sPOD | Artec Industries | PRP Seats | Luxwurx | Warn | Sharq Skinz | DGP Motion Media | Factor55 | 212 Performance Gloves | Off Road Development | Pacific Advisors | SoCal Services | Beachview Insurance | Villa Landscape Products | SoCal Land Maintenance | EctoVentures

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Axialfest 2018 – Get Ready


Since July 2017, Axial drivers across the globe have been waiting for a certain announcement; the dates for Axialfest 2018. Those dates have been released and officially Axialfest 2018 will be held July 18-21st; so hit those calendar apps and save those dates.


If you’ve never been to Axialfest, then there’s no better time than now to save the date, start making plans and get excited for the RC adventure that so many have already experienced and love. To get you going, here are a few great articles and videos to help you prepare and know what goes on at Axialfest.

AXIALFEST 2017: General Info and Code of Conduct


Follow this link HERE  for general information and the code of conduct for the event. Although this is the 2017 article, the 2018 info and conduct code will be similar.



HERE is a great collection of video clips from 2017 that will give you more information and details on what happens at Axialfest.



Long time Axialfest attendee and frequent Axial blogger Skeeno put together a great four part overview of his 2017 experience. You’ll certainly get a lot of details from this read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


Want the full scoop in a short amount of time? The video above will give you the full four day run-down of Axialfest in just sixteen minutes. Get In The Know Before You Go!

Start Prepparing
The best advice for going to Axialfest and having a great time is not waiting until the last minute to prepare for the trip and event. Plan your custom builds now and get to work. Or do as many do and show up with a Ready To Run, ready to have fun. Plan out what you’ll wear, what you’ll eat and where you’ll sleep. If you stay off the grounds, you’ll need to find accommodations. Most stay at Cisco Grove Campgrounds, but please wait until an official announcement is made to call the facility to book your camping spot. Now, let the countdown begin to #Axialfest2018!

mAh Per Mile – The Quest To Determine Run Time


If you’ve ever sat around the campfire at an RC event or perhaps camped out with some buddies on an epic multi-day RC trail adventure, you may have heard the tale of “mAh Per Mile.” As the tale goes, a rugged RC adventurer, gear junkie, and as legend has it, talented Global Marketing Director has been spotted wandering some well worn trails through California. The man, well supplied with all the contents needed for a trail hike is on some sort of mission. Passer-bys stare at him in wonder as he trudges through the less taken path, his head down and muttering to himself. What is he saying? What is he doing. On one trail, the Redonda Ridge Trail it was evident things were getting more serious. He now travels in a herd of RC trail adventurers and some of his mutters turned into recognizable phrases. “mAh Per Mile” “mAh Per Mile” he kept repeating.

mAh Battery

What is this “mAh Per Mile?” It actually may be the answer to an age old RC question; “How long will my RC truck run for?” Real cars are rated by miles per gallon to determine how far can you travel. But there hasn’t been anything comparable in the RC world to define how far an RC rig can go. Well, we actually know who that mystery trail adventurer is, it’s Rodney Wills and for the longest time, he’s been determined to deliver answers to some of RC’s important questions and how long can you drive your SCX10 for is one. Rodney is on a mission to put numbers on paper and his quest to do so has been deemed “mAh Per Mile.”

This blog post will serve as an evolving report of a talented Axial team put together by Rodney to determine an answer to the burning question. The team will be testing different batteries, different rigs all in an effort to get out of the office and have fun on the trails. WAIT! I mean test RC equipment for the good of telling you how much time and fun you can get from your Axial adventure machine. Watch the videos and keep checking back to the Axial Blog to see how the science, testing and general goofing off unravels.

mAh Per Mile – Explaining Gas Mileage for Your Rig

There’s one question we hear a lot – how far will your rig go on one battery? To find the answer, we’ve created a little formula; mAh Per Mile. In Part 1 of this series, we break down the ‘how far will it go’ question and fill you in on how we plan to find out using this formula.

mAh Per Mile – Part 2 – Testing Our Mileage on the Trail

In Part 1, we discussed the idea behind mAh Per Mile – how far can your vehicle go on a specified battery pack. In Part 2, we take 3 Axial SCX10 II rigs out (with different electronic setups) to see how far we can go on a 2000mAh LiPo battery. The results are actually quite revealing…

Jeeping with EctoVentures in Johnson Valley

We were fortunate to be able to set up our base camp at the Lasernut Compound for the weekend which made for a great meeting spot. Our plan was to check out a new event called Rocktober taking place in Johnson Valley and to pre-run a route for HB Performance Offroad that we would be leading on Sunday. On Friday once camp was set we headed out to check out some new ground and then head over to Fissure Mtn Trail and run it from north to south. On Saturday we took a bit of a challenging way to get over and run Lower Big Johnson and then we headed over to mess around on Chocolate Thunder. And of course Saturday night included campfire story time with some friends that were out camping with us. On Sunday’s daybreak, we met for a quick drivers meeting at the Lasernut Compound and then headed over to Fissure Mtn. via a slightly challenging route. As we finished Fissure Mtn we stopped for lunch and decided to head over to Chocolate Thunder via Tack Hammer. As we set into the rocks on Chocolate Thunder we had a vehicle suffer a broken brake caliper bracket which forced us to band-aid him, turn back and head for home.


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SCX10 II Rubicon Trail Adventure With Photo Pro Brad Perry


SCX10 II Rubicon Trail Adventure

Mention the name Rubicon Trail and just about anyone you speak to will say they’ve heard of it whether they are into 4×4 off-roading or not. If by some reason, like you’ve been abducted by aliens for most of your life and you’ve never heard of the Rubicon Trail, here is the short of it. The trail’s origination actually began as an Indian trading route and in the 1800’s became a service road, but over time lessened in use and the terrain degraded. The scenic trail with unique terrain then became a favorite for explorers and adventurers. In the early 1950’s, the trail sprung back to life as the Jeepers Jamboree event picked the trail as its home. The trail that spans from from Georgetown, CA to Tahoma, CA at Lake Tahoe and has basically become internationally known as an ultimate destination for hiking, 4X4′s, motorcycle or quad, or mountain bike adventures.

That leads us to the story of Brad Perry, a hiker, adventurist, professional photographer and more importantly, an Axial RC fanatic. Brad joined the media at Axialfest 2017 and captured some amazing moments from the event, so our eyes were on his work. Then he posted a photo (above) from his recent trek on the Rubicon Trail, that he organized himself, to his social media. Brad had our attention once again and we got a hold of him to tell his story of the trip.


Name: Brad Perry
Age: 32
Hometown: Born and raised in Livermore, CA but I have lived in South Lake Tahoe, CA for the past 11 years
Profession: Owner of Von Perry Photography and Freelance photographer
Hobbies: Bouldering, Hiking, Riding all types of bikes

Prior hikes – I hike almost every day for work. If I’m not out shooting some kind of action sports, I’m in my local area hiking around with my wife, dog and RC. When it comes to the Rubicon I had hiked the trail multiple times for other photo assignments so I had a lot of prior knowledge of the trail.
Physical prep – I knew I could hike the mileage with no issue but I had to do a lot of overall prep. I did 3 prior hikes that were around 12-14 miles each. I had to figure out what mileage the truck was getting so I didn’t run out of battery power and I had to figure out my overall pace so I could plan on being picked up at the finish.

Clothing  – Shorts and my Axial t-shirt
Shoes – Altra Timps
Backpack –North Face Mega Mouth
Headlamp- Petzl Tikka
Supplies – Sony A7s Camera, Canon 16-35mm and a 50mm lens, folding tripod, iPhone6s, tools if anything breaks on trail.
Extra parts – Front and rear drivelines, C-hubs and knuckles, steering servo, a servo horn and a few misc screws.

Food and hydration – Two PB&J sandwiches, one Cliff Bar and some beef jerky. Two Lemonade Rockstar Recovery energy drinks. 50oz of Skratch Labs exercise hydration mix and 50oz of water.


The Rig:
Axial SCX10 II RTR
Upgrades – Axial 1.9 BFGoodrich Krawler T/A’s, Vanquish shock hoops, Vanquish Method 105’s, CI single stage foams, HR hardened trans gears, Proline 4runner body
Special mods – None
Electronics – Castle Mamba-X with a 1410 3800kv brushless system. Spektrum DX4C radio system. Stock steering servo.
Lighting  No lighting on the rig.
Batteries – I took 6 Venom 2s 5000mha 50c batteries. I used about 28,500mha in total.
The radios batteries held up just fine.


The trail itself is very challenging just to hike. It’s not your normal well groomed hiking trail. Lots of loose rock and silt covered slabs. Traction and footing is a constant issue. I knew I wanted to go fast but I needed to be safe at the same time. Twisting an ankle out that far with no support is something you have in the back of your mind the whole time. I was also on the trail during very low traffic times so the hopes of a ride out were low.

Tough obstacles- I had it in my mind that areas like Big Sluice and Little Sluice were going to be my biggest issues. The water crossing at Buck Island was also a worry. Funny thing was the hardest obstacle ended up being the Buck Island Dam. It’s a little taller than a curb and is only passible in one direction with the truck. When you go the other way you have to go way up by the bathrooms and down into one of the trailside camps. The other thing that had me worried was the amount of silt on the trail. In some places it was 3 inches deep. Other than that the SCX10 II handled it all like a champ.

I only had one issue on both passes and it was a total mistake. In the first few hours of my first trip I bent over to tie my shoe and hit the trigger. I sent my truck into a huge rock at full speed and stripped the plastic servo horn. I quickly pulled out the tools and had it fixed in minutes. The overall performance of the SCX10 II RTR was amazing.


HOG- On my first trip I rolled 6 times in total but only ended up on my roof turtled twice to where I had to pick it up. On the second trip I had a few more because I was going a lot faster. There were no points where the truck couldn’t make it up something and I had to pick it up over the obstacle. That’s one of the best parts of this trail.
Memorable Moment- It’s hard to narrow down just one part of the trail as being the most memorable. One of my favorite areas on the trail is the top of the slabs overlooking Buck Island Lake and the whole surrounding valley. My most memorable moment was an older gentlemen asking me if I was hiking or driving the trail? I chuckled and said both. I have to place the tires in the right places don’t I? He laughed and agreed.


Overall Experience- I started both of my hikes around 4AM completely solo. Hiking on the Loon Lake side on the open granite slabs under the stars was great. On my second trip leaving Tahoma you have about 6 miles of heavily wooded trail. I found my mind racing a little at times thinking I was hearing animals in the bushes. Wondering if a bear was going to come out and start chasing the truck like a playful dog. I did both of my trips mid-week so I ran into very little traffic on the trail. I only saw 2 people my first time and 6 or so on the second. The trail is really amazing because it’s consistently challenging end to end. Even if you try to make it easy on yourself you still end up doing a great deal of difficult crawling. I stopped at the same places along the trail on both trips. I took breaks at Buck Island and Observation Point and then ate food at the middle point at Rubicon Springs. When I first did the trail I parked my car at Loon Lake and left it there with the plan of picking it up the next day. I had so much fun the first time I took two days to recover and hiked it back the other direction to pick my car up. The Rubicon is a blast and I would do it again any time.

I definitely have a few people to thank for the helping get this done. Everyone at CKRC, Castle Creations, Venom Power, SF Threads, Scale Ultra, SBG, Altra Running and Axial Racing! I also couldn’t have done this without the support of my wife. She sat in a parking lot waiting to pick me up with no cell service for hours, then 2 days later woke up at 3am to drop me off so I could do it all again.


Trip Stats
Trip 1
Start-The Rubicon sign at the Loon Lake Staging
Finish-The sign at “Tahoma Staging” – McKinney-Rubicon Springs Staging
Miles: 15.77
Time: 8 hours 31 minutes 46 seconds
Vert: 2744ft
Rest: 3-10 minute breaks
Weight: Backpack was 21lbs

Trip 2
Start: The sign at “Tahoma Staging” – McKinney-Rubicon Springs Staging
Finish: The Rubicon sign at the Loon Lake Staging
Miles 15.77
Time: 6 hours 42 minutes 47 seconds
Vert: 2502ft
Rest 3-10 minute breaks
Weight: backpack 21lbs


Adventure Inspiration
Brad’s trip was certainly an exciting trip from the details given and through some amazing photos. His trip was not the first time an RC rig hit the Rubicon Trail. Among many others, the Axial team hit the trails too with the release of the SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon; you can see that adventure HERE. We’re sure there will be many more adventures too that will hit the terrain with an Axial RC trail machine in hand. But Brad’s story is inspirational. Brad hit the trail alone, with the right amount of supplies and a nearly stock SCX10 II rig that made the length of the trail without major issue. Also in record time for an RC machine with Brad pushing hard both driving and hiking. We hope this inspires you to take your Axial Adventure to the next level too. Find and design your own RC experience and be sure to tag it with #AxialAdventure as it is becoming a way of life that many want to see and share.

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Proper RC Adventure Hike Prep – GCRad1′s Basic 101: 10 Essentials

Words: Rodney Wills aka GCRad1

Let’s get down to reality. We are grown adults playing with toy trucks! Yes, I said it out loud. But today, that is besides the point, yet is the cause for this article. We are often times so enthusiastic with our hobby, we tend to neglect “the three basics” along with backpacking’s 10 essentials once we are full-steam into our enthusiastic adventure pursuit of escapism aka scale trailing, RC adventuring hiking…

No mater what you call it, you know you forgot to drink water and bring snacks on that last RC adventure hike! Nothing wrong with that, but these three basics are the things that matter most in life! Food – Water – Shelter.

• One can not go without water for roughly 7-days
• One can not go without food for roughly 21-days
• One can not survive hypothermia for extended periods

Water, food and shelter are provided to us from day one, until we learn how to provide for ourselves. These are the simple truths of life.
I hear watchyasayin, “Come on! I don’t want to read all this philosophical Rad1 rhyming rhetoric! Get on with it!”

But back to our pursuit of play. No matter if you are hiking, camping, off-roading or mountain biking, food-water-shelter are the three raw basic essentials across the board. The root of the Axial brand is the SCX10, THE adventure rig! Thus hiking with your SCX10 can take you into a world of adventure beyond the backyard boundaries. Your rig is adventure ready right out of the box as seen in our 2012 trek Across Rubicon, but are you?

You know I love adventures of all sorts and some of you may know I’ve been very passionate about bicycling as well. While I like all the hard parts techno-babble lust, it’s the physical engine on the bike that makes a grandpa on his ’80′s 20-lbs steel frame bike smoke a dude on his 14-lbs all carbon bike! It’s been my interest in cycling that has built my passion for attempting to be more physically fit so I can take on all these adventures. But simply walking into a bike shop and asking questions on physical performance will NOT get you what you want, rather what they want to sell you. What you need is information first and I have spent a many nights doing my research and Hammer Nutrition has given me some serious education over all the other brands. Lets start at the beginning.

The single most important element, water. Yea, sure… we’ve all gone without it for a few hours on a hike or ride, but how did you feel afterwards? How did you feel the next day? Often times, doing the right thing now for your body doesn’t give you instant results, but the effects of properly hydrating means you will be better suited for tomorrow. And as I age, I only find it more important! Here you thought it was just your job on Monday that made you feel like crap… OK, maybe the margarita too. Back to education.

I like the fact that Hammer Nutrition will tell you that you do not have to buy their products, others will work, but they are winning my dollars with their education!
Let’s start with, “Keep fluid intake during exercise between 16-28 ounces per hour.IMG_9703
You ever notice the 24oz symbol on your AXIALFEST water bottles? There for a
reason! Here is some more great education from Hammer Nutrition.
Hydration – What You Need to Know & How your cooling system works hit that link and make sure you read down to the “ELECTROLYTE REPLENISHMENT – Why it’s so important and how to do it right” link too. That’s a lot of information just about water!

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As you can see, HYDRATION is the first on their Essential Knowledge list and Hammer Nutrition does NOT sell you any sort of super advanced coal mined calcine denatured bio-lab fortified pasteurized WATER!

Now, while a lot of Hammer’s info is geared towards endurance athletes (all you ULTRA 5K ENDURO guys should be reading every ounce), everything is a sliding scale that you will tailor to your physical needs. My rule of thumb, if this is what gets you to peak performance levels, I can scale down to my personal needs.

We all start at zero with the outer limit being the unknown. Getting a grasp on the outer limit now gives us a “window” or sliding scale to work from to suit or test our needs. You can’t go from zero to “FULL PUNCH” in 2.2-seconds and not expect consequences. You have to build up.It’s baby-steps, building blocks built on time, thus patience is involved in building endurance to tap out miles on a bike or a hike.

Another good story on water:

You may have heard me refer to my Scooby Snacks and ScottG calls it my “cardboard bars” but when we are on our go-missions, I like to travel light and physically fuel as simple and efficiently as I can. Again, through cycling I’ve learned about proper nutrition for physical activities.
Photo courtesy of Rob Stinnett on
Yes, I started with the original, the PowerBar somewhere around 1988 when I moved down to southern California and started mountain biking. I’ve tried them all! I technically don’t have a hands down favorite… it’s like saying I only eat hamburgers. I like variety and switch around with both brands and flavors. But the most important part of all is getting good calories into your system vs “sugar-crash” calories from candy bars.

We come into this world naked, thus clothing starts as a basic of shelter within a shelter of our homes of which our parents all provide for us. No, I’m not going to show any baby-nakee photos! But, our parents dress us, we revolt, we make bad decisions, our parents tell us to “bring a jacket!” then that one day, they don’t tell us… we learn through tough tactile relationship with mother earth no matter how many times our parents TOLD us to “bring a jacket!” (bonus reading)
RodneyWills ADV80 Tent


Whenever you step into the back country, even on day hikes, is a good habit to have the essentials. True, on a routine trip you may use only a few of them. Yet you’ll probably never fully appreciate the value of the Ten Essentials until you really need one of them. That’s the whole idea behind being prepared! It’s almost like preventative maintenance, having the tools to fix yourself. It’s the 5.11 Tactical motto “ALWAYS BE READY.”

The original Ten Essentials list was assembled in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers, to help people be prepared for emergency situations in the outdoors. In 2003, the group updated the list to a “systems” approach rather than listing individual items (for example, map and compass now fall into the Navigation “system”.)

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 8.54.34 AM
The updated “systems” approach made its debut in The Mountaineers’ seminal text on climbing and outdoor exploration, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (The Mountaineers Books), now in its ninth edition! See the book here:

Since we are all just learning this together, lets start with the original list:


1. Appropriate footwear. For a short day hike that doesn’t involve a heavy pack or technical terrain, trail shoes are great. For longer hikes, carrying heavier loads, or more technical terrain, hiking boots offer more support.

2. Map and compass/GPS. A map and compass not only tell you where you are and how far you have to go, it can help you find campsites, water, and an emergency exit route in case of an accident. While GPS units are very useful, always carry a map and compass as a backup.

3. Extra water and a way to purify it. Without enough water, your body’s muscles and organs simply can’t perform as well. Consuming too little water will not only make you thirsty, but susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness.

4. Extra food. Any number of things could keep you out longer than expected: getting lost, enjoying time by a stream, an injury, or difficult terrain. Extra food will help keep up energy and morale.

5. Rain gear and extra clothing. Because the weatherman is not always right. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust to changing weather and activity levels. Two rules: avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat.

6. Safety items: fire, light, and a whistle. The warmth of a fire and a hot drink can help prevent hypothermia. Fires are also a great way to signal for help if you get lost. If lost, you’ll also want the whistle as it is more effective than using your voice to call for help (use 3 short bursts). And just in case you’re out later than planned, a flashlight/headlamp is a must-­have item to see your map and where you’re walking.

7. First aid kit. Prepackaged first­aid kits for hikers are available at any outfitter. Double your effectiveness with knowledge: take a first­aid class with the American Red Cross or a Wilderness First Aid class.

8. Knife or multi­purpose tool. These enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, fix broken eyeglasses, and perform a whole host of repairs on malfunctioning gear.

9. Sun screen and sun glasses. Especially above treeline when there is a skin­scorching combination of sun and snow, you’ll need sunglasses to prevent snow blindness and sunscreen to prevent sunburn.

10. Daypack/backpack. You’ll want something you can carry comfortably and has the features designed to keep you hiking smartly. Don’t forget the rain cover; some packs come with one built­in.

The 2003 Updated Ten Essential “Systems” from The Mountaineers

Navigation (map and compass)
Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
Insulation (extra clothing)
Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
First-aid supplies
Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
Repair kit and tools
Nutrition (extra food)
Hydration (extra water)
Emergency shelter

In 2003, the essential list was revised as part of the 7th-edition of “M​ountaineering: “The  Freedom of the Hills”​ to keep up with modern equipment. The 8th-edition​ continues with the new essentials list with no major revisions. The list takes a “systems approach” giving more definition to each subject or function.

Hydration:Add extra 2 liters of water for one additional day (for emergency).

Nutrition: Add extra food for one additional day (for emergency). Dry food is preferred to save weight and usually needs water.

Navigation: Topographic map and assorted maps in waterproof container plus a magnetic compass, optional altimeter or GPS receiver.

Sun protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen for lips and skin, hat, clothing for sun protection.

Insulation:​ Hat, gloves, jacket, extra clothing for coldest possible weather during current season.

Illumination: Headlamp, flashlight, batteries. LED bulb is preferred to extend battery life.

First­ Aid: supplies,​ plus insect repellent.

Fire: ​Butane lighter, matches in waterproof container.

Repair kit and tools: Knives, m​ulti-­tool,​ scissors, pliers, screwdriver, trowel/shovel, duct tape, cable ties.

Emergency shelter: ​Tarp, b​ivouac sack,​ s​pace blanket,​ plastic tube tent, jumbo trash bags, insulated sleeping pad.  ­­­­­­­­

OK, so there you have it, the first installment of the GCRad1′s Basic 101!
Stay young, play hard and get your RC Adventure Hike on!
Always in search of adventure one rock at a time! – Rodney Wills.



How do you Camp? – Living Arrangements At Axialfest

There is nothing like the true outdoors experience of Axialfest where not only do you become one with your RC machine while trekking across some amazing landscape, but you take advantage of an amazing camping experience at the beautiful campgrounds at Cisco Grove. During the week long event, you’ll pass by a variety of living arrangements and if you’ve never been to Axialfest, but have it on your list of to do’s we want you to be prepared.

THE LODGE Living Arrangements At Axialfest

Although the Lodge has a few rooms, they are typically reserved and you really need to think about what style of camping suits you. The Lodge however does have a small market with essential supplies like beverages, food and things you may need on your campsite. Firewood is available too, and necessary for those times spent talking with friends about the day’s trail adventures.

THE CLASSIC TENT Living Arrangements At Axialfest Living Arrangements At Axialfest

There is no shortage of tent sightings at Axialfest, this is the easiest, most compact way to get maximum gear into your 1:1 vehicle and still stow some living quarters in there as you make your journey to Axialfest. Beyond the tent, remember a tarp to place under the tent, sleeping bags, lights and some towel when using the campgrounds bathroom facilities to get your day going.

Axialfest camping

POP UP’S Living Arrangements At Axialfest

These are like an extension of camping homes across the park. Many attendees bring pop-up tents as well to cover things like their picnic tables or even their work tables where they wrench on their RC rigs. Which is more important to cover? Food or RC stuff? We leave that decision up to you.

THAT THERE IS AN RV Living Arrangements At Axialfest

Motor homes, RV’s, Trailer, whatever you want to call it, there plenty of these camping homes nestled into the campgrounds for the week. Many people bring their own, some rent and there are the borrowers too. There was even a report of Axial’s John Schultz tirelessly setting up a sleeping space for some rogue reporter who wound up sleeping elsewhere, what a dork. But back on topic, Cisco Grove is a campground, a large campground that has been around for years and has all the amenities necessary for camping hook-ups. They even offer dry firewood for your fire pit… Axialfest Camping

FULL TILT Living Arrangements At Axialfest

There are spots where you will see full tilt set-ups, small communities of sorts where friends camp together and multiple spots turn into one. RV’s, tents, pop-ups, tables, BBQ’s, coolers, temporary floors, satellite dishes and we even saw a pool! And why not? What we are showing here is maximum comfort and a vacation-like atmosphere for all who attend.

Living Arrangements At Axialfest Living Arrangements At Axialfest

PREPARE YOUR SPACE Living Arrangements At Axialfest

Remember at Axialfest, you need to be pretty self sufficient. There are some stores nearby, but who wants to travel off of the grounds when there are so many trails to tackle with your trail truck? It’s best to arrive with everything you’ll possible need on hand. Beyond your Axial RC gear, you’ll need food, fluids, sleeping bags, shower items, cloths, supplies for cooking and so on. Please remember to take out what you take in as we all need to do our part to keep the facilities clean for years of Axialfest events to com.


Believe it, or not, after Axialfest 2017 wrapped up or any of the previous Axialfest, the very next day, Axial Staff as well as attendees have already started on preparing for next years event. Making lists of things that need to get done, lists of things to bring and keeping an eye out for open registration and campsite bookings. If you want to camp near your friends, you need to get together with them ahead of time to find and book the right spot. Axialfest has grown quite large and even though Cisco Grove is massive, it is filling up and spaces are starting to become limited. Get ready and get in on the action!

Tungsten Peak Trail RC Adventure Hike – Bishop California

Words & Photos: Rodney Wills

On Dec 27, 2011, I published what had to be my single longest blog post with a massive amount of photos! It’s practically three separate stories all smashed into one long blog! One in particular is buried way down at the bottom. It was a little SCX10 Adventure Hike that I did while on my way home back from Reno, Nevada in the cold December of 2011.
So, I figured I would re-purpose that portion into a single blog post.

Tungsten Peak Trail RC Adventure Hike – Bishop California
December 3rd, 2011 – Reno, Nevada – Weather: High of 28 °F with a low of 19 °F

It’s O’dark:30, it’s the closing ceremony with fingers, ears, noes and toes freezing cold, but the event prizes are flowing! Freezing and all, everyone had a great day and a great closer to a great year. We all said our goodbyes and wishes for safe travel, happy holidays and all that good stuff. I put the ADV80 in “D” and in the wind with my Jack Sparrow compass sent in a homeward direction, with a couple of side-trip plans in route.

I hate going to the same place twice unless overall conditions are different. I tent camped in Davis Creek Campground last night, and I have chosen to pass it on my way home as I have intentions on doing some R/C scout-inspection of the Ridgcrest area of the California desert.

So I hit the road..
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I depart Reno making my way back down HWY395 through Gardnerville. They have  awesome small town charm and their Gardnerville’s Carson Valley Christmas lights have the streets lit with holiday cheer. It made me think of my wife and may have been on the phone with her tell her about the sights of this small town and how she would like to visit it.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Carrying on with X-mass lights blurring by, and two and half hours and 120-miles later, I’m in the Mammoth area.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

On down HWY 395 I cut off at Toms Place in Mono County.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I wanted to see what was up there and made my way up Rock Creek Road passing Rock Creek Group Campground.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Rock Creek Lake looks like a nice place! Need to see it in the daylight!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
At this point I decided to head back down and save this road and adventure for another day.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
FOOD! Too late – they are closed… I bet its a great place to eat. Wishful thinking.

Back on the road:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

I land just North of Bishop, Ca around 10:00PM, and I was tired.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I pull off HWY395 on a little dirt side road to find a tent “pitchable” location.
I found a big powerline dirt road that traversed the mountain side. Found a little cutoff road from there that led me to a dead-end into a hillside with a 100ft drop-off. There was a nearby trailhead marker so I was hoping to make this the camping location.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Gave a quick 360º inspection, saw a trail-marker which noted that this is a hiking trail called Tungsten Peak Trailhead, making this the perfect camping spot for the night.

First things first:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Set up the tent and dig a fire pit and get it going!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Get the Jetboil PCS stove fired up and boiling water!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
DING DING – Dinner is served via Mountain House! Tonight is Beef Stroganoff night. Boiling some more water for some hot tea! It’s rather CHILLY OUT HERE!!!HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
After dinner I set the camera up for a couple of night shots. Check out our
Night Photography Tips blog by Ian Coble. I should’ve had him with me on this trip!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Moring View from the tent
Next morning, this is the view from the tent window. I was expecting the sun to come blazing into my tent, but that was just wishful warm thinking. Temperature is in the low 20′s. Due to being nestled back into a little canyon of sort, the ridge was blocking the direct sunlight.

So I crack open the sleeping bag to chilly morning air that has yet to be touched directly by the warm sun. I check out my surroundings under the peaceful early light of day.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Today, seeing how I’ve discovered this trailhead, my mission is to drive my Axial SCX10 Trail Honcho as far as possible up the Tungsten Peak Trail and see what I can see. I didn’t drive during the event yesterday, but that does not mean that I didn’t wish to participate, I was simply doing my job of documenting the event. But I too am a enthusiast! I’m nowhere near as hardcore as you guys, but I do like my R/C adventures, just a little differently than most, as you are about to see. I think you like to do the same though…

It’s still chilly in the shadows of the ridge as I set off on my RC adventure hike.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The sun has finally broken over the ridge, but it is still very chilly outside and the sun has yet to reach me.

A desert motorcycle riding buddy once told me to not let your hands get cold as they will hurt when I get older, he is in his late 50′s and so I see his troubles with his hands and took to heart his words. Warm gloves it is!!!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I’ve had these gloves for a long time as I bought them to shoot photos during my trip to Rally Great Britain in 2001. It was raining and COLD and these gloves proved CHAMPION! These are actually wool mittens. The thumb has a slit in it so I can stick the thumb out for critical touch situations when needed. Same with the fingers, but they are 3/4′s covered with a mitten cap that wraps over, so when I need those indexers, I can pull the cap-mitten part back. Or as you see here, just one digit out so I can feel the throttle.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Finally some direct SUNLIGHT on me!

That means I can pause for a break, lose a layer and grab some super-nutrition!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
POP TARTS! I’m known for eating “cardboard” as my buddy ScottG calls them, you know granola bars and such, but today I treated myself to something that I found in the cabinet at the house before leaving on this trip and stashed it into my backpack. SORRY KIDS!

Onward and upward.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Me and my SCX10 Trail Honcho are on the go!

I keep looking back:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
My 1:1 rig and camp get smaller and smaller.

The trail ahead of me gets more technical:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
We press on.. We, as in me and my trusty SCX10…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

The SCX10 Trail Honcho just plain works!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
It gets a bit hairy in sections, and my mind wonders – how far will the SCX10 Trail Honcho go?

Just staying calm, searching out the lines, and being patient is half the battle.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
It’s a chess board and you have to survey all your options.

BUT sometimes….
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
You reach that spot…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Checkmate! NO matter how many times I tried, I could not get the truck up the crevasse even to the point of where I would roll the rig over on its lid several times attempting to make it through. I was trying to stay scale and then went full KOH-mode, but the obstacle was too hard to tackle,  beyond the limits of the truck capabilities, and/or at the end of my driving talent.

Yes, I could have used a winch at this point, but it’s sitting on the workbench back at the office. I contemplate if the Axial Wraith would have been a better trail rig choice? Would it have made it through this section? This was it for the SCX10, and I am a SCX10 purist. Even if a 2.2-rig could have made it, for me, its not the same as a SCX10 on 1.9-tires. More realistic. What is real for me is different than say, a Casey Currie or Cody Waggoner. They can haul any vehicle to any location, offload it and drive that rig through whatever they wish. Heck, they even have street-going vehicles on 40″ tires. That is not my reality, thus my choice in R/C I like to keep in the same realm. I do own a Wraith, but that is not my rig of choice is all I am simply stating. I love my Axial SCX10 Honcho. And truth be told, this is my OG original Honcho that I’ve owned before coming to work here. It’s so old, it has the brown-channel sticker on the radio box to prove that it was once a FM transmitting rig previously. Carrying on… sorry!

I preview the entire area. No spots to drive around, no other route for passage. This is one of those moments where I could have easily HOG’ed it [Hand Of God] up the tricky section and move on. But, that is not my style. This is where I toss in the towel and chalk it up to be done another day, on another adventure and give it to chance that I come through here again, better equipped. Or time willing, to construct a ramp-bridge of sort.

But today, this is where I pack it up:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Literally. I put the SCX10 on my backpack.  BUT, I wish to continue this little adventure further up for scouting purposes as the terrain shows signs of a promising valley ahead.

I look back and take a moment to reflect on what has occurred thus far! I was proud of my little feat.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
It was a good fight to get to this point…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And what laid ahead… I WAS SO CLOSE TO MAKING IT!!!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
As I progress on my hike with the SCX10 strapped to my backpack, I can see the valley ahead. Again, I was so close! My heart was torn by the the beauty and the ferocious, rugged rock.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The rocks where laughing at me with it’s mock torn heart shape!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Very strange – very cool rock formations to be seen up here.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I finally reach the little valley.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This area looks like an RC Playground Paradise to me!

I go out to the edge of this little valley, and see that it overlooks my camp area below:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

After a bit of exploring this little valley, I see that the trails continue on up the next ledge, so I follow:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This only reveals more peaks and another large peak/ridge barely poking up in the background. Curiosity draws me in…HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Look closely on the back ridge and slightly left of center, you will see strong wind peeling snow off the lip into the sky. It is December, and that is some howling wind!

I have yet another hill in front of me to reach that peak:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The below photo is an 180° view opposite from the above photo, looking out across HWY395.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
What a spectacular view as well! There are just amazing sights of wild rock formations in every direction.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I call it the lean-to UFO crash rock shelter. You just wonder how these rocks got into these shapes and positions. It’s as though the fell from the sky and stabbed the dirt!

As any good photographer would do, a self portrait in action. For scale purposes only.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
One foot in front of the other, taking my time, slow and steady and I will get there,
wherever there is. That’s the quest, the question of curiosity leads to adventure!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I think I am about to make a little summit on the Tungsten Peak Trail!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I make the peak! And find more interesting views and formations.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And looky-looky here! I’ve discovered my second geocache by accident!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I place a Axial sticker on the container, place an Axial sticker sheet inside and sign the register.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Jacket goes back on as it was even colder due to the wind on top of Tungsten Peak!

Like all mountain peak pursuits, the top is only the half way point.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The decent down is all ahead of me now.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
WOW, my truck, of which cannot be seen at this point, IS WAY DOWN THERE!

It’s comforting…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
To see my 1:1 rig again. Yet, it is still way down there, but I can see it.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I’m back to the little mid-valley, so I take a moment for a break.

I see lines… I see driving lines…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And I see more driving lines… this rock playground is a R/C climbing mecca of a playground! This could make for a great pack in, camp overnight shoot session!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
An oddity of rock formation all around!HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Dropping back into the final canyon.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I call this the handrail chute. This was the area that put an end to my SCX10
Tungsten Peak Challenge. Next time…

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I see the tire marks and begin to wonder what other hikers might think when they see these little tire tracks on this steep trail.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
My ADV80 is in view once again.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I think there is a super hero sleeping in these rocks. Guess who?

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This concludes my solo hike SCX10 adventure on the Tungsten Peak Trail.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I take a moment to see my whole camp in the sunlight, the ridge I just came down, and I contemplate coming back with maybe a small group of us to run our rigs in the valley just above. Or maybe you will find yourself here, just as I have, and make a solo-trip of it!

I think about that big snow-blown Sierra ridge that was across from the peak I had climbed and know that I am not ready for a big back country backpacking trip.
You know, like Mt Whitney or the PCT! But we all have to dream!HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
As I head out on the dirt road, I look back in the mirror and see the majestic mountain taunting me, calling me back.

Further down the road in Lone Pine…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
My view of the Sierra’s massive ridge is constant. There’s the PCT Trail that runs the length of it…actually it runs the length of California and beyond. Our dreams are what keeps us driven.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I finally make it to the Ridgecrest / Jawbone area.
Dirt Diggers Camp Road HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I run a quick scouting loop and up onto this little plateau. The sun is falling fast already,
but it never really gets overhead during the winter months, thus the day seems short.

I climb back in the rig and back onto the tarmac of HWY395 for the final journey home.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I’m still looking down every dirt road and scanning the horizon, searching for what…?
I don’t know for sure, but I keep looking… in a wanderlust search for a new adventure. When I find it, I will know… I hope I never do… I hope I keep looking… at everything through curiosity! I see I am not the only one seeking adventure as I pull up along side
this guy in Victorville. At least his bike represents adventure even though he may just be going to the store.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The fastest AFFORDABLE way to cover a lot of ground in the desert is on two wheels.
Yes, I love my dirt bikes too.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The sun is going down fast. At arms length – four fingers is approx 1-hour / each finger 15-minutes. See page 53 of the Backpacker’s Guide.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Through the Cajon Pass, the sun is filtered by clouds making for awesome lighting.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I’m coming into Corona and I see the last ridge I will cross and I will be home. That is my little Saddleback / Santa Ana Mountains and our Axial office sits on the other side as well.

From the peak of this mountain there’s an ocean view. We do get snow on it and it is in Orange County, California. It’s my little quick adventure spot; be it on foot, mountain bike, motorcycle or truck and yes, even the R/C rigs have seen some action up there.

Mountain peaks are great for reflection and contemplation, but the only way you are going to get on top of one is to just get after it. You can read, talk and think about it all day and you will do that forever. But one day you just have to make a call to action and actually GO do it! GO! Find your adventure!

My first year working here at Axial has been an amazing time that has just flown by at light-speed!


Tungsten Peak Trailhead HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
- rodney wills / AXIAL RC Adventure Hiker

78 Years Young and Simply DOC!


Doc has been known as “Doc” for 45+ years and only a small handful of people know his real name. Most of them are Military or Doctors. In his younger years, Doc was involved in motorcycle rides across the US and skydiving, but Doc still thinks his life is pretty boring most of the time.


Doc’s rig is a converted AX10 Bronco and will be at Axial #3X815, however he may not participate as he had a heart attack 6-days ago and is still recovering.

We all wish him well!

Come meet him Sunday April 9th at Axial #3X815 RVRCC
Reuben Aldeen Park
623 N Alpine Rd, Rockford, Illinois 61107





Written by: Rodney Wills
Photos by: Tristan “TAZZ” Judkins and Rodney Wills

Driving a radio control vehicle from a “control area” or commonly known as a driver stand or even from a stationary position, has been the hobby standard. Axial’s stance on the subject is to not stand in one place, but to move with the vehicle, covering vast terrain with a variety of obstacles.


Axial is already known for getting enthusiasts out on trail, and hiking behind their rigs over the desired terrain in the name of adventure during its annual customer appreciation event, AXIALFEST.

With the launch of the AX90028  SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 1/10th Scale vehicle in 2012, inspiration was further set in motion when we hiked across the Rubicon Trail for three days, driving an SCX10 to earn it’s “Trail Rated” merit badge. See the 5-part docs-blogs: RUBICON TREK.


As Axial’s Global Marketing Director, and personally for myself, I want to change the game even more!  We planted the new structure at AXIALFEST2016. In conjunction with sponsor Altra Running, we put man and machine to the physical test through a closed course trail for a full-scale Ultra 5K Enduro!

But how did it go from hiking to running?
Rock racing is the most physically demanding and brutal motorsport, the most famous event being The ULTRA4 King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, California. Yes, we are talking about the full size motorsport event with a global impact.


Axial’s customer-base and product design are in large part a reflection of vehicles competing in the event, and vehicles that belong to the spectators of this iconic motorsport event! Even though Axial is known for “moving with the vehicle” there is one sub-sector of the hobby driving their R/C rock racing rigs from the traditional drivers stand, the other sector is driving their rigs along side of their scale trail counterparts, just at speed, thus running. Like at ULTRA4 King of the Hammers, it is the 4X4 trails that were turned into a competition course, a competition decided by who could drive the trails the fastest, thus Axial is mimicking the action and it’s why we call them Ultra Drivers.

For years within AXIALFEST, we’ve had the “Ultra Class” whose participants ran past all the adventurist class participants on the same trails. We traditionally ran the two classes at the same time, but as the event grew, the separation of the two classes was needed due to the two “attitudes” of the two class of drivers.

Axialfest 2012 181_500px

One is chasing the checkered flag, the other is chasing scale adventure. When the adventurist drivers started hearing the phrase, “Ultra driver coming through!” that is when it dawned on me that these classes would eventully have to be separated. It’s like being in the desert and you get on a live race course and you know a 100mph trophy truck is approaching and you get that excited, yet uneasy feeling in your stomach! You know you need to get out of the way! While we all love racing, we also like our adventures and we do not want to see any race trucks on our adventure route. We want to see and experience something different  than being at a race, so we knew we had to separate the classes. Each adventurist deserves his own experience without race cars bumping them off the cliff while Ultra drivers are chasing their checkered flag.

The thought was, that if our Ultra Drivers want to be full size race vehicle drivers, then they need to train like them and get the full physical impact of driving a race vehicle. When you see drivers come over the finish line at the King of the Hammers, they are drenched with sweat and physically depleted, but they feel accomplished!


Racing is physically demanding so the only way I knew to interject the physicality, is to build a race course specifically for the Ultra Class and turn them loose!


ENDURO inˈd(y)o͝orō,enˈd(y)o͝orō/
A long-distance race, especially for motor vehicles, motorcycles, or bicycles, typically over rough terrain, designed to test endurance.

Regarding the course design, I grew up riding motorcycles in the woods of Alabama and the deserts of southern California, racing BMX and have done my fair share of mountain biking. These have all been influences on me, so I took elements from those and added it to our Ultra Course design. The idea was to give our Ultra drivers the ultimate “ENDURO” experience. But hey, I’m in marketing and the word enduro just sounds cool and I did not see it in use in our segment at that time.


We’ve had that select few who just wanted to go fast, thus run fast as if it was some big checked flag affair, so if competition they seek, a 5K they will get! Adventure running is becoming very popular and is on the trajectory to be the most popular extreme sport in America according to Richard Burgunder’s editorial piece “Trail Running: Racing Towards the Top in Popularity”



By mixing adventure running and King of the Hammers style driving, our Ultra Drivers will get the full physical impact. Case in point, Casey Currie is a prominent driver who races at King of the Hammers. He was in attendance at AXIALFEST2016 and competed in the Ultra Class. Afterwards at the awards ceremony, Casey stated, “that running in Ultra Class was like racing at King of the Hammers – PHYSICALLY!” That was authentic enough for me! With the demand of physically running through the woods while driving a R/C vehicle through the same course at the same time, this is a full capacity challenge making it a true ULTRA CLASS!


The R/C community has never been physical…
Since 2011, Axial has organized events that have gotten people out hiking through the woods in pursuit of driving their R/C vehicles over challenging terrain. Yes, we are hiking and driving at the same time, complete with backpacks and hiking amenities. We have helped change the role-play of R/C, meaning most see R/C as a hobby where you stand in one place and drive your vehicle, whereas we are getting our R/C community in motion! We have seen our event t-shirt sizes dropping over the past six years and that is simply awesome! If we can help create paths to physicality while pursuing a hobby, what’s not to like!? Over the years, attendance has been on the rise right along with the fitness of our attendees!


Why the Axial RR10 Bomber for Ultra 5K Enduro?
Randy Slawson is PHYSICALLY FIT!
The Axial version makes a great spec-car for the Ultra 5K Enduro class as it’s not about having tons of modifications. You do have to run as fast as your rig and we want to see the athletic side of this Ultra-minded R/C enthusiast!