As we dug deeper down the hillside, we came to a gnarly rock climb. I got out of the Jeep to watch as the Nissan Xterra climbed over the sharp rocks down narrow path. It was amazing to see the RF10s grip onto the rock like pouring water, then getting sucked back up as the wheel continued to turn. The rubber flexed and turned over each rock almost effortlessly. Back in the Jeep, I worked my way down the path as Malcolm guided me ahead. Watching his hands for signals, I squeezed the Jeep down the path. We got through the rough part and made our way to a turnoff for lunch.
After the break, I switched vehicles and was once more in the Nissan with Don. We went up the same trail we descended for a different view of the road and for the performance of the RF10s. The trail back looked a lot more dicey, but the tires easily gripped and got us up the mountainside. Back on the narrow path, Don stepped out to guide me through the rock, but this time he had me focus on a new climb. Toward the end of the path lay a huge boulder. I crept up to it slowly and, as my front left tire easily caught the rock, I centered the wheel on the top. I jumped out of the driver's seat once more to check the twisted body and suspension of what I knew was the Nissan -- but with all dramatic turns and the uneven stance of the wheels that made it less recognizable.
Click above to view chart
With that trail behind us and plenty of time to spare, Don took us on a second path. Little did he and his team realize, but most of that trail was washed out from rains earlier that month. We went ahead anyway and worked our way around and through some sticky conditions. This trail wasn't as rocky as the first one, but it still presented obstacles that really put the RF10s to work.
When we were over the trail, Don told me I have great throttle and braking control for someone who's never climbed rocks before. It was really the great coaching and performance from the RF10s that made me look like a pro. Make that a pro rock climber trapped in a speed-freak's body.