About an hour and a half south of Kansas City, KS there is an off road park called Kansas Rocks, or Kansas Rocks Recreational Park. We couldn’t miss out on KRRP‘s first event of the year, Frostbite. Living up to its name, it was a cold day. With the temperature in the 30s, the unpredictable Kansas weather dropped 3-4 inches of snow throughout the day.
The snowfall, predicted to fall late in the afternoon, came early. Off road enthusiasts from all over showed up for the event expecting to do some wheeling on cold frozen ground but didn’t hesitate to give the trails a shot in what was quickly becoming slippery slopes. The 240 acre park has a 200 ft. elevation change and a trail system made up of steep rocky hills, dense woods and creek crossings that became more difficult as the day went on.
Even with the bad weather, the event still managed to bring in 233 rigs, but very few side by sides made it out. Guess people didn’t want to freeze their butts off in their UTVs! Fortunately, at Side By Side Stuff we had the right products installed on our RZR for the environment – a full cab enclosure and a heater with defrost. I’d say we were definitely prepared! The total head count for the event was just over 500 people, not including the wonderful staff and sponsors.
The event had many sponsors who provided lots of great high value prizes for the raffle and plenty of free swag. Hot food was available and hot cider and coffee were free to all attendees. Kansas Rocks also kept two campfires going for anyone who needed to warm up.
Kansas Rocks marks their trails with names and skill levels. A green circle indicates the easiest trails. Blue squares designated intermediate trails. The hardest trails are assigned black diamonds but the difficulty classifications were definitely bumped up a notch due to the weather conditions. For the most part, rigs were having trouble on the main loop, which is not classified as any difficulty and generally for anyone to ride. Not many rigs made it through the blue trails without a little help and we’re not sure anyone made it through the black trails.
The guys in UTVs seemed to be getting around a lot easier than jeeps and other rigs. Both of the ways back to the trail entry required going uphill and towards the end of the day those hills became very slick and difficult the go up. Several rigs were waiting in line for a long time to get winched up the hill, which took each rig on average 30 minutes. In this sport you won’t find a shortage of helping hands. Dudes were lending their rigs, winches and toe ropes, you could definitely say a lot of teamwork was involved to help every last rig up the hill.
Sometimes getting stuck can be frustrating. People falling on their butts, slipping on the icy slopes was a good comic relief (as long as no one was seriously hurt). Another guy who finally got winched up the hill was told the wrong direction to the exit, ended back down the hill and towards the end of the line to be winched up. He didn’t find it funny at all, but you can imagine looking back on the day he could get a little laugh out of that.
With the last rig making it to the top at 9 p.m., and no injuries, you could say the event was long but successful and one of the most memorable. We are definitely looking forward to going back to Kansas Rocks!