The Coal Chute is not only new to Top Truck Challenge this year, it’s an entirely new course in the Hollister Hills SVRA off-road park. We call it the Coal Chute because it’s a jumbled mess of a climb up the side of a mountain. It’s not particularly steep but it is littered with lots of boulders, ledges, cement pipes, concrete obstacles, and more. And, just like every event at Top Truck, we plan to modify the course a bit from the way it looks during the other 364 days of the year, just to give it that little something extra and increase the difficulty. We think the competitors will absolutely love our little surprise.
So what's the surprise at the end of the Coal Chute? How's a slippery near vertical waterfall climb sound? Many of this year's competitors had trouble navigating their rigs through the maze of large boulders at the beginning of the Coal Chute which stopped many competitors dead in their tracks. Matt Huit just obliterated the Coal Chute with his VW Rabbit Pickup. To be fair, it's no ordinary Rabbit, it's got rear steering capability, 54-inch Mickey Thompson TTC Baja Claw tires, and a wicked 454 big block chevy V8.
Joshua Middleton had a great run through the coal chute and made it all the way to the waterfall climb at the end but ended up having to winch up the waterfall. Unfortunately the 460 c.i. big block in the Bronco decided it didn't want to run anymore and stalled out. Joshua attempted starting it many times and even hopped out to take a look under the hood. Once he hoped in, the dreaded curse of the stuck seat belt kept him from being able to make any further progress and had to call it.
Pepe "Peps" Palomo did a great job through the Coal Chute. The little green Tacoma articulated over all the boulders like it was a regular Sunday drive. Peps did get stuck at one point but his spotter calmed him down and quickly found him the perfect line which got them moving through the course in a hurry. They got as far as the waterfall climb but couldn't winch out of the waterfall in time and ended up timing out giving him a solid second place finish beating out Joshua Middleton's Bronco by a mere 9 inches.
Nolan Skopliak got a little tipsy near the beginning of the coal chute and after breaking his winch cable attempted to push on down the trail. Nolan had to call it a day when his '87 GMC Jimmy flopped over on it's side after attempting a different line.
Paul Boundy's 2003 Chevy Silverado HD wasn't able to attempt the run down the Coal Chute due to a broken front ring and pinion.
Check out all the action from the Coal Chute at this year's Top Truck Challenge!