What’s this guy doing, and why is he doing it?

Well, he’s climbing down Lion’s Back, a sandstone ridge famous among off-roaders in the United States. The rock sits near the town of Moab in the American state of Utah. Hordes of off-roaders line up their 4X4s to attempt climbing this steep rock, and once they’re done, they turn around and come back the same way.

Why do off-roaders attempt the Lion’s Back?

For the adrenaline rush this rock provides. For starters, you have a very steep rock face that is motorable only by four wheel drive equipped vehicles. At some parts of the rock face, the inclination goes up to 65 degrees, which is really, really steep.

And you have a three hundred and fifty feet of such insane steepness to push your vehicle through. When you finally manage to reach the top, the second burst of adrenaline kicks in, for you have to make a very tricky U-turn to get back onto firm ground.

While the Lion’s Back is not considered to be a very extreme 4X4 trail, it’s quite dangerous due to the precipitous drop-offs on both sides of the climb and descent. And there have been plenty of accidents on this trail, some of them fatal.

What’s this guy doing, and why is he doing it?

Here’s the best-known accident at the Lion’s Back, when a Chevrolet Blazer with two honeymooners hurtled down, out of control. The woman driving the Blazer is said to have never off-roaded before. She lost the brakes while descending, and luckily, both of them survived the drop.

Can anyone go up the Lion’s Back?

Sadly, the Lion’s Back has been closed to the public from 2004, when a developer bought the area to develop condominiums. While the Lion’s Back was private property even before the developer bought it, the family that owned the property used to charge a small fee from off-roaders wanting to go up the ridge.