Gymkhana

This Is How Difficult Ken Block’s Climbkhana Was To Film

Now we know why it took so long for the video to be released.

It seems that nothing fazes Ken Block, who has been entertaining us with his godlike driving skills in the popular Gymkhana series for nearly a decade now. Every new Gymkhana film has raised the stakes, but his latest Climkbhana spin-off was his most ambitious and most death-defying yet. Filmed on the grueling high-altitude Pikes Peak circuit, we watched in awe as Block showed off his sideways driving skills ascending the hill climb circuit, nearly killing himself in the process.

A new video takes us behind the scenes, showing just how challenging Climbkhana was to film. Despite the slick editing, the run wasn’t executed in one take. The shoot was hindered by car and weather-related issues, forcing the crew to make three separate trips to the famous hill climb over several months, which explains why it took so long for the final film to be released.

As Larry Chen from Speedhunters, who was on location for the entire shoot, explains, changeable weather made Pikes Peak a challenging location to film in. Heavy rain hindered the first trip, and the 1,400-hp Hoonicorn Mustang struggled to cope with the high-altitude, which caused the engine to lose oil several times during the shoot mid-run, requiring the team to swap engines on location. The second trip was also plagued with issues as snow covered a third of the mountain road, while heavy fog reduced visibility. Luck was on their side on the third and final trip to get the remaining shots, with perfect sunny conditions and no mechanical setbacks.

Block’s enviable driving skill on display is awe-inspiring, which he describes as “some of the sketchiest stuff" he’s ever done. As for that harrowing shot where he drifts just inches away from the edge of the mountain with the rear tires on the dirt, Block describes it as “the gnarliest moment” of his entire career. It's hard to imagine how he will top this in the next Gymkhana.

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