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Building Gnar at Red Bull Rampage 2012

If you ever get the chance to drive the four miles down this dirt road, prepare to have your mind blown when you arrive. The Red Bull Rampage is officially here, and we tagged along with Cam McCaul today to see what the boys are building.

Cam Zink won Rampage two years ago with an incredible spin off the Oakley Icon Sender. Where is he going this year? Straight down towards the biggest lip he could find.

The two Cams both plan to utilize the canyon gap this year, and they're both planning tricks that have never been done over it before.

Even though they're hitting the same massive jump, both Cams have unique lines planned for the run in. This is Zink's. Hold on, buddy. It's going to be a wild ride.

Zink plans to roll into the canyon gap off the point where he and the crew are standing. Gulp. McCaul will utilize the line you can see carved into the hillside.

Sik Mik Hannah looks back up at the chute Zink plans to drop down. Because of an injury he missed Rampage last time, so he spent the day hiking and familiarizing himself with the terrain. Whatever he rides, expect it to be fast, smooth, and absolutely dialed.

The days leading up to the big event are spent building both little and big things, but it seems like most of the effort goes into connecting the dots.

Fluidity is key to a good score, so smoothing out the connector bits is worthy of the champ's attention.

Pro Tip: Bring sand bags. Lots of them.

They're useful for stacking up landings...

... and for building massive lips. Curious where Brendan Fairclough's creation leads?

Yeah, it's huge.

Now in its third year at the new site, riders are finding more and more places to craft their lines into the Utah soil.

The land requires some solid effort to yield its true potential. The SRAM crew pitches in and lends Zink a hand.

A lone rock marks the entrance into a line. Wouldn't want to bail off of a cliff in the wrong spot...

Gazing out across the zone, it's truly amazing how much variety there is to be had. We're excited to see what the riders make of it.

Mike Hopkins has been here a few days longer than most, so he spent much of the day riding lines and trying variations. That little bit of extra practice might go a long way when qualifiers roll around.

A-Rev and McCaul go to work using some of the specially excavated magic white soil. It's awesome when wet. If you actually have water, that is.

Hiking up with supplies isn't an easy task. Many of the lines are more akin to rock climbing than hiking.

Hahahah. Very funny, Cam!

Even though it's loose out here, digging isn't always easy. Rock ledges require the use of picks to make much progress.

There are three starting points this year. The two lower starts will be used for qualifiers. Even the "low" ones aren't that low, though.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! This is where the lucky few that make the final round will start. It's no joke up top, or anywhere for that matter.

Which line would you take?

Hope you're not scared of exposure. This incredibly thin, loose, and technical ridge will be used by several riders to reach their lines further down.

Adam Billinghurst and Zink peer over the edge of what leads into Zink's canyon gap run in. Billinghurst has been instrumental in getting the site ready for the big event.

"RAMP"age? Nah. Truth is, there's more vertical feet of dirt to ride than ever before.

What wood? The finals zone is as raw as it gets.

Even the hiking trails are gnarly.

Check out the pitch on Zink's run in. Insanity.

Breath it in boys. Rampage comes but once every other year.

Incredible sunsets aren't hard to come by. We can't wait to shoot some action in the coming days.

With limited time to get things done, A-Rev kept charging after dark.

McCaul looks down on his creation, knowing that it'll help fulfill the "gnar quota" required of the top riders.

After a long day of work, McCaul and A-Rev completed another crucial component of Cam's run. The landing is looking good boys. Real good.

The build continues tomorrow as riders make finishing touches to their lines and bring out the bikes. We'll see you then...

You might have gotten the impression that Rampage was all about massive wood features this year. Think again. High above the wood is where the action is, and the lines are numerous and diverse. We grabbed a shovel and hit the renowned Virgin, Utah riding zone with the riders and their build crews to see what they have up their sleeves for game day. - Photos by Brandon Turman

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