Every early June the best of the best athletes come out to play and compete in the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado. It is one of my favorite events in the mountains to attend. Not only can you watch, but you can and are encouraged to participate in the incredible events taking place.
It is 4 days of awesome athletes competing in mountain inspired sports for your viewing pleasure. Sports are broken down into categories featuring: Biking, Climbing, Running, Dogs, Slack-line and Water Sports. Always some event going on during the day there is not a moment to waste to see some of the worlds best athletes in these events. Some of my favorites to watch are the Bouldering World Cup competition, any Dog Jumping, and the 8-ball kayaking competition. I’ll elaborate on these.
The Bouldering World Cup puts the world's best climbers on insane climbing routes they must reach the top to earn points to succeed. This years winners included Dmitrii Sharafutdinov from Russia for the mens and Akiyo Noguchi for the womens. Seeing these climbers figuring out routes, I can’t even imagine to begin how to get up, is both inspiring and humbling.
Dog Jumping is a sport for our best friends. With a long runway and a giant pool to jump into this is one of the most entertaining sports to watch. The dogs, who are extremely excited to get their toy that motivates them into the pool, must run and jump either as high or as far out as they can to win. Some dogs are so excited they simply cannot wait and go for it, some do not want to have anything to do with the water. It is high flying dog comedy all day at the poolside.
The 8-ball kayaking competition is carnage in the water. Kayakers must make a sprint for it down the creek to get past the dreaded 8-ballers (other kayakers waiting to literally take them down). The one who makes it through wins. With sponsored boaters from Dagger and Jackson just to name a couple you are in for a show.
In between all the sports there is a “geartown” awaiting to be visited. With all the sponsors, such as: GoPro, Gerber, Costa Del Mar, and Osprey just to name a few ready to give you swag and killer discounts on items they brought. Most even offer free games and free giveaways if you are a lucky one. We even got a dog, well actually we dog napped it for a little bit from the Osprey girl. Then later stumbled upon free beer from the fine people at Costa Del Mar. Can’t complain there. This year I walked away with tons of info, beef jerky, a backpack and a black eye (I got in a fight with the Jack Link's sasquatch). There is usually a slackline competition going on as you are walking around geartown too. These guys are amazing, with aerial acrobatics and landing on a slackline only inches wide, it looks like something that belongs in a cirque du soleil show.
This year they even added free concerts to the mix. Thursday night boasted Xavier Rudd and Aussie bloke proficient with the didgeridoo and bluesy, folk, reggae sound. We came back Saturday for the Cold War Kids, an indie rock group from the L.A. area. Both acts put on a hell of a show. I have only highlighted a few of what I was able to see this year. This event as never disappointed me and I look forward to it every year. So mark it down on your calendars, next year’s is taking place June 4-7, and look for us at That’s So Rado! For more information go to www.mountaingames.com
March 27, 2015