On Your Marks: GoPro Games Off and Running in Vail, CO

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Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the GoPro Mountain Games are off and running, hitting Vail, CO, June 7-12, with a slate of paddling events once again front and center.

“When the snow melts and summer comes around there is a lot of bottled-up energy in the outdoor and mountain sports world. People want to get outside, get moving, and get together, and all of that positive energy will find a home at the 2022 GoPro Mountain Games in Vail,” said Dave Dressman, Event Director for the GoPro Mountain Games, a project of the nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation. “There is a high amount of exhilaration and excitement from our athletes, our team here at the Vail Valley Foundation, our partners at the Town of Vail and Vail Resorts, and all of our sponsors, to welcome the world back to Vail and to take this event to the next level. We could not be more excited. The support we have received from our sponsors, the Town of Vail and Vail Resorts is remarkable, and it speaks to the power of the Mountain Games brand.”

The event, which welcomes thousands of mountain athletes and tens of thousands of spectators to Vail, Colorado, each year, will also include three nights of GoPro Mountains of Music headliner concerts (in-person and livestreamed) from the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, and a daily ‘SportsCenter-style’ live broadcast produced by Outside TV, which will open the livestream concert each evening.

The list of competitions reads like a “dream-come-true” for outdoor-sports enthusiasts. Early-bird registration rates will be available for events including: fly fishing, kayaking, rafting, SUP, climbing, mountain biking, road biking, trail running, yoga, disc golf, DockDogs, kids’, junior, and family events, and more. Paddling events will be high on the list as well, including the Steep Creek kayak race, 8 Ball or SUP/Raft-cross races, downriver race, new Gore 4 race, freestyle  and more.

New events and old favorites are available as registration opens for this world-renowned summertime celebration of athletes, art, music, and mountains at mountaingames.com.

Beginners, weekend warriors, and pro athletes are all encouraged to sign up and compete. More than $130,000 in prize money will be up for grabs.

Concerts, art, and FREE spectating activities are also a big part of the event. The Mountains of Music concert lineup, ancillary events, art installations, spectator entertainment and more will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

The 2022 event will be the 20th anniversary of the Mountain Games, which has become known as the best all-around outdoor mountain experience available anywhere in the world.

After a year off in 2020 due to the pandemic, the GoPro Mountain Games was among the first major events to open to spectators when a slightly pared-down version was held in 2021. The 2022 edition, said organizers, will bring the event back to and beyond 2019 levels of activity and celebration.

The event will feature two additional days of competition (Tuesday, June 7, & Wednesday, June 8) and will include new venues, new events, and a top-shelf concert lineup.

What’s new for summer Mountain Games? A GoPro Dual Slalom … and more

 Six days of celebrating mountain lifestyle and culture

For the first time ever the GoPro Mountain Games will take place over six days rather than four. The event will open with the highly-spectator-friendly GoPro Dual Slalom bike competition qualifying round to take place June 7, 2022, at the Minturn Bike Park in Minturn, Colorado, located 10 minutes away from Vail Village. GoPro Dual Slalom action will continue at the Minturn Bike Park through Wednesday, June 8. This action-packed new event will be held in partnership with the Town of Minturn, Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance, and Strait Acres.

Steep and sweet whitewater

The TINCUP Steep Creek Championships at Homestake Creek has long been known as the elite-level kayaking opener to the GoPro Mountain Games. The event will be held one day earlier than usual, on Wednesday, June 8, at its usual venue at Homestake Creek near Red Cliff, Colorado. This move allows competitors to rest and shift focus to the GMC Kayak Freestyle qualifiers at the I-Bridge in Vail Village on Thursday, June 9.

The return of climbing

Climbing makes its return to the GoPro Mountain Games for the first time since 2019 with the very popular CELSIUS Citizen Climbing as well as a North American Cup Series climbing event, in partnership with USA Climbing. The climbing wall will return to Mountain Plaza and events will take place June 9-12, with youth climbing leading the way on Thursday, June 9.

The adidas Terrex 20K Anniversary Run to celebrate 20 years

The adidas Terrex 10K Spring Runoff, the adidas Terrex Après 5K Trail Run, and the Rocky Dog Trail Run have long been staples of the GoPro Mountain Games trail running events. This year a new event, the adidas Terrex 20K Anniversary Run, will be added to the lineup to celebrate 20 years of the GoPro Mountain Games.

Concerts at The Amp, family-friendly competitions, and more

The GoPro Mountain Games will once again feature a vibrant and interactive Mountain House Gear Townsponsor village, where spectators can engage with top outdoor brands throughout Vail. Gear Town opens on Thursday June 9 and continues through Sunday June 12.

The event will also host a variety of daytime music in multiple venues along with nightly concerts at the Vail Valley Foundation’s Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, the ever-popular Orijen DockDogs (and other dog-friendly) events, a wide array of kids adventure sports events and activities, slackline demonstrations, the return of the Nature Valley Mountain Mud Run, the legendary Pacifico 8-ball Kayak Sprint and so much more.

The 2022 GoPro Mountain Games will also feature more junior divisions in bike and run events to accommodate more levels and age groups of riders.

List of competition events announced to date*:

Tuesday, June 7

GoPro Dual Slalom

Minturn Bike Park

Wednesday, June 8

GoPro Dual Slalom

Minturn Bike Park

TINCUP Steep Creek Championship

Homestake Creek, Red Cliff

Thursday, June 9

YETI Catch Wars

Eagle River

GMC Kayak Freestyle qualifier

Gore Creek, Vail Village

 

Gore IV Kayak Challenge

Gore Creek, Vail Village to West Vail

Rocky Dog Trail Run

Vail Village & Vail Mountain

Try DockDogs

Lionshead, Vail

Orijen DockDogs Big Air waves 1-4

Lionshead, Vail

Dueling Dogs Qualifying Duels 1-2

Lionshead, Vail

Friday, June 10

North American Cup Vail presented by CELSIUS
qualifiers

Mountain Plaza, Vail Village

Pacifico Raft Cross

Gore Creek, Vail Village

CELSIUS Yoga

Vail, exact location TBD

adidas Terrex Après 5K Trail Run

Vail Village

Orijen DockDogs Big Air waves 5-7

Lionshead, Vail

Orijen Dueling Dogs rounds 3-5

Lionshead, Vail

Try DockDogs

Lionshead, Vail

Saturday, June 11

YETI 2 Fly X-Stream qualifiers and Semi-Finals

Vail Village

Kids Bike Race

Golden Peak, Vail Village

GMC Down River Kayak Sprint, Pacifico Raft Sprint and YETI SUP Sprint

Gore Creek, East Vail to Vail Village

North American Cup Vail presented by CELSIUS Semi-Finals and Finals

Mountain Plaza, Vail Village

Oakley XC Mountain Bike

Vail Village & Vail Mountain

CELSIUS Yoga

Vail, exact location TBD

Mountain House Disc Golf rounds 1-2

Maloit Park, Minturn

Nature Valley Mountain Mud Run

Family and ‘All Mountain Madness’ divisions

Vail Village & Vail Mountain

GMC Kayak Freestyle finals

Gore Creek, Vail Village

Orijen DockDogs Big Air waves 8-9

Lionshead, Vail

Orijen DockDogs Extreme Vertical

Lionshead, Vail

Dueling Dogs rounds 6-8

Lionshead, Vail

Sunday, June 12

Kids Cast & Catch

Big Horn Park, East Vail

YETI Fishing finals

Location TBA

YETI SUP Surf Cross

Gore Creek, Vail Village

adidas Terrex 10K Spring Runoff

Mountain Plaza, Vail Village

adidas Terrex 20K Anniversary Run

Mountain Plaza, Vail Village

Pepi’s Face Off presented by JUNK Brands

Mountain Plaza, Vail Village

CELSIUS Yoga

Vail, exact location TBD

Mountain House Disc Golf rounds 3-4

Maloit Park, Minturn

CELSIUS Citizen climbing and Youth Climbing waves

Mountain Plaza, Vail Village

Orijen DockDogs Big Air wave 10 & finals

Lionshead, Vail

Orijen DockDogs Speed Retrieve finals

Lionshead, Vail

Dueling Dogs rounds 9-10 & finals

Lionshead, Vail

 Pacifico 8-Ball Kayak Sprint

Gore Creek, Vail Village

*Schedules and locations subject to change. Additional events expected to be added.

Register now at mountaingames.com.

 

Time Capsule: 20 Years of the Games

What makes the GoPro Mountain Games amazing? It’s that incredible feeling of unity, friendship, and good vibes that comes from all of us getting together to do the things we love each June in the mountains.

It all started 20 years ago. Actually, scratch that. It all started in the ’70s and ’80s as kayaking grew as a sport in the Rocky Mountains.

The Vail area has been on the spring whitewater kayaking migration route since … well, ever since kayaking whitewater has been a thing. In 2002, our community evolved a longstanding Memorial Day weekend whitewater festival by adding mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, trail running, music, parties, art, and culture, to create the first-ever Mountain Games in 2002.

2002

The original Mountain Games poster from 2002.

Longstanding Vail Memorial Day weekend whitewater festival becomes the Mountain Games. Teva is the title sponsor. Eric Southwick wins the first Freestyle Kayak Rodeo on the newly built Vail Whitewater Park in Vail Village. Fox Sports Regional is the television partner, 250 competitors take part, and 6,000 spectators attend.

2003

First annual Mountain Ball party grows to become one of Vail’s biggest. First photography competition. First XC Mountain Bike race. First year of the Steep Creek Championships on Homestake Creek, which drops 480/feet per mile.

2004

Jurassic 5 plays a roof-raising show, in the snow, at Mountain Games at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, setting the stage for a long legacy of great concerts. NBC provides television coverage along with Fusion TV, Rush TV, and VH1.

2005

First annual Mountain Mud Run.

Brad Ludden

Kayaker Brad Ludden was a star of the Mountain Games in its early years.

2006

Team Nike wins and completes the “three-peat” of the 12-hour Adventure Race. The Mountain Games doubles as host to the USA 10K National Trail Running Championships: Matt Carpenter wins.

2007

Josiah Middaugh and Keri Nelson Springs win the inaugural four-event Ultimate Mountain Challenge competition (kayaking, mountain biking, trail running, cycling), which replaces the Adventure Race at the Mountain Games. Middaugh goes on to win the UMC every year through 2016.

2008

The Mountain Games host the first IFSC World Cup Bouldering event on U.S. soil in 20 years.

2009

DockDogs joins the Mountain Games lineup. The local, nonprofit, Vail Valley Foundation produces its first Mountain Games after purchasing the event from Vail-based Untraditional Marketing in 2008.

The first year of the Steep Creek Championships at Homestake Creek was in 2003. Photo by Zach Mahone.

2010

First annual Stand Up Paddling events are held – the 3-mile Surf Sprint down the icy waters of Gore Creek. Sixteen-year-old Noa Ginella beat out favorites Charlie MacArthur and Dan Gavere in a stunning upset

2011

Mike Montgomery goes big to win the Mountain Games’ mountain bike slopestyle.

2012

Slackline Industries and the Vail Valley Foundation introduce the Slackline Industries Invitational to the lineup. It soon becomes one of the most popular spectator events at the event.

2013

GoPro becomes title sponsor of the Mountain Games. Total prize money tops $100,000 for the first time.

2014

Isaac Levinson wins the Homestake Creek Steep Creekin’ Championships AND the Kayak Downriver Sprint.

2015

Henry the mountain dog enjoys his last mountain games in style. Lindsey Vonn makes an appearance at the Fly Fishing competition.

2016

The Mountain Games celebrate 15 years and adds an Après 5K trail run, an all-new yoga lineup, and expands into Lionshead. The event also experiments with an Enduro event in nearby Eagle, Colorado. Concerts return to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater with a memorable performance from headliner Stephen Marley and openers Bonfire dub.

Pepi's Face Off

Pepi’s Face Off hill climb was added in 2003. Photo by Logan Robertson.

2017

OutsideTV becomes new television partner. New event, the Pepi’s Face Off hill climb, is launched. The event is named after local legend Pepi Gramshammer. Mountain Masters Disc Golf is added to the event lineup and quickly sells out. A new, mobile-friendly website is launched. A new “choose your own adventure” format is introduced for the multi-event Ultimate Mountain Challenge competition. More DockDogs events are added.

2018

A highly-popular silent disco is added to the entertainment lineup. In climbing, Alex Puccio (USA) and Rei Sugimoto (JPN) win the IFSC Bouldering Competitions. Chloe Woodruff (USA) wins a near photo-finish in the women’s XC Mountain Bike. Chris Robinson Brotherhood, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and the Wood Brothers headline concerts at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. The Playing for Change Band joins the marquee for the Friday and Saturday night concerts.

2019

The event reaches extraordinary heights with 80,000+ spectators over four days, 3,100+ individual athletes, more than 350 volunteers, and a $6.2m economic impact to the Town of Vail. Highline slackline replaces the international slackline competition. A new Catch Wars fly fishing event is added.

Concerts returned to The Amp with one concert in 2016 and a full three-night lineup in 2017. Photo by Jon Resnick.

2021

After taking a year off due to the global pandemic, the GoPro Mountain Games return with a slightly pared-down version of the event. The new Gore IV Kayak Challenge is added to the competition lineup. Joseph Gray wins the adidas Terrex 10K Spring Runoff, his seventh victory in a row. Three nights of concerts at The Amp are among the first major concerts in the nation to return to full capacity: Yonder Mountain String Band June 10, and Bob Weir & Wolf Bros June 11 and 12.

2022

The Go Mountain Games celebrate 20 years. Event expands to six days for the first time (June 7-12) including a new GoPro Dual Slalom event at the bike park in Minturn and the adidas Terrex 20K Anniversary Run. Climbing returns with the North America Cup Vail USA Climbing competition plus citizen and youth climbing. “Take a Hike For YouthPower365” hike and fundraiser is added to the lineup.

Learn more at mountaingames.com.

 

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