The GoPro Mountain games are everything an Adrenalist could want in a weekend and more.
This week, the games are returning to Vail, Colorado, for the 2013 competition. The GoPro Mountain Games are a celebration of adventure sports, with events that run the gamut from slackline competitions to kayak races. Thousands descend on Vail, Colorado, every summer to watch and participate in the games. This year, 2500 action sports junkies are expected to compete and 45,000 spectators will attend from Jun. 6-9. The extreme festival will come complete with music, art and the majestic Colorado mountains as a backdrop for the scene. The athletes will compete in events such as the 8 Ball Kayak Sprint, the DockDogs Big Air, the Mud Run, the SUP Surf Sprint and, of course, the Slackline World Championships.
Here’s a preview of some of the action you can expect to see in Vail this weekend.
The Mud Run is open to any and all competitors. It’s a short run, with muddy slopes to crawl up and down. If you’re wearing a zany costume (there are a lot of these), then all the better, because everyone is caked in mud at the end. This is where your Tough Mudder training will come in handy. Although a lot less intense than Tough Mudder, jumping in and plowing through the mud is an event any Adrenalist can get behind. Plus, for the first time, dogs will be permitted to run the course as well.
The 8 Ball Kayak Sprint is the kayak equivalent of bumper cars. With enough man-made obstacles to make the rowdiest whitewater rapids seem more appealing, this kayak run is all about disorientation and mayhem. The “8 Ballers,” which are described by GoPro as, “loathsome kayakers in full body armor,” block your path and attempt to slow you down as you run the course. They’ll slam you against walls, try to flip your boat or just ram straight into you. Prepare for some bruises.
In the DockDog Big Air competition, the owner and dog work as a unit to maximize the distance leaped (on the dog’s part) into a pool of water. The competing dogs only have to catch the toy or object thrown by the owner, but they must travel the furthest over the edge of the pool to be named DockDog champ. GoPro describes this event as, “the long jump for dogs.” Watch as man’s best friend launches through the air too catch his favorite squeaky toy and make a leap for the title of DockDog champion. They name the winner of this on Sunday and, as you see, the GoPro Mountain Games are for dog-lovers.
One of the most important events at the GoPro Mountain Games is the Slackline World Championships. This is the only place to see the best pro slackliners go head to head for the title of world champion. To add to the excitement, there is an interactive slackline area set up for spectators to try out throughout the weekend. Come Jun. 8 or 9, the eight best slackliners in the world will show off their balance, control and acrobatics in a battle that can only end with one Adrenalist being named the victor.
Finally, the whitewater of Gore Creek is the setting for the Maui Jim SUP Surf Sprint. Using a stand-up surfboard, participants will stroke down a 3-mile stretch of Gore Creek, from East Vail to Vail Village. The rapids here are designated as class II and III, so going downstream is no easy feat. SUP surfers will be thrown around and attempting to remain upright, all while trying to out-paddle their opponents. This is, after all, a sprint, meaning staying on the board is only half the battle. The winner is the Adrenalist who makes it to the end first.
Check out the GoPro Mountain Games this week for even more awesome sports, music, and more. Keep us updated with your pics and videos on Facebook or Twitter.