Biggest Mountain Sports Event Of The Year

GoPro Mountain Games 2017 bouldering semis Image taken by: ElCapitan

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Aspen may hold the Winter X Games, but Vail has the largest summer celebration of outdoor adventure sports and mountain living. What started in 2002 as the TEVA Mountain Games with only 500 athletes and 12,000 spectators has now ballooned (and re-branded as the GoPro Mountain Games) to over 3,300 competitors with over 83,000 spectators (in 2019)! To further amp up the excitement, every year there’s a little surprise as they continue to add competitions and disciplines. For the 2022 GoPro Mountain Games, they’re debuting the MTB dual slalom.

Most Unique Events To Spectate @ GoPro Mountain Games 2022

With 20+ different competitions across more than a dozen disciplines, this spectacular event includes cross-country mountain biking, trail running, kayaking, SUP, disc golf, slacklining, fly fishing, DockDogs, and even photography. The options are endless! So, which events should you focus on if it’s your first time to this massive party?

Come watch your 4 legged friends get extreme too!!

GoPro Mountain Games 2017
The Scene at the 2013 GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado.
Photo (C) Rick Lohre
Image courtesy of the Vail Valley Foundation

This is considered the most popular spectating event at the annual extravaganza. Furry best friends gets just as extreme as their partners. Dock jumping, also known as dock diving, is a canine sport in which dogs compete by jumping for distance or height from a dock into a body of water. GoPro Mountain Games are also part of the National Sportsmen’s series. From dueling dogs, where canine competitors are paired up between different docks, to big air & retrieve, this event is exciting to watch in person!

If you can’t make it to the Mountain Games, don’t worry! There are canine athletic events happening all around the US throughout the summer season.

Steep Creek Championships!

GoPro Mountain Games 2017 kayaking
Dane Jackson of Walling, TN competes and takes second place in the mens division of the Steep Creek Kayaking Championship on Homestake Creek – Image taken by: Erik and Nicole Unger – 4 Paws Photography Unger

Even before the 2002 TEVA Games, the Mountain Games were originally the Jeep Whitewater Festival. At that time, the focus was all about kayaking. The soul of the event is still in the rushing rapids of the Homestake Creek, pure to its roots. Even though the race is only for experienced kayakers, the ¼ mile stretch of creek near Red Cliff is extremely fan-friendly to spectate. With nicknaming their rapids “Leap of Faith” and “Piece of S**t”, you KNOW its one heckuva good time to watch. This isn’t the only water event either. Keep your eyes peeled for raft sprints, kayak cross, and many more splash-tastic extravaganzas. 

North American Cup Series

Climbing is the epitome of an international sport. Nearly every major event is outside of the United States in exotic places all across the world. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that GoPro Mountain Games features a bouldering competition starting on Friday with qualifying rounds, leading into a Saturday Finals for the record books.

GoPro Mountain Games 2017 bouldering semis evening
Image taken by: Bonuel Photography

 

Dual Mountain Bike Slalom

If you attend the beginning of the 2022 GoPro Mountain Games festival (Tuesday and Wednesday), be sure to beeline over to the bike slalom. In its inaugural year, this will feature head-to-head racing as two riders hurtle themselves down the Minturn Bike Park. A differential is taken from one rider to the next, then racers switch sides and battle it out again until the top three are standing on the podium. Be prepared for tight berms, big rollers, and exciting jumps!

Event Details

When: June 7th – 12th, 2022
Where: Vail Colorado
Cost: FREE to spectate

This is only an introduction to some of the most creative competitions at the GoPro Mountain Games. With over $100,000 in prizes available, professionals from every outdoor discipline will be migrating to Vail this summer. So, grab your gear and head to Colorado for the biggest competition of the summer.

 

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