Posted by: Tom Boyd
The GoPro Mountain Games, known as the best all-around mountain experience available anywhere in the world, will open registration for 30+ mountain events in 12+ different disciplines on February 6.
Vail, Colorado, will once again become the center of the outdoor world when the GoPro Mountain Games bring 80,000+ spectators and 3,000+ athletes and three nights of free concerts to the annual celebration of athletes, art, music and mountains June 6-9, 2019. People of all ages and abilities will participate in fishing, kayaking, SUP, rafting, climbing, mountain biking, road cycling, trail running, disc golf, DockDogs, yoga, photography, and more.
A new Short Track Bike Relay event, more kids’ and family options, and an all-new take on the GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge are among many new and exciting things happening at the 2019 GoPro Mountain Games (see below for more).
Registration for all events opens February 6 at noon, and organizers are offering early-bird pricing for those who log on and sign up for their favorite event soon at www.mountaingames.com. The best mountain athletes in the world will be on hand, competing side-by-side with “regular joe” athletes from around the state, country, and globe.
“Vail is buried in snow right now and looks like the perfect winter wonderland, but as any Mountain Games veteran will tell you, this is also the time of year when mountain-dwellers from around the world start gearing up, training, and looking ahead to the kick-off to summer at the GoPro Mountain Games,” said Dave Dressman, VP of Sponsorship and Sales for the Vail Valley Foundation, the nonprofit that organizes the event.
The GoPro Mountain Games will once again feature unique sponsor activations, giveaways, and activities from more than 150+ outdoor brands throughout Vail Village, Mountain Plaza, Golden Peak and Lionshead, and is paired with three nights of free music at the GoPro Mountains of Music at the Ford Amphitheater in Vail.
- The GoPro Mountain Games will welcome an all-new bike event when the Short Track Relay takes place at Golden Peak on Friday, June 7. This fun, fast, and crowd-friendly event will consist of two-person teams navigating a course-combo of dirt, short single-track, grass and pavement, which means cross-country or cyclocross bikes are best suited for this event. Juniors, men/women, and Pro/Elite categories are all available. The event has a total prize purse of $9,000, and the first five teams to register will receive two $50 gift cards to Sweet Protection or Craniologie. All registrants will receive a 20 percent discount to sweetprotection.com.
- The fishing competitions at the GoPro Mountain Games will have a few exciting new elements.
- Catch Wars: The best guides in the business can face off against one another at the Catch Wars competition Thursday, June 6 on the Edwards-to-Wolcott stretch of the Eagle River.
- Also new this year, winners of the Costa Fly-Tying competition will qualify for Sunday, June 9, finals competition.
- Fly-tying winners will join winners from the Pro Guide Wars as well as winners from the well-known and well-loved Costa 2 Fly X-Stream casting competition which takes place Friday and Saturday, June 7-8.
- Kids now have a fishing competition of their own! See below for more information.
- The grueling Pepi’s Face-Off hill climb will only have one wave (instead of two), and will include all GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge competitors (see more about the GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge below.)
- More prizes are now available in the Road Bike Time Trial. New, timed, segments are being added to the course, and the fastest men’s and women’s riders through those sections can win additional prizes.
- Disc Golf has been one of the most popular events at the GoPro Mountain Games since it’s arrival in 2016. Now, disc golfers will have an additional round of competition added to their schedule, and the event will boast two 18-hole courses, a 9-hole course, and a skills challenge.
- In addition to over $120,000 in cash prizes at the Mountain Games, Yeti will provide all 1st place podium finishers, male and female, with a Yeti Panga 50 Duffel.
New for youth and families
- Kids fishing? Of course! New this year, children 14-and-under can take part the Kids’ Catch & Cast fishing event at Bighorn Park in East Vail. The pond will be stocked ahead of the event, in preparation for some catch-and-release fishing, and parents and kids will be able to enjoy a serene environment at one of Vail’s most beautiful parks on Friday, June 8.
- Youth whitewater participants will now have their own category in the GMC Downriver Kayak Sprint and GMC Downriver SUP Sprint Even better: Top three male/female finishers will receive a Sweet Protection Strutter helmet and a gift card to sweetprotection.com or Craniologie (TBD). Gift cards will be $200 (1st place), $150 (2nd place), and $100 (3rd place).
- The wildly popular, FREE, TIAA Bank Kids’ X-Country Mountain Bike will have a bit more elbow room this year with the addition of more categories. Kids 6-and-under will ride balance bikes or use training wheels as they ride with others of their own year-of-age, and kids 12-and-under will ride the longer loop (without balance bikes or training wheels).
Your favorite event may have a new date or time. Check out www.mountaingames.com for more information.
The ultimate test of mountain grit
The 2019 GoPro Mountain Games will feature an all-new take on the GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge. This burly take on the beloved classic will be a six-event test of tenacity unlike anything else in the sporting world.
Each competitor will “choose their own adventure” by selecting five qualifying events of their choice Thursday, June 6, through Saturday, June 8.
Then on Sunday, June 9, all UMC competitors will take on the Pepi’s Face-Off hill climb in a head-to-head showdown to determine who will take their share of the $11,500 prize purse. The men’s and women’s champions will each win $2,000 plus an incredible prize package courtesy of GMC including a GoPro Hero7 camera, a Trek bike, a Jackson Kayak, a $500 L.L.Bean Gift Card, a Yeti Tundra 65 and an Osprey Rolling Transporter 90 (full event description and prizes available here). Cash prize pays out to fifth place for both men and women.
Registration for the GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge opens at $250, with the first 50 registrants receiving a one-of-a-kind UMC branded cap from YoColorado and an Osprey Hikelite day pack. Winners will be determined based on a points-system that takes event difficulty and athlete placement into account. All who compete will be known throughout the land as tough, fearless mountain athletes who had the courage to take on the most dynamic event in adventure sports.
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