What to expect when you’re expecting to register in 2021
Photo: Jon Resnick

What to expect when you’re expecting to register in 2021

Posted by: Shauna Farnell

Hey athletes, here’s the plan:

The first thing you should expect when you register to compete at an event at the 2021 GoPro Mountain Games is that you will ACTUALLY be coming here to Vail and running, pedaling, paddling, etc. with ACTUAL people.


If you are a canine, you will be jumping, swimming, fetching along with your very own kind, in the (fur) flesh. We are talking about a REAL, LIVE celebration of mountain arts, sports, music and lifestyle that you can see, hear, feel, taste and experience. You will be launching from an actual start line, crossing an actual finish line and celebrating with actual people (and dogs!).

Registration opens April 9, and there’s a lot to look forward to:

After your competition, you can bask in the glory of a beautiful summer in the Colorado Rockies, and in the evenings you can check out the live music at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in-person (limited tickets will be available) or by live stream.

Also, don’t be surprised that while you may have been having a stay-at-home Netflix marathon and pandemic pizza party with yourself every night over the last year, many of your fellow competitors have invested several hours a week getting into razor sharp shape. That means you’d better get off the couch and start training right now.

We are beyond thrilled to get one of the world’s greatest outdoor lifestyle festivals back on track. However, with this whole pandemic thing still very much ongoing, we want you to be prepared for a few things to be different in 2021.

Public health rules and limitations are expected to still be in play as the Vail Valley (and the world) navigates what we’re all hoping is the last leg of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, the 2021 Mountain Games are HAPPENING. The beauty of the event in general is that it is all outdoors and the wide open spaces of Vail and the Colorado Rockies intrinsically allow for plenty of personal space.

Running & biking events:

We are expecting that all participants will practice physical distancing from other competitors and wear a face covering until the starting gun sounds, as well as after crossing the finish line, but you will be able to take your mask off during competition. The Ultimate Mountain Challenge competition is not happening this time around, so … no holding back in each individual race!

Disc golf:

Disc golfers will need to wear their face coverings in the common areas and in the player meeting, but can take them off on course. Naturally distanced and good to go!

Fly fishing:

Anglers are expected to need to wear their masks during competition and physically distance to the best of their abilities while in their boats.


We are expecting to ask that yoga participants will wear their face coverings until their physically-distanced class begins (there’s plenty of room at Ford Park’s Lower Bench!).

Art & photography:

We are expecting that photographers will be required to wear face coverings when working in close quarters, and practice social distancing while getting their shots. Media credentials will be required to enter venue areas, and capacities will be limited.

Kayak, raft & SUP:

There will be no Steep Creek kayak race this year, nor any 8 Ball or SUP/Raft-cross races, but freestyle and downriver are going to rip. These comps will unfold one paddler (or raft or SUP) at a time, and competitors will be asked to socially distance and wear masks at the start and finish lines (up until the point when their watercraft is in the water).

DockDog comps:

All dog events will take place in Vail (more details coming soon!). Competing human/dog duos will socially-distance and wear face coverings. We may not be able to welcome spectators to the DockDogs venue. If that changes, then the spectator area will be capacity-limited.

Virtual events & Outside TV:

Not able to make it to Vail this year to (re)-live the dream? You can still connect and compete from wherever you are with virtual contest options (more info coming soon!), music livestreams, and of course the awesome live coverage each evening of the event from Outside TV.

Keep in mind that registration for 2021 live events will be capped to a limited number of participants, so signing up early is the way to go.

The bottom line is this: expect the 2021 GoPro Mountain Games to be a complete and total BLAST. It’s going to be an experience you appreciate more than ever before. Let’s be honest … you need this right now. You’ve been waiting for this. This summer’s Mountain Games will feed your soul like none other.

So … get after it!

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