After missing out on the GoPro Mountain Games for two years in a row, I was determined to make it back this year! It’s a sweet festival with lots of different sports events, entertainment, music and good vibes.
A big thanks to my buddies for the early 2:45 am wake up, to get me in time in Toulouse to board the Lufthansa aircraft towards the USA. Also, a big thanks to my buddies on the other side for picking me up from Denver airport.
Touching down in Colorado was epic – the Rocky Mountains silhouetted against the skyline in the distance and to the east barren plains stretch as far as you can see.
The GoPro Mountain Games are one of the nation’s largest celebrations of mountain sport, lifestyle and music featuring top professional and amateur athletes from around the world. The environmentally friendly adventure sporting event hosts approximately 3,500 outdoor athletes, along with many, many spectators.
The opening event for the GoPro Mountain Games was the Homestake Steep Creek Championships up at Redcliff. Who never heard of the Mountain Games or Redcliff before, this is a 400 m section of creek that drops off the face of the earth in a super manky technical sort of way. This year the weather and water levels where perfect making it ideal conditions for the race. It’s two-minute course at an attitude of around 10,000 ft. The lungs are burning through the crux at the bottom of the river! A combined two runs cut the field to a last final round where it’s all or nothing. I tried to step it up in the final run, having a pretty sick, smooth fast top but throwing it away in the bottom drop, Leap of Faith, where I almost swam. Dane Jackson took out the mens category and Nouria Newman came out on top in the chicks with some fast smooth lines.
The next event was the DR Race – a brutal twenty-minute effort down Gore Creek. I could not find a good rhythm and actually felt pretty slow, but surprisingly I came out on top by over ten seconds. Gerd Serrasolses who became second in the Steep Creek took the win in the DR with some fast times!
The Freestyle event is probably located in the best place in town. This year the wave was better than ever. I never had made the next round in this event before and I was very surprised seeing myself in the finals this year. I had to bang out all my moves in the first fifteen seconds, as after that I had a brain freeze and was out of breath. Emily Jackson took her tenth win in the freestyle and I was very satisfied ending in fourth place.
Unfortunately I had to miss out on the eight-ball this year as I had a flight to catch to my next destination!
It was a short trip for only being in the States for six days and the jet lag totally caught up on me, but it was totally worth going. A big shout out to Steve and Matt for their hospitality making this trip even better!