Spanning 8 different sports in 23 disciplines, the Teva Mountain Games is an adventure sport unto itself. With my camera in one hand and an event schedule in the other, I was ready to take on the Games.
First on the agenda was the ITSA Bouldering World Cup. Emceed by the always outrageous Timmy O'Neill, this event is the only World Cup bouldering comp held in North America. Climbers from as far away as Australia, Japan, Korea, Russia, Slovenia, France, Germany and Austria battled it out for the coveted championship title. Kilian Fischhuber flashed (completed the route on the first attempt) all 4 problems in the finals and went on to win the men's division. Anna Stöhr claimed the women's championship, so it was team Austria that dominated this competition. (Shown at right: USA climber Chelsea Rude.)
Next, I was off to check out the Teva Slopestyle, an event that allows world-class freeriding cyclists to catch REALLY big air. Tackling obstacles such as gap jumps, berms and spines while competing for a $2,750 first-place purse, these riders truly pulled out all of the stops. This year it was Mike Montgomery who took his prize money back to sunny San Diego.
Humans weren't the only participants. At the Golden Peak location, I was delighted to see there were plenty of water-bound hounds competing at Eukanuba's Dock Dog events. These pups had the opportunity to take part in the Extreme Vertical, Big Air WAVE and a Speed Retrieve. And with some dogs jumping more than 20 feet from the dock, it was difficult to see who was having more fun, the dogs or the owners.
En route to the next event, I decided to take a stroll through Gear Town. Gear Town was THE place to demo gear, sample product, get a great deal on some goods and score some sweet swag. More than 60 vendors lined the streets including GoPro, GoalZero, Osprey and Thule. Every one of them was ready and willing to share the latest and greatest product innovations their companies have to offer. Perhaps the most noteworthy: GoPro's new 1080p camera that shoots in 3D!
There were 7 varieties of water-based comps taking advantage of this year's colossal spring melt. It seemed each time I passed over the International Bridge, there was an exciting new event taking place in the raging river below. From kayak freestylers to my new favorite, the raft cross, there was never a dull moment on the water. The raft cross features 3 mini-raft teams racing through Class III rapids while navigating 2 upstream gates—with ramming strongly encouraged.
Check out the official TMG results for the winners of all these events.
If you were not able to get out to Vail this past weekend, don't fret. Coming in February of 2012 are the Teva Winter Mountain Games. With snowshoe races, ice climbing comps and a variety of ski races, this is an event that you may not want to miss.
Below: Freeride Dual competition at the Teva games. (All photos by Dan Holz of Dan Holz Photography.)
Below: Big air at the Slopestyle competition.
Below: A dog flies high at the Extreme Vertical competition.
Photos below: Wild action at the Raft Cross competition.