The high-energy GoPro Mountain Games have energized summers in the Vail Valley for the past decade. Now the Mountain Winter Games are coming back to town after a long hiatus.
The last time the Winter Mountain Games were held in Vail Valley, Colorado was in 2013. It was only the event’s second year, but it dissolved and never reappeared.
For the next 9 years, the summer GoPro Mountain Games dominated the outdoor sports festival scene in the Valley. Historically organized over 5 days, kayaking, running, mountain biking, etc. attract athletes from all over the world.
The Winter Games return in February. This year’s event will be a limited rollout from February 25-27. The slate will serve as a preview of next year’s festivities, which will be its official debut.
On the program this year: three separate skimo, fat bike and background racket competitions, an ice climbing demonstration, a 5 km snowshoe dog derby and lots of partying. Live music and other spectator-oriented events are scheduled, and the entire weekend is dog-friendly.
Ski mountaineers can choose between an individual distance event covering four climbs and four descents through the famous Back Bowls, a sprint competition with a brutal ascent and descent over Vail’s steepest terrain, and a grueling vertical race and only uphill to Golden Peak.
The Vail Mountain Games feature fringe sports. Summer events range from slacklining to SUPing. Past winter events have included Nordic races and, believe it or not, big air telemark.
The official 2023 debut will build on the base February schedule.
“This year, everyone will get a taste of just how great this event is,” said Dave Dressman, Mountain Games events director for the Vail Valley Foundation. SkiMag.
“We’ll have a great lineup of concerts and a weekend of competition, art and lifestyle celebration that will be a very bright part of this winter in the Rockies. Then in 2023, we’ll take it a step further with additional competitions and events.