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Let the Games Begin

The Teva Mountain Games celebrate the mountain lifestyle — a lifestyle that involves extreme trails, big parties and high-flying dogs. “The beauty of the Mountain Games is amateurs and professionals competing side by side,” says Shelley Woodworth, marketing director for the non-profit Vail Valley Foundation, which puts on the annual event. “There’s no qualifying. Anyone can join. It’s a chance for weekend warriors to rub elbows with the big girls and boys.”

Of course, amateurs would be wise to enjoy events like the Steep Creek Championship, in which kayaks shoot through Class 5 rapids, and the World Cup Bouldering finals from the safe distance of the rowdy spectator sections. The climbers in the World Cup competition are truly the world’s best, Woodworth says, and amazing to watch — almost as amazing as the DockDogs Big Air and Extreme Vertical contests, which have canines doing long jumps and high jumps off a dock.

The roster of activities this weekend involves seven sports and 21 disciplines — including cycling, running, kayaking, rafting, climbing, fly-fishing and paragliding — and also features live music from Meese, a pub crawl, a film festival, a photography contest and a massive expo area. The Mountain Games officially kick off the resort’s summer sports season, reminding those of us on the Front Range that Vail is much more than just a ski area. For complete details, go to
June 4-7, 2009


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