When the GoPro Mountain Games — Vail’s annual four-day tribute to mountain sports — come to town, there’s plenty of opportunities to get your heart pumping. You can watch professional slackliners walk the high line over Gore Creek, catch kayakers take on local rapids, or join the crowd at the base of Gondola One for the IFSC Climbing World Cup presented by TIAA Bark. There’s even a chance for your pup to get in on the action at the Rocky Dog Trail Run, or when a variety of dog breeds jump long and high at the Blue Buffalo Dock Dogs competitions. And, of course, the free nightly concerts at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater are a must after each day’s action.
“Every year the Mountain Games really mark the start of our summer season here in Vail, and it’s great to be there the whole weekend, but you have to pace yourself,” shares local yoga teacher Kim Fuller. “I think the best strategy is to balance out your schedule with a lot of spectating and walking around, along with some event participation if you want to compete. The yoga classes provide a perfect way to ground down and move a little, and you can be a part of the games in a way that is a little less rigorous and a little more mindful.”
Fuller will be teaching a class at the festival’s Zen Zone — a plein air yoga studio nestled by the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Ford Park — along with various other local yoga teachers throughout the weekend. The classes run for a full hour (9 a.m. on Thursday, June 6 & Friday, June 7; 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 8 & Sunday, June 9), and allow spectators a chance for some quiet time on their mats by Gore Creek each morning.
Then there’s the ISOPURE athlete recovery lounge, which — if you’re competing in one (or more) of the events — will be open daily (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday) and offering complimentary recovery beverages, smoothies, snacks, and massages(!) throughout the event. Be sure to sign up for a session with Wave Tools, which uses Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (aka IASTM) along with a team of physical therapists to get deep into tired muscles and treat myofascial pain. And if you really need to recover, stop by the lounge’s ISOPURE infusion bar, which will be serving recovery drinks made with the company’s award-winning, 100 percent whey protein isolate products.
Our last piece of advice: Take a lap through L.L. Bean Gear Town, which stretches between Vail Village and Golden Peak and has tons of gear and goodies from a plethora of outdoor brands to add to your swag collection — plus, food and beer gardens for you to snack and sip all weekend long.
Photo courtesy of GoPro Mountain Games.
Kirsten Dobroth is a freelance writer based in Vail, Colorado, and has been published extensively in Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine, 5280 Magazine, Backpacker,
and Elevation Outdoors,
among others. When she’s not writing, she’s likely chasing her pup around the trails by her home in West Vail.