Teva Mountain Games – Summer 2012
It’s hard to imagine the eleventh Summer Teva Mountain Games has already come and gone. Since its inception, Teva has become the symbolic end of mud season and the unofficial start of summer in our little mountain community. Mud season can be tough on year round mountain dwellers, a period when your home ski mountain has closed but the hiking/MTB trails are still way too muddy to enjoy. So by the time Teva rolls around, we’re all more than ready to get outside, have a few drinks and watch world-renowned athletes and dogs pull off incredible feats of strength (not the Festivus kind).
This mud season things were different. We had a rotten snow year that made the mud come earlier than usual. Spring runoff also came early which meant that by the first day of the 2012 Summer Teva Mountains Games on May 31, the rivers were running low. So low in fact the SUP events had to be pulled from the schedule of events for safety. A super bummer considering how awesome Stand Up Paddling is. But regardless of the lower rivers and no SUP there was still plenty of water for the kayaking events and tons of ridiculous off water events that I was stoked to watch.
For the second summer in a row I was lucky enough to be hired by the Vail Valley Foundation to shoot a number of the events at TMG. I had a chance to shoot along side one of my favorite photographers Preston Utley and meet a bunch of really great people during the weekend.
For me the action highlights of this year’s four-day long mountain lifestyle competition were the Bud Light Lime Steep Creek Championship presented by Thule and the Bud Light Lime Kayak Freestyle presented by Eddie Bauer.
I love watching some of the world’s gnarliest paddlers like Eric and Dane Jackson, Dustin Urbin, Nick Troutman, Stephen Wright, Mike Dawson, Martina Wegman, Haley Mills, Adriene Levknecht, Claire O’hara and Courtney Kerin absolutely throw it down. Check out stevendewitt.com to see a few of my favorite shots from this year’s games and take a look at the Vail Valley Foundation’s Flickr stream for even more eye candy.
If you’ve never been to Teva you might not know about the Eddie Bauer Mud Run presented by Maui Jim. Every year the Teva crews build a huge mud pit as part of a feature along the Mud Run course at the base of Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak. Participants dress up, cross-dress and barely dress to run a short course that requires them to plunge into this huge mud pit over and over as they loop the course.
By the end everyone is completely douched in mud.
This year I think the early mud season deprived us all of the mud we’re used to just before Teva.
I guess we needed a bit more before we could unofficially call it summer in our valley.