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Geartown is the center of the GoPro Mountain Games universe

Heather Pletcher is one of the world's top highliners and will be competing and demonstrating highlighing and slacklining during this weekend's GoPro Mountain Games.
Nina Riggio|Vail Daily |

We love the GoPro Mountain Games. It’s a glorious collection of individuals for whom self-preservation is purely theoretical.

Sure, there are a significant number of normal people wandering around. Connie and Jeremy Rummel are in town on vacation from Iowa, which is where normalcy lives. To their great credit, they were encouraging their kids, Tayten and Ryley to try some wonderfully dangerous stuff on the slacklines.

They do this because they love their children, want them to try new things and because no good story ever begins, “We were reciting Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales … ”



Candie Schmidt is on duty with Lone Star Security, making sure everyone behaves themselves — more or less. It turns out that the GoPro Games people aren’t generally the problem. It’s us. You know, “us” as in “us versus them.”

Even though we’re in Colorado, home of the individual and other endangered species, where pot is legal because, among other reasons the War on Drugs is working so well, people like to bring their own alcohol into the venue, which simply will not do.



People get a little frustrated because they buy a drink in a restaurant and then can’t walk around with it, Candie said.

A GoPro pro

GoPro, of course, is everywhere. It’s amazing how many places you can strap a GoPro. They have this mannequin outside one of their booths dressed like a mountain biker. He’s sporting four GoPro cameras, including one on the bike frame that shoots straight up … the crotch cam?



A few feet away is another mannequin dressed like a fisherman, also with a gaggle of GoPro cameras hanging off it, and here’s where we have a dilemma.

On one hand, on the GoPro Mountain Games home page, Lindsey Vonn is learning to fly fish with one of these things mounted on her rod, and Lindsey Vonn’s wonderfulness knows no bounds.

However, a camera on your fishing rod would insert actual facts and photographic evidence into a fish story. And fish stories are generally devoid of facts.

It could eliminate lies, exaggeration and fantasy, and those are the most interesting part of any fish story.

So we asked GoPro’s Thomas Grana, who told us the inconvenient truth.

It’s called GoPro’s Sportsmen’s Mount, and it supplies a demand.

“It met a demand by our hook and bullet crowd,” Grana said.

Shooters mount these things on their shotguns so they can watch video of clay pigeons — and other things — being blown from the sky.

GoPro’s engineering department designed a camera that will stand up to shotgun recoil.

Apparently, of all the gigs associated with the GoPro company, you want to be a member of GoPro’s engineering department and their beta testing team.

Their beta testing team goes into the field to see if they can get these gadgets to fold under pressure.

Grana explained that while he loves his job, he’d really enjoy being a member of the beta testing team.

The thing is, they really are that tough, and when they aren’t, their customer service is pretty much amazing.

Grana was doing a stint in customer service when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast.

A guy called him from the eye of the storm.

We could not make that up, and neither is Grana.

“He had a thick accent and it took a little bit, but he had taken video of one side of the storm and his GoPro stopped working,” Grana said. “We got him going again, and he took video of the eye of the storm, and the other side.”

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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