Vail High Altitude Society column: GoPro Mountain Games heat up social scene |

Vail High Altitude Society column: GoPro Mountain Games heat up social scene

Scott Powers, Scotty Stoughton and Alex Mauer took a practice run on their stand-up paddle boards on Saturday during the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

VAIL — After a long cool spring, things began to heat up with the GoPro Mountain Games this past weekend. Steamy temperatures on Friday and Saturday made for some fun in the sun for locals and visitors alike.

Professional and amateur athletes and tens of thousands of spectators took to Vail with gusto. It is always great to see the town of Vail busy and hopping with activity and entertainment.

“This is a nice group of outdoorsy, athletic and friendly people who we are thrilled to host in our town,” local Robin Ouimette said.

Gone to the dogs

Hanging out and engaging with canines is a surefire way to break the ice and meet new people. One dog-owning friend considered naming her dog Excuse because her pet is a perfect excuse for people to engage with her.

There were definitely a plethora of pups and a ton of bikes and children in town. Bachelor Chris Benson said, “I feel funny without a baby stroller, bike or dog at this event.”

Congratulations goes out to local uber-athlete and dad Josiah Middaugh (who is very familiar with kids and bikes) on winning the Ultimate Mountain Challenge.

Networking with vendors

The vendors at the GoPro Games have a tremendous amount of information to share for those wanting to learn new things. Michelle Lipira spent her days teaching people how to use a GoPro and set up the GoPro app on their phones.

“I am a designer on the GoPro user experience team,” Lipira said.

Meredith Hardwick and Marina Fleming educated people on the many programs run by the National Outdoor Leadership School. She shared stories of Denali National Park, where she had visited the year before. “It was the best week of my life staying at Camp Denali and hiking around the tundra,” Hardwick said.

Adventure Film School

The team from the Adventure Film School was busy filming and editing footage from the GoPro Games and presented their work at a Vail Symposium event on Tuesday. It featured a lecture by Emmy award-winning outdoor film producer Michael Brown.

The group was more than willing to share information on their experiences in outdoor photography and film production. And there was certainly plenty of opportunity for action photos at the GoPro Mountain Games. Have a great summer outside!

Betty Ann Woodland is a long-time local who covers social events, galas and fundraisers for nonprofits. She can be reached at

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