Tough Mountain Course Description
The Tough Mountain Challenge is designed by a highly trained and
frighteningly creative team of event master minds who spend sleepless nights imagining ways to challenge and torture the mind, body and soul. We also solicit and incorporate competitor feedback each year to make the course the best it can be. And because we limit the number of competitors and spread out the field into heats, you'll find the course to be a continuous challenge from start to finish without the crowding and backups that plague the big national events.
The 2013 Tough Mountain Challenge course builds on the popularity of the 2012 layout but will add some new turns and new features. Expect lots of snow guns again, even more mud, a pond crossing, and another scramble up WTF, which was the surprising most popular feature in 2012.
CEMENT SHOE PIT
On your mark…get set…go! Oh, crap. You’re barely out of the gate before you find yourself running through a wet and muddy hole. Is it a sinkhole? It might be. Added bonus for you—this challenge becomes even more intense when you add the five pounds of mud and water to your now mud-cemented shoes!
Sprint, walk, or stumble up the mountain through 12 high-powered, ass-kicking snowmaking guns. Do you wear glasses or contacts? Helpful hint: You may want to pack goggles for this one. Another helpful hint: goggles won’t make a bit of difference once you realize the issue isn’t so much lack of vision as it is lack of air.
SNOW & STEADY
Calm your breathing and find your inner balance as you cross over a dark, muddy, and mysterious pond on snowmaking pipes. The steadier you are, the faster you'll go. Keep in mind that you're already soaked and your legs and lungs are burning from Hurricane Alley. This may not be a challenge for Mary Lou Retton. For you? Torture.
You’re given a slight break as you run back to the base of South Ridge where you'll encounter the largest and toughest mud crawl of the course. Get down on your belly and get ready to get dirty, as you wiggle your way under barbed wire. Don’t look up, and keep your butt down unless you want a fresh lower back tattoo.
Ever been sprayed in the face with so much water you couldn't breathe? Well, we’ve successfully recreated this feeling (times a million) just for you. Just stay calm…you might not be able to see (or breath), but if you put your head down, hold onto a hottie, and put one foot in front of the other – you just might make it through.
You’re already soaked, so you’ve got that going for you, which is nice. Now prepare to continue the fun as you submerge yourself into a small pond; hold your breath, get wet, and try not swallow this dirty water as you mutter/sing to yourself: “'Cause I love that dirty water!…Tough Mountain Challenge, throw me a bone!”
LUCK OF THE DRAW
Hmmm, three paths under netting all look like they’re the same length, but that would be far too easy. Which one is shorter? Well…we’ll call this one “The Luck of the Draw.” Oh, and as an added bonus, we’re turning on some tower guns above to add a little water to what might be an otherwise dry section of the course.
WALL IN THE WOODS
After a short trail run through the woods you’ll have to navigate over a very rustic and rickety wall of logs blocking your way. Survivor hint: After the wall, please turn left. That 40-foot drop in front of you isn’t actually part of the course and would be a significantly more painful than the course ahead!
The‘Black Hole’ is looking more like a ‘Black Jellybean’ these days which makes it even more fun to squeeze through! Follow a twisting, rocky stream bed that will feed you straight into the Black Hole—a 50-foot-long culvert that crosses under a ski trail. Don’t hesitate, or the racers behind you may run right over you or push you through.
Legend has it, a couple course guinea pigs rounded the corner to the base of this section, looked up and said “WTF?!” Now you get to scramble up the steep slope and rock ledges that left many of last year’s participants breathless and heartbroken. We’ll hang some ropes in case you need assistance, but you won’t need any help will you?
BUST 'N' BURN
Your thighs will scream as rolling hills and muddy water are brought together in a design similar to wartime trenches. Up and over, up and over, up and over, you go—how long it’ll take, nobody knows. Luckily for you, the next obstacle in line requires you to crawl, which is good, because after this one, you won't be able to run.
If you’re afraid of the dark, the smell of death, and the thought of spiders, well…you came to the wrong obstacle. You’ll be on all fours as you work your way through this dark, and possibly insect-infested maze. When you reach this obstacle just think of it this way—It’s not long, it’s just intense (Thats what she said!).
SINK OR SWIN
Pass through more culverts to our famous pond-crossing where you’ll jump like a frog between lily pads all the way across. This isn’t an obstacle for non-swimmers, unless you’re confident that you can make it across the pond in only a few leaps. The pond is surrounded by spectators and photographers so be sure to smile.
HURT-A-LOT & HURT-A-LIL
What goes up must come down. After you cross the pond you'll face a climbing wall to scale before climbing / jumping / falling down the backside into a pit of mud. Then, you'll have to do it again on another wall, slightly smaller. You’ll be twice as demoralized, muddy, and exhausted.
SLIP SLIDE & DIE
Longer, faster and ribbed for your pleasure! (That’s what she said! Again!) With your family and friends watching from below and the finish finally in sight, you'll take a break and ride down our side-by-side 30-foot slip n' slides into a pond of murk. If you think you'll just run down the middle and stay dry, hotshot, think again.
RING OF FIRE
Your last challenge is a comparitively easy one--just keep it straight and upright as you pass through a literal ring of fire right before the finish line. Should you falter and tumble into the ring you'll cross the line engulfed in flames and the crowd gasps in horror and we chase you with fire extinguishers. And nobody wants that.