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Steep Creek Championship

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Dropping a whopping 480-feet per mile, Homestake Creek is a paddling gem that was once known only to Vail Valley locals.

In 2002, local weatherman, shuttle driver, and pro kayaker extraordinaire Ken “Hobie” Hoeve hosted a successful grassroots race on the creek with no more than a keg of beer waiting at the finish line.The next year Mountain Games took Homestake Creek nationwide as some of the world’s best paddlers hucked their meat down drops like “Leap of Faith” and “Piece of S**t.” Race rules are simple – the fastest time to the finish line of the ¼ mile creek wins.

Thursday, June 8


The Steep Creek Championship is a kayak race for ONLY the most experienced whitewater kayakers. All participants must be a proficient Class V kayaker and have kayaked the race course prior to the competition. The race takes place on Homestake Creek located outside the town of Red Cliff and is approximately ¼ mile long and drops 480′ per mile.

Athletes may also register on-site at the registration area. Organizers will not be responsible for incomplete, lost, or misdirected registrations or for registrations not received for any reason, including, without limitation, failure or malfunction of any communications network or equipment or computer software or hardware.


Open-Men / Open-Women


Athletes must be equipped with the appropriate boat, gear and safety equipment sufficient to sustain extreme whitewater race conditions.

Boats: Plastic whitewater boats only, 9′ or smaller. Prototypes, modified boats or non-creek models allowed ONLY if they meet safety standards – at the discretion of the organizer.

All athletes are required to carry a flat bag in their boat.

All athletes are required to have their have their boat washed onsite prior to racing at the designated boat wash station or they will be subject to disqualification.

Any competitor to use profanity, threats, or unsportsmanlike conduct towards the race officials, safety team, media, or other competitors will be disqualified.


1) All competitors must have kayaked Homestake Creek prior to competing.

2) Women will compete first. Athletes’ start time within each division will be determined by date and time of registration. Those registering first will start last in their division. Special requests for start times will NOT be accepted. Athletes must adhere to the start position he/she is given.

3) The race will be run in a time-trial format. Women will be sent out in two (2) minute intervals and men will be sent out in one (1) minute intervals. Athlete’s bib and start time will be recorded at the start line.

4) Athletes must start on the designated starting ramp. The race starter will give each athlete a 30-second warning, 10-second warning and begin the start countdown at five (5). At “go”, athlete will be released onto race course. Finish times will be recorded when the athlete crosses the finish line.

5) The top 50% times of athletes competing in each division will advance to the second round.

6) Due to downstream hazards, all athletes must take out at the designated take-out or they may be subject to penalties.


I-70 west to exit 171, Minturn/US Highway 6 & 24. At bottom of ramp, take right. Follow Highway 6 & 24 about 30 minutes. Cross over the Red Cliff Bridge. About 1.4 miles past the bridge, take a right and park. Walk down the hill about 100 yards to the start line. Parking is very limited so please carpool with friends.


The competition is open to all interested athletes regardless of state and/or country of residency. Competitors who are under the age of 18 must register with a parent or legal guardian. Competitors must be able to attend all scheduled events. Athletes will be required to provide all their own equipment. Further, athletes must abide by all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations during their participation in the Mountain Games®.


Athletes agree to be bound by these Official Rules and all decisions of Organizers. Organizers reserve the right to disqualify any persons found tampering with, or otherwise abusing, any aspect of the competition as solely determined by Organizers.


Organizers will appoint judges and the decision of those judges will be final. There will be no review of scoring / timing even with the presence of TV cameras. Disputes with Organizers and/or appointed judges will result in disqualification of that athlete.


Organizers reserve the right to disqualify any athlete for any reason, including, without limitation, acting in an unsafe, unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and/or with intent to intimidate, threaten or harass, or harm another person. All decisions with respect to the disqualification of an athlete shall be made by Organizers and/or appointed judges. Failure to comply with any term or condition of these Official Rules may result in an athlete’s disqualification and the forfeiture of his/her interest in any prize. Organizers reserve the right to amend these Official Rules at any time in its sole discretion, and athletes shall have no recourse for any such changes or for any failure (whether inadvertent or otherwise) by Organizers to follow the stated rules. In the event that the competition is canceled prior to the completion of the final event, no prizes will be awarded. If the Tournament is cancelled prior to June 1st, for any reason, athletes will be reimbursed only for his/her entry fee. Athletes will not be otherwise compensated for any costs or expenses associated with their participation in the competition.


The Mountain Games® will be organized and produced by staff and contractors hired from and by the Vail Valley Foundation. The decisions of Organizers regarding the selection and elimination of athletes, the selection of finalists and winners, and the production and administration of Mountain Games®related events, and all other aspects of the event, shall be final and binding in all respects. Organizers will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the event.



EARLY BIRD (2/15-3/14)


STANDARD (3/15-6/7)


EVENT (6/8-6/11)



total prize purse: $7,000

1st – $2,000
2nd – $1,000
3rd – $500

1st – $2,000
2nd – $1,000
3rd – $500

Price & Prizes
race start & finish:

Red Cliff, Colorado

Steep Creek Championship

homestake creek

red cliff, co

This ¼ mile stretch of creek near Eagle County’s oldest town, Red Cliff, is the location of the Steep Creek Championship. Homestake is for experienced kayakers, but spectating the race is extremely fan-friendly! By car it takes about a half hour from Vail Village to reach Homestake Creek for the competition.