Competitive slopestyle returns to Highland Mountain Bike Park this month after a seven-year hiatus.
As one of the only lift-accessed downhill parks dedicated exclusively to mountain biking, Highland has a long history of setting the standard. This summer, we're excited to bring you the CLIF Slopestyle presented by Fox US Open, but first let's take a look back.
Rising from the footprint of a defunct ski resort, Highland started out as a handful of technical trails built by a small group of people who were inspired by their passion for riding and put in the work. Today the mountain has something for everyone: while the pros throw down new tricks off of Freebird, five-year-old shredders are tearing through the Central Park Skills Zone on their first bikes, already looking ahead down the trail.
Claymore Challenge course circa 2008.
From 2008 to 2012, the Claymore Challenge drew in pro and up-and-coming riders to Highland’s iconic slopestyle course. Athletes like Cam McCaul and Brandon Semenuk took home the sword (and a dunk in the pond) until the event eventually ran its course. In the years to follow, riders continued to hone their skills at the park's facilities during the annual FMBA Spring Training.
Nicholi Rogatkin dialing in some early cash rolls at FMBA Spring Training 2013. Photo: Ryan Thibault
From the early days of Spring Training and the Claymore Challenge, to Highland’s now-exploding summer camp programs, Highland has maintained a focused dedication to fostering progression and supporting both new and established riders looking to make a name for themselves. When the Fox US Open proposed bringing a slopestyle event back to Highland this year, the timing couldn’t have been better.
Kaidan Ingersoll with some style at the 2016 Brodown Showdown. Photo: Dave Smutok
The CLIF Slopestyle is the only event of its kind in the United States this year, and the final chance for Gold-level athletes to accumulate points prior to Crankworx Joyride. In keeping with Highland and the Fox US Open’s commitment to providing proving grounds for new riders, the Bronze-level competition is open to anyone who’s ready to throw their hat in the ring.
“We’ve been looking at ways to bring a slopestyle event to the U.S. Partnering with CLIF Bar at Highland is the perfect fit. Highland already has a slopestyle course on the mountain and shares our vision of creating opportunities for athletes. We’re looking forward to a fun event!” – Clay Harper, Fox US Open of Mountain Biking
Practice begins on July 17th and continues until the final event on Saturday, July 20th. The lift will keep spinning throughout the event week, so grab a bike and come learn what the Highland community is all about.