Northstar readies for Tahoe Tough Mudder 2013

| July 12, 2013 | 0 Comments

Tough Mudder’s “boa constrictor” obstacle squeezes participants through a claustrophobic series of tunnels. Photo courtesy Sal Bernal, Fox Reno.

By Kyle Magin

This weekend, people will pay to have themselves shocked, dragged through mud, propelled over walls and dunked in freezing cold water. The notoriously difficult Tough Mudder obstacle challenge–a run through 20-plus military-style obstacles over an 11 mile course–kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday and continues throughout the weekend at Northstar California. It’s the second straight year the coast-to-coast event is taking place at Northstar and the first of two such runs at the Vail-owned resort this year–the second is scheduled for September 28-29 at the resort.

TQ was able to preview the course today and have this handy guide to Tough Mudder Tahoe 2013

The Course

Tough Mudder’s Ben Story, the general manager of the course at Northstar California, has assembled an 11 mile, 19 obstacle course* that you can preview here.

(*Tough Mudder adds more obstacles than are mapped from time to time, so don’t take the official map as a bible on obstacles.)

The course varies considerably from last year’s design. While Mudders still start at mid-mountain near the top of Big Springs Gondola, they will not face the steep climb uphill that tested athletes last year. This year they take a more circuitous, gradual route up the mountain, still, though, reaching the top of Zephyr lift at the pinnacle of a 2,000 foot climb.

All the old favorite obstacles are there–mud mile (a slog over mounds of mud and through waist-deep puddles), electric eel (an excruciating army crawl under electrified nodes), and Everest (a run/climb up a quarter pipe to finish the race)–along with some new ones.

The “electric eel” obstacle shocks participants as they army crawl through ice cold water. Photo courtesy Collin Magin.

The course finishes right in front of Big Springs Gondola in what should be a spectacular view for spectators. Of special note, the relatively taxing Warrior Carry obstacle, where two Mudders take turns carrying one another for about 50 yards apiece, takes place immediately before Everest, so take measures to conserve your strength.

As always, the electrifying Sean Corvelle will be at the start line to get Mudders pumped up to take on the course–a start by him isn’t to be missed.



Tons of safety staff from Tough Mudder, Northstar and Reno Fire will be on hand to oversee the well-being of participants. Earlier this year, Tough Mudder’s first course death occurred at its Maryland stop. Participants can expect to be under the watchful eye of the entire compliment of Northstar’s ski patrol–77 members in total, all with EMT or better medical training–says Vince Archer, Northstar’s director of ski patrol. Joining them will be swift water rescue specialists from the Reno Fire Department, Archer added.

Parking is a massive consideration for event organizers. There are 11,500 Mudders expected to take on the course on Saturday, and another 2,500 Sunday, Story says. Some 4,000 and 1,000 spectators are expected on Saturday and Sunday respectively, he added. Northstar allotted 1,800 parking spots to participants–the rest will bus in from lots at Boreal and Alpine Meadows. Parking information is here. Parking will be $10 at both Alpine and Boreal and $20 at Northstar for Saturday if you registered in advance. Sunday parking is all at Northstar. Shuttles begin leaving Alpine and Boreal for the trips to Northstar at 6 a.m. Saturday, Story says.

Tough Mudder will return to Northstar on September 28-29 this year. It’s one of the only Tough Mudder stops with two tour dates, a nod to the region’s enthusiasm for active, outdoor events and the large population in the Bay Area, Story says.

“The entire atmosphere of this resort is perfect for this kind of event,” he says. It’s not known yet if Tough Mudder will return in 2014, but the organizations have a good working relationship, Story says.

If you plan on spectating, tickets are $40 at the door and a map of the course is available here.


Everest, Tough Mudder’s second-to-last obstacle, challenges athletes to climb a quarter pipe after 11 miles of running and 20ish obstacles. Photo by Kyle Magin.




Category: Outdoors, Summer

About the Author (Author Profile)

Leave a Reply