A competitor’s list packed with mountain biking superstars, a course consisting of 999 steps on a 50 degree slope, various kickers and wall rides, and the breathtaking views of Tianmenshaw, China.
The first ever Red Bull Sky Gate went down last month in the Hunan Porvince of the land of the rising sun, and it’s safe to say that not only was it gnarly as hell, it was also probably one of the strangest mountain biking events we’ve ever come across.
When we say weird of course, we don’t mean needless. This is without a doubt one of the more eccentric stops of the MTB tour this year, but it’s got a whole lot of character, as if it was dreamed up by a couple of students on pot sitting at the bottom of a trail one day.
It’s always good to have some novelty, dreamlike fun to bridge the gap between usual calendar events, and those of you have already seen Kelly McGarry’s crash from this event will bear testament to just how dangerous Sky Gate could be. It’s certainly no walk in the park:
It may not have been the safest course, and it may not have even been the most trickable course, but what is the progression of mountain biking if not experimental. Maybe they’ll build on this for next year and find somewhere with a few more flats between the staircases.
Still, the views at the Tianem Mountain are second to none. Who remembers when American wingsuiter Jeb Corliss flew through the Sky Gate back in 2011 for example? It’s still one of the most captivating videos out there, and we’ll leave you on that note: