Man of the Cliff is an inclusive, recreational, timber sports competition hosted in Eagle County, Colorado. Open to people of all ability levels, this event gives you and your friends the chance to watch or compete in 8+ different lumberjack sports.
Man of the Cliff began in 2009 as a small event to raise money for local charities. Today, the festival brings in competitors and spectators from across the country, and it has raised more than $150,000 for Eagle County organizations. Since 2019, Man of the Cliff has raised funds for Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, a national nonprofit based in Avon, Colorado, that serves people living with MS and their loved ones.
HOW'D IT START?
Roll back the clocks to August 2009 in the quiet town of Red Cliff, Colorado, a stunning twenty-minute drive south of Vail. Like all great ideas, Man of the Cliff was conceived over beers. Let’s throw a party, enjoy good beer with good friends, throw some axes, shoot some arrows, and do it all to raise money for a local charity.
Unlike other alcohol-induced ideas, this one was backed by serious pride and commitment. Continuing their conversation with the owners of Mango’s Mountain Grill, Man of the Cliff founders Adam and Amanda promised to turn their laughable idea into reality within the next six weeks.The next morning – now sober – Adam and Amanda realized this wild dream would be a massive undertaking, but they chose to stand by their commitments.
Over a few more late nights and a few more beers, Adam and Amanda enlisted up with the fellow Red Cliff residents Chad and Kelli Holtz and then-Mango’s front man Eric Cregon, and the first ever Man of the Cliff began to take shape.
Six weeks of papering the town and pounding the pavement lookin for potential donations and sponsors, the couple found themselves thousands of dollars in the hole with less than a few hundred dollars in registration revenue. With so much personal expense adding up, their dream of donating to a charity of their choice was all but doused.
Yet, on a crisp fall morning, cars began to roll into Red Cliff for this uncommon event. The team’s efforts, donated advertising from the Vail Daily, and perfect autumn weather added up to a miraculous boost in attendance. With just enough attendees, plus revenue from a silent auction of items from its supportive community, the event was able to generate a meager but relieving $400 donation to a local charity.
Fast forward 12 years. The event has turned into a staple in the Vail Valley, drawing not only crowds from the front range but committed competitors from out of state, and now has generated over $150,000 in donations towards local nonprofits.