The Oakley Icon Sender has offers riders a new option this year. It's huge.

More and more riders are arriving daily to scope out lines and get used to the unique terrain in Utah. Here's Brendan Howey sampling some air time courtesy of Brett Rheeder:

Not everyone is 100% stoked about the course, though. This is what Claw had to say about the changes:


Greg Minnaar's neighbor made the trophies for Rampage this year. Here's a sneak peek:


The Oakley Icon Sender looks meaner than ever. Check out the full story behind the design and more photos from Russ Hennings here.

Adam Billinghurst wants you all to know that the course starts here, high above any wood feature. Scared of heights? We hope not.

Women's freeride movement rock stars Lindsay Beth Currier and Aurelie Tournier were also recently out getting the lay of the land. Wouldn't want to slip off the side, that's for sure!


Chris Van Dine is out scoping lines. Here are a few snaps that he posted to facebook. Judging by the height of the take off on the left, it looks like there are some new options on the Oakley Icon Sender this year. Also, check out that lip on the right. Huge!


The playground is shaping up! Here's a pic of what looks to be choice of a stepdown to a dirt kicker, or a trick booter before linking to that final big wood feature, thanks to Jeremy Witek of GASSparks:

Time to Step Up!

Canyon gap shaping up again too!

Canyon gap - wilder than ever!


The course build is progressing, with less than a month to go to the event. Here are a couple of new pictures from the Red Bull Builder's Blog of the crazy-looking ramp gap to massive quarterpipe. Visit the official event site for more pictures and updates.

Wood ramp gap to quarter

Big enough?

This was Russell Shumaker sending the new gap, before they even started putting in the woodwork for the landing. "RAMP-age guinea pig," according to Adam Billinghurst:

This is what it looked like when the course had been under construction for a little over a week, and we had just received our first glimpse of what was going on in the Virgin, Utah desert. Sender of all things huge, Adam Billinghurst, tagged @VitalMTB in his tweet with this photo:

Needless to say, that sparked our curiosity so we started digging around more. A quick seach yielded several more photos from one of the course builders, Jeremy Witek of GASSparks:

There's a new sender that just got completed...

Where does that lip lead?

Could it be some sort of over under feature?

See the bobcat on the landing of the canyon gap? They built the landing up a whopping six feet taller.

Painting by night, building by day...

This year's Red Bull Rampage will start on top of a new cliffside at the highest possible elevation within the pre-existing venue, opening more options for riders on the way down. The build crew includes Jeremy Witek, Randy Spangler, Josh Bender, Adam Billinghurst, Russell Shumaker, and H5 Events, and they've got some tricks up their sleeves. Everything is going to be bigger than before, and the landings are being lengthened and groomed to ensure more riders make it to the bottom. The Oakley Sender is making a comeback as well, but with a new twist we're told. We can't wait to see it all go down on October 5-7, 2012. For more details, visit the official Red Bull Rampage website and be sure to keep it locked on Vital MTB for more coverage as the event unfolds.

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  • ParabellumShane

    9/30/2012 8:31 PM

    Just cause you have enough points to play, doesn't mean you need to be here. This is RAMPAGE bitches, not aslopestyle comp, recognize.
    Wait a minute, is it just me, or does it seem a lil slopestyle this year. WTF over?

  • lab7digital

    9/30/2012 1:07 PM

    The claws got it right!!


    9/30/2012 12:28 PM

    wood or no wood.. Big BALLS required.. ! (no sexual innuendos intended)

  • RPereira

    9/30/2012 11:27 AM

    Another slopestyle contest and another legendary event ruined. Way to go. Some people should stop doing what they're doing, go sit in a trailer, heat up a nice cup of tea and watch the old Rampage films.

  • Studson

    9/30/2012 11:43 AM

    May I ask how its been ruined?

  • RPereira

    9/30/2012 12:08 PM

    My choice of words was probably not the wisest. It isn't ruined as much as it has been downgraded, in my opinion. Rampage used to be about what you built, what choices YOU made, what you created with your bare hands and imagination. I honestly feel sad after seeing the rise of these loads of wooden structures in the middle of what was once a plain and simple wild scenario, which brought way more to the contest with the threatning canyons, giant drops, natural gaps and what not than what you get now. This is becoming a slopestyle contest, and that is simply not the Rampage way. But then again, who the hell am I to say what its way is...

    It might sound like a stupid comparison, but I'm getting the feeling that the Rampage is becoming to the (real and pure) freeride scene what South Africa was to the WC. It's just not all there.

  • Studson

    9/30/2012 12:40 PM

    Not to debate with you on this, because your point is very valid. But I live at Red Bull, I ride there often. But if you didn't know they moved the starting point much closer to the top if not the top this year and all of the wood is much down towards the bottom of all the lines. Also the sport has progressed enough and this site has been in the same spot for a while; they needed to add some more stuff like some of these wood features so that the riders can have just as large drops and gaps down low as they do up top. With these wood additions the riders can also have more different lines. The wood stuff is an optional addition to their lines, not their whole line. They still make everything but a few of those huge features that the riders do not have time to build. So if anything they are just adding more stuff to rampage. And again I'm not debating, I'm just making a observation for what I have seen.

  • RPereira

    10/1/2012 3:16 AM

    Yeah, I get that. But even though they might be optional lines, there's a slim chance that any rider who didn't choose to ride the wooden structures could score as high as those who did. Anyway, let's just be glad that Rampage is back in town and hope for a great event.

  • lab7digital

    9/27/2012 5:07 AM

    Now that's how rampage should look, that start point is a lot higher than I imagined possible!!

    The added trick jumps are still going to have a big impact on the scoring though!

  • number31crf

    9/25/2012 2:54 PM

    sooooooo are the riders going to be able to build anything or is it another short travel slope contest but in utah? The whole excitement of dig day has just been taken away with these pictures. To be honest Im getting less and less excited with every picture that is posted on here. Tear all this shit down and make the riders really use those DH bikes to the fullest with some natural stuff.

  • Scott_Townes

    9/25/2012 5:43 PM

    You guys are worrying a bit too much about that...

    1. Some of those wood features are below where the contest area ended before, or just at the bottom, so if anything they extend out the area.
    2. This is the third year they've had it in the same area. A majority of the lines you will see have already been built by THE RIDERS, there's only so many different lines you can build.
    3. Don't underestimate the riders and their creativity. I'm guessing you've never been to the site before but there's a LOT of area to work with even though there are a few pre-built features (did you not watch Darren's run in 2010?).
    4. It makes it better for spectators which, as I know you will say its not about the spectators, its about the riders... well in theory yes it should always be about the riders but in every major event in practically any sport, spectator numbers is what makes the financiers (the sponsors) happy and coming back to make the event happen. Its the natural progression of ANY contest and who knows, maybe it will be moved to a completely fresh venue eventually.

    So settle down and enjoy this because this is still nothing like any slope contest despite a few pre-built features... you're really overreacting, haha.

  • sspomer

    9/25/2012 5:53 PM

    well said.

  • tabletop84

    9/26/2012 8:54 AM

    Rampage is my last hoper for this year.

    WC without CG and a dominant gwin -> boring
    no 4x
    chatel finals got cacelled
    crankworks les 2 alps & joyride -> wind everywhere
    world championship was ok though stands no chance to the intensity last year

  • bturman

    9/26/2012 3:15 PM

    Billinghurst's response to those complaining about the wood - http://instagram.com/p/Ph5urewoOs/

  • sspomer

    9/26/2012 3:25 PM

    Haha looking slightly natural up there. Gnarly!

  • ryan_daugherty

    9/25/2012 2:46 PM

    Stupid about Geoblocking - Kind of lame about all the wood too. However, reading the rider quotes it sounds like many of them are going el'natural as much as they can.

  • lab7digital

    9/25/2012 1:09 PM

    Looking more like a 2 lane slopestyle course ATM! Bit disappointed I hope the upper course still gives the riders freedom to create their own lines

  • tabletop84

    9/23/2012 4:30 AM

    "Attention: Unfortunately this live event will be geoblocked in the US. For more information around the event, please visit redbull.com/bike"

  • McFly

    9/23/2012 7:01 PM

    http://hidemyass.com/vpn/ $11.52 a month or just try it out, watch rampage from "Europe" and then cancel your subscription. I lived in Europe for a while and this is how I used netflix and pandora, works great.
  • bturman

    9/26/2012 6:37 PM

    Alright boys, it seems the rumors are false. You're good to go.

    From Red Bull - "In the USA, when you go to www.redbullusa.com/rampage, users will be redirected to the NBC Signature Series site to view. Others outside the US will view direct from the Red Bull player. That's the only difference."

  • toddonbike

    9/30/2012 3:35 PM

    It is true, no worries! I can stop being mad and go back to being pumped! Whew!

  • sspomer

    9/26/2012 7:06 PM


  • sspomer

    9/23/2012 11:02 AM

    whoa? where do you see that? i don't see it on redbull's bike site. mega bummer if true.

  • tabletop84

    9/23/2012 11:38 AM

    Got posted on a forum. Apparently rampage will be aired in december on american tv and therefore american ips are blocked. You may try a vpn or proxy.

  • iceman2058

    9/23/2012 1:15 PM

    Yep, it sadly seems to be true...it's noted on the Redbulltv.com site as well. It's OK, you can all come around to my place to watch it, lol.

  • sino428

    9/23/2012 11:26 AM

    That sucks. I was pumped about Rampage but this really puts a damper on it. It's going to end up like the Supernatural snowboard comp. By the time NBC got around to airing it they had released so many clips and such and all the results had been posted that it was boring. There was no excitement.

    Plus they cut it up and "produce" it which basically means they cut out any runs they deem irrelevant and cut in all types of commentary that no one cares about anyway.

  • maximumradness

    9/21/2012 1:27 AM

    i personally think a monster booter here or there aint so bad. that said, lets just remember what claw did without em:

    i find it interesting that we are looking at these pics, the same day (week, whatever) that where the trail ends dropped. just interesting. that is all.
    mtb is sure diverse and neat. and dudes are effing sending it huh?!!

  • Studson

    9/14/2012 8:13 AM

    I AM SO STOKED!!!! I cant wait to be there!!

  • bturman

    9/11/2012 8:22 PM

    Welp, the official word is that this is the final feature - some sort of "ladder bridge to quarter pipe." It'll be interesting to see guys try to ride a massive quarter on DH bikes. Check the landing in this pic posted on twitter. (Cheers Nadia!)

    Also, there are in fact more options up above thanks to the new start area.

  • iceman2058

    9/19/2012 12:07 AM

    Here's another pic of this feature, pretty much finished now by the looks of it. Nuts!

    And just in case any of you hadn't noticed, Russell guinea-pigged the gap BEFORE they put in the wooden landing platform thing...

  • turningisfun

    9/19/2012 7:55 PM

    Anthony Messere will boost it, DH bike or not

  • zach morris

    9/11/2012 1:38 PM

    putting the ramp in rampage.

  • NadiaSamer

    9/11/2012 1:36 PM

    I'm doing photos and updates for Red Bull on their Builders blog over at http://www.redbullusa.com/cs/Satellite/en_US/Rampage-2012/001243253615376 if you want more details and photos.

  • lab7digital

    9/11/2012 11:47 AM

    The inclusion of kickers is good as it gives riders that slight boost, I think they got the balance right last time. The oakley gap was crazy difficult enough to send it even harder to trick and land.

    I know its only a few images of the same structure but this is going to encourage all the slopestyle riders to ride the same line and win with another backflip combo.

    Rampage is all about big mountain and riders riding creative lines on difficult terrain. less structures more creative ways down!!

  • sino428

    9/11/2012 11:58 AM

    That was my concern as well. I don't have anything against the man made stuff, I just worry that its going to lead to alot of guys riding the same line like you said. When you put in a couple of massive features it becomes a case of everyone feeling they have to hit those and it turning into more of a course. What I've always loved is seeing these guys do big tricks like 360's on difficult, natural, and gnarly lines. Even though these features are huge its much easier to pull the big tricks on a wooden run in with a groomed landing.

  • lab7digital

    9/11/2012 12:09 PM

    Exactly the rampage is I think the original freeride event.

    When theres a set route that gives you the best chance of winning it becomes a game of follow the leader so to speak. Which is also going to effect the riders who can't trick that well Brendog Gee etc.

    I don't think a big mountain line will place well this year.

    I'll still watch it though.

  • sspomer

    9/11/2012 12:17 PM

    if history is any indication, most of the riders won't even make it to the bottom (edit: w/o crashing and ruining their chances of a solid finish) and to where the stunts are. there will be plenty of big mtn action. gee's 2nd place run was 100% big mountain in 2010.

  • kidwoo

    9/11/2012 4:15 PM

    I always knew I respected Gee for being ALL mountain. None of this half mountain crap.

  • iceman2058

    9/11/2012 10:10 AM

    Stoked that it's Rampage year, and stoked to see guys out there sending it already. Waiting to pass judgment on the wood stuff until it all goes down.

  • danheckler

    9/11/2012 8:52 AM

    5 pictures of the same feature doesn't necessarily constitute "wooden features everywhere". Let's all wait and see how the venue shapes up in the weeks to come before we start trashing it. More options could mean more minds blown! I know mine was blown watching Cam's massive 3 off the Oakley sender two years ago!

  • sspomer

    9/11/2012 8:41 AM

    i understand the bummed out stance on having stunts out there, but w/o seeing the complete package, these features could be linking pieces of terrain that weren't accessible before. it may make for a better event in the long run w/o taking away from the big mountain aspect.

  • jerryhazard

    9/11/2012 1:57 PM

    That's a good point...

  • FreeForAll

    9/11/2012 7:58 AM

    This sucks. It's one thing to have a few jumps and booters made out of wood. That doesn't necessarily subtract from the natural big mountain concept. It just helps with sustainability of the course. It's another thing entirely to build giant ladder bridges that cut out hundreds of feet of natural terrain in order to setup for a huge smooth trick jump. This is not what Rampage is about. It's not supposed to be won by a single giant backflip. More of Claw's run last year. As far as I'm concerned this comp isn't rampage.

  • lab7digital

    9/11/2012 4:53 AM

    Whats the point of going to Utah for this event, which allows riders to built and ride their own lines and then stick wooden features everywhere??

    This will make it the same as any other slopestyle event that's happened this year. Bring back the all mountain aspect, leave slopestyle out of it!!

  • pgore

    9/21/2012 12:53 AM

    You have to realize that most dj riders might be able to trick those features but still need a solid line down the mountain. I think it'll be interesting. Some slope dude won't win based on flip whipping off the last feature and having an ok run.

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