An epic real life action-adventure game that is part unsolved mystery and part outdoor adventure.
WHAT IS THE GREEN MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE CHALLENGE?
The Green Mountain Adventure Challenge is an epic real life action-adventure game that is part unsolved mystery and part outdoor adventure. It begins with a story that leads to a set of clues - maybe an old letter or a grainy map - which lead to more clues, the end of the story and possibly... cash. Lots of cash.
Solve the clues right the first time and you'll spend no more than 2 days exploring ancient forests, climbing mountain summits, solving mysterious codes and enjoying spectacular Vermont scenery.
The clues are hidden in everyday places around town; on a hiking trail, at a bar, on a bridge or with the local townfolk, perhaps. The answers to some may be obvious while others may leave you stumped and wandering for hours - or days.
You and your team will succeed (or fall apart?) in pursuit of glory and riches while raising money for the fight against cancer. But perhaps the best part of all is the satisfaction you'll feel at having solved a series of mind-bending puzzles to discover a secret world hidden in plain sight.
2016 Adventure Challenge Pass
(with ADD-ON option for kit)
One pass to the 2015 Adventure Challenge valid for use anytime
from May 27th-Sept 5th, 2016
- $10 donation to our selected charity
- $10 donation into the grand prize cash pot
- No lodging or food included
- Add Adventure kit that includes (1) tshirt, (1) water bottle, (1) backpack and (1) lunch for $45 additional.
2016 Adventure Challenge
CURRENTLY ON SALE FOR $359
- 2 nights for 2 people in a standard room at an Adventure Inn
- Adventure Inns are: The Big Bears, Cooper Hill Inn, Deerfield Valley Inn, Layla's Riverside (pet friendly), The Grey Ghost, The Kitzhof, The Lodge at Mount Snow, The Matterhorn (pet friendly), the Mountaineer Inn and the West Dover Inn
- 2 Adventure Passes
- Breakfast for 2 each morning and a trail lunch (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit and crackers) for 2 one day
- Adventure kit for two that includes 2 shirts, 2 water bottles, 2 backpacks, 2 notebooks with pens
- $10 donation to our selected charity
- $10 donation to the grand prize cash pot
- Additional charges for extra people, pets and upgrades may apply at innkeeper's discretion
- Vermont state lodging tax will be collected by the innkeeper
THE 2015 GREEN MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE CHALLENGE - BACKSTORY
(The 2016 Backstory will be posted in spring of 2016)
Vermont is known for its fair share of artists, writers, mathematicians and “interesting” people – each fascinating in their own way – and our game master’s great-grandfather was one. While cleaning the attic of his historical family home, our game master found an old journal with pieces of a tattered family will hidden inside. It was mostly just undecipherable and faded messages, but for one scribbled along the edge: “Game masters aren’t made, they’re born”. We all have a family history. This is his. Now legacy is on the line.
Over the last few years, our Adventure game master has brought Vermont’s unique culture to life by bringing you back in time to Revolutionary battle days and through the perils of a modern day Secret Society initiation. In 2015, to test the limits of your physical abilities and mental acumen, and to prove his own lineage's worth, he has taken local secrets from his family’s journal and devised what is by far the most challenging Adventure yet to see if you can beat him straight up – one on one.
If you can solve it, prizes may await you – but be forewarned – this Adventure is designed not to be solved. We’ve heard mumblings of false clues, double layered codes and other devious tactics. To give you some hope, we’ve taken the liberty of introducing “levels” to this year’s Adventure so that the cash prize doesn’t go completely to waste. Those of you who finish the first level, or “the introductory level” as our game master cavalierly calls it, will be eligible for a drawing for a portion of the cash prize.
Once the first level is completed, you have the option of continuing onward. More money and other awesome prizes await the few who find their way through this wicked maze of numbers, codes, riddles and Vermont wilderness. We think you can do it. He thinks you stand no chance.
THE 2015 GREEN MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE CHALLENGE - WALKTHROUGH
1) You receive the blank scroll, instructions and crayon at the tavern. The instructions tell you to go to the livingroom at the inn.
2) In the livingroom you find the shadowbox with the old journal. It refers to JJ, a waterfall and has a riddle "when faced with nothing, illumination will guide the way".
3) Not knowing where to go or what to do, use the illumination riddle on the blank scroll to reveal the letters "FIDDLEHEADS" and the Fiddlehead logo when the scroll is held in light a certain way (face down towards the ground looking down on it).
4) Either via Google or asking around, you discover that there is a store in Dover called Fiddleheads. At Fiddleheads you find another shadowbox with "The Etching Game" the old map of Johnson Hill and another riddle. This one refers to JJ, how when he was 11 he got a country, Ellis' wall and fulfilling the scroll at the 1846. You take the envelope with the fiddlehead logo on it and inside is a copy of the old map, riddle and on the back in a present day road map to Johnson Hill.
5) Both the old map and the present day map have the locations of the Johnson Hill Cemetery and the old Ellis Brook Damn on them. (The old map even has the number of steps you walk in from the end of the road, 170).
6) At the Cemetery you find Joab Johnson's gravestone and etch his first name on to the blank scroll using the crayon. You know it's the right grave because when he was 11 it was 1776, the year America was founded.
7) You walk down the hill to Ellis Brook, follow it north for 200 yards and discover the old stone wall damn. On the log in the middle of the damn is the fiddlehead logo which you etch on to the blank scroll.
8) With both the Joab and dam log etchings on the scroll, you return to the 1846 Tavern to unlock the Archery Game. After hitting the target, you receive a math puzzle that tells you to go to Wilmington and find the years Memorial Hall, Pettee Library and the old flood happened.
9) Once in Wilmington, you find the years and add the random numbers on the sheet to them to get the coordinates of the top of Haystack Mountain.
10) You hike to the top of Haystack Mountain, take a photo of you up there and head back to Fiddleheads to prove your ascent. You know to go to Fiddleheads by the Fiddlehead logo located on the bottom right of the sheet next to where it says "prove your ascent".
11) After you sign the Easy Level finishers' book at Fiddleheads, you receive the clue "Joe's. No Geek. Bon Appetit."
12) Next door at West Dover Joe's (located next to Vermont Geeks), you find a framed photo on the wall of a pizza in brick oven. It also has - . . and a fiddlehead logo in the flames to let you know that you've found the right clue.
13) The clue of the brick oven pizza takes you to La Pizzeria Toscanella in Dover. There you find a framed photo of saloon doors and the numbers 4 2 2 2 2 (the 4 was hidden in the "A" of Saloon).
14) The saloon door clue take you to the Valley View Saloon across the street where you find a framed photo of a kayak on a lake and the numbers 3 7 8 9 0 in the clouds.
15) This is where most people ended the challenge. Not knowing where to go next but thinking you have to kayak, some people figured out that the photo itself was from Somerset Reservoir - but the event rules state everything is in Dover or Wilmington. The kayak photo of Somerset was a fake clue - evil, we know.
16) The real clue were the numbers and - . . When unscrambled, they give you 42.832 and -72.902 which are the coordinates to an island in the middle of Harriman Reservoir.
17) There were two ways to get to the island. One was to kayak, the second was to hike the trail along the west edge of the lake. If hiking, you go down about a mile, make a left hand turn, walk another 5 minutes to the lake edge and you end up 100 feet from the island. Swim across and you're there.
18) At the coordinates on the island is a silver plaque with all kinds of letters, numbers and symbols on it. This was meant to make you quit.
19) Some of you perservered and figured out that the letters, numbers and symbols were actually gmac2015.com (which you could also see on your t-shirt)
20) At gmac2015.com is a riddle that tells you to go take a photo in front of the Molly Stark statue and email it to us.
21) Congratulations you're done!
WHEN IS THE ADVENTURE CHALLENGE?
Adventure season opens May 24th (Memorial Day weekend) and closes September 5th (Labor Day weekend).
This means that you can begin at 9am on May 24th and must finish by 5pm on Sept 5th. You can choose to complete the adventure on consecutive days or break it up into different days, completing it at your own pace.
WHAT KINDS OF MENTAL AND PHYSICAL CHALLENGES?
Hiking mountain summits, solving codes and riddles, decoding vague old maps, finding your way through dense Vermont forest and other challenges await. At some point, you may end up lost and confused and want to give up - that's when the real challenge begins.
About 35% of people that begin the Challenge give up and never finish it.
WHAT TRAILS DO I HAVE TO HIKE/BIKE?
As you go along the Challenge, you will find clues and maps. Some of the maps are very detailed, some are very vague. It is up to you to determine what the maps mean and choose which trails to follow and for how long to follow them. If you can't figure out the clues, you might end up wandering in circles for hours.
The trails range from easy to moderate with a few steep inclines. All of the trails are in Southern Vermont. You can hike, bike, walk or run the trails as you see fit.
WHAT IF I DON'T NEED TO STAY AT AN INN OR LODGE?
You do not need to purchase a Getaway Package to do the Adventure Challenge. If you already have another place to stay, you just need to purchase Adventure passes below ($85 each).
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
At minimum, you need to bring:
- Comfortable shoes and outdoor clothing
- Water and snacks for long days outdoors
- A camera or a smartphone with a camera
- A car to get around the area
- Bug spray
- A compass (optional)
In addition to this list, you're allowed to bring any items you think may help along the way.
WHERE DOES IT TAKE PLACE?
The 2014 Adventure Challenge takes place around/near the town of Dover, Vermont.
WHAT IF WE HAVE MORE THAN 2 PEOPLE?
Each Adventure Getaway Package includes two nights lodging in one standard room. Some inns may allow extra people in the room at no additional charge. If you need a second room, you'll need to buy a second Getaway Package.
After you have secured your rooms, buy any additional Adventure passes below ($79 each) for the extra people. Remember, each Adventure Getaway Package includes two Adventure passes - so if you have 3 people in a room, you need to buy 1 extra Adventure pass below.
THIS SOUNDS LIKE AN EXTREME VACATION?
Yes, the Adventure Challenge is a mentally and physically demanding event. This is not a couple of nice days hiking through the woods. You will be challenged, and possibly frustrated at times, and it requires a basic level of physical fitness to complete.
If you were looking for a relaxing hiking vacation, we recommend visiting the "Hiking" and "Lodging" pages on this site for details on awesome hiking trails and discounted vacation deals that will give you a relaxing, enjoyable Vermont vacation.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE?
The fastest time in past years was 1.5 days. Most people take a minimum of 2 days. You DO NOT need to camp or spend overnights in the forest.
WHAT IF SOMEONE COMPLETES THE CHALLENGE BEFORE ME?
The clues and secret objects to be found are permanent and will be there for you to find no matter when you begin. This is not a first come, first serve event. No one can take them away.
IS IT FOR KIDS OR ADULTS?
The adventure made is for adults. Due to the difficult nature of the challenges, children under 18 must have a parent with them at all times.
GRAND PRIZE CASH POT & CHARITY DONATION
THE GRAND PRIZE CASH POT
To give Adventurers a truly awesome prize, $10 of each adventure pass is put into a grand prize cash pot. The more people that play the game, the more you can win!
After adventure season closes on Sept 1st, Adventurers will be randomly chosen and spilt the grand prize cash pot.
Four years ago, a family member of one of the event organizers was diagnosed with cancer. After years of treatment and care at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, the cancer was pronounced virtually undetectable.
ADVENTURE wrap PARTY weekend. Sept 26 & 27
Open bar cookout.
Adventure Brunch with answers. (It's free to attend just the answers and cash drawing portion.)
Instant cash winner & cash drawing.
ITVFest tickets & more.
With everyone having such a great time this year and making all kinds of new friends, we've put together an entire weekend of fun, eating, drinking, partying and entertainment to wrap it all up and explain everything from this year's Adventure.