Our Crazy Cotopaxi Questival Experience

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 11.00.04 PMTeaching a first aid skill for a Cotopaxi Questival challenge

Firstly – yes this is being published 4 months post-Questival, but better late than never right? This ridiculous scavenger hunt definitely deserves full documentation and I encourage anyone who is thinking about taking on Questival to take the plunge and DO IT. We were one of 218 teams who competed in the 2015 San Francisco Questival and I cannot wait to try my hand at it again.

I was asked numerous times what the Cotopaxi Questival is so I think it’s fair that I sum it up in my own words: it is a 24hr team scavenger hunt consisting of ~300 challenges each worth varying points, which must be submitted in picture or video form via the Questival app. It is completely up to you which challenges you wish to undertake. Other teams vote on your submissions, in which cheating submissions can be flagged. The winning teams from across the country get to compete in a phenomenal championship across Central America.

Examples of challenges:

  • Cross the border into Canada
  • Cross the border into Mexico
  • Eat a whole can of cat food
  • Find snow and ski/snowboard on it
  • Share food with a stranger

It was fascinating to see how each team strategized and approached the list of challenges. The tricky thing is that there are 4 checkpoints throughout the race, which are optional but worth hefty points. My team, the Bullfighters of the Order of the Maple Leaf, opted to undertake the high point challenge of driving down to Santa Cruz and swimming in the Garden of Eden. We embarked on our journey down to Santa Cruz at 11pm after completing numerous challenges throughout San Francisco. Our plan went awry when we saw that the campground we planned to stay at was fully booked and that the “less than 1000 population town” we planned to hit up was more of a cult village than a town. We eventually found a small town called Davenport to complete the small town challenge with and ended up sleeping for half an hour in a Safeway parking lot before waking up at the break of dawn to hike to the Garden of Eden.

A lot took place on that sleepless night in Santa Cruz. It’s like Barney Stinson says in How I Met Your Mother, “nothing good happens after 2am.” Let’s just say we were frightened for our lives when a hooded teen almost jumped us in front of a Denny’s at 3am.

I could write a short novel about our entire 24hr race, but will opt to illustrate our journey in picture form below.

UPDATE: Cotopaxi created webpages for each team with photos and videos from every single challenge we completed, but since checking in June, 2017 they no longer exist unfortunately.

Some of my favorite pics from our Cotopaxi Questival:

(Video pics are just stills; You can view the full vids using the link above)

12065584_10153641732809819_4744945629710284406_nAt an abandoned mine in Berkeley

be3dogvnfmp8lkzukqg5Taking a dip in the Garden of Eden at 6am

do77bterbjkxgkw4zl0lDoing yoga at Lands End in San Francisco

fngtivi3tma493fnsfh7Casually posing with a llama at the kick off event!

kmolwuradbfuyztuydzrThe challenge  was to find someone wearing “yoga pants, sunglasses, and walking a dog”

njl5xncosjjqfuk2zmojThe ruins at Lands End

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 10.56.08 PMReenacting the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 10.56.47 PMA still from our video where we had to reenact a scene from our favorite musical

zlj2bo1zpbpvwjemncumHitting up a local beach

afrqlmthdnsizzw7izi7Posing with our less than 1000 population town at 3am

waqg0pqzjed2qjh8emhpUs fitting 3 people into a sleeping bag

12431576_10206844446162410_1582225709_nAt the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park

12434145_10206844448562470_810057180_nEating food made by a campfire

12435804_10206844446282413_1165952544_nHugging a huge redwood tree in Golden Gate Park

12435888_10206844433522094_239206331_nAt the Sutro Baths in San Francisco

Questions or thoughts on Cotopaxi Questival? Let me know in the comments below!


3 thoughts on “Our Crazy Cotopaxi Questival Experience

  1. Pingback: Cotopaxi Questival San Francisco 2015 Unveiled | The Weekend Abroad

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