Our Crazy Cotopaxi Questival Experience
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 used to be able to view the videos on our team website)
At an abandoned mine in Berkeley
Taking a dip in the Garden of Eden at 6am
Doing yoga at Lands End in San Francisco
Casually posing with a llama at the kick off event!
The challenge was to find someone wearing “yoga pants, sunglasses, and walking a dog”
The ruins at Lands End
Reenacting the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp
A still from our video where we had to reenact a scene from our favorite musical
Hitting up a local beach
Posing with our less than 1000 population town at 3am
Us fitting 3 people into a sleeping bag
At the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park
Eating food made by a campfire
Hugging a huge redwood tree in Golden Gate Park
At the Sutro Baths in San Francisco
Questions or thoughts on Cotopaxi Questival? Let me know in the comments below!