All three contestants raced to climb a fabricated mountain, activating a series of lighted targets (commonly referred to as "actuators") (six and later seven in the first season; eight from the second season on) on their way to the peak. If a contestant missed any of the actuators along the way, a spotter at the top (often referred to as the "crag troll") prevented that play from completing the climb until he or she returned and activated whatever targets they missed. Each contestant had a separate (but identical) side of the mountain to climb, and was not permitted to cross into their opponent's paths or disrupt their progress. The first contestant to successfully activate each actuator, including the final one at the peak of the mountain, earned first-place worth 725 points. The second- and third-place contestants earned 550 and 375 points, respectively.
The players' final actuator had a number of different appearances. In Season 1, two triangular flags against a pole were for each player. The first place player would have both flags lit up, for second place, one flag was lit up and for third place, no flags would be lit. In Season 2, there were three flags. However, the first place player had only one flag light up while third place had all three of their lights up. In the Mega Crag, the final actuator was reshaped into a four sided trapezoid (a lightning sound effect would always sound when a player hit their final actuator). In the Super Aggro Crag, it was again reshaped almost like the mountain. In either case, the first place player would have all three lights lights lit up while third place had one light light up.
A number of violations on the Crag could result in a player automatically receiving third place points. These included:
- Inadvertently crossing into another player's section of the mountain (explained by Moira in the rules)
- Using a railing to finish climbing up the mountain instead of the rock climb (only in the first nine episodes to feature the Mega Crag, this rule was dropped later in the season due to the unfair nature of the rule)
- Accidentally hitting someone else's actuator (accidentally pressing the final actuator at the top would not be counted against them)
- Making a false start at the beginning of the climb, i.e., beginning before the whistle
- Finishing the climb without lighting all of one's own actuators
- Not stepping on all of the boulders in the Crag's "Boulder Canyon" section at the base of the mountain, a rule introduced in the second season. The disqualified players usually ended up not stepping on the last and smallest boulder in Boulder Canyon.
The increased point structure in the event allowed contestants to overcome a deficit of up to 300 points, despite earlier mistakes. It also nearly ensured that no two contestants could achieve a tie score. The only way two contestants could tie on the Crag was if they both violated the rules as outlined above, which happened on a few occasions. Although theoretically possible, a tie in the contestants' total scores never happened, even when two contestants were disqualified on the Aggro Crag.
- A double disqualification occurred in the following episodes:
The highest possible score for a contestant was 1,925 points, and was achieved 16 times throughout the show's run.
- The perfect scorers from Season 1 were Jana "The Warrior" Waring, Mike "Superman" Schmidt, Chris "The Blade" Wade, and Kelli "The Maniac" Marchewka.
- The perfect scorers from Season 2 were "Joyful" Jen Gabel, Chris "Snowflake" Ewing, and Brian "Crazy Legs" Smalling.
- The perfect scorers from Season 3 were Chris "Thunder" Yon, Drew "The Rebel" Nasrallah, Bryan "Wild Thing" Beer, Jason "Hammer Head" Bench, and Craig "Little Man" Rankin.
- The perfect scorers from Season 4/Global GUTS were Georg "The Shark" Sandel of Germany, Adam "Fireball" Shefer of Israel, Christopher "Psycho" Bates of the U.K, and Rami "The Snake" Cohen of Israel.
The Aggro Crag went through several revisions in the show's run, each longer and more difficult than the previous version. In the first two taped seasons (1992 and 1993), the mountain was called the Aggro Crag. For the show's third season in 1994, the mountain was renamed the Mega Crag. For the show's fourth and final season, Global GUTS (1995), it changed yet again to the Super Aggro Crag. In the third season in 1994, its color was changed to be molten.
The total height of the Aggro Crag was 22-28 feet.
For the Mega Crag, as well as the Super Aggro Crag on Global GUTS, the mountain was stretched to 30 feet.
It should be noted that the Aggro Crag was not actually made of rock, but out of foam, particle board, and wood. Thus, being awarded an actual piece of the rock was intrinsically impossible -- the winning contestant received the glowing trophy shown on camera.
On June 23, 2016, The Aggro Crag came back as the "Dewggro Crag" as a promotion for Mountain Dew's DEWcision 2016 to help bring back from the vault one of two Mountain Dew flavors — Baja Blast or Pitch Black.
Aggro Crag (Season 1)Obstacles on this version of the Crag were more basic and less high-tech, and they included anything from a ramp of rollers to a package of foam boulders being released from the top of the Crag to shower down on the climbing contestants. The number of actuators to be hit this season was originally six; starting in episode 15, seven actuators would need to be lit up, including the final one at the summit.
The first challenge was the roller-ramp. Players would need to hop over a small ledge first, but then they had to navigate the rugged silver rollers up to their first actuator. Next, they would climb up another small ledge and hit their second target. At this point, the slime (large chunks of glitter) would hit contestants in the face as they each met yet another switchback.
However, after this one, there would be a special platform that tipped like a see-saw - the side with more weight would be pressed down, and at the end of that ramp would be another actuator. At this point, players would need to climb up a small ledge....but wait! "Where are the rocks?" you may ask. Suddenly, a shower of boulders will hit the contestants in the head as they tried to hit their fifth actuator.
Facing the players is the final challenge of the mountain: a craggy rock climbing wall to the top. It seemed slippery too— it was very common for many players to end up slipping down the rock face, costing precious time.
Anyway, after a little climbing, players pulled themselves over the edge (spotter assistance was common if players had trouble doing this). They then locked in their scores by hitting the final actuator at the top which lit up their color flag. If a player hit the wrong actuator at the top, it was okay, but if they had missed any actuators, they could not go back and hit them again once they hit the final actuator and would just receive third place points.
Aggro Crag (Season 2)The Aggro Crag kept its old look but was completely remodeled. Replacing the roller-ramp and the rocky switchback was the tough-to-navigate Boulder Canyon. Players could miss actuators easily in this section, because they were often well hidden and buried deep in the new blocky base of the Crag. A new rule was also introduced that players had to go through every part of Boulder Canyon, and also the number of actuators was increased from 7 to 8 on this version. More changes were made to make it look better as well - fog machines, ambient lighting and dimmed lights around the Crag made it stand out more, not like a part of the set.
Players began their climb by climbing over a large block and entering Boulder Canyon. Hidden inside Boulder Canyon was an additional actuator, which brought the actuator count on the Aggro Crag up to eight targets to light up.
After Boulder Canyon came the switchbacks, which is basically the same as the area looked like in Season One. The roller-ramp was still there and was the starting point of the area, and there were still actuators on the end of each switchback as normal. As players make their way up the many switchbacks, violent— but strategically placed— sprays of slime hit the players in the face as they hit an actuator. There are still six actuators in this part of the Crag.
Once the players have composed themselves, they can start climbing up to the top on the ever-challenging rock wall; as usual, players locked in their score by hitting one of the three actuators at the peak of the Crag. The rules, once again, are as usual; after the final actuator, players could not double back and hit any missed actuators and would automatically be disqualified and given third place points.
Mega CragThe Mega Crag was a complete transformation (and an improvement) from the Aggro Crag. Now, the Mega Crag had taken on a new "molten color", and lived up to its name— it was mega, and it was craggier than ever. From the very core of the Shard Zone, which was once the bottom half of the final ledge on the Aggro Crag, had "erupted into a tangled mass of petrified lava". This gave the Mega Crag a much more metallic look, rather than a molten look. The "petrified lava" also made it all the way down into the Switchbacks and Boulder Canyon as well. Now that the Shard Zone had exploded, the top part of the final ledge has to change too. In this case, it was converted into the vertical climb up to the peak, called Stone Ledge and was much more challenging. Stone Ledge still had some rock-climbing wall style grips to assist the players, but now there was a large triangular piece of rock protruding from the mountain that players had to climb around and over to reach the peak and lock in on their final actuator.
Competitors begin their climb up Boulder Canyon, which hasn't really changed that much since Season 2, but now has a blockier formation and the same metallic texture as the rest of the mountain. You can also see some ambient lights inside the mountain, which was now the only way to identify which side of the Crag was whose, because all the colored lights were turned off in Season 3.
The first actuator is placed on a sloping block of "stone". After this, it's up the rollers, where the nuclear flying crystals (black and silver ball-pit style balls) shower down on the players when they are dropped from the peak. At about the same time, the glittery snowstorms erupt from hidden geysers in the Switchback area to disorient players with thick clouds. At the end of the roller ramp was the second actuator, and then it was time for the Switchbacks.
The Switchbacks had three actuators— one on each end of each path. No more tipping ramp, no more rock slide, just plain old switchbacks with slightly-slicked paths cut into the rock work. Nothing really that special, but as the players progressed up the Switchbacks, more snow would erupt from underground in different places along the climb.
Not to worry, the Crag wasn't that easy. Because lying ahead of the players was the mighty confusing Shard Zone, where most players who miss actuators struggle. Two targets are located here: one deep inside layers of petrified lava (it was actually quite well-hidden inside a small pyramid of metal) and one placed on one of the metal railings that form the small spokes of petrified lava. The Shard Zone also was quite confusing for the players— some would try and squeeze through the metal spokes, some would try to go around the whole thing, running the risk of disqualification for going around the Shard Zone by entering someone else's path, or basically ran right into it and had no idea what to do. Players had to climb over the Shard Zone, though, not through it as there was little room to just walk right up to Stone Ledge.
Once players hit the seventh actuator at the bottom of Stone Ledge, players will then stand face-to-face with Stone Ledge, the horizontal rock climb that prevents them from locking in on their final actuator. Once players overcome Stone Ledge, they would have conquered the Mega Crag and were able to lock in. As usual, the rules on locking in without hitting all targets remain the same, despite the drastic transformation of the Crag.
Super Aggro CragTo create the ultimate mountainous challenge finale for this international kid's Olympics, the crew combined elements from The Aggro Crag from Seasons 1 and 2, as well as from the Mega Crag, to create this new mountain covered in obstacles to be maneuvered if the player wanted any chance at the Global GUTS gold, and this time on the Crag, the obstacles and disasters hit contestants right in the face from kick-off.
Players begin their climb at Boulder Canyon and must climb over a large box to enter this blocky rock formation. A few steps up into Boulder Canyon sets off two smoke cannons that spray a ray of mist into the canyon floor. Wifts of "Venomous Vapors" erupt from deep within the gouge, disorienting players on their treacherous trudge to their first actuator on a glowing pillar of rock; and as they make their way through and over the boulders that need to be stepped on, bursts of steam and fog literally explode, shooting up from the base of the Crag in clusters that disorients players greatly. But completion of this section is only the beginning, and players have barely moved vertically from the base— until they tackle Switchback Bend, which is made up of a series of fog-filled switchbacks till about halfway up the mountain.
First, it's up the rollers to the second actuator, before a series of snow-slicked slopes cutting through the mountainous terrain of the base of the Super Aggro Crag. At this point, the mighty monster wakes up from its long rest and rains absolute havoc on the players. Shining silver snowstorms and blasts of mist and fog are shot from deep inside the craggy creation and rolling boulders are sent down the peak of the Crag into Avalanche Ledge just as players reach it.
Halfway home, players must then go through Avalanche Ledge, now with a zig-zagging path up through the former Shard Zone through sharp spires that will be blocked with rolling rocks sent down onto the players as they climb through the metal spires. Contestants must hit an actuator at the base of the ledge before they maneuver around the ultra-sharp steel, going up what is essentially a vertical S-shaped path to reach their seventh actuator.
But a small ledge at the top of the pulse-quickening quake zone isn't for players to catch their breath and drink water— an enormous amount of snow and sleet rains down upon each of them upon reaching this point as the ambient lights within ferociously glow and flash as the excitement builds up. Finally, a hard solo up the slippery Ice Wall concludes the Crag climb for each player, fighting their way up through the final of their challenges and up to lock in their position.