Yesterday 30 adventure athletes set out from Salzburg on the adventure of this summer: Red Bull X-Alps 2011. Here are the first photo impressions.
Thirty athletes and their supporters on a race through the Alps’ air and wilderness. Their ultimate goal is Monaco, 864 km away, but ahead of them they face Europe’s harshest mountain terrain and extreme alpine weather conditions. The race is expected to take between 10 and 15 days, depending on weather conditions.
Starting in front of enthusiastic fans and spectators in the famous Mozartplatz in Salzburg City, the race led them up to the Gaisberg, the first checkpoint, where hundreds of spectators and the paragliding community welcomed them. Richard Pethigal (BRA) was the first to reach the 1288m summit.
An overview of the Gaisberg take-off zone, which had to be reached on foot from downtown Salzburg.
Portuguese participant Nuno Virgilio makes the first of many take-offs in the next two weeks.
The fortnight-long event contains many risks and hazards and has to be planned carefully in advance: Christian Amon (AUT2), Mike Kueng (AUT3), Helmut Eichholzer (AUT1), Paul Guschlbauer (AUT4) and Hannes Arch (Head of Organisation) at the Red Bull X-Alps Press Conference on Hangar-7 in Salzburg in May 2011.
Flying by paraglider or hiking with the glider on your back: these are the two only ways of motion in the hardcore game called Red Bull X-Alps. Here Michael Gebert (GER) is hiking towards the mountain pass during the Red Bull X-Alps Athletes' Training at the Grossglockner in June.
Jan Skrabalek (CZE) and his supporter Karel Vrbensky discussing the hike direction during the athletes’ training day at Grossglockner. The supporter plays a key role in Red Bull X-Alps, as he is ground control, navigator, cook and motivator to his or her athlete.
Jan Skrabalek (CZE) flying over the Glocknerstrasse during the Red Bull X-Alps Athletes Training at the Grossglockner.
Yesterday’s flying conditions were good, so the guys were heading towards the south of Austria. As this photostory goes online, the first three are entering the Pinzgau valley south of Salzburg.
If you want to know where they are right now, check the Red Bull Mobile LIVE TRACKING on www.redbullxalps.com!
Photos: Markus Berger, Leo Rosas, Oliviero Laugero, Vitek Ludvik
© Red Bull Photofiles