8 maj 2013

Tough conditions in the first Atomic Waymaker

The inaugural Suunto-sponsored Atomic Waymaker ski touring challenge took place on the Dachstein, Austria in early April. Eight teams of three faced a challenging unmarked course in which they had to navigate across difficult mountain terrain.

The race was all the more challenging thanks to white-out conditions. Fortunately, each team was equipped with a Suunto Ambit, allowing them to rely on accurate altimeter and GPS readings for navigation.

Day 1 saw the teams cover 26km from the Ödensee to the Krippenstein lodge. Among the competitors was Suunto Ambassador Kilian Jornet, who paired up with paraglider pilot Paul Guschlbauer and mountain biker Richard Zinthauer.

Guschlbauer’s knowledge of the area from his experience competing in the Red Bull X-Alps, which passes the Dachstein, gave the team a much-needed edge in the zero visibility.

“We were navigating via GPS through an area of mixed climb and descent – but we couldn’t even see if the next snow drift went up or down!” he said. “Kilian carefully proceeded ahead, and every five meters I would have him go left or right.” 

When organizers called an early end to the race at 11 AM on the second day, it was a bitter-sweet success for Jornet and team, who were awarded a second-place finish behind a Canadian/USA team.

“It was an awesome day with some nice mixed climbs and steep downhill,” Jornet said afterwards.

About Suunto

Suunto was born in 1936 when Finnish orienteer and engineer Tuomas Vohlonen invented the mass production method for the liquid-filled compass. Since then, Suunto has been at the forefront of design and innovation for sports watches, dive computers and sports instruments used by adventurers all over the globe. From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, Suunto physically and mentally equips outdoor adventurers to conquer new territory.

Suunto's headquarters and manufacturing plant is in Vantaa, Finland. Employing more than 400 people worldwide, Suunto products are sold in over 100 countries. The company is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corporation along with its sister brands Salomon, Arc'teryx, Atomic, Wilson, Precor, and Mavic.

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