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.