LIVE MAP OF THE RACE
Red Bull X-Alps is hailed as the world’s toughest adventure race. Competitors come from around the globe to Austria for this gruelling test of body and mind. From Salzburg, they must make their way to Monaco – on foot and by paraglider only – navigating 1,100km of strenuous alpine terrain. Covering distances of 100km a day, sometimes more, the athletes must combine skill and strategy, whilst fighting against injury and fatigue. Many admit defeat and drop out before the end, but a select few stop at nothing to reach the finish line.
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Salzburg, the fourth-largest city in Austria with its baroque towers lies at the northern boundary of the Northern Limestone Alps. The race starts directly in the city centre – in the famous Mozartplatz.
The Gaisberg (1,288 m) is a mountain to the east of Salzburg in the Salzkammergut Mountains and home to the Gaisberg Transmitter, which is visible for miles around.
WAGRAIN - KLEINARL
Wagrain is a small mountain town in a high, alpine valley in the St. Johann im Pongau District, not far from the high Tennen mountains – and the tight airspace of Salzburg airport.
ASCHAU - CHIEMSEE
Aschau im Chiemgau, the small town in Bavaria, forms one of the two most northerly turnpoints of the race. The competitors will have to negotiate the Hochkönig mountain group to get there – either flying or on foot.
Deep in the Italian Dolomites, the Kronplatz (2,275 m) mountain is in South Tyrol, Italy. Known as the Plan de Corones in Ladin and Italian, it is a pretty flat and friendly mountain top that offers a super easy landing. It’s also ideal for taking off, as you can launch in any direction.
After heading back North and crossing back into Austria – avoiding the airspace restricted zone around Innsbruck – and once more over the German border, the competitors arrive at Germany’s highest peak, then fly down into Lermoos. This village in the Austrian state of Tyrol is popular for its skiing and snowboarding and offers beautiful views of the Zugspitze and the Sonnenspitze.
Davos, the famous alpine town in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland, is located at 1,560 m above sea level. There’s a beautiful landing spot right by the lake.
Titlis (3,238 m) is a high-alpine location in the heart of the Uri Alps. It's the highest summit of the range north of the Susten Pass, between the Bernese Oberland and Central Switzerland – and the turnpoint is by no means easy to reach by air.
Steeped in mountaineering history, the Eiger (3,967 m) is the eastern-most peak of a ridge that forms a dramatic silhouette together with the Mönch and Jungfrau. Its 1,800-m-high north face, the Nordwand is the biggest north wall in the Alps. Unlike previous turnpoints, the athletes are not required to land on it and there is no signboard, they just need to get to within 1500 m of it.
Mont Blanc (4,810 m), is the highest mountain in the Alps. It’s located right on the border between the Aosta Valley, Italy, and Savoie and Haute-Savoie, France. The athletes pass it to the north.
Saint-Hilaire is small town in Isère in south-eastern France. Situated on the Plateau des Petites Roches, a natural balcony above the Isère River valley, it’s one of the spiritual homes of free-flying and plays host to a major paraglider and air sport event.
Monte Viso is the highest mountain of the Cottian Alps and a big challenge. It's located in Italy close to the French border. Well-known for its pyramid-like shape, it can be seen from a great distance, including the summits of the Mont Blanc massif. This turnpoint requires the athletes to prove by GPS tracking that they have flown through a 2,250m virtual cylinder – if they’re in the air that is.
Heading back southwest, the race passes the remote Cheval Blanc (2,831 m), a mountain in the Chablais Alps on the Swiss-French border. It overlooks the lake of Vieux Emosson on its eastern side and there will be airspace to avoid over the national parks.
Peille (Occitan: Pelha) is a small village perched high up between Monaco and Menton in the Alpes Maritimes has narrow streets, small squares, and architecture dating to the medieval period. It is not easy to get to. Monaco might be the official finish – but the clock stops at Peille.