Plan, adjust, cook, sleep - welcome to the Athletes Camp!
It’s the Olympic village of hike and fly – where the world’s top adventurers and paraglider pilots gather every two years in the lead-up to the world’s toughest adventure race. Welcome to the Red Bull X-Alps athletes camp!
Rows of tightly-packed campers, trucks, tents and tarps create a real international community feel, which only gets enhanced when the cooking gets going.
Unsurprisingly for such an intense experience of crossing the Alps, the race forges one of the strongest bonds of friendship between athletes and supporters alike.
For many it’s the first time they have seen each other in two years and a much-welcomed opportunity to catch up, swap adventures and trade tips ahead of the race.
For rookies, it’s the moment they join the Red Bull X-Alps family and a chance to meet the legends who inspired them to sign up.
“I worked out you have to go head first, otherwise you get stuck.”
It’s a place where athletes can be seen kicking back in the sun, reading a book or enjoying a beer before the madness begins.
In previous years, athletes got to enjoy the lakeside camping in Fuschl am See. This year the view has been replaced by snow-capped peaks of Wagrain-Kleinarl, a scenic mountain resort in the Pongau region of Salzburgerland, Austria.
But athletes looking to cool off in the midday heat can still take a plunge – in a local kids pool and waterpark. Several athletes have been spotted taking to the water – including one who couldn’t resist going down the tubes with his brother.
“I worked out you have to go head first,” he reported afterwards, “otherwise you get stuck.”
Strong winds have unfortunately kept most athletes from flying. However, the athletes who were first to arrive last weekend did manage to put in some decent flights, including Toma Coconea (ROU), who managed to fly the full course of the Prologue.
With the end of the actual Prologue, the time for relaxation is over. Having prepared for months and months, athletes are now impatient to get started and for the waiting to be over. They are not the only ones.
Photos © zooom/ Vitek Ludvik