2004 alert: a diverse selection of mountain events from around the world | flash version

Jan

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7-11 Ice 2004
France: Once more l'Argentiére-la-Bessè in France plays host to the annual Ice-Fall meeting. The event features five days of climbing, discovery, exchanges, sharing and socialising. Now in it's 15th year the event attracts up to 800 climbers from 30 countries. Local guides will be running courses throughout the event and there will be a fun dry tooling competition. Films from the best of Banff will be shown during the evenings.
10-11 Transcavallo
Italy: Here's one for the ski alpinists, the Transcavallo is a mountaineering ski race through the beautiful Italian Dolomites. Teams of two tackle the 16 km course that includes a total ascent of 1800 metres. The second day will feature an extreme triathlon with teams of 3 competing in the disciplines of mountain bike, ski alpinism and paragliding.
10-17 Flaga Hot-air Balloon Week
Austria: An international ballooning festival in the little Austrian village of Filzmoos attracts competitors and spectators from all over the world. During the week there will be diverse competitions in which the balloonists float amongst the alpine peaks of the area. The 'Night of the Balloons' takes place on the 11th where balloons are inflated and tethered throughout the village.
21-24 Inferno Ski Race
Switzerland: The Inferno has become so popular that places have been limited to just 1800 competitors! It is the oldest and largest amateur ski race in the world. Held annually in Mürren the course covers 15.8 km of diverse untracked terrain. Don't worry if you are not one of the lucky 1800; the course is open to the public at other times of the year.
24-27 Winter X Games
USA: Attracting baggy clothed athletes and spectators from all over the world Aspen will be the capital of extreme. Tighten your belts for some wild and extreme snow based adrenaline sports.

Feb

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1-4 ISPO
Germany: The International Trade Fair for Sports Equipment and Fashion attracts top names in the business. Unfortunately they like to keep things to themselves so the rest of us will have to wait until after the event to see what will be on the shelves in 2005.
14-22 Fort William Film Festival
Scotland: For nine days in February, during the best winter walking and climbing conditions of the year, Fort William plays host to a varied and very full programme of lectures, films, activities and exhibitions. A proven success in 2003 the festival includes the best of Banff films.
20-22 Independent Traveller's World
UK: Tired of the nine to five routine? ITW is a travel exhibition where you can plan your next break, holiday or adventure. Research travel destinations by chatting to tourist boards, take advantage of exclusive discounts from travel agents on flights, tours and accommodation, and cash in on great savings on guidebooks, travel equipment and insurance.
20-22 Festiglace
Canada: Festiglace The North Face du Quebec is the world's biggest ice climbing gathering. For three days, the world's elite climbers will share their passion for ice climbing with climbing courses, a 200 metre Tyrolean traverse, climbing trials, snowshoeing trails and races, a kids' zone, technical workshops and trade stools to help visitors discover this exciting sport.
22-25 Soltex
UK: SOLTEX - the national spring show for snow, board and outdoor sports and lifestyle products will bring the most desirable objects on the planet to Manchester. SOLTEX is the annual face-off for literally hundreds of established and emerging brands in the snow, board-riding, active outdoor and lifestyle market. Visitors to SOLTEX gain a unique, once a year opportunity to view, compare and order the vast array of apparel, hardware and accessories on offer for next season.

Mar

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3-7 Canmore Ice Climbing Festival
Canada: The Arc'teryx Canmore Ice Climbing Festival invites you to come participate in a variety of fun, ice activities for the entire family. Beginner and skilled ice climbers can rub shoulders in a fun, festival atmosphere, all while dangling from a 60-foot artificial ice wall.
4-5 Banff Film Festival World Tour
Ireland: The Banff world tour comes to Ireland. Cork welcomes the travelling film festival that brings with it a selection of the best films from the world of discovery and adventure. The Tour generally offers about 30 films, including many of the award winners from the Banff festival. This collection of films is chosen to provide a diverse range of subjects, styles, lengths and activities.
7 Karapoti Classic
New Zealand: Karapoti is New Zealand's premier mountain bike event. Established in 1986, it is the longest running mountain bike event in Australasia. Combining a huge but achievable challenge with spectacular scenery, an awesome social scene and the biggest prize purse of any mountain bike event in the country, Karapoti is the event on every mountain biker's wish list.
20-27 British Ski and Snowboard Championships
France: The UK snowboarding calendar culminates with the 'Orange BRITS' in Les Deux Alpes. Spurred on by vin chaud the UK's top riders emerge from their snowdomes like bats from a cave to show our European cousins some British style.
21-27 Mountain Medicine Course
Switzerland: An international course in mountain medicine that addresses medical doctors who have obtained a diploma of mountain medicine in national courses or an equivalent education in countries without such courses. Practical aspects of winter alpinism is taught on ski tours at an advanced level in one of the most attractive parts of the Alps: the upper Engadin valley.

Apr

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2 The Outdoors Show
UK: Whether it's walking the Yorkshire Dales, paddling through Nepal, diving in Iceland, or climbing in the Alps that interests you, the OSO show aims to inspire, inform, thrill, and equip. This is the largest gathering of outdoor enthusiasts, brands, outdoor activities and competitions in the UK. The show includes an area dedicated to navigation, wildlife and photography.
8-19 Sand Marathon
Morocco: Strangely this event manages to attract of their own free will some 600 entrants. The Marathon des Sables runs over 6 days taking in over 150 miles of the Moroccan desert on foot. For the privilege of taking part in such an event you will have to part with 2000 GPS (Discounts available if you do it for charity).
19-22 Adventure and Discovery Film Festival
France: Now in it's seventh year the festival promises thrills in the company of the best film directors in this category. On the menu: a dozen films dealing with subjects such as adventure, expeditions, sport and exploration. Numerous adventurers will meet in Val d'Isére to present their films and participate in the various organised debates. Be there to have your voice heard.
22-24 Patrouille des Glaciers
Switzerland: Zermatt, Arolla and Verbier set the scene for this gruelling mountain race. The contenders will team up in 900 units of three runners. The race has been run on the same route since its first edition and if the racers may be better geared up today than they were in the old days, the risks inherent in a mountain race have not changed. Part of the race is run on the glaciers, as such rescue skills are expected from the racers.
23-25 Phoenix Boulder Blast
USA: Hundreds of climbers from all over the world get to see if their pads measure up in the largest bouldering event in the USA and one of the largest outdoor festivals in the world. With over 300 problems on offer climbers of all levels are invited to test their skills over a five to six hour period. Special events include both a 'dyno' and 'one-arm crank' competition.

May

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2-9 Trento Mountain Film Festival
Italy: Now in it's 52nd occurrence the Trento Film Festival is the premier stage on the Italian mountain film circuit. The beauty of surrounding Trentino give you an excellent reason to extend your stay outside the office. Go on, take a sicky.
8-23 Isle of Wight Walking Festival
UK: The UK's biggest festival of walking. The festival makes good use of the islands 500 miles of footpaths with over 130 walks scheduled. The walks are a excellent way to appreciate the island, of which over half is recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
15-16 Ten Tors
UK: The Ten Tors event takes place within the boundaries of the Dartmoor National Park. 400 teams of six teenagers depending on age and ability, face hikes of 35, 45 or 55 miles between ten nominated Tors over two days. The intention is that the teams shall be self-sufficient, carrying everything they need to survive two days on the Moor.
22-29 Adrenalin Rush
UK: Billed as Europe's toughest expedition race 'Adrenalin Rush' attracts teams from all over the world aiming to test themselves against the elements over a course extending up to 300 miles (500km). The mixed sex teams of 4 will race unsupported over challenging and varied terrain participating in disciplines such as: mountain trekking, mountain biking, ascending and descending fixed ropes, swimming, kayaking and challenging navigation.
28-31 Telluride Mountain Film Festival
USA: The Mountain Festival, now entering it's 26th year is an event that celebrates distinctive cultures and the landscapes they occupy. An eclectic blend of programs - film screenings, guest speakers, gallery shows, slide presentations, readings, symposia, seminars and conversations.

Jun

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5-6 Mountain Bike World Cup
Scotland: Fort William hosts a leg of the world cup circuit. The 2003 event was watched by more than 15,000 spectators and won awards for the best Downhill and 4 cross in the 2003 series.
13 World Canoeing day
World: Still in it's infancy world canoe day hopes to introduce and encourage participation in this sport. Canoeing has a rich variety of disciplines from touring to surfing. It is a sport for all so hunt down your local canoe organisation to see what they have planned and get messing about on the river.
13 Valmalenco SkyRace
Italy: One of eight races on the 2004 Skyrunning World Championship Circuit. The race covers Marmot occupied ground at altitude. Not for the faint hearted.
21-27 Climbing World Cup
Italy: For one week in June Lecco, the Italian capital of Alpinism, welcomes the world sports climbing circuit. Featuring all three disciplines (difficulty, speed and boulder) the event attracts increasing numbers each year. The competition wall is constructed on the shore of Lake Como, an ideal place to enjoy the summer heat with a cool beer in your hand.
25-27 Mountain Mayhem
UK: 24 hours in the saddle is the principle behind this Mountain bike marathon. Some of Europe's top team and solo riders will be competing against each other whilst the majority will be in it for the personal challenge. Free sports masseurs provided.

Jul

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3 3rd Zermat Marathon
Switzerland: The horned mountain has for decades attracted obsessive mountain people each one attempting to extract pleasure from her vertiginous slopes. Not content with having scaled her weaknesses, traversing her sides or gayly skipping through her meadows someone thought it a good idea to run a marathon.
3 Åre Extreme Challenge
Sweden: During the previous seven years the Åre Extreme Challenge has become one of the most important Nordic adventure races. In classes of solo, dual and trios competitors compete in the disciplines of kayak, mountain running and mountain biking.
9-11 Mountain Culture Festival
USA: The Catskill Mountain Culture Festival celebrates the uniqueness, beauty and fun of living in the mountains as seen through film, music, arts and crafts, mountain animals, food and special events.
15-25 Arctic Team Challenge
Greenland: The Arctic Team Challenge is an adventure race held in the very heart of Greenland's remote East coast. The 250km 5-day combined stage and expedition race will take the teams over mountainous terrain, glacier and icy fjords on foot and with the aid of mountain bike and canoe. Average temperature during day time is 12-15 Celsius so take a wooly.
25 Skyrun 6000D
France: La Plagne welcomes the 2004 Skyrunning World Championship Circuit. The course covers 55km with 6000 metres of ascent and descent. For part time mountain athletes the day prior to the main event, the race course is split into two stages. An adequate degree of fitness is well advised.

Aug

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1 Dolomites SkyRace
Italy: As one of the most important high mountain races the Dolomites Skyrace is part of the newly established Italian sky running circuit and is affiliated to the Federation of Sports at Altitude. The route passes beneath impressive Dolomitic peaks on mule tracks, screes and snowfields. Starting from Canazei competitors climb to Passo Pordoi, a mountain pass that is the destination for thousands of mountain lovers and that has been over the years the subject of many epic stages of the Italian Cycling Tour.
7 Matterhorn Eagle Cup
High altitude golf, and where better to play than in the shadow of one of the world's most stunning mountains. Plugging your ball in the sand will be the least of your worries as you traverse this 'natural' course. You are sure to find hazards more in keeping with the games origins than the modern game.
22 International Matterhornlauf
The 22nd International Matterhorn Race starts in Zermatt and ends at Schwarzsee, covering a distance of 14,35 km and an altitude difference of 1001 m.
25-29 World Rollerski Championships
Germany: Like eating strawberries in December there is now no need to sit around waiting for the seasons to catch up. A developing sport, Rollerski has been acknowledged by the International Ski Federation and boasts an active world cup series. Competitors roll along on short 50cm aluminium frames with one wheel in front and one behind. The elite atheletes can reach speeds of 50 km/h on the flat.
TBA Summer X Games
USA: Come freeze or thaw there is no rest bite - this is why the wheel was invented. These x-men are constantly breaking the definitions of their sports before going onto to feature in playstation games. This high adrenalin action provides spectator friendly entertainment and attracts television coverage that is beamed across the world. Put the cat up, pull up a stool and crack open a beer.

Sep

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4 The Braemar Gathering
Scotland: This Royal gathering in the highlands of Braemar showcases the long tradition of Scots competing to toss heavy objects the furthest, run up hills and dance against a back drop of pipers. This years gathering will be pepped up by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.
4-9 Rockmaster
Italy: The world's top sport climbers descend on Arco for one of the most important appointments of the year. Featuring the regular disciplines of difficulty, speed and boulder Rockmaster adds the dual; 2 competitors go head to head over a technically demanding route, spectacular and enthralling. The event takes place in a purpose built outdoor stadium that stands against the back drop of the historic Arco cliffs. Arco hosted the first Rockmaster way back in 1987.
6-12 World Mountain Bike Championships
France: Fat knobbly tires take the place of swollen knobbly knees on the mountain paths of Les Gets as the world tour rolls into town. The event is sure to be spectacular with downhill, x-country, trials and the 4-cross head to head races.
10-12 Mountain Rescue Conference
UK: The UK Mountain Rescue Conference is a biennial event organised by the Mountain Rescue Council of England and Wales. The conference attracts both overseas and UK speakers.
17-19 Coupe Icare
France: A must for all wannabe aviators. The Icarus Cup attracts to St Hiliare du Tuovet et Lumbin 8,000 'pilots' all out to prove that man was in-fact meant to fly. Sights to leave you open jawed include men in winged suits, low altitude gliding slalom through gates 6 metres above the ground and man powered flying machines.

Oct

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1-2 The Fish
South Africa: The Fish River Canoe Marathon held in Cradock is a unique event in the middle of the arid Eastern Cape. This white water canoe marathon is one of the five biggest in the world attracting over 1600 competitors. As well as running the South African Canoeing Championships the 'Fish' is also a fun race for all.
2-3 Mount Kinabalu Climbathon
Malaysia: The 2004 Skyrunning World Championship Circuit will carry the new title 'Skyrunner World Series'. Eight great races are confirmed on the calendar including two new entrants: the 6000D in France and the Pikes Peak Marathon in the USA.
10 Walk for Wildlife
UK: Groups around the country take to the countryside hoping to raise money for animals in need. Last years event was in aid of the polar bear.
30-31 KIMM
UK: A two day mountain marathon that covers a distance of 85km with up to 3000 metres of ascent. For mortals there are other classes which start from a leisurely 40 km to complete over the two days.
30-7 Nov Banff Mountain Film Festival
Canada: The Banff Mountain Film Festival features some of the world's best mountain films, videos, and speakers. This world renowned event brings the experience of adventure, climbing, mountain expeditions, remote cultures, and the world's last great wild places to the big screen. To be enjoyed with popcorn.

Nov

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13-14 Real Ale Wobble
Wales: Llanwrtyd Wells - the smallest town in Britain - hosts it's annual 'Real Ale Wobble'. The event is non competitive and held in conjunction with the Mid Wales Beer festival. There are a choice of 15, 25 or 40 miles routes each day and all are marked. Pre-registering is advised since there are free half pints of real ale at the checkpoints in exchange for the tokens. All routes will be off road, using farm and forest tracks, paths, open land, wild and desolate mountain terrain. Let the wobble commence.
19-21 Kendal Mountain Film Festival
UK: Every autumn, on the edge of the Lake District an international crowd gathers together for a great weekend as Kendal hosts one of the most prestigious Mountain Festivals in the world. The programme is large including films, lectures, seminars and entertainment.
29-05 Dec Raid World Championship
Argentina: 4 racers, supported by 1 assistant, will race together over a non-stop, long distance raid lasting 5 to 7 days. The first team to cross the finishing line with all 4 team members will be declared the adventure racing world champions. Teams aiming to participate in the Raid World Championship must earn their qualification through the X-adventure Raid Series 2004. 50 mixed teams (per stage), racing in 4 events, held on 4 continents (Africa, Europe, USA, Australia) will all be looking to qualify.

Dec

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2-5 Climbing World Cup
Scotland: The National Rock Climbing Centre for a second year hosts the final leg of the sports climbing calendar. The newest wall in Scotland and the largest climbing arena in the world includes indoor climbing on real rock!.
11 International Mountain Day
World: Following on from the success of the UN International Year of Mountains in 2002, which increased global awareness of the importance of mountains, stimulated the establishment of national committees in 78 countries, and strengthened alliances through the creation of the Mountain Partnership. The UN General Assembly has designated 11 December, from 2003 onwards, as 'International Mountain Day' in recognition of the crucial role that mountains play in our lives.
22> Cresta Run
Switzerland: The world's only natural-ice bob-sleigh run is 3/4 of a mile long and run's from St Moritz to Celerina. Even though it is a private club non-members are welcome to hurtle down the icy tube on bob-sleigh taxi rides. It is also home to the historic Cresta Run where riders slide down head first reaching speeds of 80mph. The season opens just before Christmas and runs to the end of February.

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