Slippery slope to winning the race

Skiers created unusual patterns on the fresh snow as they took part in the 33rd edition of the Pierra Menta ski mountaineering competition in Areches-Beaufort, France, on Wednesday.

The competition is held annually in March in Arêches-Beaufort in Savoie, which is part of the Rhone-Alpes region of eastern France. Every year, more than 200 teams of two skiers compete in this thrilling and extremely gruelling race consisting of four stages in four days.

Participants, who come from all over the world, have both their mental and physical strength put to the test during this high-altitude marathon, which requires stamina on the climbs and technical prowess on the downhills.

The Pierra Menta involves between three and six hours of racing per day and over 10,000m of elevation gain to be climbed in the course of the four-day event.

Add to that obstacles and challenges such as vertiginous edges, steep corridors and perilous slopes, and no doubt, this is not an undertaking for the faint-hearted.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2018, with the headline 'Slippery slope to winning the race'. Subscribe