29/01/2019 • The participants in Winter Survival 2019 military competition spent the first freezing night in the woods near the Ski Areal in Vrbno pod Pradedem after moving demanding twenty-five kilometres. All nineteen teams managed to arrive there on Monday night.
Three-member teams first moved fast from Ovcarna across the Temna and Koprivna hills, Mala Moravka village, around Karlova Studanka spa to the Ski Areal in Vrbno pod Pradedem. The movement included two time trials of terrain downhill sections. The teams could move on the skis all the time thanks to enough snow while moderate snowing continued most of the day.
"Snow amount is better than good. It felt fine on move despite we got tired from the heavy backpacks. We often changed clothes" assessed the leg Matthias Szöke, team member for the Austrian 26 mountain infantry battalion. They are eager to defend the last year victory. "There are good team here. We will see what we can do. We will do our best," said OR-3 Hochenwarter.
After their arrivals in finish, the teams were transported hunting shooting range in Vrbno pod Pradedem for Phantom pistol and Bren assault rifle shooting activity. There, each team member got 20 cartridges (5+5) and delivered fire at 10 falling targets while wearing a protective mask. Next the teams went for "Making Bonfire" activity.
The best results on Monday were achieved by the teams for 13th artillery regiment Jince, 7th mechanised brigade Hranice and for the Logistics Agency. Winter Survival welcomes two female competitors after more than 10 year since the last appearance. One of them is in the team for the 42nd mechanised battalion Tábor and the other in the team for the Military Geographic and Hydrometeorologic Office Dobruška. "One of the original team members fell ill short before the competition and the team asked me to replace him. It was a big challenge for me I gladly accepted," said lieutenant Tereza Vacková.
On Tuesday, the teams will move on the hills of Hruby Jesenik Mountains on skis carrying all survivor equipment in the backpacks from one checkpoint to another, climb rocks, cross stream gulches, deliver first aid to injured soldiers or take an attempt at the artificial obstacle course. In the best case, they cover 25 to 30 kilometres.
Author: Pavel Pazdera, WS 2019 press officer, photo: Jiří Pařízek