Friday, August 27, 2010

Mountain Heptahlon

The Heptathlon is an eight-sport track and field event. A friend and I were out for some heavy breathing (that sounds more exciting than it was) the other day and got into what sports would define a "mountain heptathlon." The scoring on a Heptathlon is interesting because it's based on an athlete's performance against a list of standard times (which look pretty tough to reach). This "scored against a standard" system is interesting because it allows comparison across a wide range of venues and athletes. That comparison would be harder to do with mountain sports, but it's interesting if you're interested in that sort of thing...

-Rock climbing. 5.13a onsight.
-Mountain running. No idea for longer courses, but check these times and courses out from the world championships.
-Mountain biking. Standard? Hard to define.
-Backcountry skiing/off-piste skiing with some serious down. Ski mountaineer races seem good?
-Whitewater kayaking (downriver race).
-Nordic skiing of some kind (going fast on little skis).
-Ice climbing/mountaineering/winter climbing stuff.
-Paragliding (includes hiking to launch).

Marginal "mountain" sports, or sports we couldn't agree on:
-Road biking
-Horseback riding
-"Freestyle" snowboarding, skiing, anything that is judged can't be a mountain sport.
-BASE jumping
-Swimming (lakes etc).
-River surfing.

It would be pretty much impossible to do all of these events in one place, but how about a season of events that would tie all of the above together into one event? Hmmm....