We report from the finish and checkpoint at 300 km in Jeseníky from Petříkov. The signal is very sporadic here and so we chase it around and thanks to that we can't offer interesting moving pictures (e.g. Martin Gaba's famous ski finish).
The night on the ridges of both the Eagle and Jeseniky mountains was quite strict. True, it wasn't raining, but it was a real blast. During the day the snow was melting and freezing with the wind on the top, so it was impossible to walk or ride gracefully. We were especially worried about Kralický Sněžník, where it can be quite dangerous overnight. But this time we will start from the back of the Orlické ridge.
Martin Šilhán pulled his sledge to Masaryk's hut and there he unpacked his bivouac. We have no idea where and how, but he must have slept well, because he didn't start until morning. The conditions were very tough, as he was said to be riding through water at times and the ubiquitous needles acted as a well-oiled clip all over the slide. He is currently in Mladkov and should not indulge in an unnecessarily long night's rest to make Thursday's 9:00 limit.
Matěj Jakoubek was dragging long into the night, he didn't ski, because the broken mended stick was only broken. Finally he stuck it in Hanička's. Hanička is a fortress and there is a sheltered stop and a shelter. We don't know which option he chose. Hanička must have offered an acceptable bivouac condition in the end, because he also started later in the morning and now he is scratching his way to Jeseníky towards Sněžník. On the map it looks like a short distance, but in reality it is quite an unpleasant and especially difficult distance. So he's in for an unpleasant bivouac along the way, where it will be hard to tell. There are a few makeshift options along the way.
We already know that Tomas Kadlec is a demon. He dragged himself uncompromisingly through the Jeseníky Mountains, through Sněžník, ignoring the strong wind, the frozen snow and under Sněžník he lay down at 2 a.m. in front of the chapel where he bivouacked. Then he saddled his ski and shortly after noon we welcomed him here. No one has ever ridden 300km as fast as him, or rather walked. He had a beer and soup at the hut and in less than an hour he was on his way. Unbelievable. He is currently bowing down to Praděd and it won't be long before he leaves Jeseníky. The closer we get to know him, the more we can't help wondering. He is a true naturalist, with simple equipment, a paper map, a strong will and a two-year-old daughter and a pregnant wife waiting for him at home and a lot of small children to take care of at work. He has walked 1000miles of the Kopkov, walked to Santiago de Compostela from Pilsen, kayaked to Hamburg and then scootered to Spain and so on. Respect.
Martin Gabla rested briefly in Králíky and launched his final attack on the target. At one o'clock in the morning he set off and a challenging 45km to our place awaited him. When he was approaching the foot of Sněžník, he was very tired, staggering around and had to lie down for half an hour in his sleeping bag in the snow (he didn't have a mattress). This helped him, because then he was dragging. As a grand finale he skied all the way to the hut (which meant skiing on ice, grass and asphalt). Congratulations to Martin for a great performance that took him 4 days, 3 hours and 51 minutes, which is a real drop.
We were a bit worried about Martin Lazar, because his tracker stopped working and his phone went dead due to the humidity. So we've had almost no news of him since yesterday afternoon. He happened to meet Martička, Martin Gable's wife, in Kraliky, so he called us and told us what the situation was, but thanks to the signal we could hardly understand anything, only that he was OK. We learned from Martička that in less than half an hour he had drunk seven half-litre 14-degree beers and set off to meet Jeseniky. After about eight kilometers he parked at a rest stop so that he could start at 7:30 in the morning. We judged from his pace that he would be here sometime in the early afternoon. But Martin has a problem with his skeleton and so he took it regeneratively and went slowly. We didn't know that and so we went to meet him in the early evening, but nothing. So we came back and when I started to put on my skis to go and look for him, he appeared. He's okay, in good spirits and he'll see how his leg allows him to continue. Either he'll go out tonight or he'll rest and go on later. Then he'll see what his leg does on the trail, probably periosteitis.
This is all from the current events here in Petříkov