MTBO on top of a Swiss cheese

After well organised MTBO World Championships in Denmark and the 6 days of Viborg, it is time to keep an eye on the activities in the Erzgebirge and get prepared and registered for the races. During the last days we went to the competition areas together with our event advisor and national controller and adjusted maps and discussed the event arenas and courses. We currently are preparing bulletin 3 to come out soon with more detailed information on the upcoming competitions. Explore the region ...

You wonder if you should bring your partner, family or friends? Beside the competitions, the region offers plenty of interesting places and a nice landscape. The Erzgebirge was accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site mainly because of its more than 800 years mining history that pushed technological and scientific achievements and formed the mining related cultural landscape and mining towns. The Erzgebirge is known for the silver and tin, however in addition many other ores, i.e. arsenic, cobalt, nickel, uranium, and zinc, have been extracted, smelted and even processed. Some ores were even found for the first time in this region. In Johanngeorgenstadt, your Sprint arena, uranium was found for the first time in 1789 and named after the planet Uranus which was discovered only a few years before, which was the first new planet discovery since antiquity.

From planets back to the Earth and the Erzgebirge, that has many unmapped and nowadays unknown holes and tunnels similar to a Swiss cheese has. After the closure of almost all mines in the 1990/91, near Oberwiesenthal, your competition area for the mass start and relay, a new mine for fluorite and heavy spar was opened in 2013 after prises at the world market raised. You can have a look into the mining history by visiting old mines. If you choose a visit in the “Glöckl” mine you can visit the sprint competition area from underneath. It will not be embargoed ;) and the temperature will be 8° C without rain. If you feel it is too dark under the earth there are many attractions above. From the Fichtelberg (1214,8 m), directly at the mass start arena, you can get a view from the highest mountain of the German part of the Erzgebirge. Fichtelberg and the highest mountain of the Erzgebirge (Klínovec, 1244 m) build a major ski resort in the area. In Waschleite, approximately 20 km north of Rabenberg, you can get a view on the entire region in a miniature park. Further east in Crottendorf you can visit the manufactory of Räucherkerzchen, literally “smoking cone”, a cone burned during Christmas time in a Räuchermännchen, an “incense smoker”, that was used for the first time in 1850 and now became a tradition. Another and about 100 years older Christmas tradition is to set up a Schwibbogen, a “candle arch”, which is closely related to old mining traditions and bears often symbols associated with the life of miners. The first metal Schwibbogen was probably built in Johanngeorgenstadt. Where they are present at the streets, gardens and houses in any size. Just go and count them after the sprint. And now you may also get an idea where our competition logo originates from.

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