Fire-fighters have brought under control an extensive forest fire in the
Jizera Mountain in the north of the country. The fire broke out in a
difficult to reach spot on the mountain of Tanvaldský spičák on
Wednesday afternoon and spread to an area of around 12 hectares.
A spokesperson for the fire service said officers would remain in place finish extinguishing the blaze. The cause of the forest fire has not yet been established.
It used to be a common form of transport and fun in winter months centuries ago, but its popularity receded with the introduction of motor vehicles and skis. Now luge riding is making a comeback, with several specially designed luge natural-tracks sprouting across the country. One of them is located in Smržovka, a winter sports centre in the Jizera Mountains that also hosts an annual luge racing competition.
The famous hotel and the 93-metres-tall television transmitter at the top of Ještěd Mountain is a unique architectural construction in the shape of a rotating hyperboloid. Standing at a height of 1012 metres above sea-level it is the dominant landmark in north Bohemia. Proof of Ještěd’s exceptional architectural design is the fact that its author architect Karel Hubáček won the prestigious August Perret Prize for it in 1969. In a 2,000 poll it was elected Building of the Century and five years later it was declared a national cultural monument.
Snow is expected around the Czech Republic this weekend. The Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute said up to 30 centimetres of snow could fall in the Krkonoše and Jizerské mountains by Sunday night. Strong winds are likely to cause snow drifts, the weather forecasters said. Motorists have been advised to pay attention to transport news and drive carefully while people visiting the mountains should follow the information released by the mountain services.
This Friday sees the start of the International Festival of Outdoor Films in Ostrava, the largest festival of its kind in the Czech Republic focussing on adventure, travel and extreme sports. This year, the travelling festival will visit a total of 43 towns and cities in the Czech Republic, neighbouring Slovakia and also Russia.
In today’s One on One, I talk to Jan Kopka, a well-known mountain biker who specialises in extreme (or adventure) racing. His first major competition, years ago, was the Crocodile Trophy in Australia. Later, Kopka won the Iditarod Invitational, an MTB race held in winter across Alaska. In today’s interview, those (as well as a race across the Czech Republic and Slovakia) are discussed; if you want to know it feels like to cross the finish line after racing hundreds of kilometres, read on.
Organisers have announced that registration for a new extreme sporting event across the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the first-ever 1,000 mile Trans Czecho-Slovakia, is complete. The race is the brainchild of extreme mountain biker Jan Kopka, champion and author of two books on racing in some of the toughest parts of the world.
It was meant to be a big day for Czech skiing but now it looks more like an international fiasco. This weekend, the north Bohemian village of Vesec is due to host a World Cup event in cross-country skiing, but its organizers were up against a last minute hitch: there was no snow on the track. Instead of calling the event off, they decided to transport some ten cubic metres of snow from the Jizera Mountains, aggravating both nature conservationists and the public. I spoke to Jakub Kašpar from the Environment Ministry and asked him what exactly went