What does the course look like?

In 1997, Erik Ahlström (Sweden) and James Venimore (New Zealand) looked at a map and spotted a natural trail starting at the Sweden’s biggest waterfall and finishing in the town square. 

This original course still exists today for the RIVER CLASSES and demands both technical skills and endurance from start to finish.  The RIVER CLASS elite competitors finish in about 5 hours, but most recreational athletes arrive at the finish by late afternoon, 6 to 10 hours after starting. 

Participants in the LAKE CLASSES compete on the same run and bike course but paddle on Åre Lake rather than the point-to-point downriver.    

Participants in ÅEC Run-N-Bike follow the same run and bike course but without the paddling.


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Kayaking 25/18/10 km

The RIVER CLASS begins with an “on-water” start and includes class II rapids, moving water, and lake paddling. There are two compulsory portages past waterfalls: "Forsaforsen" (300 m portage) and Tegeforsen (350 m). The last section follows the LAKE CLASS course 6 km across Åre Lake to the transition area. 

See video (in Swedish) showing the first rapid ("Lövströmmarna" 3 km class II rapid) and video in English that shows the tricky 90 degree turn. Thanks to Agneta Bergman Fredrikson.

The LAKE CLASS is an “on-water” start near  Åre village and covers 18 km. It includes one portage in the middle (350 meters). Lake Åre is vulnerable to high winds and rapidly changing weather – choose your kayak appropriately.

At the end of the paddle participants must follow instructions from the race volunteers about where to leave the kayak and the paddle. 

Running 17 km

The run climbs from Åre to the summit of Mt. Åreskutan via steep trails through the forest and across an open mountain landscape. Åreskutan’s summit is 1,420 meters above sea level -- 1,000 vertical meters and 5.5 km from the transition area.  Runners descend the same amount of vertical over 10 km on the northern side of the mountain. More than half of the descent is technical, rocky, and often slippery.  There is always snow, but the amount varies from year to year.  The last 4 km to the transition area in Huså follows a steady descent on a hard-packed gravel road. 

The route is marked with ribbons, but all competitors must carry a compass and map (map provided by race organization) and are responsible for route-finding in bad weather. If the weather is nice you will have a magnificent view from the top and lots of encouragement from spectators, who can ride the cable car to 1,240 meters and then walk 15 minutes uphill to the summit to watch competitors pass. 

** See en detaljerad "Runner's Map"

Mountain Biking 30 km

The route begins on a forest jeep trail heading east with a series of short hills before crossing a wet swamp.  After crossing the main gravel road, the trail starts the first of several climbs on a steep snowmobile route (technical single track) up to the old Fröå Mine. Soon you join some fantastic new single track built in 2019 in Björnen before taking an exhilarating descent that brings you to a technical single track trail along the power lines.

After skirting through the village on a few asphalt roads, two more climbs (and lots of fun trails await in Åre Bike Park. The final descent follows one of Åre’s finest downhill mountain bike trails before taking a short asphalt road to the finish.

The total elevation gain is just over 700 meters. The entire course is marked with ribbons and volunteers are stationed at major road crossings. Competitors are nonetheless required to show caution at junctions, be observant of walkers on the trails, and follow all traffic rules on the roads.

Detailed Google Map

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The Registration for the 24th edition of Åre Extreme Challenge, July 1st to 3rd 2021 is open!

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