The military Winter Survival is an endurance competition consisting of multiple events simulating military patrol operation in unknown winter mountain area. Three-member teams compete in challenging events and have to show more than just physical condition and stamina.
Winter Survival basically verifies the skills military personnel need in winter conditions. The events encourage the athletes to make their own decisions and use creativity. Everybody has to find an original way out, believe in own abilities and use just the equipment he or she wears. This is the progress and lesson parts in this Survival. Another specific issue is extreme mental stress. All of that make the military Survival a unique competition so dissimilar of any analogy in the world. The Austrian Alpenjäger members, regular and very prominent contestants who make for mountain rescue service back at home, openly confessed they had not met anything of that kind yet. The foreign teams who are the regular participants coming to the Jesenik Mountains from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Poland and Slovakia give the event high credit.
The event is based on selection, nobody without detailed and profound knowledge of the survival art, nobody inexperienced in military climbing or in map work can involve. It is acme training for the military units, a quality test of the best who bring their experience back to the units. The training quality and the championships difficulty are quite leveled. The levels had grown higher until the kind a top in the period of 2002 – 2005 that culminated with the team experience. Today, Winter Survival mirrors in a certain extent unit practice and training. It motivates the participants to practice both individually and together with their teammates. Lessons learnt during the events may be later utilized in training.
The events keep increasing their ingenuity from year to year letting the championship become reputable during the years of existence. The merits should be mostly given to the instructors of the Physical Training and Sports Centre of the University of Defence who go on to think up new and new events and implement the lessons learnt in military training and special physical training into the programme. The new moments of the six recent years include knife and axe precision throwing using a wooden target, archery, broadened tasks to be done within survival skills, avalanche rescue and first aid, rescuing a paratrooper from a high tree trap, shooting duels, fight for bunkers, sleeping two nights outdoor instead of one or administering first aid to those who had been heavily injured by a bomb blast in a chalet. A new feature is the usage of ortophotomaps along with the usual topographic maps.
Military Winter Survival is specific with, besides the challenging mountainous conditions and events, very strict rules. These often disqualify teams with high ambitions for reasons, such as unjustified usage of the sealed cell phone, exceeding daily time limit or accepting assistance.