Photos: Race across Europe's last wilderness

Adventure racing takes a turn towards the north on Norway's Hardangervidda plateau.
By Josh Sampiero

There's a lot of important information in the race manual for the Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda, but here's a note that will particularly catch your eye: "The route will be changed if there is a conflict with the wild reindeer population."

The 150-km mountain run takes place in the remote Hardangervidda National Park in Norway, on Europe's biggest mountain plateau. The training ground for Arctic adventurers is remote and beautiful – but harsh. Cold temperatures and wind must be dealt with year round. Xreid runners traversed trail and stream (and of course avoided the reindeer) during an epic trail run. Check out the pics below.

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Bug off
Bug off Mosquitoes cloud the air while Robert Sorlie logs more miles. Here's to hoping he can run faster than they can fly. © Kai-Otto Melau / Salomon Xreid / Red Bull Content Pool
Solo sprint
Solo sprint At times, you're racing with team members, supporters, or other competitors – but sometimes, you're a one-man show. Eirik Johannessen goes it alone. © Kai-Otto Melau / Salomon Xreid / Red Bull Content Pool
Three's company
Three's company Jan Rikard Olavsen, Juergen Schia and Morten Formoe cross one of the many rivers on the Hardangervidda plateau. Over the course of the race, athletes will run, jog, walk, and climb. © Kai-Otto Melau / Salomon Xreid / Red Bull Content Pool
Run lightly
Run lightly Also required per the race rules? Head-torches. Stian Vik Birkestand approaches the summit at 2.30 AM. © Kai-Otto Melau / Salomon Xreid / Red Bull Content Pool
Mister blister
Mister blister Svein Vestol is fighting blisters at Kalhovd checkpoint. One thing is guaranteed – when this race is done, your feet will not look pretty. © Agurtxane Concellon/Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda
Between streams
Between streams Dave Baker from Britain eats up some ground in the marshy areas between slopes. Gotta keep the feet out of the water! © Agurtxane Concellon/Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda
Rock scramble
Rock scramble The Hardangervidda offers significantly varied terrain throughout the 150km course, from scrub grass to rocky, up-hill grinds. © Agurtxane Concellon/Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda
One step after another
One step after another It feels good to get to the top, whether you're at kilometer one or one hundred. A Salomon Xreid athlete celebrates a climb well done. © Agurtxane Concellon/Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda
Uphill battle
Uphill battle Hardangervidda's rolling hills contribute to the breathtaking scenery taken in by the athletes along the race. © Agurtxane Concellon/Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda