Travel Picks: Top 10 places for extreme sports

Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:46am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - It is human nature to test the limits. So in the spirit of competition on the edge, online travel advisor Cheapflights ( have compiled a list of the most extreme sporting events in honor of the thrill-seeking, adrenaline-pumping daredevils who push the limits every day. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race - Anchorage to Nome, Alaska

"The Last Great Race on Earth," the Iditarod Trail started out as a supply route. In 1925, when diphtheria broke out in Nome, 20 mushers and 150 dogs rushed to deliver the antiserum from Anchorage. Every year since 1973, mushers from all over the world and their teams of 12-16 dogs prepare for 1,150 miles of snowy tundra, impenetrable forest and rocky terrain. If that's not enticing enough, this year's event starts March 3rd, when the temperatures are below freezing and daylight hours are still minimal.

2. Hell's Gate - Il Ciocco, Tuscany, Italy.

Tucked away in the picturesque mountains of Tuscany is one of the world's most difficult Enduro races known as Hell's Gate. The race was designed in 2006 by the legendary Fabio Fasola who intended to separate the good Enduro racers from the amazing. Hell's Gate continues to serve its purpose every year, and in 2010 alone, just two of the 103 participants were able to complete the course.

3. Ice Climbing World Cup - Kirov, Russia.

Rock climbing might be a popular sport for some, but throw in some ice and it's an entirely different game. Racing up a sheer ice wall with nothing but two ice picks in your hands and the spikes on your shoes might seem inconceivable to most, but to the participants of the 2012 Ice Climbing World Cup, it's just another competition. The best ice climbers are nothing short of acrobats as they maneuver their way up and down the ice with serious agility, strength and guts. The final event in the World Cup series, Kirov promises to showcase the year's finest talent and the fastest competitors.

4. Crashed Ice World Championship - Quebec City, Canada.

One of the most exciting up-and-coming winter events, this extreme sport generally consists of burly ice hockey players strapping on their skates and racing down an urban ice track. Sound easy? Add some sharp turns, steep drops, jumps and nasty falls and you've got nothing short of mayhem. The final leg of the 2012 World Championship Tour ends in Quebec City, at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Last year, more than 100,000 spectators filled the night streets of Rue des Carrieres, and this year it's expected to be even bigger.   Continued...

Jason Barron's team charges down the trail just after the official start of the 2010 Iditarod Race in Willow, Alaska March 7, 2010.  REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder