Mayrhofen heralds the start of the ski season with mountain relay race "Rise & Fall" on Dec. 15.

Rise & Fall 2012 will bring an explosive start to winter in the Austrian Alps. Spectactors can watch daring athletes race down the mountain in teams of four, combining ski touring, paragliding, mountain biking and skiing or snowboarding skills. The competition strapline reads: "One team, four people, no mercy".

The athletes are going to have to give their all – either uphill on the ski tour and mountain bike sections, or downhill by paraglide or skis/board. After the starting pistol has been fired in Mayrhofen, the ski tour athlete will have to negotiate 1.3 km and 410 metres in altitude uphill. The "baton" will be passed to the paraglider at the Gasthof Wiesenhof, who must land as precisely as possible at the end of the downhill valley ski run. Then it's up to the mountain biker to cover the 3.7 km route and 410 metres in altitude as quickly as possible to where the team skier or snowboarder will be waiting. The final stage is an exciting downhill, littered with obstacles and then the finishing line in Mayrhofen, where the first Rise & Fall winners will be decided.

Accompanying the athletic spectacle will be a buzzing party atmosphere (well, it is Mayrhofen after all). Hot guitar sounds with indie rock and plenty to eat and drink.

This is the first time Rise & Fall has kicked off the ski season in Mayrhofen, but it probably won't be the last.

Tickets are available at riseandfall.at and cost €29 adults; 15 for children.