Steve Bramfitt was a rookie in the 2021 Red Bull X-Alps (GBR1) this year and had a phenomenal race, and like everyone this year- experienced plenty of harrowing and wonderful moments. In this episode we talk about his physical and mental preparation, dealing with the unknowns going into such a huge endeavor, how he assembled his team, some of the crazier (and hysterical) moments in the race, his scary accident in the UAE Hike and Fly championships and his rather nasty accident on the last full day of the X-Alps. We also discuss how Steve got into acro and the do’s and don’ts in the beginning stages, being a foreigner living in Switzerland, how to know if and when you’re ready for the X-Alps, what mental approaches work and don’t work during the race, wingsuit base jumping, how other sports help in paragliding, and a lot more. This was a really fun talk- enjoy!
Support the Podcast
A buck an episode, that's all we ask
If you like what you hear, please consider becoming a subscriber to ensure our high-quality content continues.
What approaches worked, and didn’t work and refining as the race goes on
Steve’s accident top landing in the X-Alps on day 11
Funny stories from the race- the “hut” incident
The “Andermatt” incident
More crazy stories from the race
Gavin tells a story of a fun flight
What am I doing in the sky?
Getting in the zone
Living in the Alps
Best and worst moment in the Alps
What apps to use in the race
Recent “aha” moment
Falling asleep in the sky
Mentioned in this show:
Tanguy Renoud-Goud, Paul Guschlbauer, Aaron Durogati, Patrick Von Kânel, Tim Rochas, XRedRocks, Salewa, Red Bull X-Alps, UAE Hike and Fly Championships, Eduardo Garza, Christoph Weber, Zooom, Red Bull, Tom Payne, Oliver Clothier, Mark Simpson, Manuel Nubel, Tom De Dorlodot, Yael Margelisch, Michel Lacher, Cody Mittanck, Jeff Shapiro, Antoine Girard, Aaron Durogati
Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem, have some very brief and fun housekeeping, little promotion of an event I'm running this fall. Actually two events we're running a, the red rocks wide open, which is a U S nationals. And I think soon to be announced, Canadian nationals, that'll be firmed up this week and pre PWC September 10th, the 17th. So be on the lookout for that registration opens April 1st to be on air Tribune. And at the end of that month, September 29th through October 1st, three day stage race and kind of the style of the Uyghur tour and Barco fly and meaty, but an each day stage race.
So each day is, is, is its own race and it's sport cumulatively. We had the first one of those this last September, it was huge success. There's awesome. Prize money in the pro category. We've got pro and adventure category. 65 pilots were roaming around one of the most beautiful places in the world and the Rockies throwing down hard. And I'm excited to announce we've got a whole bunch of the Xcel's legends joining Patrick Von Cannell, who second this year has given a presentation Wednesday night, Paul Gousha Bauer and Aaron dura Gotti are both given presentations Tuesday night, legendary red bull athletes. And Paul's done it six times the XLS and, and Erin's done it five times and a whole bunch of other races, of course.
1 (1m 36s):
And who else do we have? Tanguay Reno good. Who has the current most meters climbed in a single day and flown down 13,340 meters or something crazy, absolute beast and won at the UAE. I can fly championships, Tim. Rochas a longtime PWC pilot and Navy test pilot. So, and we've got some other, other ones joining, which I'll be announcing in the next show. So some other really big names. So this is exciting and check it out. It's going to be a lot of fun and that's X red rocks.com. Find more about that. And the application for that race closes April 20th.
1 (2m 17s):
So a couple of dates coming up and that are a lot of fun. This show is with my buddy, Steve. Bramfitt no competed in the X ops this year for the first time at a crazy wild race as everybody did with the nutty weather and a pretty gnarly accident near the end of that, which really slowed him down, I think the day before the end. So he's building a house right now and Interlochen and tandem pilot there and does a lot of wingsuit base jumping and very interesting individual, really good acro pilot, amazing cross-country pilot obviously, and had a really good race this year. So we talk a lot about the
2 (2m 59s):
Exiles and we had a lot of fun with this and talked a lot about risk and future and goals and just some fun stories. So enjoy the show with GBR one Steve Bramfitt Steve. Welcome to the may I, man, I we've been trying to do this for a few weeks, but happy new year. And, and I understand you've been repairing a little bit since the UAE. We'll talk about that, but welcome to the show.
3 (3m 32s):
Hi. Yeah. Cheers Gavin. Thanks for having me on the show. It's I'm stoked. I always listened to your show and really like it. I think it's great what you do to share the knowledge. So yeah. Thanks for having a song.
2 (3m 43s):
Yeah. Let's start off with the UAE. You were just telling me before we started recording there, you know, I think a lot of us around the world were watching it. I was sad to not be there with you. I had to pull out right before the flight over as I'm building a place here. Sounds like you're doing the same. And we were pouring our footings and foundation and stuff and I, I couldn't get away. So it looked exciting, man. It was, it was quite a trip watching you guys fly off the building and cool sunset session and the over the city and, and then racing out in the desert. It looked like a lot of fun.
3 (4m 16s):
I was mad. I really, really enjoyed it. I mean, normally it's the last place where you go for a hike and fly event or competition?
2 (4m 25s):
No, they had mountains.
3 (4m 26s):
Hey, it was cool. I had a rad time. It was like we did, it was like competition then day off competition, day off competition, day off. So yeah, that's what my kite surfing equipment as well. And on the days off I went for limb with a paddle and a few of the boys and yeah, it was awesome. It was real cool. Jumping off the building. That was a, that was a lot of fun,
2 (4m 49s):
3 (4m 50s):
Yeah. The first day we went up there and the, the actual platform wasn't down, it was just like a bunch of wooden planks. And we're like, holy crap. I think everyone has the same sort of idea like this. This is like do or die. And even when they put the board sand and stuff, it was like, it was a bit sketchy. Cause like you'd be in the rotor a bit of the actual building. So the wind would come in blower and then it would kind of set after the time at right. For get the right pressure in your wing before, you know, during the leap of faith, I guess, you know?
2 (5m 24s):
Yeah. It was definitely a leap of faith. I was glad that all worked out, but yeah, that, that looked really exciting. But then I think it was the third race or maybe it was the last one. I can't remember. But you and Eduardo both had hard days. What, what happened to you there?
3 (5m 38s):
Yeah, so that was, that was, I think was the third one. Yeah. It's interesting. You know, like, like we had the course, it was in a fire and yeah, we, it was quite a short course, but we did it twice. So it was like a run up a 200 meter hill to the takeoff and then it was like sore and kind of climb up and out and then tied the first term point, come back here and let's land sign the boards height back up, take off again. And there's a few like hops down to the other term, a signboard and then the same again. So I've got a feed and at the day it wasn't, it wasn't really juicy.
3 (6m 19s):
It was like, yeah. I mean, it was like plus four plus five, but it wasn't like, like a hard day in the X out. Like it wasn't no big alarm bells going off saying, Hey, you know, this is, this is quite juicy. And yeah. Coming back into the Ridge after the, was it the second last time point I came in and then I was just kind of putting myself up on the rears as I was coming on mobile and got to the top of the rich and his three quarters bar and yeah, just had a full blow out of the wing, everything full, full frontal from nothing. I wasn't hardly any warning signs.
3 (6m 60s):
So I was holding on to them before, put my hands on the rears or under my ass and then let go and then ditch the brakes right down. And the whole wing was, yeah, it was gone.
2 (7m 11s):
Super. I, I was, when we were talking about this before it, you don't see that much on two liners. That must have caught you as a hell of a surprise. Okay.
3 (7m 19s):
That's it. Yeah. That's kind of what did, because I've pushed, you know, way harder, lower on bar and you generally catch it or like you box it out, like, like you're hanging on and keep an open. But yeah, I think it probably a combination of the sea breeze coming in and a bit of rotor, but, but yeah, it wasn't high. I was like 25 meters and I knew as soon as it happened, I was like, I can't fix this. This is like, no. So when my hands were down, I had half a twist, Ben Murray reserve. I didn't think it was going to work for them, but I thought, just get it out because if it does, it's going to help. And I thought, if I let my hands up, this all happened in like a split second.
3 (7m 59s):
If I let my hands up, then with half a twist, it would have pitched and then I would aspire it in and that would have been it. So yeah. Pitched and then kind of just brace for impact.
2 (8m 12s):
So you threw, but it didn't deploy. It just got a lot to the end of its thing and didn't have enough.
3 (8m 17s):
Yeah, I got to and stretch. Yeah. I was hoping maybe cause I glance down and it was the rich and I thought maybe I'm a bit more further out and it just, it was so quick avenue. It was like, boom, boom, boom. And yeah, I kind of hit the ground pretty hard. And yeah
2 (8m 38s):
Man, I, I, this is a great lesson for everybody listening. I had a similar, not totally different circumstances, but you know, if you it's instructive to keep that wing over your head at all costs and those situations, you know, to keep those hands buried, isn't it. Cause if you'd let that wing restart and don't know if I'd be talking to you today.
3 (8m 59s):
Yeah. It's if it wouldn't be started with half a twist and that height, it would have pitched and then you would have gone in with a pendulum with a bit of spiral, maybe so. Yeah. I think, you know that the say in Swiss Glock among look like luck in bad luck. So I'm pretty stoked, you know, broke my back to Burma. My one in two places. Yeah. It was interesting. So after I landed then Tommy feather, it was above and he seen it, he went to land and at the same time, Eduardo had a crash as well. So he like the land field, people were going to add water and this was like the same time.
3 (9m 45s):
So yeah, he got in a June buggy with this other guy and came up and got round, got to me and then kind of took it from there. It was really interesting. So, so we asked they, the idea was to get an air ambulance. Cause I knew my back was broken or like, it felt pretty hard. I checked myself, my feet, my legs. Like it didn't have any tinglings and I've had a few knocks before. So I was like, yeah, I'm not badly broken. Like I can feel everything like self-assessment and then yeah, like an hour and a half, a few hours went by and this was a guy came and he says, yeah, it looks probably not like the ambulance is going to come and to navigate over, over this train at night.
3 (10m 31s):
It's it's quite tricky. Cause it's quite hostile and steep. And then he says, and also nighttime the snakes come out. Yeah. So that was like, I was like, okay, all right, let's try and scramble. Yeah. It was like 200 meters to, to this kind of track. And as long as like had a Tommy on one side and, and Abdullah a local pilot on the other side, as long as it took my weight on my shoulders, then we kind of like got to the gym buggy and then lay down there. Then it was dance, the June's and the ambulance is waiting on the road. Yeah.
2 (11m 10s):
Wow. Yeah. Tough end to a cool event. But it sounds like everything's going well, this is what an Mo a little over a month later now something like that more than that, I guess. But you got, you got medivaced back and you're back home and interlocking.
3 (11m 30s):
Yeah, that was real cool. So I was in there for a few days and then with the insurance. So I got rigor and that's like a local Swiss insurance and super it's like 40 bucks a year, every Swiss pilot, every Swiss person's pretty much got it. And yeah, they can the pick me up a private jet flew me back straight to Bern, straight to Inge Patel, the painkillers in Dubai. The not really that good. The ones that gave me, it was like paracetamal on Ivy and this other one and yeah, the ones back in Switzerland, I think it was on morphine and cattlemen and I was, I was flying.
3 (12m 14s):
2 (12m 15s):
That's a good segue into your life a little bit. You're Brit, but you're living full time now in Switzerland. And how, how long has that, how long has that been? The
3 (12m 26s):
In Switzer now? Just I think a little over 11 years or 12 years now. Yeah. Yeah. Back and forth,
2 (12m 33s):
3 (12m 34s):
A little bit, a little bit. It's really hard to learn Swiss German because everyone speaks really good English, but it makes it, and generally, you know, all the clients are American or Chinese or Arabic with the tandem. So yeah, I, I can get by for sure, with a Swiss German, but definitely going to do some more work on it.
2 (12m 58s):
And did you, did you move there originally for the tandem work or was it the, was it jumping?
3 (13m 4s):
It just kind of fell into place. I came here originally because when I learned flying back in New Zealand, I wasn't, so I was, I was only interested in flying acro, like tandems and cross country. It never really appealed to me. I was just like seeing this guy from the gong that I do, these spinning things. And I was like, man, that looks super cool. And then this, this guy is I'm Cray, Cray, Tyler. He, he kinda took me under his wing and you know, I learned super correctly within I think, two months of having a license. So it was, I was fine with the gondola trying to do yeah. Head is and stalls and stuff like had a real quick progression, not one that I'd recommend and a lot of kind of naysayers.
3 (13m 51s):
Those are, you know, and looking back, I fully get it now. And Craig was like, Hey, if you're going to do this, you know, these are the golden rules which you got to do and, you know, stick with these, you know, wind drift and attitude and things like that. And, and then, yeah, and then he says, you gotta go to Lauterbrunnen, there's a place called mirin and that's the place to train and do laps. And yeah, I was working as a raft guide in New Zealand and I said, can you rash there? And he's like, yeah, yeah, there's a place called outer in slack and then contacted them, got a job and then went there for the season and then back and forth for quite a few seasons back and forth to New Zealand and back.
3 (14m 31s):
And, and yeah, so New Zealand, beautiful. I lived there in a heartbeat, but it's, it's so far away is one thing. And here in Europe and the outs and Switzerland, yeah. It's a place to live. It's my gardens.
2 (14m 49s):
Is it? I mean, I know interlocking gets a lot of ex-pats and you know, it's a pretty touristy place. A lot of people go there for know, it's just, it's incredible Grendel, Walden, Miran, and the Uyghur. And I mean, everything is there. It's just awesome. Awesome flying, awesome. Jumping, all the things that I know you'd love to do paddling, but is it, is it hard living in a, in another country that's, it's not your own, you know, D do you feel like a Swiss, do you feel you've been absorbed into the community or, you know, I've always felt like when I'm living somewhere else, that you're always kind of an outsider, you know?
3 (15m 28s):
Yeah. I know what you mean. Quite like the biggest thing missing, I guess, is the native tongue. Just kind of like the banter, the Kiwi banter, is there a good sort of yarn, but that's, they're awesome. Hey, that integrate. You're really nice. And yeah, I mean, obviously I miss my mother tongue, but yeah, it's, it's super nice and the cool people and quite soft on the inside, hard on the outside, but as soon as you get to know them and the real nice,
2 (15m 60s):
Steve, you and I had a good chat down at the British couple years ago or was that three now? I can't remember if it was right after the 2019 race, I think. Right.
3 (16m 10s):
Yeah, I think so.
2 (16m 11s):
Yeah. And you, you had, I didn't know this, but you had gotten into that one, you've gotten wildcard or the invite kind of late. Right. And do I have that right. And then, and you decided, and I'm not, not going to do it. Was that right? For
3 (16m 23s):
The, for the,
2 (16m 26s):
For the 2019 race?
3 (16m 27s):
Yeah. Yeah. That was the combination because like I bought my house here at the same time and I wasn't super fit and just had a lot of other things going on and saw my life. So yeah. I applied to get in and then I got in and then I couldn't really give it 110%. So yeah. I talked to, oh, what's his name? The meet director
2 (16m 56s):
3 (16m 57s):
Krista Kristoff. And he was fully cool with it. And understood.
2 (17m 2s):
So the, I remember talking to you on the way up to launch that day that, you know, were, you were asking me a lot of questions about the race and, you know, you were clearly you had it on the docket for the future, you know, for 2021, which he did and we'll talk about, but you were, you were, as I was going into 2015 race, man, what am I taking on here? And you, you know, you seemed pretty concerned about it in a way, you know, just, can I do it? Am I ready? As you know, all the things that I think all rookies have, I'd love to know what, what about the race met the reality? You know, the expectation, what about it was, oh yeah. You know, versus, cause you had, you'd done the Uyghur, you had done some other high Conflint races going in.
2 (17m 47s):
I went into 2015 having done. None of that was, that was my first hike flight raised was the X out. So I didn't have any, just, I had no idea where I belonged, you know, am I going to get eliminated right off the bat? Or am I going to do okay. I was terrified going into the first one and I'd love to know just what, what of the race was. Yep. I was kind of ready for that. And what caught you by surprise? What was different about the race that you didn't anticipate?
3 (18m 15s):
The tiredness like a new from the expert and stuff that like, you get tired after like four or five, but I think that was a thing that was super hard to cope with. Like after they six, seven, you just zombie a little bit and then you kind of warm up and get going. Yeah. But I mean the whole thing was just such a rat adventure and yeah. Just going and seeing the places where you see, and I think the anticipation before doing it, you kind of like, I'm a good enough, you know, and we're gonna be eliminate the first summer, I'm ready for this, you know, got any right.
3 (18m 56s):
Doing this race. And then yeah, just with the previous races and you kind of say, okay, I did this or did this. I did well in that race while in this race. And just trying to, I think self-confidence, I think more the reason the first time, but I didn't do it as well. Cause I wasn't, I wasn't ready or I was doing it for the wrong reasons. So I was doing, it's kind of like in my head to prove to myself and then this time around, I did it more because I wanted to do it and, and see the Alps and, and do it with my team and have a fun adventure.
2 (19m 29s):
Yeah. You seem like your approach was, was just that it was, I dunno, it D from the outside, you know, we didn't get to spend any time together during the race, but from the outside and, you know, watching the wrap-up video and stuff, it seemed like your approach was very much, you know, let's just have one, let's have a good time. I've been watching your daily, you know, you've done these video posts of each day. And the first couple really struck me is, you know, God, he was just having fun. And it was really working for you. You know, you were in the top 10, there you were, you had, you had the total opposite of my, I had a terrible start and she was, we just couldn't get our act together.
2 (20m 10s):
And it wasn't the team, the team was awesome. It was just, as I've said before, I was really out of sync with everything. It just seemed like I was constantly in the wrong place at the wrong time. And after watching your videos, I've questioned, like maybe I was just taking it too seriously, just putting too much pressure on myself. You know, you were doing a ton of filming and it just seemed like you were having a good time and it seemed like that was really working.
3 (20m 35s):
Yeah, it was cool. I mean, I think one thing that affected me was she found out during the race was if I would know whether people were in front or behind and I was asking my team like, oh, where's such and such. Then my fly mechanic go worse. But, and then we found that after a few days. And then, and then I just said, I don't want to know where they are or who's in front or who's behind or find out in the evening. And then the less information that I had from them, the better I was flying, the more kind of decisions I was making, not based on who was in front or which line such and such. You had Yeti and yeah, that, that, that helped me a lot.
2 (21m 17s):
What if you could have done something differently in prep, what would it be when you look back on it? Or if you've had a talk with your team, mark and Ali and the boys, what did you guys blow or miss?
3 (21m 31s):
I think that one, which is nuts for me, the team are awesome. They, they did so much behind the scenes that I didn't see. And if there was like problems behind the scenes, like, I wouldn't know about them, if it was from whatever, from not getting fuel or food, or it was just like, okay, Steve, such and such, this is where you're gonna hike. Now go up there, enjoy a fun. That's the coastline. Yeah. The prep was really good, man. I had such a good team, you know, in the expert a few years back, I just had Tom Payne and it's, it's too hard as for one supporter and one, one athlete.
3 (22m 15s):
So really that a lot from that race was samurai. I needs, you know, the S the, the drive into the guys drive and have a rest, you know, and this is kind of like leapfrog the whole day. So everyone stays charged. And that, that worked really well. You know, I can, I, I think, yeah, I participated in the X out, but it was kind of the team that kind of made us get to where we got.
2 (22m 43s):
Yeah. The team dynamic is, is crazy good. And that when you got a good team, I think I like that more than anything else. Right. There's a lot of things to like about the race, but man, you laugh a lot and that's
3 (22m 55s):
2 (22m 58s):
What has it been like for you on the backside of the race? You know, since then, is it, are you thinking a lot about the next one? Are you, is it, is it hard to kind of, I I've, I've had a hard time after all of my races and the post, just kind of, you know, you're, you're living at this insane level for a whole bunch of days. I mean, doesn't life doesn't get much better than that and pretty hard to match.
3 (23m 24s):
Yeah. I mean, like you've heard 'em on your podcasts about this and I was prepared for it, but what I wasn't prepared for was to be, you know, have a thought after the race, then I'd, I'd keep training and do the and keep this kind of like level of fitness because that's the face I've been in my life and it was a super cool journey get there, but I got injured on the, I think they 11. So after the, after the race, I couldn't, I was hobbling, you know, I couldn't move. So I just had to rest and not move so much. That was, I think it was harder because I couldn't get out and run and Q fit and start work tandems again, it was like, Erin's went to a complete stop.
3 (24m 9s):
And it was like use of this super high level of light bond, bond, bond, go, go, go. And then it just stops. And it's like, whoa, okay. This is, this is, this is where we are now.
2 (24m 23s):
Did you get help with the training? Did you, do you get a trainer and
3 (24m 28s):
2 (24m 28s):
Do it on your own?
3 (24m 28s):
I've got a Ben Ben Seddon, who was Kruger's original trainer. And he'd give me like a proper training plan with the craft training and the first then endurance and then the building up and then the tape room. And that was awesome. You know, that was like, as fun as the race, maybe not quite, but just having this progression in your body and just getting fit and fit and fit and having time to try. And was this the whole traps? Were it was an adventure. Yeah. There was a lot of fun.
2 (24m 59s):
What was the, what was the accident at the end? I've heard a little bit about this from one of your supporters, Mark Simpson, but sounded pretty intense.
3 (25m 8s):
Yeah. So it was ran. We took off with live. We had a long hike that day before, too. I asked about it because the weather was super bad and yeah, we took off from, just from my ASTA and one of the Hills and was flying across. It was ran about 20 kilometers before domino Maslow. And I was leapfrogging quite a bit with my, my newborn to, during the race. And then, yeah, he was like, I think 5k in front of a 10 K in front of you always kinda jumping each other and the cloud cover came over. So I come in and land here, hike up to the top of the rich, I forget the name of it, what the actual device was called.
3 (25m 56s):
2 (25m 57s):
Where you trying to get up into the mock Naga valley, I think it was, yeah, it had that big, you know, almost had a road back there. It was a pretty cool world. War two, not a road road, not for cars, but that's it, you know, it was a proper, yeah. Zigzag coming into the back of the mocking Naga valley. Yeah. Cause I was there.
3 (26m 21s):
2 (26m 22s):
I taught land in the same place.
3 (26m 24s):
So when I come into top land, top landed or good, it was really quite windy. And then it was unlike a Boulder field and asthma wind came down. I got like a Gus from above and it is a pit my wing up and just dragged me down backwards, down this Boulder field. And yeah, it was like landed. Okay, good. And then as the weekend dies up, boom. And then I thought I broke my leg was massive. My thigh and yeah, I was sick twice. And then I was like, right, let's get a rescue.
2 (27m 1s):
What do you mean? You're sick. You threw up.
3 (27m 2s):
2 (27m 3s):
Was it a laceration?
3 (27m 5s):
No, it was just a real hard impact. So like it picked me up and drag me down and then wet my leg on the side of a Boulder or something. I'm not too sure. And I was short broke. I was like, I'm done. That's it. And then, yeah, I kind of got my breath together, pulled up my compression shorts and had a look and did some pushing. And well first told the team, I was like, yeah, I've got a crash. It's not good. Yada, yada. And then Thais was like, okay, should we call for like an ambulance? And I was like, no, no, no. Do not call just yet.
3 (27m 45s):
And then yeah, like I had like 10, 15 minutes and then stood on it. I was like, okay, it's not broken. I've just, I've just mastered it. And yeah. So that was a big like hematoma. I'm a, I'm a right thigh, which is yeah.
2 (28m 3s):
But you were able to keep going.
3 (28m 5s):
So yeah, that's where I sort of, one of the adventures started. So by that time, the team had already ran in domino Maslow. So that's a drive like, yeah. Like it was like two hours back around to where it was. And then I managed to pat my wing inside my harness and then kind of hobbled down, I think 200 meters down, somebody like an hour and a half, like super not moving fast. And I knew like as soon as her on maps and I was like, okay, that's cool. I'll stay there. Then I'll see how bad it is. And then if it's really bad overnight, then I'd have to put out the race and I'm going down to this hut.
3 (28m 45s):
And then Ali and mark come up and they meet me around about, I dunno, a few hundred meters before the hut. And then we go to answer. So there's hope, but it's like a private hut. We were looking around for keys and stuff. And I, you know, cause if I went down to the valley floor, it's like an extra thousand meters or 6,500, then that would be done. I would have been out of the race. There would be no way that I could get back up the next day. And yeah, that's a story. So yeah. Ali and mark look around for this key and then we can't find a key and Ali comes around with his rock and he's like, ah, found a key and the shape of a rock.
3 (29m 27s):
I found a rock in a shape of a key. So yeah, we, how can we say we, we entered, well, Ali entered into this, into this private hut and it was perfect. There was beds there. A kettle food has like, oh, this is, this is spot on. I'm saved. We'll spend the night here. We'll leave like a, a hundred bucks, a hundred Euro. And like a note saying, Hey, so broke into your heart. It was an emergency, yada yada. So it was all good. It was going to be dark. And then, and then we hear this motorbike and all these like, ah, this,
2 (30m 1s):
3 (30m 3s):
This guy's coming up towards the hut on a Charles bike. He's got a helmet. Yeah. I'm pretty sure it was coming towards us. And we had the lights on inside the hub. Anyway, this guy gets up there, man. And he's got this blue and machete on the back of his bike. And he's like, this is my heart. This is my heart. You broke into my heart or anything at all, man, this guy is pissed. Like he's super, super angry at this point. And Ali, this, this guy had, he can sell water to a duck is like, oh yeah,
2 (30m 39s):
Yeah. Always the one you want on your team and those situations
3 (30m 43s):
He, yeah, he's thought you did a TRO Charles. Right? And now you've got like a Charles Scottish badge on your bike. You know, you do do competition, completely redirecting this guy. And he's like, yeah, yeah, I do a child. I, I thought you broke into my heart, dude. I really wanted to be angry. And he's got this machete in his hand. I'm like, oh shit, man. I can't move. I'm going to get shopped up. Or, and on this side of his bed and he's looking in like, oh man, what's this guy doing in my bed.
2 (31m 13s):
Oh my gosh, you guys are Goldilocks. You've just taken over.
3 (31m 19s):
Anyway. He's talking to me as I try to deescalate the conversation as much as he can. And then he says that we're in the X Alps and this, and he's like, and then I X ups. Okay. Yeah. He says, I know Gousha Bauer. And I was like, and then he's like, oh cool. It's like, yeah. He stayed in one of my Airbnbs two years ago in the rice. Perfect. And then we showed him on the live tracking and he was okay. Then he came in, he turned on the gas, you turn on the water. And he was fine. We give him a, we give him a Red Bull cap and semi euros for the door. And he was, he, he was fine. He was happy. So yeah, it was really good to have all your mom's
2 (31m 59s):
That's that's sterically. Yeah. That's amazing. I, yeah. That's, that's where you want all the on your team, you know, he you're right. He can sell water to a duck.
3 (32m 11s):
Yeah. So yeah. Then from there then, then we said, okay, well we'll spend the night, see how bad it got from a brother. Cause his a paramedic and told him what I had so that my legs, the home exercise, my upper thigh. And then he said, yeah, just keep checking on it through the night. See, see if it gets worse. Cause he was scared of like bleeding, if I got like a ruptured vein or it should think of that. And then yeah, it was alright in the morning. And then I could kind of huddle Hubbard up to the, to the, to the top of the Ridge and it was all in smoke and then took off and then it was true.
3 (32m 53s):
I couldn't push, I could push Bob, but just some, a one foot. So it was really hard to push bar and then yeah. And hard to walk. So I wanted to try and stay in the air. As long as the Cooper crossing over Donald Darcella is like super strong wind and then landed on half bar kind of going backwards and then Landon Hoblin and yeah. Hey. Yeah. Every day was an adventure.
2 (33m 25s):
Yeah. The, tell me about Andrew mot. Ali said to ask you about how in the world you pull that off there's wires everywhere. I'm, I'm always nervous of anti-MOC cause the big wind generators and you've got the Rolo coming in and whatever the one from the north coming in and it can get pretty spicy in there. But you have a story to tell from that
3 (33m 48s):
I've always said in Switzerland, there's one place where I don't want to land is and a map in Vassar because it says cable galore and yeah, I ended up landing in the middle of and Macco and under and over cables, like it was tricky, like a came and then there was strong like north Verna a and it was like at the strong south wind to that download. So the first time I tried to go, I just got completely sorry, a strong south wind apply in north low. I've got smashed by, by the south wind and then it come back and then landed on the, not quite sure where it was hot backup. And I thought, well, I'll try it again. But I'll first go low with the north wind and then try and climb up into the south and then soar up and keep going.
3 (34m 35s):
And yeah, it didn't work. I'd landed like right in the middle, at the bottom with all the roadworks and the river and the cables and the cable alarm was like singing when I was going down. Woo. And I was like, yep. I know. There's another one.
2 (34m 54s):
How do you, what do you mean your cable alarm? If you've got something in your device that has all the, all the Swiss cables.
3 (35m 1s):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's just like our next exit tracks. And then it shows you like most of the cables in Switzerland, not all of them, but kind of most of them, which is really handy. It doesn't have all of my lights, some of the old hay cables, But then it was also really funny after that we had to hike up the past and I was hiking with my Tyson exactly the same time. There was this Chinese tour group of like 200 people. It was ridiculous on this single track. And I was like, this has gotta be a joke, man, this tiring. So like I'm a, is going in front and he's coming behind you.
3 (35m 44s):
And these people are super pissed. Like, ah, wait, you're tired. You know, I was like, ah, and yeah, he kinda like battered through like a way. And then I followed him and then reclined, it's a tough and then can fly and land and fish.
2 (35m 58s):
Tell me about flying off Mont block and you know, your, your habit sounds like you were having this pretty good battle with Manu. Manu is the king of the comeback, which we saw again this year, you know, I was with him in deal day one in the, literally the back. And he ended up really rallying and having a great race and the game ended up fifth. But you do, you flew off my block that your team lost ya. And Ali said he camped under a tarp that night and a thunderstorm. And he said it was the best night of the trip.
3 (36m 34s):
Yeah, it was awesome. I mean, it was quite current around after the doc dash to mum blog. That was ridiculous. The strong winds that was, yeah, it was so windy that I landed and it was going, I was going, I was on full Bargo and backwards probably 10, 10 K an hour. And it was real tricky because there was the airspace. So like you had to thread the needle next to it. And yeah, landed. I was happy to be on the ground at that point. That was before actual oblong. And then, and then we hiked up to the top and it was like, it was a full lightning storm. And Manuel was, I think, a little bit in front of that point.
3 (37m 17s):
And then took off after that, we went to the top of the hut and had, had like rushed in there and some food and then the storm kind of passed over, but it was still like Gustin 70 K. It was super strong. Then we hiked down and, and took off in the lease somewhere and flew down course line and lost all comms with the team then, because it was quite like in the middle of nowhere, I thought, well, I'll, I'll keep walking correspond because yeah. The team have seen me on the live tracking and yeah, it was right at the back of this track in the middle of nowhere, I thought, well, I'm not going to go too much further because this is the end of the road.
3 (38m 1s):
So I was, I just wait here then. Yeah. In half an hour, the team were there and we spent the night there super rat.
2 (38m 9s):
It sounds like Ali said that was the funny, you just, there was so much laughter that night he said, he said your sides were hurting. You guys were laughing so hard. You were probably asleep. Maybe.
3 (38m 20s):
Yeah. I was super tired, but I had my friend Carla and Danny for that part because you need a mountain guide to grow over the glacier. So we had the one car, it was Danny's car and it was Carla and Danny and then mark myself and Ali. So there wasn't enough space to everyone be inside the van. So yeah. Mark, mark, just Ali counted a tab underneath the side of the van. And then mark is in the tent in a right blizzard is a hell of a storm.
2 (38m 55s):
Yeah, it was rowdy up there. I got there the next day and holy cow, I had a couple of scariest flights in my life. I've never taken off and stuff like that ever. It was a big mountain, big wins.
3 (39m 8s):
As on the next day I seen you had a real nice flight cause we, I think I was the day ahead. And then we had to walk through the valley. I think I was talking with Tom, the daughter and like, we were kind of very, very close and he's having a yarn, so yeah, let's go up. And then we were like, fly this part together. And then he was, he was high and I was a bit more lower down. It's like, okay, we'll see. And then we both ended up walking Manuel Thomas up in different parts throughout Austin. It's like 70 K or more. Yeah, that was quite a, a long boring hike.
2 (39m 46s):
Yeah. I, I, I don't know if you heard my story about that, but we got up to the coal, you know, at that mom punk where everybody did and you know, you, you, you hopefully fly from there. You're right at the edge of airspace. And it was just, you know, it was blown 50 to 70, it was ripping. And so we kind of ski, you know, just foot skied off the back where there was lots of tracks. Obviously a lot of the people in front of us had done the same thing and we kind of got around fully in the Lea. And you know, it's, if you walk, I could see the next Cole where I'm trying to get, you know, this leading to the Aosta valley. And you know, if you walk that it's a long walk and I thought, man, I, I got to make this work and just try to fly over to that coal. And, and so, you know, we, we sat for quite a while just feeling the wind cause we were, you know, proper in the li in, in the, kind of the gut of where this wind was swirling around, like crazy.
2 (40m 36s):
And the takeoff went fine and the flight was fine, but very hands-on just well in and I immediately got up, you know, there was weird. I don't know if it was a thermal because it was just totally cloudy, but there was a lot of air moving around. And as I got over to the other coal, you know, there was a big group of people down at the ground. And, and I forget what past that is, but it's, it leads, it's where everybody else went. And, and I was kind of pushing, I just really read it wrong. It was a really strong north Fern day. So I'm on the south side and I'm expecting to take kind of a beating at the coal. And so I'm pressing into the wind getting to the coal and I get over the coal with a good 300 feet, you know, I had some altitude and, and I thought, okay, well now I'm going to be on the Windward side.
2 (41m 24s):
This'll be better now on the north side and completely read it wrong. All that air that was dumping, I think from the valley into that one I'm talking about was flowing. It was re reversing the Fern or something. I don't know what was going on, but I just, I went from 300 feet to the deck, straight down with a wain, completely open. Just, just, it was, it was, it was worse way worse than being under reserve. It was just, you know, when you just can't steer your glider at all, you've got no forward motion and it's the hand of God just coming down on you. And as I was plummeting, it was, it was a plummet. It was, it wasn't, there was no control over this at all.
2 (42m 5s):
And I thought, okay, God, I gotta, I gotta at least do something to hit the snow. You know, I, there was dirt under me and snow under me and various places. And right before I hit, I thought, oh shit, I'm not going to hit the snow. And they had the dirt and I just fully expected both my legs to buckle. The only thing I had in my head was just to PLF and, and saved my ass somewhat. But I thought, for sure, this is going to hurt really bad. And the, in the dirt was, it was six inches of soft mud, you know, it just been melted out and it was basically landing in a shallow pond and it was totally soft. And, but the scary that, what did my head in was, you know, I landed just nothing.
2 (42m 48s):
It was, it was a non-event and then the wing almost kind of like when you got hurt, the wing almost blew me off the hill. It was blowing that hard down, but, you know, towards the, the Aosta. So I had that in my head and I packed up and I had this very easy hike over to another valley. That's more towards the east. That would be towards the, that led down to the ASTA. And I think other people had gone that way as well. And I hiked over the little coal and around into the gut. And again, I know I'm fully in the Lea and I thought, okay, I'll just sit here and see how this feels. And I was getting reports from my team down and they asked of, you know, white caps on the little lakes and ripping, and it just sounded pretty scary.
2 (43m 33s):
And I didn't really have anything to gain at that point. You know, you were too far ahead, you know, but I did have Yale and, and Latcher, they weren't really moving too much. And I thought, well, you know, it'd be nice to just, I hadn't really had, I had a really good flight out of fish and that was about it, the whole race. And I thought, man, it'd be nice to, so I hadn't really given up, but I thought, I, I don't, I don't have to kill myself and I don't have any, you know, like getting hurt or killing yourself now would be really stupid. I'm not, you know, there's nothing to gain here. I'm not getting to the goal. And so I, anyway, I, I sat for a long time listening to Revis go, man, it's pretty hairy down here.
2 (44m 14s):
But I think if you get in the air, you can use Mont Blanc as a shield. You know, this, when you could fly in the Lee of Mont Blanc, I think it's doable. And I was looking at the clouds and here, these reports of the valley winds just ripping in the north Fern was really real. That day was Hawking. And I thought, I don't know. And eventually where I was sitting, it just was, it was just too strong and too light and too weird. And I thought, nah, this, this is an accident waiting to happen. So I actually hiked up higher and I got more around into the Lea and had by far the strongest launch of my life. I've never launched in that strong winds. And the flight was glorious.
2 (44m 54s):
I, I made it to where you're talking about just on the backside of the market Naga and just having one, it was a really, really good flight. And the reason it ended there was some sell had dropped out in the valley. You're talking about you walked up and, you know, it was beautiful and sunny and perfect getting there. It was perfect. And it, it was totally working. It was west-facing late in the day. I would, all I had to do is just plant myself on this stuff and bridge source slash thermal up and keep hucking. I mean, I felt like I had bell and zona easy that day, if I could have kept going. And then suddenly I got to the peak height looking into the valley that leads the one before market Naga.
2 (45m 34s):
And I don't know how long it had been dark. It had been dark for a long time. And so I, I couldn't keep going. And then, so that was, that was it. You know, that's basically where, you know, we, I had some little flights the next morning out of the mock-up Naga, but yeah, it was, it was glorious. It was, it was interesting too, because it took me about an hour to calm down. You know, I had this crazy launch and it was just holy cow, this is going to be such a battle. And it wasn't that much of a battle. It was just like rabbit said, once I got in the Lee of Mont Blanc, it felt very Kriegel ish in a sense, because it was just, oh, this is what he does. You know, he uses these big mountains for shelter. And it had actually, w you know, it was really strong west with north Fern on the ground.
2 (46m 16s):
And, you know, as long as you didn't go low, it was okay.
3 (46m 19s):
Yeah. And I think that, I think they, 10 and 11, they were probably the best flyable days for where he worked during the race. Like the conditioner was strong, but they're like, you can do more distance. Cause the base is quite high.
2 (46m 34s):
How do you think about it? Looking back, you know, I saw the wrap-up film. You were totally stoked, but looking back, you know, cause this, in my experience, this was my fourth and my experience, this was by far the gnarliest in 2015, we had wins that matched this one, but we didn't have the Fern as much. And we didn't have the thunderstorms and the hail and, and the, just the craziness of this one, this one was pretty wild, total opposite of 2019. Is it, you know, at the end where you, I can't wait to do this again or where you, man, I don't know. That was pretty on the edge.
3 (47m 12s):
Yeah. Yeah. I know what you mean. There was some days like, what am I doing in the sky? Like you had an in, towards the storm from lemon juice to centers. I'd had such a, an epic flight that day. But it was like during the day, like I had a full-on disco, dance and land in a quarter of Yale and had a real juicy time when I come into land, like just keeping the window open. And then after that I could just stay in front of the weather, like a high cup and then a few little flights. And then I took off just that it started raining and then it started raining hard and harder.
3 (47m 54s):
And then it started to what's it called it hail was coming down. I was, I'm a very, at the same time, a very, it was screaming. That'd be BBB people on full bars. Like this is, this, isn't a good place to be Stevie. But then I got out close to fel quick and my wing dried off. And then I was in a nice light people thought, okay, I'm just going to keep taking this all the way out and then flew across the valley and landed. And I was freezing, but almost stuff was like, my wing was dry. My harness was dry, but I was soaking. And then my team come up, come up and see me though. Still. I was like, freezing my ass off.
3 (48m 35s):
I'm like, oh, I need some clothes. That way. Everything's dry. As like, as like, oh yeah, you're soaking. Yeah.
2 (48m 44s):
It sounded like that flight, that flight Duardo talked about that, you know, he was with that group, but you know, Cody, Laurie sounds like there were some pretty heavy PTSD for some folks that day. And I got to let her learn was that day, a few hours after you guys had left and walked, it was just, I looked at the sky and went, this is not, this is not flying. This is not flying weather, lightning, bolts and pale and holy shit.
3 (49m 14s):
But it's interesting. Cause you kinda, you just get in that zone, which you wouldn't, you know, you just wouldn't get in that zone. If you're recreational flying, you wouldn't put yourself in those places. But I think like it, even though you put yourself in the places you kind of zoned in so much, like the risk is there, but it's not as high. So for instance, if you're flying, like, you know, most of the day, but there's a few times where you've gotta be like a hundred percent concentrated on getting over original or getting through the storm or get around the storm or something. Yeah. Then it's more controllable.
2 (49m 52s):
Yeah. It's a, it's, it's a strange one in that. I mean, I, I can't get there in the training. You know, I, I purposely have gone out on days that I know or are like the X ops and they're just terrifying know, I, I don't enjoy it. And I just think, what am I doing? And then in the race, you, you get to this place where it's almost anything is possible. It's a weird one. And it's a weird one.
3 (50m 17s):
2 (50m 19s):
Tell me about the disco dancing landing. That's sounded interesting.
3 (50m 24s):
So that was interesting, like a quarter with Yale and then w like she crossed the valley and I was just behind her. And I was just like, why is she crossing? I was like, oh, cause she's getting flushed by this other valley coming on that side. And then as I got up, then I just got in the down wash or from, from this kind of buddy system blown out and up. So across, over to CAO and then we climbed up and it was honking. It was honking. We pushed over, I don't know the name of the valley. Exactly. And kind of just creeping forward, but it's like a low light, tight canyon, Yale landed them. And I thought, I'd just try and get round the corner and climb up.
3 (51m 6s):
But there wasn't a climb. And then it was a skin, more lower, more leather. And the women was getting stronger and stronger and there was just this, this main road to kind of land on. So I was like, I've got to, I've got to get to this part with no trees to get it in there. And yeah. Coming in and it was like a phone on GoPro, but it really doesn't do it justice. It was super tight. And I was out poof, got on the ground kiss. The ground was like, okay, here we go. This is a bit of disco dancing then. Yeah. Carried on walking and then did the same again. Yeah. It's funny.
3 (51m 47s):
Then you look back at the end of the day, like holy crap. Like it's quite a bit of distancing. Quite some moments.
2 (51m 55s):
Yeah. Crazy you, I dunno. We're yeah. Just pass that. You get the Lichtenstein. We had a little tiny segment in there in Lichtenstein and it sounds like you had, you spent a bunch of time with buddies that were mountain guides who maybe weren't very good city guides, all he said, he wasn't even sure. If you were aware of that, you were so tired, but year your team took a break. Your mountain guide friends took over and it sounds like they took you off
3 (52m 26s):
2 (52m 26s):
To take your very direct.
3 (52m 27s):
There was two cases yet. There was one where there were, like I said, that had to go to, to centers and I'm pretty used to some, a team saying, Hey, what? That way we'll send you a track. But there was two occasions. There's one where a bunch of locals come and they're like cheering you on. Yeah. We know the shortcut this way. I was like, cool. This is the way that gosh Bauer came. And I was like, cool. Yeah, I'll just follow you. I don't want to think. And it was a detour by not much, but probably 150 meters and yeah, probably 900 meters off of off route. And then the same after that, like I met it with Danny and Carla, and it was just like, if you look at the track, it did like a little kind of, yeah.
3 (53m 13s):
A little C shape where we could have just gone directly. It was 4k four and a half K difference. But mark and Matt were having a look at the chat log. Like, what's the doing? Where's he going? Why is he going here? But yeah, I think this is a case of tired and listening to other people. Yeah. There's a few, just a few little moments like that. You're like, oh yeah, I'm actually not. I've got to go there and not here.
2 (53m 39s):
You can't just wasted an hour, an hour in a race with that kind of pace is a lot of time. Isn't it? Yeah. Those are the, they add us. Damn it,
3 (53m 49s):
The pays a few times. I was like, right. This there's no one going to, I've definitely got a gain here. You know, that was terrible conditions. And then, and then you checked back in, then you look and like, Nope, you haven't gained. Everyone's like got closer or like right behind you. Or you're like, wow. You know, the pace and the level is, is ridiculously high.
2 (54m 12s):
I'm wondering, how are you thinking about that? Are you, are you going to do it again?
3 (54m 16s):
I've got until June to decide. Yeah. I mean, I wanted a, you know, it's the best that rancher, adventure race have done, you know, it's like you say, like you can't get there any other way. Like the hardest moments are the, they're the best, they're the ones that you remember the most, but it takes so much time to, I mean, the fitness you can get there. I think anyone really can get those. I'm going to have like a structured training plan. But just to, like, if you look at the top 10, top five, that they're all test pilots, like I'll fly tandems. That's my full-time job. I'm not out there flying every day in these conditions. And I think to have that extra kind of sensitivity, you just need to be doing it every day, day in, day out.
3 (55m 4s):
It also takes like for the nine months leading up to it, it was just X out. So from a partner Samira as well, like she, she was awesome with it. She was really, really good, but it, it just everything like life stops and it's this training and it's awesome. The ski tour and everything else, but like the whole period up to it. It's, it's not just, it's cool and fun for me, but everyone in your family it's quite, you know, okay. It's X
2 (55m 30s):
Intense for them too. Yeah. Yeah. It's a, it's, it's a very, it's a big undertaking for a lot more than you. And
3 (55m 38s):
But yeah, like I say, it was the best adventure. It was so much fun and the places you go, the people you meet bringing you food and giving you bananas and just to, and you aren't like the energy that you get from, from the people as well. It's yeah, it's incredible.
2 (55m 55s):
Do you feel like where you live? You know, I mean, I know your job is tandem, so maybe I don't, I don't know how much pure time you get for XC exploration and that kind of thing. You know, I know you race, but do you feel like living there really helps, you know, going through that part of the course was that beneficial, you know, going down through the, the, the, the Rhine and the Rhone and, you know, having that kind of beer backyard, there's been, you know, gosh, if the race goes through Kringle's backyard, we're all toast, you know, which it really did this year. It was, we went through an area that he knows really well. I'm wondering if that you feel like that helps hurts.
3 (56m 37s):
It's an interesting question, Gavin, because I would think it would be, say for instance, when we got to fish, you know, I go to valleys when it's a good day to fly when we were there, it was like 10 X, 10 X Pascoes from, and like not the conditions ever go there normally because you go there on a good day. So yeah, I think for sure how it's been in the Alps and having this in my garden and a good day, I can just go and pick the good days and fly in the good days and do some nice triangles and stuff. But it was interesting. Like I was like, yeah, I'm in my home home territory now, you know, fish. And it was just like completely different way that have flown the valley.
3 (57m 19s):
Like normally it's just rich passion down and it was just like using the Lee and just climbing it with the wind. Yeah. But yeah, for sure. It helps to think like living in the outside definitely helps
2 (57m 32s):
Best and worst moment of the race.
3 (57m 36s):
Oh, that's a good one. So I think the best moment was day four. It was, I was halfway between Kimsey and the moose, and we hiked up with mark and it was fully cloudy. And I thought, I thought, today's not going to be a, it's going to be a hiking day. And then it was incredible. I could take off on the other side, on the, on the south side and climate with the clouds on the north and just go in next to around and yeah, the clouds and just pulling it off and to like part of the lowest side of my life.
3 (58m 16s):
And it was like, I think like eight o'clock in the morning and I've got this, this, this climate, which is to me is, and this took me all the way up, like clouds next to me and under me. And I was like, okay, I don't know where this is coming from, but I'm just turning and then cross the valley. And then, and then the same again, they're real low. I just came in to land with, put it in on this forest path and hike up and then, Ooh, let's do a little circle. And then yeah, that, that, for me, that was a beautiful day. That was like, wow, this is, I didn't think it would be possible to move that much distance in that day. And yeah, in the evening, got to let loose, just, just pass, just pass limits.
3 (58m 60s):
And yeah, that was a standout moment that the flight coming into the moose that was also like super euphoric with the, with the clouds and the storms just gotten in between the store and then could come around. Yeah, that was, that was super rad. And yeah, the worst day. Yeah, probably the day that I got injured, it was probably, it was probably like the hardest and it was more, it was more the thing like a bright myself and I can't go on and the kind of like pain thinking that of trans or harden of, of, of, of descended it now, not before the end of the race, like I already didn't want to get a DNF.
3 (59m 43s):
And that was like a hard moment to realize. And then after the kayak and I can keep going, but just there's a day and a half to go. Not so just at a real slow pace.
2 (59m 56s):
How about, you've already spoken about some of these, so maybe you've already talked about it, but what about scariest moment?
3 (1h 0m 3s):
Yeah, I think, I think that one with a co-mentor just before Andermatt
2 (1h 0m 9s):
Disco dancing. Yeah.
3 (1h 0m 11s):
There was lots of disco dancing moments. That's the whole, every day there's some disco dancing moments of this miners together. Phil under Matt was super, super sketchy with the cables. And I think around the back of my Montblanc, getting blown backwards, like full bar and backwards and trying to Dodge Aspace flying backwards was that was like, man, I just want to be on the ground.
2 (1h 0m 41s):
Yeah. That's never a very comfortable feeling. Is it Steve, tell me about the tech that you guys use during the race. What worked, maybe what didn't would you change anything? Yeah.
3 (1h 0m 53s):
Yeah. We use the Zillow in San DIA. That was really good. Zillow's like push to talk over, over Sila. And I had like a, a button toggle on a brake handle, so I could just talk to the team and such, and they could just feed straight back and with my headset have after shock headset. So it's just
2 (1h 1m 19s):
Like conductor wounds.
3 (1h 1m 20s):
Yeah. And that's super good. That was a buff round. I could hear crystal clear and they could hear me really good.
2 (1h 1m 26s):
Hm. Yeah. We'd use the, we use the Zen, we and Zillow as well. I hate zenlea as an app, but I really like it in the race, you know, using it. It's just all these things popping up all the time and stuff, but it's, you know, that was really handy for my team because they could see my battery level, you know, as soon as they know it's another battery, they knew exactly where I was all the time. I didn't use it so much for them because it didn't matter, but they, it was, it was great for them tracking me, you know, faster than the live tracking. And then Zillow's just wicked.
3 (1h 1m 58s):
Yeah. Yeah. Zen is super good because I think with the XL, so we've got the five minute delays or sent with the live tracking, Zen, these pretty, pretty accurate.
2 (1h 2m 10s):
Are you going to be planning on doing many other, are you going to keep doing a bunch of hike and fly races between now and potentially the next one? Is that pretty hot for you? Or, you know, I don't know how much it sounds like tandems are the way you make a living. Is that, does that really dominate your time or do you have plenty of time to play and do this other stuff?
3 (1h 2m 33s):
Yeah. I mean, it was a bit tricky last year with Corona, but hopefully this year is going to be better. Yeah. So mainly find tandems and then try and get the times off to do that. Like the short hike and flies, the bones to fly the Agora tour, the Virchow fly. They're really good.
2 (1h 2m 51s):
How much do you feel? I, I see you're in films. You do quite a bit of macro training still. How much importance do you put on that in terms of your training? Are you doing acro for fun mostly or is it really become part of your, you know, this is what I need for these kinds of races.
3 (1h 3m 10s):
Yeah, I do. I do a lot of acro or in the training plan. I was doing like two days, three, three days a month train and acro, not just with the outgrowing, but also, you know, the store and spend and SOV with, with competition wing. And I think that helps heaps just to get that intuitive and ask the feeding. And I enjoyed an acro. I don't do as much as what I used to, but it's, it's also in the winter, it's a lot of fun to try and accurate. Cause you can go higher from moving to short grass. It gives you like an extra 800 meters and it's, it has a blast.
2 (1h 3m 46s):
Do you ha how much are you jumping these days? Is that still a big part of your life?
3 (1h 3m 50s):
Yeah, I really enjoy it. So after the race, after I got better, I was jumping a bit more. Did some, I mean, it's more, the, it's not just the jumping, it's more than the kind of get in there. The whole process, like with we jumped the young Frau and it's quite a big thing to plan with the weather's a massive thing and getting up there the right time and then also, you know, taking the ropes, axes the harnesses and then the actual jump itself. So the actual process to get into the jump is kind of also a reason why I do the jump.
3 (1h 4m 32s):
Like it's the jumps are rad place to get light to, to get down four minute flight or three minute, but yeah, super, super fun, super, super fun.
2 (1h 4m 46s):
And are you just wing suiting or are you basing as well?
3 (1h 4m 51s):
So there's wing certain and tracking. So I just wingsuit because to do both of them at a good level, it takes too much time. So generally it's only wing suit base. Yeah. To get to the level. It's probably, that's probably one of the most expensive hobbies of Dunkers. You know, when you learn, you've got to do a bunch of skydives. I did over 700 skydives and then start with a small suit and then you work your way up in the suit. And then the same when you bring it to the base environment, you've got to start tracking and jumping off parallels first and then go to Brenta. It's a good place to do the first few jumps and then a few hundred and then get onto wingsuits and then small, small wing suits, small problems, big wing suit, big problem.
3 (1h 5m 38s):
So it's kind of like a progression that you work your way off. You can't go up quicker, but it's way safer to do the steps.
2 (1h 5m 46s):
And are you still paddling quite a bit? I know that that was your background was
3 (1h 5m 50s):
No, I really, I really wish I was. Yeah. I really miss miss Pavlin, but I should get back into it that I'm super keen.
2 (1h 6m 2s):
Yeah. I'm wondering where you feel like you're you and I have pretty similar backgrounds with the paddling and the flying and, and, you know, taken on these kind of crazier. End of adventuring, I guess. Do you, do you know where that comes from
3 (1h 6m 20s):
2 (1h 6m 22s):
No. Just the, your, your approach to risk your, your love of, of pursuing these types of activities that are pretty high consequence. You know, you're obviously pretty comfortable with it. Have wondered if you ever, if you've ever kind of done a deep dive on your own psyche to know where does, where does, where do you think that comes from? Does it come from your parents? Does it just, was it natural? Was it nurtured? Yeah.
3 (1h 6m 49s):
Good question. It's yeah. I mean, I've got the kayaking from a dad and that kind of got me into boating and kayaking, and I think it's, you know, some form of a drug when you look at it to, to, with the Chi community, you're paddling big rivers, big class four or five. And you know that you've got to have the skill, like to get down. It requires skill and it's the endorphins and stuff that it released. And I think it's the same as parallel and junk in life. It's like, I won't say an addiction, but it's, you know, what are we fly? Cause it, it feels good. And then this kind of like progression or like, how can you get the next feeling? And it's just the, it's just feeding it a little bit.
2 (1h 7m 32s):
Yeah. I find it really interesting that a lot of us come from a paddling background and that a lot of people who get really good at flying fast are paddlers. They seem to have the right understanding of, of risk. It seems to be a really good fit for pilots because like in piloting, we can't stop. We can't hit the pause button and go, you know what? I need to reassess a, you know, you're in the air and you got to deal.
3 (1h 8m 3s):
I was going to say, I think it's the same with the water because it's, it's the same dynamic flow and that's the same as the boat. And it's, it's the flow that you get into. And I think when you look at the mountain and if it's, or this picture, like a bunch of water coming over and where's the Eddy going to be, where's the hole gonna be? What's what's gonna, so I think they kind of like translate.
2 (1h 8m 25s):
Yeah. I think they do really translate. And like you said, I think that it does give paddlers, have an innate ability to read the air because they've learned it from the water. It does the same thing, like you just said. And I think probably a lot of batteries don't even recognize that when they start getting into flying, but it was, you know, my time sailing and my time paneling have certainly, you know, even though I can't concretely look at something and give you an answer, you know, articulated, I think first, you know, it's embedded in who I am just all those years of doing it have really helped me. Like you said, understand, okay, this is not a good place to be, or this is a good place to be.
2 (1h 9m 9s):
So let's, let's rally through some of these questions. What, what was the biggest aha moment you've had with flying say in the last year, over the last, you know, in recent memory, you know, something that really clicked that has changed your approach or your ability or how your that's impacted your success as a pilot,
3 (1h 9m 32s):
You know, the whole thing with the monkey on the shoulder and like, know when to push them when not to push and just trying to like really listen to the monkey and when not to listen to the monkey, like sometimes push, push, push, because if someone's out in front, oh, I want to fly fast. So more gearing down and using, using the whole day, rather than just changing modes of really trying to be worked. I've tried to work on a lot more, not when it's coming to the end of the day, it's just really try and gear down. And the few times is that, ah, okay. Yeah. That's a bit of a aha moment.
2 (1h 10m 9s):
If you could only make one more flight, this is kind of a dark question, but it's interesting. If you could only make one more flight, where would you go? W what's what's the place that you dream about at night, mostly about flying.
3 (1h 10m 22s):
That's a good one. Gavin, the Himalayas I haven't done yet. I'd really like to go to the Himalayas. Yeah. That looks super rad. I'm actually planning a Volvo trip with Jeff Shapira to Mongolia this June. Cool. So that's on the cards, but I think the Himalayas that is looks when I was in Dubai, looks at Antwan Gerard's he's got like this 3d movie thing, which put on the headset and wow. Then I put it on and it's, it's incredible. Yeah. So,
2 (1h 10m 53s):
Well, I haven't seen that. That'd be neat. So it's kind of a VR type thing.
3 (1h 10m 57s):
Exactly. It's a VR thing and you put it on and you just look like you're flying in the Himalayas, wherever you look up or down or behind you. That's right.
2 (1h 11m 6s):
Yeah. He has been a, what an adventurous guy. He is. He is really ramped it up and he's been doing some very cool. I need to talk to him again on the show. Here's a hard one. There's Free flight. Make other aspects of your life. Better. Worse,
3 (1h 11m 23s):
Better hands ballet. Yeah. Because Free, cause you just out there doing it soon, the world, it makes me a better person. If I'm blocked inside all day or I don't know, working on the house, then as soon as I'm out and I'm in the mountains, it's you kind of open and yeah, I love it.
2 (1h 11m 43s):
Yeah. This th this is a good one. Tell me how you manage. And this is probably, you know, kind of a continuum. It probably changes as the years go by, but do you have kind of a mantra or a playbook for managing risk
3 (1h 12m 3s):
Playbook for managing risk? Yeah. It's
2 (1h 12m 7s):
You were talking about the monkey on your shoulder, you know, I think we all try to tune into him, but is there, I don't know anything more you can say about just how you approach
3 (1h 12m 18s):
Risk analysis and stuff.
2 (1h 12m 21s):
3 (1h 12m 21s):
Yeah. I think we're flying. Yeah. It's more of my gut feeling how I'm feeling and if I've got a real strong gut feeling, if it's flying or jump in, or then, then I won't fly or weren't drunk, I'd be like that. And the more that I listen to my gut is generally nine times out of 10 it's it's more right. So just listening to myself more, I think, and like my inner feeling, I really try and reflect on and, or the eSports, that's kind of the biggest thing I try and pay attention to.
2 (1h 12m 56s):
Okay. Last one, this one just popped into my head. What do you think is the biggest misconception from the viewing public of the accepts? You know what I mean is, you know, people, millions of people watch this race and they watch the live tracking and they get totally embedded in it and kind of sucked in. What do you think is what do you think they have wrong about what they're watching? You know, whether it's, you know, are we all just total nutters? Are we, you know, or the weather? Yeah. I, you know, I don't, I don't get, we don't get to watch it. It's an interesting thing. Isn't it? I don't know what they're seeing.
3 (1h 13m 35s):
I think with the live tracking light, sometimes you'll go, you'll do a detour off route in the light. Why is it going that way in the sky? It should be fine straight, but in front of you, there's a big storm or, or like it's all shattered over. So, and how hard it is. Like it's, it's, it's, it's pretty hard. Actually.
2 (1h 13m 58s):
That's an interesting one because I think they all know it's really hard, but it's actually harder than they think they know.
3 (1h 14m 4s):
And I think with the sleep deprivation, that for me, like I said before was the hardest, there was a few times that I actually fell straight asleep during a flight once was in fish and it was, I got the term point or winner and then took off and it was this nice beep beep beep. And I just kind of went to one side and just close my eyes. And then the next thing I know, I was just like, well, is it like a few raindrops? Oh, it wasn't long. It was probably 20 seconds, 30 seconds. But I was, I was gone. I was fast asleep. I was like, oh, okay.
2 (1h 14m 40s):
W I think we've all, we've all experienced that that's gotta be shocking to hear from, you know, watching the race, wait, what you fell asleep. But there are times I have one of those between denti, OSHA and, and Montblanc sounds like kind of similar conditions, just ripping wind. And the wind was coming from right where I was trying to go, you know, heading towards Passy and before the crossing into the valley. And, but I I'd learned that the debt, the debt they owed, you know, term point in that coal, it was just super unreasonable. It was really ribbing.
2 (1h 15m 21s):
But I learned, I learned that if I could keep my head down, kind of blow the peak tops, I could make these little hops. And that's what I did all day. I made these little hops. Some of them were successful. Some of them were not to say the least really terrifying crash at one of them, but the, but going across Passy, you know, it had been dark for hours and it was just, you know, there was no, there hadn't been any sun. And I got one of those, like, you're talking about just this tiny climb before leaving the train and going across the city and going across the city, I found this crazy good glide. You know, it was just thing, thing, thing, you know, I was actually going up, whereas this, it must've been a little mini convergence, you know, at the end of the day or something.
2 (1h 16m 6s):
And I totally fell asleep just out. And it just, cause I thought, you know, my body don't know what to do. I'm just going to take a quick one here. And I actually don't know how, I mean, it wasn't that long. Even when I woke up, I looked down, I'm still all over the city, but just a really nice sleep. Oh, that felt good. I want to do it again.
3 (1h 16m 26s):
It's always been, it's wake when it's juicy, then you're awake. But, but when it's like a nice week climb, you're like, ah, ah, honestly notice close my eyes for a few minutes seconds.
2 (1h 16m 37s):
I don't know if you heard, I did a podcast with Aaron and after the 2019 race. And when he was going down the, between St. Hilaire and Monta VSO that LaGrand heading towards Brianne sown, he was so tired. He started watching YouTube videos.
3 (1h 16m 58s):
2 (1h 16m 58s):
Was terrific. That was a good fun, Steve, great to have you on the show and, and really fun to chat with you and sounds like you're heading in the right direction with your, your back, which is great. So happy, happy healing. And can't wait to race with you in the future. I hope you maybe you'll be in Columbia or something this winter, but good luck to everything. And you know, maybe before we close here, let's hear let's. I know you want to give a shout out to your team and maybe any sponsors, so anybody we should be aware of go for it.
3 (1h 17m 30s):
Yeah, for sure. So thanks heaps. Without the team, you couldn't do the excerpts and like they, they did a lot of the hard work. So Mathias was my main supporter, Danny, the site, 75 year old, do we call him the godfather? It's my, my girlfriend's mom's partner, Lance Lance, actually he broke his foot and just before the prologue. So he would remember
2 (1h 17m 56s):
3 (1h 17m 57s):
Yeah. And then all he took his place. He was super good. He was like the heart and soul of the party, Mark Simpson. He's he was like, the physio did a really good job. So yeah. Big, thanks to those guys. Yes. Mainly advance working with advanced is a real pleasure. They really, really good to work with them. The wings I'm super happy with after me.
2 (1h 18m 26s):
So I lied that. Wasn't my last question. You, how did you put your team together? That that's always kind of an interesting journey.
3 (1h 18m 33s):
Yeah, for me it was the, have the, have the Latin of mates with me. And I learned, I live with mark in New Zealand and he was like, yeah, if you ever do the X ops and back then, I thought, now I'm not that crazy to do the X out. And then I was like, give him a quarter. It's like, are you keen to come this year? He's like, yeah, definitely. So he flew from America. Mathias is a work colleague and I got him into flying back in New Zealand and I've been doing most of the training with them and he's like the backbone he's done all of the, helping with the planning, with the food, with the, everything that goes along with the, with the prep work.
3 (1h 19m 14s):
Dan who's the godfather, like I said, you know, it's a 75 year old dude is the oldest guy in Switzerland to get his paradine license.
2 (1h 19m 22s):
3 (1h 19m 23s):
Yeah. So that was cool. Having him, like you got like the young pups on the team, young ish pups, and then this old dude just to kind of keep the balance. Right. Lance is my best mate from, from back home. And he knows me when I'm rock, rock bottom and knows the things to say or the things that we used to do as kids, you know? Cause when your
2 (1h 19m 44s):
3 (1h 19m 45s):
For sure, when you're down with the demons and you just gotta have that redirection and then says something that you did in your early days and yeah, he was awesome. My mental coach, Tony foster, he really helped me just with my head just to kinda work out small goals and process the whole thing to get to the actual race and also through the racing, come on a few and kind of help me out. So yeah,
2 (1h 20m 9s):
That'd be, I'd love to hear more about that. Can you take a little deeper dive into the coaching, the mental coaching you did with Tony and what you learned from that?
3 (1h 20m 20s):
Yeah. So with, he kind of just broke it down. Like when I knew that I was doing X out, it was like this massive boom deer in headlights. So I like, oh, what am I doing? How am I going to train? This is more than what I can handle. Then it was talking with him and just breaking it down into small bite sized pieces. And then, okay, if that happens, let me do this. Or let's think of a strategy or syringe to, to work on what we need to work on, work on the strengths and on the weaknesses. And we did lots of ski tours together and just, just general talking, just like bringing up situations and scenarios and kind of work in rounds more how my head can do with it.
3 (1h 21m 5s):
Like knowing if I'm at the back and having this kind of fear inside the head, how to work with that and to say, well, it's just a game, isn't it? It's just at the end of the day, it's a game. And then as soon as I was working with this game approach, like who cares? You know, there's a lot of other things going on in the world in this race, then I'd be more relaxed with the whole flying. And you know, when I found myself getting stressed, I couldn't get over this thing. Is that okay, option a option B and just kind of trying to not zone in and get like 10 or focused that helps a real lot to kind of like bring it out and like broaden the view. Okay. Different options. What can I do? So he really helped me a lot with that
2 (1h 21m 47s):
Great stuff. Thanks bud. Appreciate it. Thanks.
3 (1h 21m 52s):
1 (1h 21m 59s):
If you find the Cloudbase may have valuable, you can support it in a lot of different ways. You can give us a rating on iTunes or Stitcher or however you get your podcasts that goes a long ways and help spread the word. You can blog about it on your own website or share it on social media. You can talk about it on the way up to launch with your pilot friends. I know a lot of interesting conversations have happened that way. And of course you can support us financially. This show does take a lot of time, a lot of editing, a lot of storage and music and all kinds of behind the scenes costs. So if you can support us financially, all we've ever asked for is a buck, a show, and you can do that through a one-time donation through PayPal, or you can set up a subscription service that charges you for each show that comes out. We put a new show out every two weeks.
1 (1h 22m 40s):
So for example, if you did a buck, a show and every two weeks, it'd be about $25 a year. So way cheaper than a magazine subscription. And it makes all of this possible. I do not want to fund this show with advertising or sponsors. We get asked about that pretty frequently, but I, for a whole bunch of different reasons, which I've said many times on the show, I don't want to do that. I don't like to having that stuff at the front of the show and also want you to know that these are authentic conversations with real people. And these are just our opinions, but our opinions are not being skewed by sponsors or advertising dollars and think that's a pretty toxic business model. So I hope you dig that you can support us. If you go to Cloudbase, Mayhem dot com, you can find the places to have support.
1 (1h 23m 21s):
You can do it through patrion.com/ Cloudbase Mayhem. If you want a recurring subscription, you can also do that directly through the website. We tried to make it really easy and that will give you access to all the bonus material, a little video cast that we do and extra little nuggets that we find in conversations that don't make it into the main show, but we feel like you should here. We don't put any of that behind a paywall. If you can't afford to support us, then just let me know. And I'll set you up with an account. Of course that'll be lifetime and hopefully in a year being in a position someday to be able to support us, but you'll find all that on the website. All of you who have supported us or even joined our newsletter or bought Cloudbase, Mayhem, merchandise t-shirts, or hats or anything, you should be all set up.
1 (1h 24m 5s):
You'd have an account and you should be able to access all that bonus material. Now, thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate your support and we'll see you on the next show. Thank you.