Episode 189- Flying the Himalaya with Debu Choudhury

Going big in the BIG STUFF

Debu Choudhury hails from the small village of Manali, India, a gateway to Ladakh and the infamous Karakoram pass. Pilots the world over know the region because of nearby Bir, one of the most reliable big-mountain flying sites in the world. Debu began flying there 29 years ago and chases it just as hard today as he ever has. In the world of paragliding he’s done and continues to do it all. Acro, high-level comps, tandems, guiding, instruction, vol biv and flying huge lines in the Himalaya. A member of the acclaimed “Sky Summits” team, which includes Eddie Colfox, Antoine Laurens, Stefan Bernhard, and the “Himalayan Sky Safaris team”, which included Jim Mallinson and the late John Silvester you’ll find Debu wherever the flying is good wearing one of the most contagious smiles you’ve ever seen. Enjoy this wide-ranging talk with one of our sports true legends.

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Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem. I am back and feeling better and my voice is back. So good to be back on the, on the horn here, making podcasts. My guest today is good, buddy of mine who I don't see nearly enough. Debbie Cery. He is a pilot from hails, from Manali, just on the other backside of beer. And you all know him from putting up big flights out there for years and years. He's been Flying almost 30 years.

He's part of the team with Eddie Colfax and Jim Mallinson and John Sylvester and Antoine and all those guys guiding out there. And that's where I met them the first time back in 2009, doing a trip with those guys and then back again in 2011. And Debbie now lives in France with his family and guides and instructs and does Tandems just got back from Columbia guiding down there and I've been wanting to talk to him for a long time cuz of these awesome, huge flights he's been putting up the last few years out in beer and had the record and lost the record and had the record, got the record again and lost it again.

But he's been putting up some really cool bivy flights and out and backs and just Flying in that big, magnificent, incredible terrain. So yeah, we sat down and chatted Bivy and Flying and passion and guiding and more bivy and more Flying, and had a blast. So hope you enjoy this talk with Debbie, the legend of the skies in India. Cheers.

That took us several months to put together, but it's, it's good to finally have you on the show. I'm, I'm actually, that's encouraging that we're both so hard to track down. I think that means we're having a good time.

Speaker 2 (2m 13s): Yeah, I agree. Absolutely. It's been a while, but like you say, I guess we're both having a good time and busy, but, well, I'm, I'm really happy that we got it together and glad to be here with you.

Speaker 1 (2m 24s): You know, I was laying in bed last night trying to remember the last time we saw each other. Was it, was it when I was in beer or, we've seen each other since, I hope. Right? That was 2011. It's been a

Speaker 2 (2m 35s): Minute. I think it was in Switzerland, wasn't it? In the bus? In that bus?

Speaker 1 (2m 39s): Yes,

Speaker 2 (2m 40s): That was, that's right. I was thinking, I was thinking the same last night. It was funny. I was like, when did I see Gavin? He was like in the bus in Wisp. I remember we had an evening together.

Speaker 1 (2m 49s): That's right, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Gotcha. In the, in the Niec mobile. That's so, okay, there we go. Yeah. Cool man. Cool. Well, I mean, it's, it's so fun to just think about you because it, it, it just, it it puts all these memories into my mind from those early days. I mean, I still chalk up all the madness that has happened since. I mean, those were my very early days. You know, the trip to beer in 2009, the first one, and then the second one in 2011. You know, I still had the boat thing going very much.

I mean, that was my business. I didn't have a lot of time to fly. Yeah. And it just hanging out with you and Jim and Eddie and John and, you know, I did my first biv ever with John. We flew back over the, back to Manali and Top landed and slept around a fire and gotten cased in the ice. And he was just happy as Larry. I was completely frozen and I thought, I gotta toughen up and, you know, yeah, here's some tea, you'll be good. But you've, you've been doing some amazing routes and lines and stuff out there.

And before we get to that, I just thought we should catch the audience up a little bit with you. You just got back from Columbia. I know you're doing some guiding, you're living in France now, but give us the background of, you know, the, the quick hit resume of your, your Flying history, how you got connected with the boys, you know, where you're from and what you're, what you're doing these days.

Speaker 2 (4m 13s): Yeah. Okay, so I guess, I guess I'll start at the beginning. Well, you've been to Manali, that's where I grew up in North India and my mom's Italian. My dad was Indian and I was born in Manali. And I think I first, the first paraglider as I saw there must have been about 91 or 92. And already I was like, wow, fuck that look, that looks cool. And in, in 94 I, I got the chance to have a go on the school slope with one of the local guys who started it there.

And, well that was it. You know, that was the beginning of the, I haven't stopped since. Wow. And yeah, till till about 2000 we, we flew quite a bit, but not that much cuz I would work in the summers in Europe. I mean, I quit school in the meantime, which to go work to make enough money to buy, to buy wings and shit. And then we had a nice community in beer. I mean like, you know, beer is not quite what it used to be 25 years ago.

But I remember the first season, I think it was 96 that I was there and there was maybe six of us and we spent the month Flying there and it was very chilled. You know, we'd just fly in top land we didn't really know about cross country and we kind of teach ourselves. And from there, the big change actually came in 2001 when they had a pre-World Cup there and Xavier Morelo turned up with a whole bunch of hotshot Pilots and we were like, aha, okay, there's a lot more to learn.


Speaker 1 (5m 56s): Ah, cool.

Speaker 2 (5m 57s): Which kind of motivated me to start doing comps, which opened up a whole new, new page and, and progression I guess after that I spent summers working in Europe and doing comps mainly. And then I think I started guiding in about 2006, I think when Jim and John and Eddie and all asked me to give him a hand. And so that was the beginning of the, the kind of guiding thing.

And we had quite a few years. That's where we met I think. Was it 2009? You said you came?

Speaker 1 (6m 35s): Yeah, and Antoine was there in one of the, I think Antoine was there in oh nine and I flew with him quite a bit and John and yeah, I was, it was just magic. And then when we came back in 2011 and we did that outside tandem thing. Do you remember that?

Speaker 2 (6m 52s): That's right. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (6m 53s): We brought a guy who did an article and because you guys were kind of, you were contemplating getting up, you know, a kind of a business almost going where you were sky camping with tandem passengers, which I thought was really neat.

Speaker 2 (7m 6s): Yeah, that was a tandem safari idea I think. Yeah, that's when, yeah, when we did that, I'd forgotten the name of the guy, but I remember from Outside magazine and I think John and Eddie and All did actually run one trip. I don't think I was there. I'm not sure why I wasn't there, but they did actually try it once. But I think the logistics and all was quite complicated in the end. So I think they just went back to, yeah, back to guiding after that.

Speaker 1 (7m 30s): I don't know if you remember it, I had a cra a crazy crash there Flying with John, where I just totally walked away. It was a miracle. And, but you guys had, you had it set up where Donkeys or Burrows or something would bring up, it was there, it was that place. We, we, we camped there that night where I crashed and, and they had, you know, everything got brought up to us. It was amazing. Yeah, it was really, it's, it was quite neat. I mean it wasn't that far from the beer launch as I remember it was 25 k or so down the ridge, but it was

Speaker 2 (8m 1s): Pretty big spot. Yeah, well that, that spot's become quite famous now. It's called 360 I bet. And yeah, like when we were there that time, we'd have the kernel, he'd come up, remember with all his staff and we got like a full miraja kind of treatment and tents and that was quite fun. But since then, I think around, I'm not sure which year, but a French guy called Robinson has built a super cool house up there and, and then he's hang, he's got together with the locals and they've built like a campsite and you can fly there and, and spend the night and you know, rent a tent or whatever and get food and yeah, it's super cool.

Place 360.

Speaker 1 (8m 40s): Wow. That sounds very, sounds very Alps esque.

Speaker 2 (8m 43s): Yeah, exactly. It's kind of like a, like a Indian version of a, a Swiss hu.

Speaker 1 (8m 49s): Yeah. Well you've been, I mean, before, before we get into some of the crazy awesome flights you've been doing out there, I just, you mentioned a couple things I wanted to get into. Are you still Flying comps or how, how does your, how does your year get used up Flying wise these days?

Speaker 2 (9m 9s): I

Speaker 1 (9m 9s): Know Covid disrupted everything, but let's pretend it was a normal year.

Speaker 2 (9m 14s): So basically I stopped Flying comps seriously in 2012 when I had a child or my wife had a child changes things as you know. Yes, yes. And then we had another one. So I didn't really do many comps between 2012 and then 2018 I moved back, I moved to France and I thought, okay, let's give it a try again. In 2019, I think I did two or three comps, which went pretty well. And I was like, oh, I could get back into this.

And I booked like six comps for 2020 when we all know what happened then. Yes. So, and then I did one last year I did a pre-World Cup in Goong, which again went pretty well. And I'm looking at doing the worlds this year in May. So yeah, one or two here just to see friends and, and have fun and yeah. Just, you know, you know the vibe. I do miss it sometimes. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (10m 10s): Yeah. It's a good time, isn't it? Yeah, yeah. I, I interestingly, because you're, you're ahead of me with the kids, you know, my daughter's five now, so you, you've got more experience with this, but one of the things that I'm, you know, just personally struggling with, I'd like to get your ideas on, is just the time away, you know, that the, that's really the reason I'm not doing the X Alps this year was, you know, I still love it. It was part of, it's cuz I'm 50 and it's ridiculous, but, but, but I still love the race. It's, it's just amazing. Yeah, it's such a great adventure. But the time required was, it just felt, it just felt kind of just way too selfish, you know, when you have Yeah, I, I didn't, I didn't mind it so much when she was a baby, cuz when they were a baby, it's, they really rely on mom a lot more.

I didn't really feel like I was that integral to the whole thing. But now, you know, she's skiing and she's awesome and fun and, and they change so fast. And so, you know, I was just, yeah, I did the super final this year and boy that's a long time to be away. You know, it's a, it's a, I don't know, just I'm struggling with that. What, what the right balance is there.

Speaker 2 (11m 13s): It's, it's a pretty tough one. I, I struggle with that as well. I mean, the last, the covid years in a way it was a mess, but in a way it was quite nice cause I didn't have the choice. I stayed at home. So, you know, I was, I was home for like two and a half years with not, not much traveling. And since last year I've been traveling again quite a bit. And yeah, like you say, it's hard finding the right balance. I mean, I was in India for over a month and a half last October, and that was definitely too long for everyone, you know, even, even me by the end I was like, oh, you,

Speaker 1 (11m 44s): Yeah, you, you didn't have the family there then because they, they usually go with you, don't they?

Speaker 2 (11m 48s): No, we went in April last year, the whole family for a month and then I went, went back in October to work and, and fly and yeah, the kids who got school and, and, and we've got chickens, so someone needs to be home.

Speaker 1 (12m 4s): And what about Flo? How, how, what's her approach to Flying these days?

Speaker 2 (12m 8s): Flo, since we had kids, Flo kind of stopped Flying. She carried on for a while after the first one and she wasn't into it and she was not really enjoying it so much and having some fears, so she kind of just slowly stopped and she'll occasionally come and do a hike and fly with me these days and, you know, she hasn't flown for five years, but she can walk up a mountain and take off crashes and fly off no problem. So, but yeah, she's not so into it anymore at the moment, but she might come back. Let's see. Okay.

Speaker 1 (12m 36s): Yeah. How old are your kids now?

Speaker 2 (12m 38s): 12 and seven.

Speaker 1 (12m 39s): 12 and seven, okay. Yeah. Seven. Still pretty young. Yeah. Yeah. Gotcha. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Ah, yeah. So Debbie, you've been, you've been putting up some pretty wild stuff on, on ex contest for the last bunch of years and you, you know, this is, this is your place out there, but some huge lines over the back and big triangles and there was, you were posting some videos. This was, this was that fall, was it this fall that you were posting some videos of, you know, sky camping out there and man, you looked lit up, you looked like a pilot that had been Flying for a couple years.

You were having so much fun. You were, you were obviously having a good time. So I, I'd love to hear some stories from, from beer and what you guys are doing out there these days because like I said, I was a newbie out there. I think I did my first a hundred k ever in Yeah. In beer. And I haven't been back, so that's all just kind of dreamy for me. I gotta get out there and, and tap into it.

Speaker 2 (13m 37s): Yeah. Basically in, you know, Flying, I've been fly Flying in beer since 90, 95, I think so many, many years. And we always knew that the potential was big. I mean, we didn't go over the back for quite a few years cuz we were so scared of, you know, just looking at it and, and I was sure that you could do 200 K there. And I think in 2009 I did the first 200, I did 210 or something and that was kind of an eye-opener and we were like, aha, okay, we can keep pushing this.

And that motivated me for a lot of years to go in spring for a few days and try and, and push, make it bigger and bigger. And then obviously the years that, you know, when you were there, 2006, seven, when we started exploring into the back, thanks to people like John and people like Hanza who was there, he just threw himself straight into the back. Were like, aha, okay, this can be done. And he was like, oh, it's great back there, you should go. We're like, okay.

So yeah. And then pushing each year and trying to get, trying to get the record bigger. I mean for me, you know, I've been Flying almost 20, 29 years now and I need to find things that motivate me to keep Flying and, and keep at it cuz you know, and also doing it as a job professionally, you, it's, it's hard to find the motivation sometimes. And so for quite a few years doing, trying to do the big flights in beer, that was big motivation. And then obviously, I mean, it was funny with the biv Flying when John, in the beginning, I wasn't really into it.

I'm not quite sure why, but the last few years it's been, yeah, like this autumn, we had such a good time spinning new spots and new lines in there. And then obviously with the record we had, I dunno if you've met Kubo and yeah, Kubo, you know, Kubo. So it was a big thing dong between me and Kubo and I've forgotten his friend's name, but, and each year, you know, we'd break it by one K and then he'd break it by half a K and I get another K.

But all, all of that's over this year. I dunno, you seen Phillip's flight, he's just blew, blew, blew us all out the water. It's crazy by doing a line that I would, I wouldn't have even thought of that line. I'm like, you dude, you can keep the record. I'm not going there.

Speaker 1 (16m 3s): Yeah. Let's, let's paint the picture for the listeners who, who haven't been there because it's, it's, it's worth describing a bit. I mean, I remember my still, one of my most fondest memories was maybe the first flight I ever took there where we didn't go over the back, but I was following John and he just kept going to places where, you know, I had been, you know, a newbie mountain pilot, but in other parts of the world and you just don't go to those places in other parts of the world, you know, it was, there was no wind, you just kept going.

I mean, it was the first place that I had ever flown where you just fly where it makes sense with the sun, you know, and you just kind of forget everything else. Yeah. You just, okay, that face is getting sun, we will go to that face and regardless of how buried and deep and you know, and convoluted, it was just, oh, so fun. It was amazing to just dive into places where you usually be pretty puckered. Yeah. In the beginning you are puckered and then, then you're, then you get used to the place, you know? Yeah, that's totally reasonable.

That completely works. But you've got the front range, which is what is about 4,000 meters, and then the next one back is five and then the ne the big ones, right? Then you get into the sixes, is that about right? Yeah, more or less. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (17m 21s): Yeah, that's, that's kind right. Okay. I mean that's, that's the beauty of beer for me. It's, you know, it's definitely on one of the top places to fly because the menu is so big, you know, you can, you can play safe out front on the front ridge, you can go into the back just a little bit or you can go, like you say, really deep in, into the six thousands and basically the, the front ridge, which tops out at about 4 42 and you've got about, I would say 40 K and 70 K, so about 120 k of ridge, which, like you said, there's no real wind cuz it's the first big hills, big mountains before the flat.

So there's no real valley wind. And I think the mountains behind are so big that you don't have, you know, even when there's a strong north wind up high, it doesn't affect that. And which makes it a great playground cuz you can, yeah, like you said, you can fly all over the place. There's no real lee side and it works super well and it's predictable. I mean, it's super easy to fly cross country there as, as you know. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (18m 23s): So the, the, the flight that Philip did, describe that a little bit. Well I'll put that up in the show notes. I know what you're talking about. We'll, we'll, but what, what did he do?

Speaker 2 (18m 33s): So basically before all the big flights that we've been doing, like, you know, the record 256 or 57, I think I did, I think 2018, that was the record till Phillip blew it out the water this year. And basically we'd be running on the front range past tar, so going west as we before we used to go about 90 K West, but there's an army base and Kubo started getting in trouble. So we, we, there's a, there's a, there's a limit of airspace, which is about 80, 83 k.

And then we turn around and race back and then go to Pruser Lake, which is on the east side and try and push a point as far there and get back to beer. So kind of, you know, the second half is a little bit in the back, but it's mainly a big ridge run. But Philip,

Speaker 1 (19m 22s): How far down, is that getting pretty close to the Nepal border? No. Or is that still a long ways out?

Speaker 2 (19m 27s): Okay. When we go east from beer, it's only about 45 K East Pruser Lake or something. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (19m 33s): Ah, yeah. Okay. Yeah. Okay,

Speaker 2 (19m 34s): Okay. But what Phillip did was he went, instead of going just west, he went northwest. So he jumped in the back and then jumped into the valley behind the main Doar range and flew the whole Chumba Valley. And actually he was, he when, you know, I spoke to him later that day and his plan wasn't even to do a record. He was just going for a biv and he flew up there and it was a super good day and he thought, oh, I can turn around and fly back to beer.

So, and when he got, when he came close back to beer, he said, oh, I can just fly another 15 K that way and I've got a new record. So that's what he did. And obviously he sent me the, he sent me his track as soon as he landed the bastard and Yeah.

Speaker 1 (20m 24s): Was rubbing it in. Rubbing it

Speaker 2 (20m 26s): In. I was like, what can you say? You know, it was an amazing, amazing line that he did. I I hadn't even thought of that though, you know, it was very engaged.

Speaker 1 (20m 34s): That's, it is, it is quite cool, isn't it, when you know strangers come to your home place and kind of show you, you know, I've, I've had this dream of, you know, kriegel coming here and just showing us what's possible. Yeah. Because you get in your, this is how you do it, you know, and, and somebody can come along and go, Nope. That there's a whole bunch of ways to do

Speaker 2 (20m 54s): It. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Well that's the,

Speaker 1 (20m 56s): Oh, very cool.

Speaker 2 (20m 57s): That's the beauty of it, isn't it? That, you know, you think, you think one thing, but then someone's like, actually there's a lot more.

Speaker 1 (21m 5s): Yeah, right, right. So is your, is your push there now? You know, the kind of keeping the passion lead is more the bivy stuff or is it still you gonna chase Philip?

Speaker 2 (21m 16s): No, I think Philip can keep that one. I'm not going where he went. I got two kids went. I saw some of the, I saw, so I saw some of the footage of that day and he's like, oh, this is just a little cold. He's at five five and he's from full bar and he just squeaks through. I'm like, dude,

Speaker 1 (21m 35s): Ooh. Yeah. So just big, just big terrain. Yeah. That, that's another thing that we should probably describe, you know, at, on the 4,000 Meter, you know, you're totally in civilization the whole way that civilization's just right in front, you know, that's why they have comps there and everything else. And, and, and that rapidly deteriorates as I remember as you go back.

Speaker 2 (21m 56s): Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1 (21m 57s): You start to get into, there's not a lot back there in terms of villages and people and stuff,

Speaker 2 (22m 1s): Right? No, I mean, when you do the first jump back from beer, you've got, you know, you've got a wild where there's villages and you can land and then there comes a point where you decide to go in further. Like, you know, even if you just fly to Manali, which is not very far, but it's still quite a committing flight. You're in some big terrain where you, you don't really want to go down. If you do, you, you know, hopefully you're fine and you've got a long walkout. There was, yeah, there's obviously been quite a few stories over the year, years in beer of people landing in the back and walking for a couple of days to get out and, and stuff like that.

But yeah, it's, it gets pretty wild once the deeper you go, the more committing it gets, obviously. For sure.

Speaker 1 (22m 45s): Hmm. What's, what's, what's a line that you've flown or a biv that you've done that, that you, you dream about at night still is something that you, you're really proud of or you really, you still think, gosh, I'd love to do that again or something similar.

Speaker 2 (23m 2s): I did, I did quite a nice line this year. We all went for a biv together. Actually it was 14 of us biv together. It was quite funny. It was a party. Whoa. Wow.

Speaker 1 (23m 12s): That's a sky party. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (23m 13s): That's exactly what it was. And we vivid at this new spot I found on the Back Ridge, which is great spot, really nice. And the next day everyone was Flying back to beer and I kind of thought, oh, maybe I'll fly to Manali. I wanted to go and see my mum and I knew the weather was bad for a few days and I took quite a deep line inside and there's a peak, the head of the Manali Valley, which is about 6,000 meters. And my goal was to try and fly above it.

I didn't quite get it, you know, I got to five eight, so I almost got over the peak, but that was quite a spectacular flight. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That was pretty nice.

Speaker 1 (23m 52s): Ooh, that's up there. Yeah. Are you Flying with, are you Flying with os when you're doing that type of stuff or no? Is that too hard to get?

Speaker 2 (23m 59s): No, it's a bit complicated in India to get, and I mean I've, yeah, I've been up to six few times and I've never, never had had too much of an issue with that. So I say that you do, you know, been very happy sometimes too happy. When you, when I look back at, at some of the footage, I'm like, hmm, you're not quite right there. Right.

Speaker 1 (24m 22s): Yeah. Yeah. You, it it, and it's funny how it affects people in different ways. Yeah. You know, I I tend to get really goofy and silly and laughing and Exactly. Then I, if I get on the radio I, people say, I can't understand the thing you're saying, but in my mind I sound fine. You know, it's a, it's a weird Yeah. Hypoxia is strange.

Speaker 2 (24m 44s): It's a funny one. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (24m 46s): Yeah. I guess you guys deal with that quite a bit or do you really do not, not so much. Maybe you get a kind of adjusted to the altitude

Speaker 2 (24m 55s): 'em so hard. Yeah. Mean personally I've never really had a problem with it. And I mean, when we're guiding clients and stuff, we, we, yeah. We avoid taking them super, super high or, or going super deep. I mean, I did one flight with a couple of clients this year, which was fairly deep inside and it was, it was quite stressful at points, you know, it was very rewarding for all of us at the end. But at points I think, I think they said, you have quite a squeaky voice at points. I'm like,

Speaker 1 (25m 27s): You should just do what John did. You no one could understand him. It was just, I just, I just, I just learned after a while that you just had to follow him because he was so happy and excited. Yeah. No matter what he was doing that he didn't make any sense. It was just, yeah, he was just, yeah, buzzing. John

Speaker 2 (25m 44s): Was definitely squeaky all the time. So, yeah. When he was buzzing, he is like, I remember, couldn't get much of what he was saying.

Speaker 1 (25m 54s): I, I have to ask you Debbie, what's your approach to, how do you guys tackle bivy in that area? Because I remember John telling me when he did the, not the group big flight all the way to Nepal with Antoine and everybody that the film, but didn't he do a, he did a huge solo thing right? Where he talked about, you know, basically he just packed an extra pair of underwear. That was it. You know, he relied on the communities for milk and food, you know, he just said everywhere I'd land they'd come to me and, you know, they'd, they'd ask me to share their little house and, and they'd take care of him and I mean, he didn't have anything.

I'm sure he had some tea cuz he is, yeah, no brick goes anywhere without, no self-respecting brick goes anywhere without tea. But is that how you guys kind of approach it now too? Or do you, do you go pretty light?

Speaker 2 (26m 40s): No, we got, we, the bies we were, were doing, we were pretty kitted out. Yeah, okay. We were pretty kitted out to, especially as well. I mean the last, the bies I was doing this year was mainly more in the back kind of deep in and high up. So obviously no villages and no fresh milk coming up there. So, so yeah, we were pretty equipped with, with food and stoves and, you know, the usual, all the usual gear.

Speaker 1 (27m 8s): And what's the status with inReach there now? Cause there's always been, you know, I get a call every once in a while, you know, somebody's disappeared in beer and they're trying to figure things out and, you know, I, I'm quite handy with the inReach and you know, the folks at Garment quite well. So I, I, I try to help if I can, but there's, there's always been this weird thing with India and

Speaker 2 (27m 28s): Not supposed to use 'em. I mean, everyone's using them in beer, which is great. I mean, they've saved more than a few lives as you know, but it's still kind of illegal to have any satellite device. I think I recently heard they were doing something to legalize it, but obviously the word hasn't gotten round and people have got in trouble when they have their inReach in their handbag, for example, going out. So they're still kind of illegal, but we still recommend all our clients to bring one.

Yeah, just pack it deep in your bag and, and hopefully, right.

Speaker 1 (28m 4s): Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Gotcha. So 20, I think you mentioned you've been Flying 29 years and, you know, things changed a little bit when you had kids and then changed again when you had Covid, but you just got back from Columbia. So you're obviously still doing quite a bit of guiding. Is it, have you had any periods in that 30, almost 30 years of Flying where it hasn't really had the zing for you or you've thought about doing something else? Or how have you been able to maintain the, the kind of passion over all these years for it?

Speaker 2 (28m 36s): Yeah, that's, that's a good question. I think the most, I think for the last quite a few years I've managed to keep the zing as you say. There was a point, like I was saying before, before I started doing comps, I kind of got to a plateau where, you know, I thought, you know, in beer we were Flying to and back and here and there we're like, yeah, we, we got this way cool. And then, like I said, a whole bunch of comp Pilots turned up and we're like, aha, we're actually really

Speaker 1 (29m 5s): Slow. Maybe not so good. Right?

Speaker 2 (29m 8s): So, I mean, the comps kept me going for, for quite a long time with the, with the motivation and just, you know, as you know, you know, when you do comps and you see some of these Pilots, you're like, there's still so much to learn. And lately, I mean, I did quite a few years of Acro as well, so in the beginning till about 2007, I used to compete, so that was quite motivating as well. And then, yeah, trying to break the record and make a big flight, a new glider or a new harness always helps that keeps you, that keeps you going for a while here and there.

And yeah, right now it's probably biv Flying and trying to do different lines, big lines. And also what I like doing in India or in the Himalayas is kind of trying to get above a peak. Like not even what, not even trying to, not even bothered about the case or the distance or whatever, but just trying to, you know, soar up a 6,000 meter peak or something, which is so yeah. Things like that. I always try and keep, you know, find something to, to keep the motivation up. Not always easy

Speaker 1 (30m 15s): Do you, do you fly? Yeah. Do you're, you're in the Grano area in France, amazing area to fly is, do you fly quite a bit at home as well?

Speaker 2 (30m 25s): When I can, yeah. Yeah. I mean I work quite a lot as well when I'm here. So in the, in the, you know, it's quite frustrating working in a paragliding school at times when you're on the school slope. Yes. And it's an amazing day and you know, all your friends are doing 200 K and, but yeah, I still get to fly quite a lot whenever I can, you know, what have I got? I've got a Zen oh two that keeps me quite motivated these days. That's a lot of fun to fly. And also what's, what's great here is what, you know, in India when I was living in India, a lot of the flights, the big flights I was doing, I was doing on my own and a lot of the big lines in Manali when I was living there.

Whereas here, there's a whole, whole bunch of friends who are really good and really keen. So the group, you know, the group effect is great as well. So I've got a lot of friends that I go Flying with here and you know, whenever it's the big day, everyone's super excited and everyone's messaging each other, okay, tomorrow's a big day, we're gonna go here, we're gonna, so yeah, stuff like that. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (31m 24s): How would you say, you know, if you could carve up your year, the, the Flying portion and percent, how much is guiding, how much is teaching, how much is just personal and are you guiding and are you, you're still guiding in beer, like with Eddie and those guys, or that's

Speaker 2 (31m 40s): More

Speaker 1 (31m 40s): Just for fun when you're out to beer after

Speaker 2 (31m 42s): The, I think I did the 2019 season and then I missed 2021 obviously like most people. And then last year I was guiding in beer, I was guiding a vol beef trip actually, which was, which was a lot of fun, huh? I just had two clients and we had a great time. We discovered new sports and yeah, did some big lines with them. I do a lot of tandems as well in France,

Speaker 1 (32m 6s): You know. Okay.

Speaker 2 (32m 7s): Okay. I think I did about 400, 400, 450 tandems last year. So that takes up a bit of time.

Speaker 1 (32m 12s): Whoa. Yeah, that's plenty.

Speaker 2 (32m 14s): Yeah. So yeah. Great. And then in between whenever I can, I do, I quite a lot of hike and play at home, which is great as well, you know, that, you know, and it's where there's not amazing for Flying at least to get, to go hiking and, and fly down.

Speaker 1 (32m 29s): So are you competing at all in hike and fly?

Speaker 2 (32m 32s): No, no. I thought about it for a while and then I'm like, ah, yeah, sounds, sounds like, like,

Speaker 1 (32m 39s): Because there's so many Yeah, there's so many in Europe now. They're just, I mean, every little site's got a a, a new hike and fly race. Yeah. It's really cool. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (32m 48s): Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (32m 49s): That's a very burgeoning thing over here, but it's,

Speaker 2 (32m 52s): It's getting very, it's very popular in Europe. I mean, I thought about it for a while and I haven't, maybe one day you never know, but I haven't got round to yet.

Speaker 1 (33m 3s): For those listening who are thinking about maybe coming to beer and, and doing some bivy, what are some guidelines? What, what do they need to know? What's, what should they show up with anything different than how they would do it in the Alps?

Speaker 2 (33m 18s): No, not really, but just, you know, just obviously have an in reach or you know, if you are gonna go out, if you obviously let people know what your plan is or where you're going and have in mind that, yeah, you're not in the Alps. I mean we've, we've managed to get helicopters out in beer for incidents in the recently years, but, you know, it's usually the next day. It's not 10 minutes, like in, in the friend shops. So yeah, I suppose just, just really looking at the risk versus reward over there and taking that more into account and yeah, maybe playing it a little bit extra safe and yeah, I think just, yeah, letting people know or doing it as a group or with friends, you know, I think that's, that's important.

Speaker 1 (34m 3s): How do, how does it work with water? There are, are you carrying all your water? Are you, are you able to top land places and there's enough snow and snow melt? I guess in the spring there'd be plenty of snow, but is there in the fall?

Speaker 2 (34m 16s): Yeah, there's no, I mean, this year I, I, I think I, I, I found three or four new spots and I found it quite amusing to actually pick a spot and then fly around for a while and check it out and say, okay, yeah, I can see the water there, I can see firewood there, da da, okay, this looks like a good spot. Let's, you know, looks land above, let's try that. I mean, I usually try and fly with at least two or three liters of water on me in case you, you, you know, you can still, you can spend a night for with, with, with that, obviously finding a spot with water makes it much more comfortable.

So yeah, I felt I was, I was having quite a lot of fun looking at little streams and this and that and, and, and figuring out few of the times I got, you know, I was like, oh, that looks easy. And then when you're down there and you're walking to it, you're like, oh, actually this is like an hour and a half away. But yeah, that's, I guess that's all part of part of the fun, huh?

Speaker 1 (35m 15s): Yeah, it is part of the fun and kind of figuring that out. And I, I often, I like Flying around a lot because it, it usually looks so much better on first pass than it ends up being and you, you, you realize, oh, I can't fly out of this place. Yeah. You know, you've landed all those trees are a lot higher than I

Speaker 2 (35m 35s): Obviously. That's one other point, you know, you want, wanna be able to take off again. I mean, we did end up this year landing and like you say afterwards we're like, Hmm, okay, I think we're gonna have to walk over there. You know, it's a lot closer when, when you're in the air, but, you know, we ended up walking a couple of hours to find a launch and, and stuff like that.

Speaker 1 (35m 52s): How do you, I would imagine guiding people on v biv, it's gotta be a little stressful, especially in big terrain like that. How do you, how, how do you, what am I trying to say? How, how do you make sure, how do you screen people before doing something like that? Are these always clients that you've flown with before or, I mean I've done, you just kind of look at their resume and Yeah,

Speaker 2 (36m 16s): I've done two, two of these before in beer. And the first obviously, I mean we spent the first day top landing all over the place and just watching them and getting, getting a feel for their skills for that, cuz that's a big part of it. Top landing, checking all the equipment and then we'd go out for one night to a easy spot. Like I think Hobbiton in beer, I dunno if you, you camp there, you know, nice Easy ridge. Yeah. So, you know, do an easy night out, see how it all goes.

And we fly back to beer, spend a night at the hotel and then we, then we go out for two nights, you know, and just build it up slowly, slowly and obviously a little bit stressful getting people to, to top end and taking off again. But yeah, we kind of screened the guys and two of the guys who I had before came back this year, so I knew them. So, you know, it was, once you know the clients then you know what their skills are, then it, it gets easier and you can push it a little bit more.

But obviously yeah, keeping, keeping the risk versus reward thing reasonable, you know, then sometimes they're like, oh, we wanna do this, we wanna do that. I'm like, actually no, no, we're gonna keep it safe. You can come back and do this on your own if you want, but

Speaker 1 (37m 34s): Right, right, right, right. Keep it between the lines. Exactly.

Speaker 2 (37m 38s): That's

Speaker 1 (37m 38s): What CNO always says, you must have a good story or two from over the years of something crazy that went down. Anything you remember from just that was a wild one. Either either that pulled you, pulled it off, or maybe that didn't go so well. But either way,

Speaker 2 (37m 57s): Story about me or about someone else?

Speaker 1 (38m 0s): Yeah, any either one.

Speaker 2 (38m 2s): I've got a, I've got a good one from, from last year, actually. I'm not gonna mention names. Let's keep it.

Speaker 1 (38m 12s): Ooh, this is exciting. All right, here we go.

Speaker 2 (38m 17s): So I was in Manali in spring and a good friend of mine was in beer and we were supposed to meet and I was like, oh, why don't you fly to Manali? You can come and see me. So he says, yeah, sure, that'd be fun. And so I was following him on the inReach and I can see, you know, and, and I was out hiking that day or something and I was, you know, occasionally checking and I'm like, oh, looks like he's going for it today. I'm like, doesn't look like the best day. You know, the clouds are quite big.

It's, and then at one point I see his track go off course completely. I'm like, that's no good, that's no good. And then I see him, you know, he's still at four grand, but the mountains around are at five and a half. I'm like, he's fucked. And I see the track go deeper and deeper and then I see the track stop and so yeah, I'm shitting myself and I'm like, ooh. And half now later I get a message on the inReach cuz he had me on his reach.

He's like, I'm fine, landed on a glacier, but I'm okay, but I don't know where I am. So I'm like, okay, I know where you are. There's a village seven K down from where you are, the only village in the whole place. You might be able to walk there, are you okay? And then I got messaged back, he's saying, oh yeah, by the way, I landed on a glacier and then I fell in the river, all my, my gliders in the river, but I'm fine.

Oh. And I'm like, okay, can you, can you walk out of there? And he says, okay, I'll try. And then 10 minutes later I get a message, he says, I tried to walk out, it's very slippery. I fell back in the river, I'm all wet again, I'm outside. I'm like, don't move dude. I'm like, don't move, you know, this is wild terrain back there. We can see what we can do. And so I spent the whole afternoon trying to organize a chopper, which we got, we got the chopper together, but it was, but it only picked him up the next morning at 10 o'clock.

So he spent the night wet at three eight in the bottom of Glacial Valley and with lots of bears and shit around. So yeah, it was full on. And basically what had happened was that he tried to get over a cold, but the base was low. So he thought I'll go in the cloud. So he went in the cloud, got disorientated, ended up in this tight glacial valley and was trying to fly out of the valley. And obviously when he got then he thought, okay, I'm gonna land.

There was places to land before, but he tried pushing it and obviously when he got near the, there was kind of snow bridges over the river and bits of river open. And I think he got near a place where he wanted to land, but the wind was coming down the valley with the cold with all the, you know, was a C. So he landed on the edge of this snow bridge and got pulled into the river drift. Oh god. Yeah. And the river took him like a hundred meters down where the R Holy smokes where the river went back under the glacier.

It was like a black hole. And he managed to get, get on the last rock just before going back, you know, would, it was just a horror story.

Speaker 1 (41m 39s): Oh my God. That's just the worst case scenario. He's amazing. He got out of that. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (41m 44s): Very lucky man. He's a great guy. I hope he doesn't mind me telling this.

Speaker 1 (41m 51s): There's no, there's no who's gonna know.

Speaker 2 (41m 53s): He knows lots of people though anyway. Yeah, it's, yeah. But it was a very good lesson for, you know, yeah, don't go in the clouds at five grand and try and get over calls. But yeah, super, super lucky. So he left his wing and his harness in the river, obviously, and the helicopter got him out and it was all fine. And then a week later, Philip, Philip decided to go and pick up the harness cuz it was a nice harness.

He said, oh, can I keep it if I go and get it? So

Speaker 1 (42m 29s): It sounds like Phillip.

Speaker 2 (42m 30s): So he flew, he flew biv landed at 4, 4, 5, walked down with ropes, went into the river, picked up the harness, climbed back up again, spent the night and flew out with the harness.

Speaker 1 (42m 45s): No way.

Speaker 2 (42m 47s): What

Speaker 1 (42m 47s): Are you serious? That's unbelievable. Oh my gosh. That's d I love that dude. Hey, did But the wing's still there?

Speaker 2 (42m 55s): The wing's still there. Yeah, it was,

Speaker 1 (42m 58s): Oh, anybody listening, you wanna go get a wing?

Speaker 2 (43m 0s): Oh, Philip was like, oh, it was in the river. It was fun.

Speaker 1 (43m 4s): Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Toast, but oh my gosh.

Speaker 2 (43m 8s): Yeah. And, and then Philip as he's walking up, he showed me a video, he's, he sent me a video, he's like, oh, I saw a bear. It was really cute. And he showed me the video. It's a big, huge brown bear, like 20 meters away from him. He's like, oh look at his cute ears. I'm like, don't, you're insane. Yeah,

Speaker 1 (43m 27s): When we were doing, when we were doing a BIV with Antoine and the Sierras all those years ago. Yeah. Oreo Fernandez was with us and bombed out one day. We all had our days, you know, as you do. Yeah. And he bombed out one day and came across a couple of pretty good sized bears and it freaked him out so bad. That was the end of his trip.

Speaker 2 (43m 50s): I can

Speaker 1 (43m 51s): Understand. He didn't think they were very cute. Yeah, he didn't, he's like, we, we don't, we don't get these in Spain. I'm done with this. Okay, well that was a good one. How about, do you got any more That's, that's what I want. I wanna hear stories from beer

Speaker 2 (44m 7s): That that's a pretty,

Speaker 1 (44m 8s): Or other places.

Speaker 2 (44m 10s): That's a good one. I can't, I can't come up with one off the top of my head. That was the,

Speaker 1 (44m 14s): I'm visualizing getting pulled off a snow drift going in the river and going into a, you know, getting,

Speaker 2 (44m 21s): It was

Speaker 1 (44m 21s): Oh, flushed underground. That'd be terrifying.

Speaker 2 (44m 24s): Yeah, it was. That was pretty scary. I mean, yeah, over the years, I mean, beer has, I mean, you know, a lot of them are horror stories, which I don't really want. Right. I really wanna get into that. There

Speaker 1 (44m 37s): Are a lot of horror stories,

Speaker 2 (44m 38s): But yeah, it's getting, it's gotten really popular beer, I mean like, you know, in October there's 5, 6, 700 Pilots coming through. Wow. So yeah. Not quite like what it was in 2009. Super busy. Yeah. So

Speaker 1 (44m 53s): Even, even then, I mean, I, the, the, I I have distinct memories of just the, the launch I thought was terrifying. You know, you had, you had these, you know, Pilots that, you know, i i, we don't wanna name a country, but we could name a country where they would show up Flying, you know, open class gliders, prototypes and stuff. And they had 10 hours, you know, was the rumor. I don't know if that was true, but you know, they barely knew how to launch and Flying comp gliders and you know, one instructor for 40 Pilots and stuff like this.

I mean, I don't know if, again, that these were, I don't know if any of this was true, but it was, it certainly looked true on launch where you're just going, oh my god, I gotta get outta here. So I don't see any more of this stuff. It was terrifying.

Speaker 2 (45m 39s): Yeah, it was kind of like that again, this year it's a little bit better. The, the quality of Pilots gone up a bit. But yeah, it's super busy. Cuz I guess it's one of the best places to fly in October in the world is not many places like Columbia. I was certainly, I was pretty shocked in Colombia that was pretty full on, on launch. Yes, it was. Yes. So yeah, I mean there's been over the years lots of interesting rescue stories in beer. Some, some, some good ones, some not so good ones. But yeah, I, I can't, I can't come up with one right off the top of my head.

The one I just told that was the best one so far, I think.

Speaker 1 (46m 16s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean it must be interesting to do this with, with clients and stuff too. I mean, I, I still remember Flying around with you guys and for, for some reason I, they, I got put onto John and it just following him around and that terrain was, was really, I, you know, I I would just have to encourage listeners, you know, if you haven't done, it's not really part of our culture in the States to get guided. Yeah. You know, we don't, it's really much more of a European thing.

You know, when you climb, when you go climbing, you get a guide. When you go skiing, you get a guide. Yeah. And because I have friends who are guides, I, I really, I love that. I, I just love going with a guide there. You know, they, they know the terrain, it's just, they, they they bring you to the best places. Yeah. And that was the first time I had done it in Flying. And, and again I was, I was, I was pretty new. But just following you guys around and, and having the stoke and, and also just having that little bit of care and concern.

You just felt like you were in good hands, but quite an eclectic group. You and Antoine and John and Eddie and Jim. My goodness. I mean, you couldn't ask for a more eclectic group. I think, you know, know, I heard the evenings were more exciting than the days. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (47m 35s): They were good times.

Speaker 1 (47m 37s): Oh man. Yeah. Yeah. It was, we lost John recently. How has that, how has that affected the dynamics there? Obviously legend. Hard, hard.

Speaker 2 (47m 48s): Yeah. Well John Alwa was and always will be one of, you know, one of the legends. Not just there kind of all over the world really. Sure. Yeah. I mean he, he'd stopped coming for quite a, you know, at least three, three seasons before, before he passed away last year or the year before. So yeah. And it was, it was a shame cuz I would've, I would've loved to have seen John once before he left us. But yeah, obviously everyone around there still talks about John and you know, and, and, and some of the lines and some of the flights and his style of Flying obviously, you know, it's still still legendary and

Speaker 1 (48m 25s): Seat of the pants. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (48m 27s): And yeah, we definitely missed the squeaky voice.

Speaker 1 (48m 31s): Yes. Oh yes. Yeah, totally. Totally. But Jim and Eddie, are they still spending quite a bit of time there?

Speaker 2 (48m 39s): I mean, since I haven't seen Jim since 2019. I recently, Eddie came out this year in October. I mean, they stopped doing the guiding thing. Jim stopped quite a few years ago and Eddie kind of was doing a little bit, but now he's, he did some again with us this year and I think he's back into it. So Cool. Yeah, I haven't seen Jim for a couple of years. I'm quite looking forward to seeing him again. He's cut off his dreads by the way, so it's gonna look like a

Speaker 1 (49m 6s): Oh my gosh. A kid. Imagine I haven't, I'm actually getting him on the show here soon. So

Speaker 2 (49m 11s): I haven't seen him without dread perspective. You'll see him.

Speaker 1 (49m 15s): That'll be weird. I don't know if I'll recognize him.

Speaker 2 (49m 17s): Yeah. But, but yeah, I've been working a lot the last few years with, with Stefan, you know, Stefan, Stefan, Bernard. Yeah. Yeah, he's great guy as well. We, we, we get along really well and it's been fun guiding with

Speaker 1 (49m 31s): Wicked Comp pilot. Yeah. Really good. He's fast. Yeah, he's really good. Very, he has a lot more discipline than I do, man. Yeah, same. I've got, I could, I I, I gotta learn that from him. Yeah, that's real. So you're still got a cool crew going there. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (49m 47s): That's great. We got a good, good team. So still, still fun.

Speaker 1 (49m 51s): What, after all these years, what are your kind of, you know, do you, do you think it's important to kind of keep having personal goals? Do you have personal goals with your Flying and how you approach your year? Or is it mostly just works to kind of sapping it up and most important when you can? Yeah,

Speaker 2 (50m 7s): Kind of. I think it's important to have, have some personal goals with you Flying like we talked about before, to keep motivated. And I mean, what, the thing I really love about Flying is that, you know, you never, you never stop learning. You know, you're always getting better. I mean, I still feel that each year I learn new shit and, you know, I improve on certain things or you find one aspect of your Flying that you, you think, you know, you can work on that and improve that or the efficiency or the lines of, it's just, yeah, it's never ending game, isn't it?

Which is, which is what I love about it. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (50m 41s): Do you find you get more conservative as, as the years go by and, and if so, do you wait that to any particular thing? Is it the kids, is it your wife? Is it age?

Speaker 2 (50m 53s): Sometimes

Speaker 1 (50m 54s): Yes. Or or do you not

Speaker 2 (50m 55s): Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Sometimes you're like, oh actually I'm gonna just take it a little bit easier here. And sometimes you do shit and you're like, fuck, maybe I shouldn't have done that. What I'm doing, what am I doing? Yeah. But again, again, that, that's the beauty of it, you know, that's where we, that's where you get the kick. So yeah, I guess, I guess we're all addicted to it and you know, we get our hits different ways.

Speaker 1 (51m 23s): Where will you be guiding this year?

Speaker 2 (51m 26s): This year I'm going back to beer in October. I haven't got, I've got a pretty busy summer actually, so I don't think, I don't think I'll be doing any guiding. I think I'll be doing mainly some teaching and a bunch of tandems. I've got my whole family coming out from India, so yeah, pretty busy with that. And then back to beer in Autumn and I think I'll be going to Columbia again. I like that. That was, it was a lot of fun. So, yeah, not, not, not as much guiding as before, but yeah, I try and mix and match it with the professional side of it.

Cuz I think, cuz I've got friends who just do tandems all year round and they just burn out, you know, they don't wanna fly anymore, which is understandable. Sure. So I try and mix and match it a little bit, which keeps me motivated to, you know, do a bit of teaching, a bit of tandems, a bit of guiding. Keeps it fun.

Speaker 1 (52m 16s): You know, the, the, the time that most people go to beer is in the fall, you know, this kind of last couple weeks of October and usually the first week or so of November and then the Monso starts. But the, it seems to me, I, I've never done it, but it seems to me like the real season is the spring and that seems to be when you guys are grabbing the big stuff.

Speaker 2 (52m 34s): Spring is, is the time. I like Flying in beer. It's, you know, it's, when you get the big, big days, obviously it's, it's a bit less reliable than October. I mean, you know, mid-October through to mid-November you can fly pretty much every day and it's good. Whereas in spring you might get a front come through or it might storm quickly for a few days. So you know, you, but when you get the big days more downtime. Yeah. When you get the big days, you know, the days are obviously longer. You can take off at nine and fly to six, which gives you nine hours of Flying.

Where it's in October, you know, it's maybe 10, 10 30 to to four. So less, the, the thing that's better in October though is it's better for going in deep. Cuz in spring all the back mountains are covered in snow. So it's obviously working a lot. You know, it's a lot slower and difficult to maybe get as high and obviously more committing with all the snow around than, than in autumn. So there's, there's, you know, plus and minus points for both, both seasons.

But personally I I, I like April. April end of April is, yeah.

Speaker 1 (53m 39s): Yeah, it looks pretty magic. Then the how about some hints for warmth, you know, when you're Flying at that kind of altitude and obviously can be really cold. I remember how cold it is there when you get tall. Yeah. How are you, how are you keeping your hands warm? How are you keeping your body warm? What are you guys using?

Speaker 2 (53m 59s): Well, body. Body and you know, have a good pod obviously for the bottom half and yeah, big down jackets, you know, for the body. I've been using one of those, you know, like a big expedition jacket that does it job and makes a nice pillow as well when you're baby and for the hands it's, yeah. Lifelong mission I guess. Trying to find the right solution. But you kidding God, last year I used those, you know, the Monson things, the things that you put the over sleeves, which are

Speaker 1 (54m 31s): Over

Speaker 2 (54m 31s): Met Yeah. Over Mets, which are really kind of annoying cuz they fla around and do this and that. But I've found that they're actually the most efficient, you know, they, they do actually work and keep your hands warm. So once you figure out a technique to make friends with them, then they do work. So I've been using that. Yeah,

Speaker 1 (54m 49s): Yeah, yeah. I find that that's kinda the best of it. You know, Kriegel put me onto, he just uses his small gloves and then they have those basses ra, however you say, it's a Swiss company. They have the obits that are really more, you know, they're not the kind that you tie up. Yeah. You know, the down sleeves that you tie up in so they, they're not as gangly on launch and everything, but, but then you're, it's kind of hard to use your hands. Yeah. Cause when you take it out, you've still got the smaller gloves on so you can't, you know, it's pretty hard to go to your instruments or to Yeah.

To to use anything. But it's, but they're warm.

Speaker 2 (55m 24s): I mean I've been, I've been taking off with the over admits on your, on your forearms, you know, when you fly and fly with normal. Yeah. Rolling down with, with normal bass rush gloves. And then when you get called you, you bring them up and close them. And that, that's, that was doing the job pretty well.

Speaker 1 (55m 40s): That works pretty well, huh?

Speaker 2 (55m 41s): Cool.

Speaker 1 (55m 43s): Debbie. Always terrific. It's good to see you, man. Yeah, it's been, it's, it's nice to, nice to see you here. It's been too long. Yeah, yeah. Since the bus in Switzerland, so. We'll, we'll have to catch up in, in real time here and, and do some Flying together and congratulations on the big flights. That's been a hoot to watch, man. I've been, I've been building a house. I've been Flying that much, so I get my kicks off watching guys like you and have some

Speaker 2 (56m 8s): Great, yeah, yeah. Maybe see you in May. You coming for the worlds in France.

Speaker 1 (56m 13s): You know what, I, I completely hammered my spot, man. I had a spot on the team and in Menorca I got a little too hungry in the end. I was leading through Dave. You were, you were, were winning Really good comp. I was watching. Yeah. And then I blew it. I had two days in a row where I got a little too hungry and thought, Ooh, I'm really gonna stomp it. And, and so, and I, I missed the world's team by a couple points. So I was, yeah. So not, that's not the plan right now, but I am, I'm gonna go to the Brazil World Cup and the Spain World Cup right now. Okay.

And there's still a chance for world if we get another slot or somebody doesn't go. Yeah. You know, maybe, but Okay. Love

Speaker 2 (56m 50s): To see you. But yeah, anytime you're in, in France, hit me up. You come and stay. We've got nice place. Plenty of space. You're welcome.

Speaker 1 (56m 58s): Love to. Yeah, love to. Hi to the crew. Hi to Flow and the kids. Nice one. Thanks bud. Yeah, nice. Nice chatting with you.

Speaker 2 (57m 4s): Been a pleasure. Cheers, Kevin.

Speaker 1 (57m 10s): If you find the Cloudbase Mayhem valuable, you can support it in a lot of different ways. You can give us a rating on iTunes or Stitcher, however you get your podcast. 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 cost. So if you can support us financially, all we've ever asked for is about the 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. So for example, if you did a buck of 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 wanna 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 having that stuff at the front of the show.

And I 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. I think that's a pretty toxic business model. So I hope you dig that. You can support us if you go to Cloudbase mam.com, you can find the places to support. You can do it through patreon.com/ Cloudbase mam. If you want a recurring subscription, you can also do that directly through the website. We've tried to make it really easy and that will give you access to all the bonus material, a little videocast 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 hear. 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, and you're 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. You should have an account. You should be able to access all that bonus material now.

Thank you so much, much for listening. I really appreciate your support and we'll see you on the next show. Thank you.


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