Episode 195- Sending in Style with Philipp Zellner

Austrian pilot Philipp Zellner is a name XContest fanatics know well. Philipp is an acro ace and professional tandem pilot who spends his winters flying monster lines all over the world. We recorded this interview two days after he broke the FAI record in India with a monster 234km flight in the Himalayas, and then just hours later he broke it again with an even bigger 255km flight. In this episode we discuss Philipp’s zen for going big, being a professional pilot, the importance of having an acro background and acro training, vol biv, and just some good old fashioned storytelling in the highest mountains on Earth. Tuck in for some inspiration!

Check out Philipp’s latest big flights on XContest here: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/pilots/detail:Philipp_zellner

Philipp’s tandem company is www.tirolair.com

And Philipp is going to be guiding in and around Bir this next season. Ping him on info@tirolair.com if you’re interested!

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Transcript

Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem. I have a few things of housekeeping before we get into this one with Philipp Zellner who just broke the record and had broken again actually after we had our talk out in India with a couple of monster fais. So that's what this show's mostly about, but about Akron, a bunch of other things. But before we get to that, a couple of things. Housekeeping. First is the show with Russ Ogden and Nick gr. The spring tuneup has received a ton of a lot of praise and a lot of thanks and a lot of gratitude from folks for that one.

So if you haven't checked that out, make sure you do. There's tons of great information, especially as we dive into spring flying here, where things tend to be a little rowdy and we tend to be a little bit rusty. So thanks again to those guys for so much good information. And if you haven't heard it, check it out. The other one is, I got a lot of feedback from people on the show with Nikolai who had the incident in Shaman and had to throw his reserve after breaking some A lines and some people reached out that said that they had experienced not on that wing, but had experienced various gear failures.

And some of them could have been really heinous, especially Neil McKays had the XR seven, you know, that had the recall a little while back and also got kind of pin locked trying to throw his reserve. And luckily that mostly worked out. But there it brought to my attention that there is sometimes, not frequently, thankfully still, but there are gear failures and we need to be certainly on top of recalls, which do happen from time to time.

And also paying attention to our gear. I mentioned in the show that one of the times I threw my reserve, the handle just popped off the bag and I was amazed. And when I sent it back, the manufacturer was amazed and claimed that it wasn't their bag, it wasn't their handle, although it was their handle, but it wasn't the selling job that they had done. So, and I had a, a listener ping me that said, that's insane that I didn't notice that. And yeah, I guess it is. So just confirmation that we need to be checking our gear and and paying attention to things.

Certainly lines are susceptible. I had a pretty wild incident a bunch of years ago on a wing that I'd put in the ocean quite a few times cause we were doing a lot of towing with the boat and then flew in beer and had a weird parachuting incident where it was later determined that my wing was just so outta trim and because of all the salt water. So these are little things that can be big things. So there you go. Check your gear. I think the takeaways from that one are still pretty on.

The other important thing is the insurance space, which is something I talk about quite a bit. Cause I think it's so important as Miles our editor says, not having insurance is like flying without a reserve, which I totally agree that space has changed pretty radically as of late. Garmin as you know, bought out geos couple years ago and that's, but GEOS has still offered their insurance and their high-risk benefit and they're basically very similar coverage of kind of med jet. But all of that insurance now is gone. When you hit your sos, it still notifies the I e rcc.

They will come do the search and rescue, but the insurance side of it is gone except for the sos, when you hit your sos you can still get the high risk benefit. So it's called the same thing as it used to, but it's through Garmin and it's quite a bit more expensive. Unfortunately it's 299 a year, but there is an exclusion for paragliding and hang gliding. If you hit your SOS and you're partaking in free flight, you could be up for a massive bill. So make sure this often falls outside of your standard insurance because there's a search component of it.

And so, and then many people you, you now can, if you have global rescue or another repatriation kind of service like that, you all know I'm a big fan of global rescue. They're fantastic and I'm constantly getting emails from people who have used them and have really good feedback about that. And it's, it's all worked out. So I, I think they're the best out there in terms of repatriation, repatriation, getting you home if you've had something happen, you can put in the SOS notes that you have a Global Rescue ME membership and in theory the I E RCC will notify Global Rescue.

But this is still a massive gray zone. It depends on who you talk to at the I E rcc. It depends on who you talk to at Garmin. So by far the safest bet is to still have that high risk benefit even though it's 2 99 a year, that's pretty cheap insurance in case you have to use it. The other thing is that when you press your SOS on a spot, they no longer fall under the I E rcc. They're having to, I don't, I don't actually even understand. I haven't looked into it closely enough, but yet another reason to have an inReach but SPOT is also kind of in a gray area.

Now if you hit that sos, they're trying to use their own emergency services. So I think that's little risky right now there is a flow chart on the article on my website. If you go to the Cloudbase Mayhem dot com and just put in the search term insurance, you'll see the article. I've just updated everything. There are these changes and more. And then there's a flow chart at the bottom of that that kind of steps you through if you're still confused what you need depending on what you're doing. There's also potentially a new insurance arm. One of the offerings from img, I have always recommended IMG signature but that hasn't covered competitions.

They now have one that maybe does and I don't have that in there yet cause I'm still doing some research. But stay tuned for that. Phillip Zellner is my guest today. He's a pilot from Austria. If you're an ex-con junkie like I am, you have seen his name pop up again and again, he's constantly breaking records. Longtime acro pilot and tandem pilot. He flies tandems all summer at his business to roll air at Austria and then takes off for the winter and just chases it.

And that's what he was doing when we had this chat. He had just broken the India f a I record 234 k A Monster out in beer. And then two days later, unfortunately after we'd already recorded the show, he broke it again, went even bigger at 2 55. So this is all about his flight and his experiences and his signature ground spiral tip drag and just chasing it. He had a record, I'm not sure still stands cause I think he got broken this season but out in Vae and he has a lot of fun and goes for it pretty big and is was very interesting to speak with.

So enjoy this chat with Philipp Zellner who just broke the f a I record in India and check out those previous shows and thanks for listening. Cheers Philipp, it's nice to be speaking to you just about 48 hours after this monster flight you just did. Congratulations man. That was, that was, that was wicked to see 2 35 f a i the new record in in beer for F A I and what a route man way out past de Masala and then way deep north of Minali.

It looked like you were well above 18 grand. It looks a couple times. That must have been just stunning. It, it seems like these big ones go down in the spring, but congratulations.

Speaker 2 (7m 46s): Thank you very much. Yeah, it was very nice to fly this big three angle. I mean I, I did already last year, but Vancouver come and make like 500 meters more and I know I come this year also and say okay this will be my new project this year.

Speaker 1 (8m 10s): Nice. The, you, you know, I was, I was talking about this just the other night right after you'd done it with a good friend of mine who's been following you on social media for a long time. And the first thing he wanted me to ask you is, is this all you do, just go around and chase big flights cuz you've been putting down a lot of these. You've got that signature wingtip drag at the end of your flight and which obviously from your acro training, which we'll get into. But tell, tell the audience a little bit about your life. What are you, what are you kind of, what are you doing these days to pay for all this and, and how, I mean it seems like you're chasing it pretty hard.

Speaker 2 (8m 47s): Yeah, it's like more or less I have done them company since five years now. And before I was also flying dem so when I was flying like 2009, I start and then after two years the teacher who told me, who showed me flying, he was asking me if I wanna work for him. I make all the license and everything. And then I was working for him. Now I have my own company. So I'm working in the summer and in the meantime I take my time off

Speaker 1 (9m 17s): And, and the world kind of seems like your oyster, you put down a big one in, in Vae. Have you, do you kind of have things mapped out in the, you know, in the summer when you're not doing tandems? Are you, are you deciding on the, on the, your travel plans for the winter or you just said you've been to beer every year for maybe 10 years. Is that kind of just a normal stop?

Speaker 2 (9m 39s): Yeah, this is like, I like to fly and for the win or the, it's very nice time to be here and I have already lots of friends here I hang out with and fly and enjoy the life here. So it's a good place to fly in October. That's

Speaker 1 (9m 57s): So reliable. I've, I've only been twice, it was a long time ago, 2009 and 2011. It's a special, special place. The the colonels I was out there with Eddie and Jim and, and John and, and those guys. But it's, it's, it's a very special place. Have there been any difficulties with the, the last time I was there there was a bunch of problems getting to launch and there was a lot of kind of bureaucratic stuff going on. Is that all resolved itself?

Speaker 2 (10m 23s): Yeah, actually it's not big problem anymore. I mean last year they had some dem accidents and then they locked for two months to flying but was in the springtime. It was actually when I did the record was the, the 2 72 record was the second day when it was open to fly here in Pierre.

Speaker 1 (10m 44s): The the flat triangle that you did?

Speaker 2 (10m 46s): Yeah, the flat triangle.

Speaker 1 (10m 49s): So you, you just did this, you did did this flight, you got really tall a couple times 2, 2 35 f a I is is there quite a bit more on the table do you think? Or is, are you guys kind of maxing it out at that size? Yeah, I, how good was this day? Was it pretty good?

Speaker 2 (11m 7s): Yeah, it was a pretty good day, but I think it should be possible more of course.

Speaker 1 (11m 14s): Always. Always.

Speaker 2 (11m 16s): Yeah. I mean it's the performance of the glad getting better now and yeah, I think there will be more in it because I think at least you can fly nine hours now this time. And I was flying eight hours, so

Speaker 1 (11m 31s): Another hour, another 40 K, 45 K or something. What, what was your, I didn't look at that. What was your average speed of the flight?

Speaker 2 (11m 38s): It was like 30 K point something.

Speaker 1 (11m 41s): Ah, okay. So fast but not totally screaming. The what, what is your, what is your philosophy on, I just know that a lot of people will be questioning or wondering this, what's your philosophy on glider choice for making these big triangles in really tall terrain? You know, I remember John Sylvester used to always say that he liked to bring it back, you know, I think back then when I was flying with him, he was flying the at and just because the, your, your ground speeds are so high when you're flying really tall, you know, rather than flying an Enzo or a CCC glider.

Do you think it's important to back it down a little bit?

Speaker 2 (12m 21s): For me, actually I fly at the scene because I just saw this in the beginning. Know they make good advertisement and lots of people bought them.

Speaker 1 (12m 32s): Yeah, put, put the best pilot in the, in the world on the Xeno and then go win a World Cup. That was, that was pretty good marketing.

Speaker 2 (12m 39s): No, and I, I know the first one was already good and sort like second one is also good. It's, I like it very much also.

Speaker 1 (12m 48s): What are you flying for? A harness.

Speaker 2 (12m 51s): I fly there Woody light.

Speaker 1 (12m 54s): And is that what you're Vivian with too? Is it the XO two and the Woody Valley or do you kick it down to lighter gear for biv?

Speaker 2 (13m 0s): No, I do it with the same gear actually before I was flying with the Skywalks four and now I got the SNOT two. But I will see how I do with when I do all the B work because still my scar GLAD is good and yeah, of course the snot two is a little bit more difficult to take off. Now I have a little bit more heavy metro so the skywalk is a little bit easier to take off. So it makes, if it's the, the places are very tricky to take off.

I think you have a little bit easier point with it. Do

Speaker 1 (13m 37s): You do any kind of internal compensation when you're flying in higher terrain? I mean one of the things that struck me as so amazing about beer is the, the places you can stick your glider cuz there's so little wind, it's, it's really amazing and as opposed to we get, we get that kind of height here where I'm from in, in Sun Valley, but we're always dealing with wind and so we really have to give ourselves a lot of margin. But is are there, are there things you're calibrating when you're going from the Alps to beer just in terms of safety, risk, margin, any speed, any of those kind of things?

Speaker 2 (14m 13s): Yeah, of course. I mean if you fly higher gliders, they're much more faster. You are in, like if you go in a bad valley, you know there is a lot of wind than you have of course a little bit more safety I feel like for myself.

Speaker 1 (14m 28s): Yeah,

Speaker 2 (14m 29s): But I mean it can be also like if you stay in the front, which it's not that windy, but if you go back in some other valleys, like when I was flying in the Chamber Valley, not now in this flight, but on the, what I did last year, the 2 72 that was also quite windy. It's not always like there is no wind. It's like in the springtime it's getting picked up more, the wind picks up a little bit more and

Speaker 1 (14m 57s): Do does, does valley wind, is valley wind more of an issue too in, in beer in the spring?

Speaker 2 (15m 4s): Yeah, valley wind getting much more stronger than in the autumn.

Speaker 1 (15m 7s): Ah, okay, interesting. So and and is that just because the, the mountains are sucking harder or is that a, is that a pressure gradient kind of thing?

Speaker 2 (15m 18s): I think it's because of like of course the thermals getting more strong, you know, sometimes you have like 10 meters clamping, so all the air what comes through because of the terminals goes up, all the air have to flow also. And that's why they were just stronger.

Speaker 1 (15m 36s): Have you flown in the Hansa Valley? Have you flown much in Pakistan as well?

Speaker 2 (15m 40s): No, I never flew there, but I would like to but this is always the time when I am, when I have to work at home, I have to prepare in the yeah, exactly. For Tan in May I have to prepare all my work, like make advertisement and yeah, be around and prepare everything for the season. So that's why it's difficult. But of course one time I will take my time off on this day and or around this month and then I will go there.

Speaker 1 (16m 11s): Yeah, the Aaron dra Gotti's flights out there last year were just outrageous. Really makes me want to go. Yeah, Tom and those guys there, it's just, it's, yeah, it's big terrain. It's beautiful.

Speaker 2 (16m 22s): Yeah, everyone is telling me, Philipp, you should go to Pakistan, you'll kill it.

Speaker 1 (16m 30s): Be before we go to your history in, in in acro, I just wanted to fi you know, and also before we leave this big flight that you just did, you, you mentioned to me three or four days before that you were gonna do it, that it looked really good, you know, the weather was lining up and that you thought you had a chance and then you went and pulled it off. Tell, tell the, tell us about your kind of preparation both in forecasting and mental prep and gear prep.

What, what were, what were the things that led up to making this flight possible?

Speaker 2 (17m 7s): I mean, of course I always look the weather forecast, but the weather forecast here in India is not a good thing in Europe. So I to say

Speaker 1 (17m 13s): There's not much.

Speaker 2 (17m 16s): But still actually when I see it's a good weather every day stay on the takeoff and I try sometimes

Speaker 1 (17m 25s): You just try every day when it's, when you have a good window.

Speaker 2 (17m 28s): Yeah, if you have a good window you go and try. Otherwise you fly just another you, you don't go for this. What you make a project out of it, then you go for other distance. Now

Speaker 1 (17m 40s): What are you using for forecasting tools?

Speaker 2 (17m 43s): Meteor, blue, windy, windy have actually four different kinds of, and then you look all of them and then you make your own decision which one could work and yeah.

Speaker 1 (17m 54s): Are you flying with any kind of, are, are there any winds, talkers in, in that whole system? Are you flying with any kind of wind app in the air, you know, wind alert or something windy would work too, I guess that while you're in the air, is there anything you're checking in real time?

Speaker 2 (18m 12s): No, not really. I just go always up a fly and check what's gonna happen and if I feel good I just go for it. And more, the more important thing, what to have is what I really like to have always my tent with me, my sleeping bag, isma, all the things that I'm like, yeah, I can survive for a couple of days. So if yeah you have to learn somewhere, then there is no problem. No either you hike up somewhere and then you look for a nice takeoff again and you keep going or you can survive there in the backside like this.

Speaker 1 (18m 50s): Tell me more about just difference of what your approach between, you know, flying a big fai in the Alps versus beer. You know there, you know, for example, there's, for a long time there's been this really tricky thing with the inReach, you know, because the India doesn't allow satellite devices and I mean I know I think everybody's still using them as just something you don't want to have in your bag and your carryon kind of thing. But the, is there any other kind of thing you, you would you really take?

That's very different cuz you know, in the Alps we've got access to care and food and water literally everywhere you don't really have to think about that stuff very much.

Speaker 2 (19m 33s): Yeah, actually I'm not making big fae or the big flights in Europe. I do some, but not on the best days. I still have to work. I also have to get somehow money. But yeah, like as I say, my backup is actually my here and that it carry food for one week. I always have with me, this is the biggest backup what I see.

And also when I see people flying in the backside even it's just the next reach after, after honeymoon, just behind the takeoff. I always tell them if I see them without flying the tent and stuff, they should put at least something now that you can survive there because the access is very difficult. If, if if you go more further to the glacier, then can be you have to hike maybe one or two days, you know? Yeah. If just something happen with the landing, you choose to ankle, you will not hike the whole day.

So you need something to survive there.

Speaker 1 (20m 39s): Right? Yeah. You're not just a helicopter away from, from salvage out there. Especially on that back ridge isn't, I mean it's a whole different, you go, you go from front country to really deep, really quick.

Speaker 2 (20m 48s): Yeah, that's, I think it's the most different to about Europe. Now of course in Europe we'll also find some lost places. But here they're definitely easy just to fly. Thank you. Limit. And you already in the lost place.

Speaker 1 (21m 6s): What was your, what was your Cloudbase on the big day and, and were there a lot of clouds?

Speaker 2 (21m 13s): Actually there was not so many clouds to come when I come back from Manali, then there was some clouds and I went up to five seven.

Speaker 1 (21m 22s): Were you flying with oh two?

Speaker 2 (21m 24s): No, I'm, did you

Speaker 1 (21m 26s): Know, did you get hypoxic at all or did you feel pretty good?

Speaker 2 (21m 30s): No, I feel pretty good. I hike a lot here in the mountains. I love to hike as well, so I acclimatize myself always. And yeah, I fly on five seven without problem. I think even the highest, what they did was last year was 6,550. Even with two harness.

Speaker 1 (21m 53s): Yeah. How cold was it? Must have been freezing.

Speaker 2 (21m 59s): It was oh, fucking cold. That was very cold. Like if I fi feel like my gladder was not moving too much, I released the brakes and then I just start to shake my hands all the time because I feel many times I didn't feel my fingers. So you also, you have to take care now if you don't feel it and then you put the blood inside when you turn your hands

Speaker 1 (22m 28s): Oh, the pain

Speaker 2 (22m 29s): That it's not starting too much pain, you know, so you do a few, you move your fingers for a few times and then you put it up again and you wait and then yeah. Yeah, everyone I guess has his own technique like that.

Speaker 1 (22m 44s): Yeah. Oh, it's brutal. The, the, are you flying with kind of over MITs, you know, are you, you flying with kind of down over MITs over your gloves or what's your cold management system?

Speaker 2 (22m 56s): No, I got from Salva, big down lefts where they have the tier bull in it. They're pretty good.

Speaker 1 (23m 6s): Okay. They're mitts, mittens.

Speaker 2 (23m 8s): No, I don't have mittens because I like to, I I like to

Speaker 1 (23m 13s): Take a wrap.

Speaker 2 (23m 14s): Yeah, take a wrap on the lines. So that's why

Speaker 1 (23m 17s): That's good. And gloves are good enough, huh?

Speaker 2 (23m 20s): Yeah. Well you just

Speaker 1 (23m 21s): Said not quite, you're shaking in gloves.

Speaker 2 (23m 24s): Yeah, you know, they're hard restrain guys.

Speaker 1 (23m 32s): Like you said, the, the climatization helps, but, ah, I struggle with that. It can be so cold. I, I've learned over the years too that the more, the more I do it, you know, the more I really, really freeze my fingers. The, the, the less well they work every season. You know, I've had, I've had some seasons where I've, I've gotten 'em so bad in the spring that, you know, it'll be three or four months later before I get the feeling back all the way to the tips of my fingers. You know, I'll have a couple in the middle that are just kind of dead from the first knuckle down.

Speaker 2 (24m 1s): Yeah, it is. But yeah, this is the hard moment where you have to go through. No,

Speaker 1 (24m 11s): It's, it's worth it. You'll you'll warm up eventually.

Speaker 2 (24m 14s): Yeah, exactly. Otherwise after you fly to the hot springs and get your fingers from,

Speaker 1 (24m 21s): Yeah, there you go. Philipp, give us your history a little bit. You started flying in 2009 you said?

Speaker 2 (24m 28s): Yeah, I started flying in 2009 and like the teacher teach me, tell me in the second day that I have a talent for that. And yeah. Then after who,

Speaker 1 (24m 42s): Who was your instructor?

Speaker 2 (24m 44s): Han. Ah,

Speaker 1 (24m 45s): Okay.

Speaker 2 (24m 46s): If he actually just died one, one month ago. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (24m 50s): What happened?

Speaker 2 (24m 51s): Yeah, he got some cancers and stuff and if my, I mean we know already that it'll happen because he was suffering already for a couple of times.

Speaker 1 (25m 1s): Oh, okay.

Speaker 2 (25m 1s): It was not like a big surprise, not like this, but was a nice guy. I liked him very much and yeah. At least the memory stands now.

Speaker 1 (25m 11s): So he, he kind of recognized you had a a, a talent?

Speaker 2 (25m 15s): Yeah, he told me on the second day Philipp for, for that for paragliding.

Speaker 1 (25m 21s): Oh, okay.

Speaker 2 (25m 22s): And then in the beginning, because of my friends was all flying World cup for acro paragliding and then they show me and they teach me a lot how to do and what to do. They remember in the beginning we was only flying straight outside to the landing and we just make collapse. Right collapse, left front collapse and everything like this. So we was practicing in the beginning a lot with the French.

Speaker 1 (25m 48s): And you said you did your first full stall at 50 flights?

Speaker 2 (25m 51s): Yeah, after 50 flights. My first full store, even when the other guys just cleaned the flying school and then they found the book and then they told me, hey, it was written 50 after 50 flights You did? Or the 50 flight was your first full show. I even didn't remember.

Speaker 1 (26m 15s): Give us a basis. 2009. How old were you?

Speaker 2 (26m 19s): 2009. I was 20 years old.

Speaker 1 (26m 23s): Okay, okay. So 32?

Speaker 2 (26m 25s): Yeah, maybe if I started in 2008. I guess it was with 19. Okay.

Speaker 1 (26m 29s): 30. 30. So you're 33, 34.

Speaker 2 (26m 32s): 33.

Speaker 1 (26m 34s): 33. Okay. And so you got into it the, so the kind of was the acro at the beginning. Were you, were you also exe flying or was it just mostly acro early on?

Speaker 2 (26m 45s): No, in the beginning was more the acro actually was only focusing on acro because I liked it. I had lots of fun when Glider was doing some strange thing above me. And yeah, some people were scared, but I was always feeling comfortable and yeah, I like this very much. After like one year I was making already helico and we was flying Inia, we make a road trip with the friends there and yeah, like this is keeps going.

Speaker 1 (27m 18s): Were, so were was your, your first big kind of road trip training place? Is that why you, is that why you cut pretty comfortable with training over the dirt or was, were you already pretty comfortable with that point?

Speaker 2 (27m 30s): Actually I was already comfortable to fly out everything above the ground. Just like my first full store I did above water, but all the other things I learned above ground.

Speaker 1 (27m 42s): How many times have you throwing your reserve?

Speaker 2 (27m 44s): I throw it now five times.

Speaker 1 (27m 46s): Really? That's it for and all that acro training just five times?

Speaker 2 (27m 49s): Yeah. If, if one time was like just practice if I liked the rescues or not because I picked the, we picked the re reserve and then we tried and one time I land hard with a normal around canopy. And then after I bought the roo, because I feel like maybe this is more safe. So actually this was very funny and also told me, yeah, but if you are not, if you fly normal outside, you will not throw the rescue, you know?

And then I click out. So I click out one of the side, then I throw the throw the reserve. It was very funny.

Speaker 1 (28m 32s): Wait, wait, you, you unclipped one side before throwing the reserve?

Speaker 2 (28m 36s): Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1 (28m 38s): How does what, what happens? I've never seen that.

Speaker 2 (28m 41s): How you go down fast, very fast.

Speaker 1 (28m 46s): You kinda do a base jump.

Speaker 2 (28m 50s): Yeah, yeah. Just remember it was just like the glider was above me. It was like just like yeah but I was already prepared so I had already the re rescue handling the in the hand. So it's not like ah.

Speaker 1 (29m 5s): Okay, let, let's talk about that a little bit. What should people be flying with? Should we all be using quick outs on our XE gear? What's your setup?

Speaker 2 (29m 15s): I fly actually with normal carbin on the setups. Okay. Because yeah, I mean it's the same with acro paragliding. When you zero the rescue mainly I feel like you are faster. If you put your glider in, then you are open and do this unclipped safety and then open the the click out. I feel like you are much more faster. You are just in the moment the rescue open, you just grab any line and you're just rumbling and get everything in what you can catch, you know.

Speaker 1 (29m 52s): And what about steerable versus unable? Are you always using a regalo design? You're always using a steerable?

Speaker 2 (29m 60s): Yeah, I was always using this tur or mostly especially for acro. Cause you think less so and you land very nicely or I couple of times very nicely with this rescue.

Speaker 1 (30m 13s): What'd you think about Kevin's video in

Speaker 2 (30m 16s): Yeah, funny

Speaker 1 (30m 18s): Medium, scary, holy mulling. I'm so crazy.

Speaker 2 (30m 23s): Yeah, it's, it's, it's very scary. Now if you fall into the glide out, even in the lines.

Speaker 1 (30m 29s): Have you ever been gift wrapped doing your infinity training and stuff that ever happened to you?

Speaker 2 (30m 36s): Actually I had a sim similar situation in Kevin and got s I was flying twisted infinity and then I was, it was already started today, like I was not sure to go to fly and then people say I, let's go fly. And I was like, my mind was not for flying so I just come with sandals and it was like twisted infinity and I remember an twist and then was like, should I exit or not? And then I went a little bit on the break and then just the glider stopped under me and I fall in the lines and then I was not, in the beginning I was pulling the lines away to, to catch my rescue handle and yeah, it's just I throw the reserve and just open and I stand on the ground.

Speaker 1 (31m 27s): Yeah. Yay. Holy shit. So you, same thing as Kevin, but without the video sounds like.

Speaker 2 (31m 35s): Yeah, I mean there is a video, he from my Instagram, but it's from far away and the guy stopped to film because he thought like, I gonna be dead. So he stopped to fi record.

Speaker 1 (31m 47s): What was the, you have any kind of fear injury or anything from that? Was there any, was it harder to fly after that or did it spook you or were you just pissed at yourself?

Speaker 2 (31m 58s): No, not really because I know which mistake I make. No, it was like, you are not sure should I exit or not. And this was the mistake. If you know what mistake you make, I always feel like, okay, this was the problem. So I think people only get scared if they don't know what is the problem. No, if you don't know what is the problem, then you get scared and you don't trust your stuff anymore.

Speaker 1 (32m 20s): We were talking about this in the last show that it seems like if you're kind of in a flow state, it doesn't seem to be very scary if you really, you know, because it, things happen so slowly when you're in flow state where you're, you understand, you know, you can visualize it as soon as it's, it's happened and two days later immediately or anytime it's, you know exactly what happened. It doesn't seem like people suffer from fear from that. It's, it's when it's just chaos and you can't put it together.

Speaker 2 (32m 46s): Yeah. The life is anyway dangerous. No.

Speaker 1 (32m 52s): Yep, it is indeed.

Speaker 2 (32m 55s): Yeah. You go on the road there it can be many problems.

Speaker 1 (33m 0s): Yeah, sure. Are you, are you still training pretty serious acro these days or is it more you more focused on xe?

Speaker 2 (33m 8s): No, no, I'm more focused on xe. I still like to fly, but I am not flying a lot. But maybe I sort like maybe I will go to another place in the winter, maybe to fly acro if in Mexico I think it's good to fly there. So next year we'll bring my gear to Mexico and fly there also a little bit more acro.

Speaker 1 (33m 29s): Where would you do acro training in Mexico?

Speaker 2 (33m 32s): I think ink there is also just over

Speaker 1 (33m 35s): The piano there just get up high and over the, over the lz out in front?

Speaker 2 (33m 41s): Yeah, I think so. I will try to do it that

Speaker 1 (33m 44s): It'd be fun to watch. Yeah, you don't see many people doing acro there.

Speaker 2 (33m 48s): Yeah, no, there is not so many people flying acro. But I think it's also a good place. No, I mean you have strong terminals so it should be possible to turn with the acro light a little bit high up and to somehow, like yoyo flying,

Speaker 1 (34m 2s): I, I know a lot of people listening are thinking, oh wow man, training over the dirt. But that's, you know, that's what we hear from all the best acro pilots. They're all training over the dirt. What, what, what's the difference? What do people need to be thinking about if they're, if they're going to train over the dirt, what's the, what's the rule that you live by?

Speaker 2 (34m 24s): Yeah, I mean if you practice a new maneuver, it's, I think it's much more better. You just started with the altitude now and as low as you get, you make the maneuvers what you already know. So, and always keep a backup that you don't do anything on the hundred meter. Then I think, or even if you are maybe in the beginning you say 200 or something like this. But I think this is more or less how I started to do everything.

So when I had them was trying a new maneuver, I say, okay, make it in the beginning when I have thousand meters I start with the maneuver, what I don't know. And then after I practice with the other ones.

Speaker 1 (35m 7s): If you were gonna get into paragliding now, or maybe you know, your, some of your tandem clients are super excited and they want get into flying, what would be the progression you would recommend? Because you, we've seen lots of pilots like you, you know, Paks and, and Prohaska and you know, guys that start off flying a lot of acro and then switch in a sense to xc. I don't know that you see a lot the other way around or at least I can't recall.

I'm sure there are, but there, what would be the, I mean it seems to me having the acro background must really help you to be a better XE pilot just from the confidence level alone. But I, if you were gonna, you know, some young gun comes up to your school and decides, hey, I want to become a pilot, what would you recommend, what would be the, what's the best way to become to get to 200 hours and then a thousand hours let's say?

Speaker 2 (36m 6s): Yeah, I mean it helps a lot now to do in the beginning the acro stuff. I feel like even all the good XC pilot should even know how to handle a full stall. This would be even the basic for my way of thinking. Because if you have any problem you can salute, you can make many solution with the stalling if you're not scared from it, no,

Speaker 1 (36m 34s): Your, your signature move, your kind of tail, your tip drag at the end of the flight is, is that the ground spiral? You see a lot of people mess these up. What's the best way to learn a really consistent ground spiral like you have and what's the, you know, what's the progression there, the sequence there that you, you don't end up pounding it in cuz that's, that's outta reach for a lot of pilots, you know, doing it consistently and well.

Speaker 2 (37m 2s): Yeah, in the beginning probably it's the best to make it even more height. No, you say like maybe exit maybe 10 meters above just to get used to, to get closer to the ground. Of course the next thing is, if there is snow fields would be even the best now even if we get closer one time or you get every day you try more closer, more closer, more closer. And if something happen and you have a meter snow, that is not, not a big deal.

Speaker 1 (37m 33s): So I, I started working at these really pretty hard a few years back training for one of the exels, I can't remember which one, but I, I got pretty good at the tail, you know, the, the dragging it on the ground and coming out nicely and all of that working. The thing that I never really figured out very well was the orientation from when I started it, you know, and, and do you know what I mean? In, in other words where I would end up, you know, you see the guys kriegel and these guys doing it over water where they're dragging their tip and they're way out over the lake and they're able to, you know, very smoothly come back in and come in over the ground.

But for me it's the orientation. Do you have a trick for that in terms of, okay, I'm starting and I'm, and I'm facing north. Is this just micro adjustments all the way down? Or is it, do you have kind of a, okay, this is gonna take a certain amount of time and this is how steep, it's just always something. In other words, where I come out of this, the ground spiral is a, is always pretty much a mystery that either worked out really well or oh, I'm going the wrong way again, I'm going downwind instead of upwind. You know that, you know what I mean?

Speaker 2 (38m 38s): Yeah, yeah. But this, I also have sometimes, I mean mainly it works out, but sometimes, you know, sometimes it's the ground not completely flat. Sometimes you have more wind, you have more speed, you take more faster. Sometimes you just make one turn in the spiral and then you go for a tip touch so you have less energy. So there is many things what works together.

Speaker 1 (39m 2s): Yeah, okay. More practice.

Speaker 2 (39m 4s): But I also cannot say a hundred percent that I relaxed it exactly at this point.

Speaker 1 (39m 10s): Okay, well that's good to know because sometimes you only watch these videos, you're like, geez, they did it perfectly again. But it's, it's good to know that even you can struggle with that kind of thing. So did you compete in acro for a bit?

Speaker 2 (39m 24s): No, I was never competing. I'm, I'm not joined to, to compete. I just do it because I like to do it.

Speaker 1 (39m 32s): Future goals. Tell me about, you know, you've, you've, you just nailed the one in beer. Do you have other places in the world where you wanna chase after this next season?

Speaker 2 (39m 43s): No, actually, I dunno. I mean, for sure there will come something new I feel like, but I cannot tell a hundred percent. I mean, like, to me sounds interesting also Argentina and these places to look what's gonna happen there. And yeah, I will see

Speaker 1 (40m 5s): Is is, is it the big flights or is it the bivy or something else that keeps you really motivated? You know, I think, I think we all at a certain stage in our flying, you know, it's, it's nice to have goals or it's nice to have something that really keeps you intrigued. You know, you've, you've sounds like you've done a lot of everything. You've got the tandems, you've got the acro background, you've got the XC and, and you know, these, these big fais. Is there, you know, when you, when you think to the next five years of flying, what, what has you the most excited?

Speaker 2 (40m 40s): I think the most exciting to me it's like the PBA flying. I like this very much. Even like last year I crossed, I crossed Nepal and India like thousands, 300 kilometers and I was completely alone for yeah, certain days, 12 days, certain days. And this, I really enjoy to be there. And even if I'm alone, I really enjoy to be alone there and make my own decisions.

And it seems like it works out very well.

Speaker 1 (41m 15s): Yeah, I can say from from from doing a couple big bivy trips with, with other people because of the filming with Red Bull and stuff, it's the, even though the dynamic was, was really good with my partners, it's, it can be really difficult with other people just because the, especially in the Alaska one, there's, there's a lot more weight on the decision making. You know, if you, if no one's ever wrong, and of course you're never gonna go, oh man, that was a terrible decision. But it's, you know, when you decide, okay, we're gonna hike 3000 meters up through this brush and it doesn't work out and you're carrying really heavy kit, it's, you know, you just feel worse.

Whereas when you're by yourself, you get to own all the decisions. And I, I often find that that's, you know, it's a totally different kind of experience, but it's, it's quite special. I don't know, it's, the decision making is easier I guess if you're a, a confident person, it just, you, you don't have to worry about it.

Speaker 2 (42m 13s): Yeah, exactly. I also feel like when I go for like the pick for something big, I am like, when I'm alone there, I'm, I know what I know to do and I know my skills. So there is not a big surprise. No, but if you take some other people with you or somebody's flying with you, you don't know the skills of them and as you said, you maybe not on the same levels or Yeah, that's why I'm really enjoy also to fly. I mean it's also very nice to make some feedback with my friends and stuff.

But if I go for the big things, I always go alone.

Speaker 1 (42m 48s): Any big lines you're looking at for bies?

Speaker 2 (42m 53s): Yeah, as I said, you I think or something.

Speaker 1 (42m 58s): Do something down the Andes.

Speaker 2 (42m 60s): Yeah, just, but yeah, I never know, you know? Yeah,

Speaker 1 (43m 5s): Antoine's done some really neat things down there. I think it, it seems to me the, the tricky part with both Chile and Argentina is just the winds. Especially as you get south down in the, the Patagonia region, I think that can be quite, quite difficult to forecast as well as just deal with, it seems like the wind can be your, can be tricky.

Speaker 2 (43m 26s): Yeah. This here also that and these places are a lots of wind and Yeah. But anyway, you have to check it out and to see if it's possible or not in the end.

Speaker 1 (43m 39s): Yeah, there's, there's so many. Have you being, spending all this time in beer, have you ever looked at stuff in Tibet or in China?

Speaker 2 (43m 48s): Yeah, that would be even many nice lines I guess. But it's very difficult with the permissions I guess as well. I never tried, but I can't imagine China now very strict I guess.

Speaker 1 (44m 3s): Yeah, I think, I think Hoffa's the guy to connect with there is, I think he's living there now. It'd be interesting to see what, what he thinks. How about Mongo Mongolia? Is that something you've had your eye on?

Speaker 2 (44m 14s): No, I never thought like, but as I said, never, never know. No, but the only, the thing is I only have time in the winter time, so it means like from October, oh yeah,

Speaker 1 (44m 26s): Right. Of

Speaker 2 (44m 26s): Course till May and the beginning of May, I have to be at home for preparing for my company, for tandems.

Speaker 1 (44m 36s): Do you instruct too or is it just tandems?

Speaker 2 (44m 38s): No, I just do tandems. I like to control by myself. If you're on the radio and you have to trust that people are flying as already many bad things and I'm like, oh no, I'm not gonna do that.

Speaker 1 (44m 54s): Yeah, no kidding. Orient the listener to where you're from, you said the tiro, but the, for those who don't know Austria, where is it

Speaker 2 (45m 3s): Actually? It's, yeah, north Tiro I live, it's close to Germany. Like if you know Munich it's like 20 minutes, 25 minutes from Munich.

Speaker 1 (45m 14s): Okay. So now I'm now even, I thought I knew where it was now even I'm confused. I always thought the North tro was you talking like Kimsey and the just the north side of the Alps?

Speaker 2 (45m 23s): Yeah, exactly. It's north side of the Alps. So it's like from, it's a little bit more down to the south

Speaker 1 (45m 31s): Down. Okay. A little bit more down the south. Okay. So the kind of the pins gal region is your backyard. Yeah. Amazing flying highway. And the pins gal, there's big, big stuff goes down there every year. It's a nice, nice part of the world.

Speaker 2 (45m 44s): Yeah. Like Chi is very famous. Well you know, if they did the 300, I think Waldo did the first one over there.

Speaker 1 (45m 52s): What's your biggest f Fai?

Speaker 2 (45m 55s): Yeah, I think it's the 2 30, 2 35 beer. Yeah, that's one in biv. And

Speaker 1 (46m 1s): That was record, right?

Speaker 2 (46m 2s): Yeah, that's was the record now. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (46m 5s): I just had Deb on the show a little while ago. You must be chomping at the bit. He must to get out there and and beat it. I love it that there's, there's, there's quite a gang of you pushing that part of the world pretty hard. Is it, is it tricky coming back from Manali coming back down south? I guess if you're staying high, it's, you're, you're staying out of the valley winds and everything. Is that, is that the hardest leg?

Speaker 2 (46m 27s): Yeah, that's the thing. No, I start to go early there. So my first jump point was a manali and I, I tried to stay high that the relevant don't catch you. Even when I was going there, there was not much relevant, but when I returned because I saw some fire or some burning stuff down there, some smoke and then it's already on. So just always try to stay high and keep going.

Speaker 1 (46m 55s): What's the craziest thing you've ever seen in, in flying since you began in 2008?

Speaker 2 (47m 1s): Yeah, this was Kevin is quite crazy. Yeah,

Speaker 1 (47m 6s): No idea. That's an easy one, isn't it? That was, yeah,

Speaker 2 (47m 12s): But they are also you, you was, anyway, speaking about my rescue, the harness mission. No, that was also nice.

Speaker 1 (47m 20s): Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (47m 21s): This was about myself. This was also very nice selective story.

Speaker 1 (47m 27s): What what? Yeah, tell us the rest of it. So you, you, so you unclipped one side, you threw your reserve then, then how did it all shake out from there?

Speaker 2 (47m 37s): Then I throw the reserve and then I unclipped the second one and yeah, then I landed there. Oh, then it was normal. Glad that, yeah, then it was everything normal. So it was not a big surprise. But what I was talking about was the what you speak with people? No, because I hit the post this Swift, is that you? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (47m 59s): Holy shit. Oh, I didn't put that together. That you were the one that landed in the river.

Speaker 2 (48m 3s): No, I landed not in the river, I was the guy who bring the stuff outside.

Speaker 1 (48m 9s): Ah, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. Yeah, now I got it. Then I remember. Holy cow. That was a crazy one. Holy holy.

Speaker 2 (48m 18s): I like this very much. This story.

Speaker 1 (48m 23s): Yeah. You know, I was just after that, let's see, I was just down in Brazil at the World Cup and somebody was more intimate with that story than we even got on the podcast. And they were saying that he was, he was really, it was, you know, it was the river was moving, it was, he was really in a bad spot that it could have

Speaker 2 (48m 40s): Gone. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (48m 41s): Way worse.

Speaker 2 (48m 43s): It was a very bad spot where he was. And he got very lucky that he got stuck on the rock just like 10 meters before it's getting back under the ice and the river. When I went down there in the morning, it's maybe was like one meter deep, but I went very early down there and then even when I was there for half an hour, if it's the water comes up like maybe 10, 20 centimeter more.

Speaker 1 (49m 13s): Really?

Speaker 2 (49m 14s): Yeah. Because of all this things is melting, you know, and with the sun and yeah, it's a crazy, was very crazy place to see that somebody was landing there and I'm like, woo. Luckily they, they got him out with the, with the job. But there

Speaker 1 (49m 34s): Amazing. I had an incident very, very, very early on. I, in fact, I think it was one of my, I don't know, the second or third XC I ever did. And the first one was maybe six kilometers. I don't even know if you get to count that, but it was down in the Dominican Republic and I got blown. I was trying to top land to pee cuz I had to pee so bad and I didn't really know how to top land and I didn't realize how windy it was. And I got blown over the back into this kind of land of the lost box canyon. And I ended up landing in a river where it was surrounded by waterfalls.

There was waterfalls upriver for me and waterfalls, downriver for me. And the canyon was so narrow that about 200 feet before I landed I had to pull big ears just to fit. It was this little tiny slot canyon and I thought, oh this is it. I'm dead for sure. And I, I landed in the river and it was very slow moving and it was only six inches deep. You know, if it had been 10 feet deep there would be no chance. And so, and then the, the exit was, was incredible. I had to throw my gear off all these waterfalls and down climb. It was amazing adventure.

It was, it was, you know, and of course I'm on cloud nine cuz I was alive, but I brought in my friend the next day to take photos just so she could see it. Yeah. And you know, she still claimed there's no way you can't, this is an impossible place to have landed. No, I did, I promise. Nah you didn't. I don't believe it. It sounded, it sounded kinda like that with him. It was just an impossible place to find yourself. But he, yeah,

Speaker 2 (51m 3s): Full on. But luckily, luckily everything goes good in the end now

Speaker 1 (51m 10s): And you got all the gear.

Speaker 2 (51m 12s): Yeah, actually the glider was maybe he put 10 hours on the glider but there was completely fucked because it was four days in the water because the weather was not good for four days. And after the four days I flew inside there land 4,000 and then I hacked down. I prepared and been the beginning, I make my camp then I prepared everything. Even I had hundred meter rope with me and I was even checking again all the knots what I should know and which one I have to make and that and I found the tree and other, the next day in the morning I went there and then I saw the tree and then I went down with the rope.

And when I was down there I was always on the rope. I was just in case if something happened, I'm, I'm safe.

Speaker 1 (52m 4s): God, it was that steep.

Speaker 2 (52m 6s): Yeah, it was quite steep.

Speaker 1 (52m 9s): Wow. Amazing. That's crazy. Any other, any other good stories like that from your adventures?

Speaker 2 (52m 18s): Yeah, I actually mean I did 2 35 when I flew to Manali, you go to the law and we say, we call it, it's actually, and when I crossed there I was also like, fuck too low. I cannot manage to jump over this rich. I'm like, ah yes, no, yes, no, yes no. And then you go and I just have to break my glider to break a little bit that I just can manage to go over. I was already like, should I run there? I'm like, hey, you're stupid, you will not run on 4,000 meters on the snow.

And then I just managed to come or jump over. I'm like, yes. And I was screaming and I was super happy. I'm like, now I go, I go for it, I go for it. I'm on my way.

Speaker 1 (53m 5s): That was was that coming back or going out?

Speaker 2 (53m 8s): This was in the beginning I think even the first one and a half hours.

Speaker 1 (53m 13s): Oh wow.

Speaker 2 (53m 14s): Yeah. Then I was like, ah, now I'm on the way to als because this is one of the tricky point as well to go there. Especially now this year there is more snow. So even if you fly somewhere and more in the backside that is really higher, it's full of snow. So it's not working that well.

Speaker 1 (53m 36s): Is this, is this something you really have to pay attention to before you go for spring flying? Is the, is the snow pack, I mean do you time your trip depending on the snow pack or do you just go and, and and hopefully it works out.

Speaker 2 (53m 50s): I mean anyone cannot change. No, like this year they say everyone said it's less snow and then I arrived and it was one and a half week full snowing. So it's difficult to say hundred percent. There is less now, but I thought this year would be even better. And if I was thinking to do this line, what I did last year to 2 72, but just a little bit more, but for the moment there is still too much. Now

Speaker 1 (54m 19s): I had a question for you. We're having, not a debate, but we're trying to figure out the kind of rules that, you know, the British have, have posted these about what constitutes closing an f a i triangle. So there's, you know, just like here, if you just do a downwind flight, it's always gonna be longer on X contest cuz they give you three points and so you get more point, you know, and, and, but the way we've always measured it in, in the states is it's just purely distance from launch.

So if you don't, if you don't fly a directly straight line and you get, you know, you, you do a bit of a curve, that curve doesn't count. It's just from launch to where you land. So the same thing with fais. We're trying to determine, you know, because f our X contest gives you, you know, the, the 20% bonus for if it's within, or sorry, the, the 20% bonus they give you 1.4 for a standard fa i they give you 1.6 if you're within 5% of closing. But we're trying to determine, we're trying to come up with a, I think the Brits have it, that you, you're, you have to close it within 400 meters so you, you have to be within 400 meters of, of launch or of somewhere on the track that you know that that's, that's the close.

And that should be what we judge in a sense. An f a i triangle by rather than what s x contest gives you. Is this something you guys are talking about or is it something that is, is also a debate in, in Europe? I mean is it the same in Italy as it is in France? Are there different ways to, to, to score an fai

Speaker 2 (56m 2s): No, actually I've never thought that. Yeah, actually I'm not, since last year actually I'm into the flight is picks three angles or flat ones. I'm not to focus so much on the points, I'm just looking what, how much they flew and I just make it a little bit bigger or I just fly my own line. Like in Mexico I just flew and little bit more in the south where nobody was flying and I thought like why is nobody going there?

And but it's also like most of the people, they're just focusing on the same what already happened and they are not, yeah, I like to be more inspired by myself. I look at the map, I see okay, I can go there maybe while don't go there and then I figure out the place. But for this, if I thinks, yeah, I know you, if you close it completely, you know, at the pick three angle you get 1.6 and if you don't close it, you get 1.4.

Then for the flat one you get also 1.4 and never expect if you make a turn that you will get more because the thing is to try to fly the straightest line as possible. No.

Speaker 1 (57m 24s): Yeah, I I I, it's kind of an interesting one just because of the, the closing, you know, if you're, if you're flying a really big f a i, the closing cylinder that X contest gives you is really big. Cuz it's, I think it's, I think I'm pretty sure it's 5%. I might be wrong on that. And there's a, there's, it's 20% for 1.4 I think, and 5% for the, for the close. And

Speaker 2 (57m 43s): It's, yeah, I think also it's 5%.

Speaker 1 (57m 46s): Yeah. And that becomes really big on, you know, on a big triangle like you did that close could be, you know, considerably long distance from where you, you took off. And so it's something we, that that's, you know it, when you start keeping track of these things, I think it's important to just have a baseline. So it's interesting, it's, I don't think we've come up with an answer here, it's just I've been trying to ask people to, to see what they're, what they think.

Speaker 2 (58m 12s): Yeah. Dunno what to say.

Speaker 1 (58m 15s): That doesn't really matter. It's just, it's, it's kind of an interesting, it's, it's

Speaker 2 (58m 19s): Interesting. Yeah. It's, anyway, have also the big number in the end. It's just numbers. No, I mean, I like to fly big things, but in the end, sometimes you make a very small flight and even the small flight, you feel much more better than you make a record or something like

Speaker 1 (58m 38s): This. Of course, yeah. The, the aesthetic can be way more, way more powerful or the, the conditions can be, or the aesthetic or the feeling of the day can be a lot better than the numbers.

Speaker 2 (58m 49s): Yeah. Like we remember last year when a friend or one guy flew at 200 here and I, I said like me, I was flying 20 kilometers with some friends and making, and they say, oh you saw somebody flew this and that. I'm like, I don't care when I just enjoy life, you know, just go for with some friends and yeah, just come back from the hot springs and sleep in Hoppe was super nice and I was like, I don't care. Anyway.

Speaker 1 (59m 22s): Okay. Well an impossible question that maybe, maybe you've just answered, but let's, let's end on this. But when you close your eyes and dream at night, what's the, what's the most memorable flight? What's the one that you would, we can never repeat a flight. It's always gonna be different. You, you know, and something's gonna be different about it. But what's the one flight that really keeps you coming back to the game?

Speaker 2 (59m 47s): Yeah, I think this is this what I did last year, the 2 72 because this, you fly really on the high mountains and the back ridge and I went like almost to kme to the border and this was a very nice one. This was, yeah. Even everything was so beautiful and you see in the a valley where the valley goes to Klong and Ur and all these places, this was, yeah, just amazing to fly on this high walls and super steep and narrow valleys and yeah, I crossed behind man Mahesh.

And then I come on the south side, I come back on, on the south side of man Mahesh. This is, yeah. Very nice route. I like this very much. But of course if you have a problem there, you have a big problem.

Speaker 1 (1h 0m 41s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. This was, I think this was the one that Debbie talked about in the podcast. Correct? Just because you were, you were pretty deep. You were, you were back on the back ridge the whole way, right?

Speaker 2 (1h 0m 52s): Yeah, it was pretty deep. But this was very nice one. I really enjoyed it a lot. Mm. And even I was not planning even the more funny thing is I was not planning for it. I was like just, I have my own project to say okay, I finished to cross Nepal and India and actually a day before I, I feel not so good. So I say I will land in beer and rest, sleep by a friend and rest there a little bit because I had a little bit headache.

And then the next day I say, okay, we'll go to Kashmere to the border and then maybe I will sleep somewhere in CBA Valley. And then a friend of mine, he comes, he was just here for five days and I was like, I wa would like to see him. So I pushed a little bit more and then in the end when I jump out of child Suas, I was looking on my phone, I'm like, oh, I have 2 40, 241 kilometers.

I'm like, what is the record? Two 60? I don't remember. I'm like, okay. I put some more. So actually the last, the last maybe two hours at this site, okay, now I make the record.

Speaker 1 (1h 2m 12s): Awesome. It just happened. That's that's amazing man, that, that flight I was just imagining. It's nice that I've been there, you know, so I can kind of picture it a little bit. You know, I was, I was a very new pilot when I was there, so you know, I think, I think it was the first a hundred k I ever did. There was just dala and back. But I did a really, my first bivy ever in my life was with, with Sylvester there we, we flew up. Oh nice. We launched beer and went over the back and top, landed above Manali and spent the night by the fire, got encased in ice.

It was freezing. Yeah. And then the next day, next day flew back and when we flew back over beer, everybody was just getting ready to launch, you know, cuz we were able to launch it early, I don't know, 9 30, 10 o'clock and boosted up and came back over and everybody was just kind of getting ready, you know, so it was, it was the thing that planted the seed for me of just how epic biv I didn't, I had never done it. I didn't even have a sleeping bag. I just slept in all my stuff that I'd flown in.

Speaker 2 (1h 3m 8s): Yeah. I did this also in the beginning, but then I freeze my house off one time and then I say, okay, now I'm gonna pay my good stuff.

Speaker 1 (1h 3m 16s): Fucking John, he, he built this fire for us and he had his tea, you know, cuz he is British and he had his tea and all that stuff and, and he was just cozy in his nice warm bag. And I, I mean I had my down coat, I had my stuff to fly and I thought I'd be fine but I just, my all night, all I did was just keep the fire going and just cuddle. I just circled my whole body around the fire. We just encased an ice. It was so cold. Oh God. I was freezing. Got back to beer at two o'clock, had some lunch and went to bed.

Speaker 2 (1h 3m 47s): Yeah. This is now, if you're not well prepared, I see also sometimes the people with the very thin mat. And even just a couple of days ago I did some pok flying in the hot springs and then the other guy had only the mat for the upper party, not for the pizza. I'm like, why this why I don't have a proper mat. You will, no, this is the thing what is very important for me now if you sleep good, you fly good also on the next day.

Speaker 1 (1h 4m 15s): Yeah, absolutely. The people have made so many comments about all the gear that Dave and I had on the Alaska thing, you know, that was for me. Dave left before we got done, but it was 37 days for me and I had a really, really heavy pack. But that's cuz you know, you have a lot of down days. Yeah, I, I like to, I like to enjoy life. I like food, I like podcasts, I like books. I, you know, I, I I don't, yeah, I don't shy, I don't, I don't mind carrying shit. I just, I load up, I carry a lot of stuff.

So I'm comfortable and I can sleep well and enjoy my trip. I don't

Speaker 2 (1h 4m 50s): Take

Speaker 1 (1h 4m 51s): A great alpine approach.

Speaker 2 (1h 4m 52s): This is also what I like very much. If I remember one time when I did like ocross it like you have 33 hours and who goes on the fur furthest point and come back, who wins? And I remember when I was hiking the take up, I prepared everything. I put music outside and then people was there and then they say, where you, you bring speakers with you? I'm like, yes, I'm always flying with speakers, but your supporter bring, I'm like, I don't have any support.

Of course I carry by myself was like disappointed. No. Like, but you're carrying these speakers.

Speaker 1 (1h 5m 38s): I think that can be, we talked about this a little bit, but I think that can be one of the molar frustrating things about doing, you know, expeditions or baby trips or anything with other people is the, the, for me, I'm never in a hurry to do them. I, I don't want to get to the end. I, I'm not, I'm not in any desire to reach goal because I, I've spent so much time just being able to do it, whether that's work or preparation or having the time to do it or getting away from the family.

So the last thing I want to do is race through and get done. Yeah. I'm, I'm having fun. I'm having fun doing it. So if the weather's shit, I don't wanna walk all day. I, I do that in the X Alps. I, I wanna sit there and throw rocks at my shoes and be perfectly content because I'm in this beautiful place that I've worked so hard to get to. I don't wanna race through it and get to the end. But inevitably when you're with, with other people, if they have, if, if they do then it's a source of conflict, you know, it's just, yeah.

Anyway, it it, that's always been a, a big difference with PE when I'm with other people doing things is they wanna get it done and yeah, I don't wanna get it done. I I we're out there in the environment that we love, I don't want to finish.

Speaker 2 (1h 7m 0s): Yeah. There is a project now if you don't finish, there is also not a big problem. No, I mean then they come next time and try again or, or I say you do a new one or like the same They did. No They did also, like, they didn't make it to the what they had to now.

Speaker 1 (1h 7m 22s): Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 7m 23s): But they make a really nice story out of it and it looks very good. No,

Speaker 1 (1h 7m 27s): Yeah. It's amazing. That was, that's some phenomenal flying errands too, is just mind blowing. It was

Speaker 2 (1h 7m 35s): Very, yeah, it's a big flight.

Speaker 1 (1h 7m 38s): I I think often these, these big flights go down that way. You know, it's not necessarily, I usually when I have a big flight planned, it doesn't go that way and it's, I I have a harder time than being flexible and flying the conditions rather than the plan that I've set for myself. I think it's often, if you know you're gonna have a really big day if you just fly the sky.

Speaker 2 (1h 7m 58s): Yeah. It is many times like this. Now if you plan too much and if you too much focus on it, then it will be not happening. No, I always feel like if you take it more easy and see, oh yeah, maybe today I will see and then it's gonna happen. No, it was like same Mexico arrived there was very funny. I just remember when I roof up with Potro and then he was asking, which guy are you flying? I'm like, C two. But then he was asking me and you like it, I'm like, I don't know, it's my first time I use this.

And he like, you know, there is strong condition here. No problem. And yeah, then I missed like four, four kilometers. I missed the record in my first day in Mexico. Fly. This was very nice too.

Speaker 1 (1h 8m 48s): Yeah. The, you know, I think, I think in a sense that the, because you were, you hadn't been there a ton, I'm sure that helped. You know, it's al it's never the, it's never the local hero that gets the records that because you pushed farther south, we're always told never to go there because of the cartels. And you know, there's, there's, it gets pretty dicey on the south side of Mordor apparently if you land. And so if you don't know that and then you don't land, you're fine.

Speaker 2 (1h 9m 16s): Yeah, but I mean, I don't gonna go let Yeah, exactly. No,

Speaker 1 (1h 9m 24s): That's it. Well that's it. You're not gonna land. That's, that's the thing about you're not, there's thermals everywhere. You're not gonna live it.

Speaker 2 (1h 9m 31s): And I mean, I'm even thinking even if there is all the cartels, I mean in the worst case what they do, you, I mean, I think they will not kill you. No. I mean, and if it's like this, you are just in bed timing in a bad place. But this can be happen everywhere Now if on the road you go somewhere there is maybe some drunk people or something and or somebody's driving crazy and then Chuck, then you're not anymore. So if you're, I'm not thinking too much on bad things.

I believe if I am thinking of good things, good things will be happening. If I'm thinking too much why I'm, they'll steal me, of course then they will steal, you know, you attract them a little bit.

Speaker 1 (1h 10m 14s): Sure.

Speaker 2 (1h 10m 15s): This is my mind.

Speaker 1 (1h 10m 17s): It's a good mindset. I like it. And perfect place to end. Philipp. Thanks very much. I appreciate your time and making this happen on the other side of the world. And how much longer are you there for? Are you gonna get some more chances to go with this or your trip's wrapping up?

Speaker 2 (1h 10m 33s): Yeah, I'm going back home in 4th of May.

Speaker 1 (1h 10m 37s): Oh, you got some time. You know, plenty of time.

Speaker 2 (1h 10m 39s): Yeah, yeah, a little bit. I have more almost four months.

Speaker 1 (1h 10m 44s): Oh, excellent. Well I'll, I'll keep an eye on you. Good luck and I hope you get some more terrific flights. Be safe over there and have fun.

Speaker 2 (1h 10m 52s): Yes, thank you very much Kevin, and nice to hear from you and yeah, we'll busy. See us one time Mark.

Speaker 1 (1h 11m 0s): Absolutely. See you Cloudbase bud. That was a pleasure.

Speaker 2 (1h 11m 4s): Very good. Thank you. Bye.

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