Episode 197- Honza and Son strike gold in the Alps

Honza and Martin on glide, destination: who cares!

5 time Red Bull X-Alps pilot Honza Rejmanek and his son Martin return to the Cloudbase Mayhem this week to recount yet another incredible vol-biv tandem adventure in the Alps. Martin is now 14, and he and his dad have been tackling some pretty epic lines in the Alps since Martin was 8. In this episode they recount their 3rd attempt at hiking and flying from Annecy to Zermatt last summer and hooking into incredible weather which allowed for an amazing flight right up on the Matterhorn massif and then continuing well past their goal of Zermatt and carrying on all the way to Davos. This is inspiration on a magical level. You just can’t help but smile and dream listening to this father son legend duo. Enjoy!

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Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem. Just about ready to get on a plane, get away from this house, build for a few weeks and go cover the red Bull X Alps prologue. Starts on the eighth. Race starts on the 11th. This is gonna be a hoot. It's a really cool technology for me to be going live to you from the air, which will be fun. So stay tuned for that and hope you'll all dial in the race. This is gonna be cool as always. Depend on the weather, see how fast these guys can, can do it in.

But so I'll be doing that. And this episode is all about the Alps as well, but from a totally different perspective. We've got Hanza and his son Martin on the show. Again, I just love these incredible, what these guys are doing. I don't know anybody doing anything to this extent with biv flying in tandem, flying with their, with their son or daughter. They have chosen a really cool style to do these. They decide on a mission and they give it three attempts.

And on this third attempt from Annecy to, I believe the original goal was to Zermatt, but they had such great weather, they were able to carry on and get all the way to Davos. This went down last summer. They've done a trip every year of Martin's life since he was eight. He is now 14 and they got shut down, obviously with their plans to go into Europe during Covid, but they still went up into the Sierras and did it on skis and went up into kind of Whitney portal Williams zone, the highest mountains in the Sierras and had a really cool mission out there.

Yeah, these are just precious. It's so cool hearing Hans's perspective with his son and his son's perspective with Dad and those guys just having these really cool adventures. I'm incredibly inspired by these. I can't wait to start doing this with Fallon. She's five and I think we'll be following in these guys' footsteps here very shortly. Before we get into the show. I've got some Patagonia t-shirts left. They're no longer allowing us to logo Patagonia t-shirts.

So if you want one of those with the Cloudbase Mayhem logo and what do we say on there? Talk less, fly more. But they're a lot of fun and they're a great product. And so check out our store on Cloudbase Mayhem dot com and grab one of those cuz once these are gone, I won't be able to replace 'em. Still got tons of the great recap hats with all the Cloudbase man logos and all the different, various colors and ways they're beautiful.

So check out, thanks as always, for your support of the show. Just blows me away that we can keep doing this as we approach 200 and possibly another book. I'll be talking to Ed and Hugh when I'm over in the Alps about that. And the first one was based on the first hundred shows and we'll, we've already done another hundred, so this has been a blast. Keep doing it. Can't believe we've been doing this for almost 10 years now. And thank you all. We've also got quite a bit of bonus stuff in the pipeline.

I've been recording those and haven't released one in a while, so we've got some of those coming up. But in the meantime, please enjoy this very fun talk with Hanza and his son Martin. Cheers,

Speaker 2 (3m 50s): Hanza. Martin. Welcome back to the Mayhem. We've got a lot to talk about. Just as a refresher for the listeners, Hanza Rejmanek has done the exiles five times and he retired after the 2015 race from that, but has been doing these amazing full bies with his son Martin, who's here with us. And we had you guys on the show back, I think the last one was right when Covid hit. So it was spring 2020, it was a few years ago now.

And I know that shook up plans for your Bibi that summer. But we're gonna be talking about this amazing Bibi you guys did last year from Annecy to Davos. Kind of the reverse of the route Hanza, you and I flew back in 2015, so very, very cool. Obviously you had some, some great weather and, and we'll we'll dive into that. But you guys, what I, I think we should do to start off with is just recap what's happened since the 2020 planned V biv in the Alps that that didn't go down because of Covid and, and, and get us up to speed.

Not to the, not all the way to this last bivy last summer, but what did you do instead and what have you been up to with the fly camping?

Speaker 3 (5m 10s): Well, Gavin, thanks for having us on again. Yep. We, the, the summer Summer of 2020, spring and summer of 2020 were mostly

Speaker 4 (5m 20s): At home. Yeah. Backpacking. Yeah, a lot of backpacking. About about 35 days in 35

Speaker 3 (5m 25s): Days of really? Yeah. Yeah. The longest being an 11 day trip with

Speaker 4 (5m 31s): My little, my little brother and my grandma.

Speaker 2 (5m 33s): Wow. Was that down in Chile or was that here? Did you just stay

Speaker 4 (5m 36s): At home? No, cause it was all covid so we couldn't be down Chile. It was just in the Sierra's

Speaker 3 (5m 41s): Sierra and then, then had a good one in the Trinity's Yeah. As well. Yeah. So a lot of backpacking. And then,

Speaker 2 (5m 47s): So Covid was good for being outdoors. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (5m 49s): Yes. And then spring of 21, Martin, you wanna tell?

Speaker 4 (5m 56s): Yeah, we went in the Owens Valley. My dad and I, we went on like sky camping but with cross-country skis. So you figured out how to mount cross-country skis to a para of glider kind of underneath us. Yeah. And

Speaker 3 (6m 10s): Well Martin would hold them.

Speaker 4 (6m 11s): Yeah. Was holding for takeoff and landing

Speaker 3 (6m 13s): And then I would just dangle em on, on some paraglider line underneath us for the flight. Yes.

Speaker 2 (6m 18s): I saw pictures of this. It was hysterical. Yeah. It's kinda like what D Gotti's doing in Pakistan. It was, yeah.

Speaker 3 (6m 23s): But he's putting 'em on and off in the air. That's, that's

Speaker 2 (6m 26s): Another level. Pretty impressive. Yeah. That's next level.

Speaker 4 (6m 29s): Yeah. And so, and then we entered there, we just kind flew around.

Speaker 3 (6m 34s): We flew around from onions. Yeah. It was onion, onion valley up to a valley that's just north of Mount Williamson there. It's all in the mount. Kinda the Mount Whitney area of the Owens on the Sierra side. And it was a low snow year. So even though it was just the end of March, we had very little snow, but up at 10,000 feet we kind of did a, you know, d slight downwind uphill landing in, in a snow patch. Just plowed in. Yeah. And then found a really nice camp spot there by there. And what did we have for dinner

Speaker 4 (7m 5s): Steak? We flew up a steak and some cheese and yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (7m 9s): Hanza back, back from the Sun Valley days. I still hear about that around here. You'd go fly camping with a ribeye.

Speaker 3 (7m 14s): Yeah. So, yep. Always for the first night. Yes. Yep. And then we CrossCountry skied up the next morning for, you know, like 700 meters and then launched and flew. Ended up flying back to the car cuz it was, we were gonna fly towards Whitney, but conditions weren't that great and we decided we'd better get back to the vehicle

Speaker 2 (7m 33s): And style.

Speaker 3 (7m 34s): Yeah, yeah. Then what was, then, then, then we got to go back to the Alps that,

Speaker 2 (7m 39s): Hey, hang on. Before you go, before you go back to the Alps Honza, you just had a little bivy trip where I was hoping to join you. I didn't get to, but same peak that you, you just spent the night last weekend on Williamson. I, I'd be curious that what, you know, this, this one you did with Martin was the end of March. You just did this one the first week of May. What were the snow level differences? Like is, you know, the Sierras have gotten epic historical snow pack, was it totally different?

Speaker 3 (8m 8s): Totally different. There's 300, 300% snow they're saying right now. So, geez, this one, you know, all the, the road to wi up Whitney portal, as soon as you hit the mountains that was closed. Obviously the wanting to Horseshoe Meadows was closed, but as it was, there were a lot of people doing, you know, back country skiing and split snowboard stuff. It was, it was the weekend, this was just before the end start of May, so it was like the last days of April before you need any permits in that area or there's no quotas.

So there were a lot of people out and about. But yeah, just the hiked up the first zigzag the Whitney portal road and launched around one o'clock and thermals were much stronger on the, out on the Noles rather than as you, it was kind of choose your own thermal strings. Yeah. The, the more you would move deeper in onto the snowy terrain, the weaker the lift got, cuz there was just so much more terrain covered with snow. Wow. And top of lift was around, around 13 grand, around the 4,000 meter mark.

I was able to fly over to Mount Williamson, but not land at the top. There's a perfect saddle near the top, which was kind of the, that was the, the dream to land up in there. But after several attempts just had to side hill it. But had, you know, that, that was only an hour and a half flight getting there, landing it and then hiked up to the top, checked out the view from the top, spent the night in the saddle at 14 grand and the next morning was a a little tricky cuz it was, there was a southwest wind the first day. It was great cuz there was light east almost no wind at all.

And then there was a bit of a southwest. So the saddle itself was a little bit in the lee. It was de debating whether to wait for thermals to turn on or whether to just get off while I could and decided to get off while I could. But that was already about nine 50 and to my surprise, thermals were on it before 10 o'clock. So it was

Speaker 2 (10m 4s): Spring.

Speaker 3 (10m 5s): Yeah. Flew, flew, flew all the way back to Walt's launch and then back towards Whitney. Got to check out the Whitney Portal Valley. Really nice. Just got deep in there and could fly right back out and then landed by the car. It was kind of a really quick project cuz I had to get back home. But it was a beautiful time.

Speaker 2 (10m 22s): Must have been amazing to see those maps. Seen all these satellite images and stuff. You know, they've done all those flyovers to try to get a, a gauge of how much water's gonna be coming down now. And it's amazing. That's so, I mean, I grew up, yeah.

Speaker 3 (10m 35s): They said,

Speaker 2 (10m 35s): It reminds me of 80, you know, the last big, big winter was 1980. It reminds me of that. Yeah,

Speaker 3 (10m 40s): Yeah. They said that's 30 million acre feet in snow. Snow. I mean, that's, that's double the Colorado River allotment. You know, they get the, the water rights for Colorado River, 15 million acre feet. So this is, this is an insane amount of snow that's up there. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (10m 56s): Wow. Special. Okay. So a little distraction there. But that was, that was a good mission. But then the next, so the next year, so you weren't able to go to the Alps Covid year one and then the next year you did, or you didn't,

Speaker 3 (11m 6s): 21 did that. 21 we did. And that was our second attempt

Speaker 4 (11m 9s): From an cedar Zermatt. And it was, it was a good one. We got further than the first time, but still not two Zermatt. And we slept quite a bit more. We were thinking then maybe two more days we could have gotten there. But yeah.

Speaker 3 (11m 22s): Yeah, with this, we had a good start. We had our best start of all, we got to the end of the RV's chain that first day. But

Speaker 2 (11m 31s): Where did you start? Did you start at Mount Minh or, or

Speaker 3 (11m 33s): Man

Speaker 2 (11m 34s): Fey or,

Speaker 3 (11m 35s): Let's see. No, no, the, the, what's the higher one up at, at h

Speaker 2 (11m 39s): One's Mount

Speaker 4 (11m 40s): Al? No,

Speaker 3 (11m 41s): No, no. You know, just and then you go up a little ways. Is that, is that one common?

Speaker 2 (11m 48s): Yeah. Yeah. That, that's below Tourette. Yeah. Yeah,

Speaker 4 (11m 52s): Yeah. It was that one. Cool.

Speaker 2 (11m 53s): Yeah. Okay. And so you got to the rv, the RV the first day

Speaker 3 (11m 58s): And, and RVs the first day.

Speaker 4 (12m 0s): Yeah. That was our best day. Best,

Speaker 3 (12m 2s): Best first day. Really good feeling. Pretty optimistic about it. Unfortunately, the forecast was not not too good. Yeah. So the, the next day, so, so that evening, even into that evening, we hiked over the RVs through Cloudbase. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (12m 17s): That was a scary experience because you can't see steps in front of you due to the fog. But it was interesting

Speaker 3 (12m 24s): Then. Yeah. And then, and

Speaker 4 (12m 25s): The tile was slightly non-existent, so

Speaker 3 (12m 28s): Yeah. It was kind of a sketchy hike over in, I think we hiked till almost 10 that evening to find a flat camp spot.

Speaker 2 (12m 35s): Is this June, because you're kind of, you're usually doing this right around the race, right? Or No, actually it's after now. Cause that,

Speaker 4 (12m 42s): That one was during the race. That was, we ended up flying with one of the Excels pilots for a few minutes.

Speaker 3 (12m 49s): One.

Speaker 4 (12m 49s): Yeah, we did. It was like the last day. And it was one of the French guys, like the, not the one right behind Mauer, but the one after.

Speaker 3 (12m 56s): But was that that race or was that It was that one. It was that one. Okay. Anyway. Yeah. Cause that would've been 21. Yeah. Yeah. So, so yeah, we barely, like, there was a one point where we intersected with them, but lo kind of long story short, once we got, had that really good flight, the next day was just two sled rides and a lot of hiking. Got into the Shai Valley,

Speaker 4 (13m 16s): Hiked all the way through the Shamon Valley Day

Speaker 3 (13m 18s): Three, hiked all the way through the Shamon Valley all the way cold bomb.

Speaker 4 (13m 21s): Yeah. But Daisy was nice because we got to stop and talk with

Speaker 3 (13m 24s): Yeah. The, the, the, the folks from ab owners of Absolute Chaman, the tandem business. And oh, they had, they had invited me to their house in, back in the oh nine X Alps. Just Wow. Cool. Yeah. So kind of a trip down memory lane. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (13m 39s): Hey, let just go off on an adjunct here real quick. What are you carrying now? Cause I remember the last time, you know, Martin, you were really small and you're bigger now and, and dad was carrying most stuff. You had your little kind of day pack. But how does it divide up now and what are you in, in 21? If you were doing this around the same time as the ex ops was going on, the weather was atrocious. Tons of overdevelopment, tons of wind. Yeah, I think the audience would like to know, you know, what do you bring in, you know, is it full tent? Are you just Vivian in the wing or how does it go over your gear?

Speaker 4 (14m 13s): So for this last year, we had, I don't know about the year before, that's kind of harder, remember, but for this last year we had a, Dima had one of those packs, ultralight 600 grand 10 uses the poles to build. Yep, yep. That worked. Amazing. And then in there we have the Paragliders, our sleeping bag and the paragliders still the same. It's the up something, the

Speaker 3 (14m 39s): Up. PK 23, the same one. The UPK

Speaker 4 (14m 41s): Three.

Speaker 3 (14m 41s): Yeah. The one we've had all the full time. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (14m 43s): And how much is that Honza? How much is that weigh?

Speaker 3 (14m 44s): That's a full weight. That's, that's full weight. Yeah. That's, that's an almost nine close to eight, eight and a half, nine kilos. That's the heavy one. That, that one's okay.

Speaker 2 (14m 53s): Okay.

Speaker 3 (14m 53s): Martin's got a light harness, a thin red line from the nineties. That's a 300 gram harness. Yeah. And then I've got the same harness I've used on all these trips, which was, I used in the oh seven X Alps. It was, it's,

Speaker 4 (15m 7s): It's the one with enough space to put stuff on. When

Speaker 2 (15m 9s): I gave you

Speaker 3 (15m 11s): No, no, no. This, this was even before that. Way before. Okay. This is oh seven Nextel. This was a, we still had a, you know, didn't even have a pod on it. Yeah, Nervo Big Walk. I think a Nervo Big Walk it was called or something from Nervo. But it's an oh seven harness. But it's, it's got a lot of, a lot of space and it's actually not terribly heavy. I think it's in the 1.3, 1.5 kilo range. So that, yeah, that works.

Speaker 2 (15m 37s): Martin. And are you bringing,

Speaker 3 (15m 39s): Oh, go, sorry, Gavin.

Speaker 2 (15m 40s): Okay. Are you bringing any, are you bringing Crampons ice acts, that kind of thing? Or are you just avoiding that kind of terrain?

Speaker 4 (15m 48s): Sometimes we do, sometimes we, depends on how early we do it. If we do it like June, then we probably bring them, we've never u had to really use them.

Speaker 3 (15m 59s): Yeah. We did it on one trip and we decided,

Speaker 4 (16m 0s): Definitely phased out the ISACs and the crayons. It's kind of a sometimes thing. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (16m 6s): Yeah. Okay. Okay. So you carry the food Martin

Speaker 4 (16m 10s): Yep. And my clothes and all of that.

Speaker 2 (16m 13s): Okay, gotcha.

Speaker 3 (16m 14s): It's getting a lot better. It's getting out with Martin, being able to carry more and I'm able to fit it into one of the, the super backpacks that I had for one of the xls. So it used to be, I used to be carrying a big tandem bag and it was just overloaded. So it was a huge

Speaker 4 (16m 28s): Thing. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (16m 29s): So, so now we split the weight. Martin's got a normal little backpacking backpack, which carries really like

Speaker 4 (16m 34s): 40 liter r i. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (16m 38s): Okay. You can get a lot of food in that. Yeah. And, and then Hanza, what do you think your weight is now?

Speaker 3 (16m 45s): You know, I think I, I think when it, when we start out, it's, I, I think it's under, it's under 25 kilos. It's getting very reasonable. It's actually like, it, it, the things are carrying quite well. So there's the one place we decided we could shed weight is we still bring too much food. Like there is, yeah. It's so easy to restock on food. Sure. That it would be worth, even, even if we had to land in the valley one, one afternoon where we could have landed up high to restock, it might still be worth that extra hike up rather than starting the trip, you know, carrying, we've always had at least five days of food.

Yeah. More.

Speaker 2 (17m 24s): And, or maybe, I mean, I guess if you're doing it in June, it's maybe a little early. They maybe aren't all open, but what about huts? You know, it's pretty easy to get food from the huts too. Are you ever just stopping into hut and having dinner there or grabbing supplies?

Speaker 4 (17m 37s): Sometimes we are, but I know it's like, if, if there would be a hut, we'd always stop, but it's never, we

Speaker 3 (17m 44s): Haven't never hu's the one hut that we've hit, which was we've hit twice this guy Henry A. Henry, yeah. At the

Speaker 4 (17m 54s): Alba? Yeah.

Speaker 2 (17m 54s): Oh, okay. Yeah. On the back, on the, the back end of Shaman. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (17m 57s): Yeah. Back end of Shaman. Yeah. So we, we, we, we, we passed by his hu twice and he's always been very nice. I think he's a, he'd done a little bit of flying and he, he bought and remodeled that whole

Speaker 4 (18m 8s): Yeah. Hut. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (18m 11s): And so, so yeah. So, but otherwise, you know, every town's got, you know, every town's got food, every pass has got some, it's, it's, we're realizing it's so easy to top off on Feed the Alps. It's, that's the one place to, if we wanted to get faster moving on the ground, we could cut down. Yeah. Just cut down food. Yeah. Yeah. And,

Speaker 2 (18m 30s): And what about the Wing? Would you go with one of the new lightweight tandem? Don't, aren't they making lightweight tandem wings too? I'm not much of a t

Speaker 3 (18m 37s): They, they, they are some, yeah. Looked into that a little bit Up was working on one, but then they abandoned the project. So we're a little bit of a standby on that. But as Martin gets stronger Yeah. And it's got a great stamina for hiking. I think it's, you know, the, we're pretty set right now, I think. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (19m 1s): Cool. Okay. So, so keep going. So the, you, you had the bad weather, you leave the RV, kind of walk through Sham, then what?

Speaker 3 (19m 9s): Then then it's looking like the weather's getting better, but unfortunately it was still too windy at cold the fall when we woke up there. So yeah,

Speaker 4 (19m 15s): This is still 2021 and it was early that year. Yeah. And so, but it was extremely stable all of that year.

Speaker 3 (19m 22s): Well, it was sta it was combination of things. It was, it was stable and it was windy too. Yeah. When we were at Cold Baum, it was just, it would've, the, the wind wasn't, we

Speaker 4 (19m 31s): Weren't able to take off. Yeah,

Speaker 3 (19m 32s): Yeah. We thought of doing some kind of a wraparound fly around, but even that was, it's too windy for that. So we, we had just had a big hike day. That was by then, it was day four, day day five. We had a decent one where we got to Verba. Yeah. Side hill landed just, just on the hills. Yeah. By Verba. But then had a big hike over side hill that 1600 and hiked up to the summit. Well not to quite the summit to 2,900 meters. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (19m 56s): That was a day.

Speaker 3 (19m 58s): And it was, that's pretty high. Yeah. And we hiked to tell the, the, the happiest pigs in the world.

Speaker 4 (20m 3s): Yeah. We hiked by some pigs that were up in the high Alps, just enjoying, they

Speaker 3 (20m 7s): Had a perfect view. Yeah. Like a, they did a little shade, little, little food. And just the, the most gorgeous view of the Alps, I mean, the happiest man, happiest pigs in the world

Speaker 2 (20m 16s): To be a cow or pig in Switzerland is ao. K you're, you're, you're living pretty good. Yeah. Cool. And the Martin, what, how old are you now?

Speaker 4 (20m 28s): I am currently 14.

Speaker 2 (20m 30s): So you were 12

Speaker 4 (20m 31s): That one? I was 12, yeah.

Speaker 2 (20m 33s): Okay. And how much have you grown since the last time we had you on the show?

Speaker 3 (20m 37s): Oh yeah.

Speaker 4 (20m 38s): Say years

Speaker 3 (20m 39s): Ago.

Speaker 2 (20m 40s): Fair bit. Are you as tall as your dad?

Speaker 4 (20m 43s): No, definitely not. No. Just past my mom couple weeks ago, but,

Speaker 2 (20m 48s): Oh wow, okay. So you're, yeah. You're, you're getting bigger, you can carry more weight. Yeah. Is that, how does that affect Hanza? How does that affect the flying in the, how are you noticing that?

Speaker 3 (20m 59s): Oh yeah. Yeah. It's, I mean, when we started when he was eight it was definitely kind of, you know,

Speaker 4 (21m 4s): Right on the tandem. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (21m 6s): It felt like, you know, you know, when you fly a tandem solo, it was just a little more than that. I mean, it felt like you're definitely still driving a, you know, big bus and you had to really be aware of wind. Like you really had to respect the wind cuz you just, just didn't have that much Right. Loading and now it's, and now it feels great. It flies. Yeah. We're right in a great weight range on it and we can punch against wind if we need it and it flies. Nice.

Speaker 2 (21m 29s): And, and I mean back then when, when he was eight, could you have flown a, just a bigger solo wing? Would that have been a maybe a tool that, again, I'm not a tandem guy or you just have to use a T wing?

Speaker 3 (21m 42s): No, no. You could have, yeah. That, that's, that would be an option if you, if you got a big, like an extra large solo wing, it might fly nicer. It's than aana. Yeah. Yeah. So that would, I think if you really for that might be a consideration once I start doing it with Tommy. Yeah. Because Tommy's six now. So two more years. Two more years would be kind of where Martin was. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (22m 4s): So Martin, you've been doing this almost half your life. I just added the math there. Yeah. That's pretty impressive man. You guys have done a trip every year since you were eight?

Speaker 4 (22m 13s): Yeah.

Speaker 2 (22m 15s): Amazing. Are are you gonna become a pilot as well?

Speaker 4 (22m 18s): I hope to, yeah. Well

Speaker 3 (22m 20s): You've been making little sights. Yeah, I've been making, yeah, he's been doing his first flight

Speaker 4 (22m 23s): The longest is about 10 minutes just sorting on the dunes, so yeah.

Speaker 3 (22m 28s): Awesome.

Speaker 2 (22m 30s): Okay. Okay. So you guys make, you make verre, you go for a big hike to are, are you in the Verre Valley? We're, we're,

Speaker 3 (22m 37s): We're kind of er at the top station. Not the very very summit station, but there's a big place. And then, so the next day we get hiking and once again too windy. So we had to do this kind of around, we

Speaker 4 (22m 49s): Did a big around loop to try to maintain height and hopes that'd be able to fly. Yeah. But after we realized we were forced to then go down because it was,

Speaker 3 (22m 59s): It was starting to rain. It was

Speaker 4 (23m 0s): Starting to rain and it was one of our last days and we didn't wanna be trapped super high up in the rain now that we have a bus the next day.

Speaker 3 (23m 8s): Yeah. And the last day was good, but it didn't, it didn't get good till pretty late in the day. Like we hiked to a great launch and we're actually in Cloudbase waiting for things to dry out a little bit. And

Speaker 4 (23m 16s): So with that loop we ended up just going super around to try to maintain height where we could have just gone down and up and saved the

Speaker 2 (23m 23s): So you're kind of contouring, you went out the back of Yeah. Of Verbier on the north side Exactly. Going down the Rh Yeah. And you're contouring, you're trying to get Zermatt.

Speaker 3 (23m 33s): Yeah, but we're basically at the, at that point we're realizing it's extremely unlikely. And then, yeah, so we launched kind of, you know, just above cion and try to skirt, you know, on the, on the south edge of that airspace that last day we, we covered a fair bit of distance in about an hour and a half once we got airborne. Cuz there was a, you know, there's, there's obviously that valley wind that's down there and it was coupled with a westerly wind, but not, not not too crazy, but enough to really skip along and then topped off pretty high above Sierra and then got a big flush all the way down to the bottom of the valley and landed by Luke's, which is near like halfway between Sarah and Wisp or something like that.

So, so Oh you

Speaker 2 (24m 12s): Made it a fair

Speaker 3 (24m 13s): Distance? Yeah, I made a fair distance. Got about another 10 K over last time but you know, still, still far from Yeah. From making it. But this is definitely with a lot of ambition to come back. Yeah. Which is what we did in this last summer. Yeah. In 22.

Speaker 2 (24m 29s): Okay. So before we get to that, what I, I think a lot of people I know I am curious about it. When you guys are flying together, is it decision by Hanza? Is it decision by consensus? Are you talking a lot about it? Hanza? Are you ever, you know, Martin, are you ever getting kind of scared and going, okay, I'm done. I don't, I don't feel good, I'm not liking this and then hanza you just stick it in? Or how does that, how do the, how do the decisions go down?

Speaker 4 (24m 54s): Well it's definitely decision by consensus we definitely talk about it. Okay. If I'm not sure then my dad has full power because he has so much more experience than I do. Sure. But there were definitely one of my favorite times when I had the better idea, we ended up sick me out to his decisions where when we were, when there was a time it was entering the Shaman valley.

Speaker 3 (25m 18s): This was the 2019 right? Yeah.

Speaker 4 (25m 20s): 21st time going anci, Zermatt and the mountains in a little, little like curve in and then went back out kind of towards the valley. And my dad wanted to cut through it and I was like, wait, Rin, we go around. We ended up cutting through and sickening out. Yeah, yeah,

Speaker 2 (25m 35s): You were right.

Speaker 4 (25m 36s): He was, yeah,

Speaker 3 (25m 37s): Yeah, yeah. We were, you know, 2:30 PM on the valley floor scratching my head and Martin's like, you should have just follow like that.

Speaker 2 (25m 45s): Ah, you got that. That's unusual for you. Hanzi usually you're pretty patient but you got a little impatient there for racing. Martin a a again. We'll, we'll get to, I know we're gonna talk, we'll see about this last one you did. Cause it was amazing. Yeah. But are you, do you ever get scared? Are you pretty confident? Are you pretty chill in the air, pretty? Is

Speaker 4 (26m 6s): It ever? I'm confident I'd say. I mean sometimes, but there's no r no events that I can really think of where I was really scared

Speaker 2 (26m 13s): And now Hanza What about you? I'd be curious. You know, all my sailing gears, there's, there's your game face and there's your real internal stuff going on, you know, when you're in a storm, that kind of thing. I mean, I always had to act like everything was totally fine, but sometimes it wasn't. What about from your perspective in I don't want you to freak your son out. No. But have there been, have there been times where it's, it's pretty spooky cuz cuz you've got a passenger? Or are you just not flying in those conditions?

Speaker 3 (26m 43s): You know, I'm, I'm, I'm definitely trying to respect the conditions, but yeah, that's just by the sheer number time and hours. There's, there's bound to be a few. Yeah. The, the one that comes to mind is, this was back in the, our second one, we were trying, you know, we were trying to go tele MK to Corra and we'd made it and then we had another three days flying around in the Dolomites and it was getting really ripe there. It's pretty common that it starts to overdevelop and it was just, we were, we were heading for a small landing field and there was some wind and speaking, he was still, we were still quite light loading the tremors fall out.

And I did, it was a bit of a zig zag to, to make the tight landing field. And when I zigged back into the wind, it felt like almost no penetration. A lot of sink. And basically our, our approach took us through, through two treetops Yeah. Into that field, made that field really nice. But that last final zigzag was almost dice necessary. So Right. So that felt, you know, for a moment I was like, oh, this would just be the worst to be stuck hanging Yeah. In trees on a tandem.

And having explained that to local

Speaker 2 (27m 54s): Yeah, that would be a little bitter. Be hard to, you'd want to get down real quick before anybody saw you.

Speaker 4 (28m 1s): Yeah.

Speaker 3 (28m 2s): But otherwise, for conditions for the most, I mean that, you know, the, the, the tandem fly flies really nice. It's like, it's, you know, it's a, it's a, it's like a big maybe B minus, a plus kind of wing and it's behavior. So it's, it's got, it's got a lot of passive safety. And I would say, you know, for the most part we're just trying to, you know, try and fly smart. Yeah. You know, some landings have been a little faster. Yeah,

Speaker 4 (28m 27s): That's true. That when you're about to take off or about to land, there's kind of that oh what if, but it's always fine.

Speaker 3 (28m 33s): Yeah.

Speaker 4 (28m 34s): That have with faster landings, but it's nothing that bad.

Speaker 2 (28m 38s): And, and do you kind of have Hans a a hard stop? Is there, is there a, a wind amount that you just say we're walking period? I mean, obviously you, you've gotta adjust a lot compared to your ex Alps days and what you're willing to fly in there on a totally different kind of weapon. But now is there just a, a number that says no? Or is it more just how things are, how, what you're seeing in the sky, and I mean, in other words, how much are you looking at real time wind data and forecast versus sticking your finger up in the air?

Speaker 3 (29m 11s): It's a, it's a little bit of a combo because we do have, there are a lot of stations when you pull up windy, luckily, you know, the Alps are, are, are, you know, got quite a few stations. So it's definitely, you know, checking what maybe some of the higher stations are getting or where some of the compressions are happening. But a lot of it is just, you know, looking at the, at the clouds, feeling the feeling the conditions on launch. I mean, a good example is what Martin mentioned when we were at Calum and just, we had, we waited around almost half a day to see if, if we'd be able to fly out of there before we decide to make the hike.

And I haven't always had Martin, you wait here, I'm gonna run up to this spot and check it out. And, you know, it was one of those like, do I, can I so up the west side high enough to wrap around and, and, and go east and ki it's like you're saying Gavin, it's a move that could be, you know, on a solo wing in the X Alps, it'd be a no-brainer. It's kinda, if, if you were going that direction, that's what we would do. But with the tandem and we're, you know, if, if you were sinking out you with the tandem, you really have to evaluate your landing areas a lot better as well.

Hmm. So it's, yeah, there's, I mean the, yeah, you just give it a, you give it a lot more margin. A lot more margin. A lot more margin, yeah. To keep it safe. Cuz it's a, you know, it's one of those things, it's obviously seen from the outside. This is it, it can be seen as a very dangerous thing to be doing with your son. So you just, just wanna make sure you do, you know, you gotta do this. Right. You can't, you can't get it wrong.

Speaker 2 (30m 43s): Right. Okay. Yeah, sure. Okay. So you guys almost get the VSP in 21 and then was it already on the map to come back the next season? It's been kind definitely an entity to Zermatt goal. Correct. That, that's been kind of the route that's,

Speaker 4 (30m 58s): Well we have this rule where we set a goal and then we do it three times and if we can't get it in three times, then oh we move on because it was too hard or something along that way. Ah.

Speaker 2 (31m 10s): Oh, I didn't know that. Okay. Yeah, that's

Speaker 3 (31m 12s): A personal rule we made is basically we're gonna try three attempt once we, you know, once we make a goal, we change it up and then the new one gets three attempts. So it can be up to three years trying it. Yeah. Until, until we, until we get it. And if we're not getting it after three attempts, we let ourselves Yeah. Basically choose a new one if, if that, but that, luckily that hasn't been the case. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (31m 36s): So what happens when Tomas gets to be eight? Do you do two a year? Yeah,

Speaker 3 (31m 41s): Might have to do, might have a good reason to go two back to back.

Speaker 2 (31m 45s): That sounds okay.

Speaker 4 (31m 46s): I'll be 16, so not Yeah, maybe

Speaker 2 (31m 50s): You'll be flying your own glider, so Yeah, yeah, you, you, that'd be cool. Little family mission baby. Oh, amazing. Okay, so 2022, the weather's epic and you start again at Mount Men. Correct?

Speaker 3 (32m 3s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it, so we got there at, at a decent time. We took a bus train combo, got there, you know, we, we were, we, we started out basically from Prague, took a bus to

Speaker 4 (32m 19s): Munich, then Geneva, then whatnot. Just

Speaker 3 (32m 22s): Yeah. Basically get to launch and then it was a good time of day, but it was still, it was kind of a stable day. It was getting pretty hot. It was, it was the, it was kind of one of those early periods in June, but no, July, this was mid-July and it was getting really hot in Europe. I think that's when like England started sweltering under 40.

Speaker 4 (32m 38s): Oh yeah. That was 40

Speaker 3 (32m 40s): Celsius weather. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (32m 41s): Where everyone was having 40 Celsius super hot. We're freezing up at 4,000.

Speaker 3 (32m 46s): But Yeah, but that's late. Yeah, that's later. We weren't, we weren't, the thing is we weren't able to get any higher than like torte level. So on that, on

Speaker 4 (32m 55s): The first day. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (32m 56s): Yeah. We just put up a lot of scratch marks between the donde long. I

Speaker 2 (32m 59s): Saw saw, I saw your, your track log. I was checking how this morning, oh you worked really hard to get out. Yeah, we plan over to plant Fay and got on the teeth and you

Speaker 3 (33m 9s): Yeah, we just as recycled, recycled, recycled and every trying to get, trying to get higher than the Tourette and just, just, just basically level with was more or less the best we were gonna do. Yeah. So at a certain point we were like, well we're just was, we're burning daylight, let's hook it over the back and see how far we can get. Yeah. Which we promptly sunk out on the hills that lead. Yeah. The hills that lead to the

Speaker 2 (33m 31s): RVs. The

Speaker 3 (33m 32s): Rv. Yeah. And we quickly packed it up, were very motivated, hiked up

Speaker 4 (33m 36s): And then launched later in the day. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (33m 38s): Hiked up 500 meters

Speaker 2 (33m 39s): Same day. First day, same

Speaker 3 (33m 40s): Day. First day. Yeah. That was the, that was the, that was the two flight day. So we quickly hiked up 500 meters, ate some raspberries along the way. Yep. And nice. And then even we had this quick pack where we had this, these, these basically Ikea duffle bag, Ikea duffle bag that we could throw everything in and just kind of strap it under the harness. Like a really quick ploy. Like those are, those are like, let's not, let's not worry about packing everything up for a long flight. We just need to get off asap.

Speaker 4 (34m 6s): But then there's always the risk cuz if you're gonna go, if you know that it's just a short flight, then you don't put on all the long pants, the down pants and everything. But then you find yourself at some altitude, almost supposed to be a short flight and you're freezing up there. So it's always the Yeah,

Speaker 3 (34m 23s): I think you had one of those right? Gavin.

Speaker 2 (34m 25s): Oh that, that ended my 2019 race. Yeah that was, that was brutal. You know, it was so stable and so hot. I just never imagined I could get tall. And then when I did I had a, you know I had my sleeves on that was it. Yeah. Oh it was frozen. I couldn't think. I couldn't, yeah it was, that was, that was brutal.

Speaker 3 (34m 44s): Yeah. So we made it, we got into the RVs but it was already pretty late and established on the RVs. Got to cold as RVs. Yeah. And landed basically made one pass towards Laa and it was Sinky and figured our best spot is Yes RV for a landing. Nice big area up there. Yeah,

Speaker 4 (35m 4s): Great. Because there was also a nice ice hot lodge with ice cream, their restaurant type

Speaker 3 (35m 10s): Thing. Yeah. Nice. So Martin's learning French. So I sent him over to get some ice cream while I packed up the glider.

Speaker 2 (35m 17s): Fantastic. That's a beautiful chain. Yeah's. So nice being in the RV and

Speaker 3 (35m 21s): We figured good first day to be, we need to find a good east side spot, but let's, let's make the most distance. So we hiked into the evening on the east side there's a lot of like roads that access cabins all along the east side there. So we found a little patch in the forest, camped out next morning. We just continued hiking on the east side for quite a ways and really wanted to make sure that it turned on. So we didn't, I don't think we launched on day two until it might have been as late as as two o'clock.

Speaker 4 (35m 51s): Yeah.

Speaker 3 (35m 52s): And even so it's stable. It's stable at that, but it's getting better. We're getting deep into the deeper mountains. Like we're not in that same stable that we were the day before and it just took a little longer to get going. But by the end of the RV's chain we're getting well over three grand. Which made the crossing over so much. Yeah,

Speaker 4 (36m 11s): Well it was, it was a good amount but it still wasn't like to be safe enough cuz we weren't gaining that much height and we knew that the other side was west facing so it wouldn't be good lift there. That's right. And so we weren't able to get enough height to be sure. So we decided that we're just wasting time here. Just fly over and, okay, so we'll land then we'll hike up and so we flew over, we're about to land, like setting up for landing.

Speaker 3 (36m 38s): No, this, this, this, this is this. That's ver you're thinking of ver

Speaker 4 (36m 42s): Okay. Nevermind. Wrong day. Wrong day.

Speaker 2 (36m 45s): Yeah. Notice you, I, if I got this right that the second day from the Air V, you took the south route around Cham, correct? Yeah, yeah. We Mont Blanc.

Speaker 3 (36m 55s): Yeah, exactly. We stayed, we stayed well south cuz once we crossed the, there's, you get above Solan and then there's this like big rockfall that happened maybe 20 years ago, but a very distinct face that had ripped off a long time ago. Yeah. Got up above that and then, then we were getting to 3,600 meters, almost 37 and you could cut over a wilderness and end up basically even east of the Bravo launch. So So we basically cut.

Yeah, exactly. We were north of, north of sh and we were towards the east end of the valley by the time we were basically, you know, ready to, to cross it. So we crossed, you know,

Speaker 4 (37m 40s): We crossed over Gold Valley basically.

Speaker 3 (37m 42s): Yeah. We, we basically just, just a little bit south the cold of balm is where we kinda left the SH valley, but we were getting the 4,000 meters. I mean we're higher than, than the D It was a beautiful day. Yeah. It was one, it was just a spectacular day and that, that type of top of lift suddenly made things, you know, much easier. Much easier. Much easier. Yeah. Even going through all that glaciated area on the far east end of the valley and south of Calum and yeah. Then it was interesting where we finally got low on terrain again when we, we got into a big flush because it was just, just trying to figure out the local valley winds.

We got ourselves onto a little bit of a crosswind side of something that seemed like, oh this is gonna work. And then it was nothing but flush. So we had to yeah. To wrap around. And then we went further south than course line, but we were trying to get established cause we did see good development. There's probably like a middle ridge, but we're not quite diverse yet.

Speaker 4 (38m 39s): Yeah. So towards the end of the day, so about four or five maybe.

Speaker 3 (38m 44s): Yeah. Yeah. So we, you

Speaker 2 (38m 45s): Were kind of in the orcas zone I think, right?

Speaker 3 (38m 47s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. What we did, we ended up basically got to a spot and it would, you kind of reach where you just can't get any higher, you can sort of ridge soar, maintain there, but the little piece of terrain was a little too shallow to, you know, to really get, you know, it's just basically six 30 in the afternoon and we're, we're, we can maintain, but we can't get any higher. And we see this perfect cumulus above us on this mountain. Probably another 2000 meters above. But just, there was no way to connect. It was a little too late in the day.


Speaker 2 (39m 20s): And style-wise, are you Martin, are you guys trying to land high so you're not having to do a big fever in the morning? Or are you trying to stay up?

Speaker 4 (39m 30s): Yes, if possible then definitely yes.

Speaker 3 (39m 33s): Yeah. Cause we have, okay,

Speaker 2 (39m 34s): So you're trying to stick it in tall and Yeah. In a coal or something. You know, I launched from the same place the next day. Is that the, is that the kind of the goal? Cause I mean when I looked at the track logs, they're pretty connected. It didn't look like there was a ton of hiking in between each one. Yeah. I mean there's some, but it was, it looked like you were definitely kinda sticking with the, with the high terrain. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (39m 54s): I mean, well it's the decision between do we land up here or do we hike up a thousand meters tomorrow morning? So, sure.

Speaker 2 (40m 1s): That's an easy one.

Speaker 3 (40m 2s): Yeah. Yeah. It was, it was, it was probably the laziest one on the hiking front for sure. Yeah. Because the weather was, was so good this end of the second day where we stuck it, we then had this river cross, this fat stream slash river crossing that we were, well

Speaker 4 (40m 17s): It wasn't, that wasn't that much of a problem. It was that there were a ton of like willow bushes to try to break down to it. Yeah,

Speaker 3 (40m 23s): Yeah. It was like once you land you realize how difficult it's to progress on. Like Yeah. Cause we spent the next two hours just trying to figure out how we're gonna get across this. What kind of, you know, big stream Finally decided to go to a bridge. But yeah, bush whacking down the super steep kind of half muddy Yeah. Hillside pushing through bushes. There was just suddenly a whole different reality laughter after being in the air for four and a half hours. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (40m 49s): Martin your, your dad's kind of famously, you know, he's a meteorologist really good at weather, but he's, he kind of famously pretty low tech in terms of, you know, apps and phones and all that kind of thing. I, I dig. But are you the navigator or what are you guys using for, I imagine you are, so are you using Gaia or what are you using for maps? For

Speaker 4 (41m 9s): Maps, we, that we, that year we saw like the garment outdoor active with like the little garment each. Yep. Yeah. But then I think we're, we just got Gaia this year. I think that's gonna be it. We

Speaker 3 (41m 20s): Might start using Gaia in the air. In the air. We don't have a app. We

Speaker 4 (41m 23s): Have an old, what is it, 2000? It's

Speaker 2 (41m 26s): Matrixx.

Speaker 3 (41m 27s): Yeah, it's, it's, it's from oh seven. Are

Speaker 2 (41m 30s): You kidding me? You're still using it? Yeah,

Speaker 3 (41m 31s): Yeah, yeah. The power button, the little thing you have to stick a piece of graveler stick in there to

Speaker 4 (41m 37s): Yeah. The power button. That's my job.

Speaker 2 (41m 39s): I can't believe you're still using that.

Speaker 4 (41m 41s): It was funny, the week before I knew what was happening, so I left one of my nails to grow really long and then like cut and had like an in, like a built-in little stick in my nail just to be able to hit it. Hit

Speaker 3 (41m 52s): The power button, garment checks

Speaker 4 (41m 54s): My nail looked really bad and it worked.

Speaker 2 (41m 57s): Oh. Like father, like son I guess.

Speaker 3 (42m 0s): But he,

Speaker 2 (42m 1s): I figured, I figured you'd have all the tech all dialed there. You're still using the ere. I love it. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (42m 6s): But Martin's got it on his, he's got it on his leg and purposefully it's, it basically, I'm just asking him for that info. I'll, you know, we've got, we've got four pieces of info on there. What time of day glide ratio, elevation and

Speaker 4 (42m 18s): Speed. Speed and comp and compass.

Speaker 3 (42m 20s): Yeah. And then the compass side. So it's got the compass setting. So there's, yeah, there's, so any I'll just call out for information as I need it. Yeah. And that the Martin kind of, that's kind of part of the, I guess the teaching. Like he's seeing like I'm, I'm basically always vocalizing what I'm thinking. Yeah. And, and and getting that feedback information from Yeah. Instrument. That's Martin giving me that vocally. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (42m 44s): Gotcha. Yeah. And I think, I think once you guys do the guy that'll make the ground stuff really nice too. Yeah. Cause it's just, there's so many trails in the Alps it's, you know, it's pretty easy to just Yeah. Sniff around and find one too. But they, they're all in there. The, I used outdoor active for I think my first, the 2015 race. And the problem with that was that it's, it's open source so if anybody's walked somewhere it could be in there and it's not necessarily a trail. So there it got me pretty good and lost a few times just following what I thought was something and wasn't actually something, it was just somebody cruising through the woods.

Speaker 4 (43m 17s): Yeah. That screwed us over the first year. But then the Garmin one is also quite good. Just in the app that you use with the inReach.

Speaker 3 (43m 26s): Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The inReach app. Yeah. So that's really nice.

Speaker 4 (43m 29s): So that one we use and that was also good with the trails on everything. And it also had like the built-in satellite if you want it. And it was downloadable. So yeah. The

Speaker 2 (43m 37s): Earth made

Speaker 4 (43m 37s): Apps uses.

Speaker 2 (43m 38s): Great. Yeah. That's terrific. Okay. Okay. So you guys get your, I can't remember the, you, you may, is this the next day you made it all the way to fish?

Speaker 3 (43m 49s): So let's see. We are, let's see, so we just this end of day two, so we're just, we just finished day two. But now we're, we've realized that even if we had to hike to Zermatt, we think five days, like even if the weather completely, which would still forecast was stellar. But if, even if it had turned bad, we were now finally within striking distance. So that was inspiring and we just wanted to get it to a point where, to an east facing launch to glide towards Veria.

We were thinking we'd take an e, like a morning flight over side hill it and maybe hike up a little bit and then use the west slopes when they turned on. Yeah. So day three is basically kind of a traverse, kind of going back northward getting into a position to launch a nice east face and launch about 1130.

Speaker 4 (44m 36s): Yeah. The east wasn't really working that day.

Speaker 3 (44m 40s): Yeah. It was surprising we weren't able, we were able to maintain but not gain. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (44m 44s): Huh.

Speaker 3 (44m 44s): So we decided to,

Speaker 4 (44m 45s): We decided to just book it for the west face from height. Yeah. And then

Speaker 2 (44m 50s): End of verbier. So if you, so you've left the massif now and you're, you're flying towards Verbier? Yeah.

Speaker 3 (44m 56s): Yep. Okay. And just south of Verbier. Yeah. The town.

Speaker 4 (44m 59s): And so there was nothing on the west face. We were just getting ready to land and then off the slightest beep beep. Really we just started passing. We were already set up to land them. We started passing and then made manage to go up what, 1000 meters more. Right?

Speaker 3 (45m 15s): A lot more. Yeah. Because basically there we were setting up to land on the same exact spot we'd side hilled the year prior on

Speaker 4 (45m 22s): Where the dream pigs worked on

Speaker 3 (45m 24s): Day five

Speaker 4 (45m 25s): Happiest pigs in the world worked. Exactly.

Speaker 3 (45m 27s): Yeah. Just, just just around the area of the happiest pigs in the world. And then this time it was in very light lift. It was, you know, tons of circles. But over, over the next half hour we gained, we gained the 1300 meters that took us all afternoon to hike the year prior. So it was a trip down memory lane, the air. Yeah. And then kept going. And then we got above the highest peaks would be four,

Speaker 4 (45m 48s): Five, I think was

Speaker 3 (45m 49s): 4,000. Well, later in the day we got later in the day.

Speaker 4 (45m 52s): Yeah.

Speaker 3 (45m 52s): Here we're getting about 4,000 and it's looking perfect. Light, light northwest wind.

Speaker 2 (45m 59s): So you're, you're probably, you must be above ru at or something above the top lift there looking down at ver bay on the west facing stuff. Wow. You're perfectly

Speaker 3 (46m 7s): Positioned. And it was interesting to see how they're storing their snow in the, was just, they plow it and they cover it with white tarps. Exactly.

Speaker 4 (46m 15s): Doing that all over the, the Ukraine war, they knew that electricity was gonna be expensive the next winter for

Speaker 3 (46m 21s): Snow making. Yeah. People saved all their snow,

Speaker 4 (46m 23s): All snow. Which was a cool idea actually. Cause it saves a ton of energy. And

Speaker 3 (46m 27s): We saw that a lot of places along the way that where they would just pile up their snow, you know, probably 20 meters high and 60 meters wide and cover it with wide white tarps up as high on the skin slopes as they could.

Speaker 2 (46m 39s): Wow. Crazy. Yeah, I'd run into that a couple times on the race now. Wow. That's an expensive tarp. Shark days are huge

Speaker 3 (46m 47s): Tarps. So this is, this is day three we're now making Yeah. You know, it's suddenly, you know, textbook flying and almost felt like cheating with such high top of lift going for the Matterhorn became a straight line deal. We're just, just, just, you know, really just basically yeah. Finding thermals where they should be and making a way

Speaker 2 (47m 9s): And good viz You could see it Yes. Right from

Speaker 3 (47m 11s): Leaving. Yes. You could see it. Yeah. See it.

Speaker 2 (47m 12s): Magic. Holy smokes.

Speaker 3 (47m 14s): And there was other people too flying around. There's some solo gliders flying around and we get to mountain just to the north of the Matterhorn and we're feeling a bit of a north now. Like there's a bit of a north, maybe a little northwest in it. So the, the, we are drifting south with all the circles. So as we get around to this mount, you know, we topped off there, that was probably 4,400 meters. Yeah. Pretty good. Before we decided to make the final glide onto the matter horn. Then we get there and this is one of those discussion things where I, I, I thought we could maybe try to soar up it or try to spend some more time there.

Speaker 4 (47m 55s): And I was like, no, because I was looking down at the glaciers and thinking, well, if we suddenly get into a big, big bad sink right then we're going down. If we're landing on the glaciers, it looks like fine and smooth from top. But in reality down, they

Speaker 2 (48m 11s): Never are

Speaker 4 (48m 11s): Huge rocks. You don't wanna be landing on that

Speaker 3 (48m 14s): On the CVAs. Yeah. Yeah. It was, it's, I could see why they gave us a five kilometer radius in the X Alps On the Matterhorn. Yeah. Because it's, it's, it's deep in there. I mean, arriving at 4,000, you're already feeling a little bit on the low side. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (48m 28s): So what time of day did you get to the manor?

Speaker 3 (48m 30s): Well this, I think it would've been like three 30 or so. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It was pretty early on. And then we, we spent another, almost three hours in the Zermatt area just checking everything out and actually made a decision at one point where we didn't have to land in Zermatt. I mean that was our goal, but we obviously had made it suddenly something we'd been trying for, you know, twice now for a week, some 50 hours and we'd made it. Yeah. Which was just amazing.

Speaker 2 (48m 57s): And yeah, day three you're in

Speaker 3 (48m 59s): Day three we're in Yeah. And we, you know, there was this consideri promised Martin we would go to that had some just wonderful raspberry pastry I remember from two of the X Alps. So that was drawing us down to land. But also, you know, top of lift was so high we, a couple times we got back to 4,500 and at that point we're thinking, well, you know, we could skip the pastry and just continue on our flight. But with the combination of the Zermatt Valley wind and the North window loft, every time we tried to punch out of that long, it's like an upside down Y that, yeah.

Trying to go towards wisp. We would, we would very quickly start, you know, we'd get sometimes two to one glide. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (49m 40s): But so it's funny cause we would, you'd thermal up to what, 4,600? Yeah. Right. And then you fly for a little bit and then it's two to one down and then you'd try again and again.

Speaker 3 (49m 50s): Yeah. Recycled a few times that.

Speaker 4 (49m 53s): Yeah. Very cold.

Speaker 3 (49m 54s): It

Speaker 2 (49m 54s): Was cold. I bet it was cold. Yeah. I mean that once you get up into that, I mean you're in the really high terrain. Yeah. All kinds of weird stuff can start happening with the weather. I mean, I imagine you're getting at 3 32, you're getting a pretty good pull up from, from Vis and Bri, what is it? Vis and Brigg. Yeah. Yeah. Coming up the valley there. So you didn't try, you, you were trying to get across to the sas, but you didn't make it. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (50m 16s): So we, a couple times trying to just exit, we realized, okay, it's not gonna happen. And then part of it was also trying to figure out where are they landing? Cause I'd never, I'd gone through Zermatt a few times in the X Alps, but I never actually, no,

Speaker 2 (50m 27s): The tandem L Z is tiny. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (50m 29s): Yeah. It's by the rail, by the, there's this, this by the railroad track, basically. There's split

Speaker 4 (50m 34s): Yeah. By the train station. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (50m 35s): Yeah. I don't even know that's their official tandem. L z, but that's the place we saw the other paragliders landing. So we figured, okay, we gotta land there. Yeah. And it was, that was a fast one. That was a

Speaker 4 (50m 44s): Fast one, yeah.

Speaker 3 (50m 45s): Because it was already in the shade. It was six o'clock and it was, there was no valley when at that point it backed off and it was almost, almost starting to turn cata. So it was Yeah. Landed in there. Looked for thatI. Yeah. Couldn't find it. They must have closed it over Covid or something. That particular one was not there. We walk, yeah. Walked back and forth through Zermatt Village about three times looking for this place that I swore was there, but just wasn't.

Speaker 4 (51m 11s): Yeah.

Speaker 3 (51m 12s): And hiked out of town. Found a, found a nice place to

Speaker 4 (51m 17s): Sleep. Sleep. Yeah. And then, yeah,

Speaker 3 (51m 20s): The next morning.

Speaker 4 (51m 21s): Yep. We hiked a little bit up, well, quite a bit Up and

Speaker 3 (51m 25s): A thousand meters up. Yeah. Yeah. Watch the watch the tandems kind of come across. Yeah. The valley onto our side.

Speaker 2 (51m 30s): I was gonna say, did you go to the, did you go to the launch that the tandems used? That kind of east facing at the top of the lift. Okay.

Speaker 3 (51m 36s): No, no. So, so we did see a lot of tandems come across onto our face. So they were launching something, they had a, they had a lift, which would've been on east of Mont.

Speaker 2 (51m 45s): Oh yeah. I guess that's, I guess theirs is west, isn't it? And then they come across. They

Speaker 3 (51m 48s): Come across, yes. That was a great indicator. We'd watch 'em come across and see if they were maintaining or not. And then, I think it was about, about 1230 we got to a good spot. We were a thousand feet over Zermatt about 2,800 meters. Yeah. Looks like the thermals were starting to turn on. Good. The east face has been facing it, you know, all morning. And there was a, there was a solo guy who was clamped out. Yeah. Above us. So this was all, all the, all the check marks were good that it was time to go. Yeah. And we still hadn't quite made the decision what next.

Speaker 4 (52m 22s): Yeah.

Speaker 3 (52m 23s): We were,

Speaker 2 (52m 24s): Yeah. You're, you're you. You'd reached goal. We'd reached

Speaker 3 (52m 27s): Goal. Yeah. So what were the two options? Martin?

Speaker 4 (52m 29s): Well, one of them was to go back to an, and the other one just keep on going east, but for, for right then there just, it was to get out of the Surat Valley.

Speaker 3 (52m 44s): Yeah. Hmm.

Speaker 2 (52m 45s): Just go somewhere. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (52m 46s): Yeah. So just to get, like, to go north and get out, to get more towards the, the big own valley to see whether we, and, and as, as we were approaching the end, we would make that call. So we, we, it was beautiful. We thermal right up, got a bunch of great pictures with the Matterhorn and there was no wind at all, which was, which was awesome. We could basically go over saddles super low, just these glaciated saddles. And I even suggested a top landing on some high snow patch to Martin, which she said, there's no reason to do that.


Speaker 2 (53m 22s): Keep going, dad.

Speaker 4 (53m 23s): Just the, just the thought of not being able to get, not being able to launch from there and being struck up there with cliffs below was, was not really the most testing factor.

Speaker 2 (53m 35s): That can be hard to, you know, even after all these years that, that can be kind of hard to gauge too. Things that look pretty good from the sky often aren't very good. So. Yeah. Yeah. You can get kind of stuck. Oh man, I wish I hadn't landed here.

Speaker 3 (53m 47s): Yeah. But yeah, it was a great day. It was, there was, I think that day there was a lot more pilots out and about Yeah. And sail planes. And we basically crossed over just to the west of west.

Speaker 4 (53m 59s): That was a nice warmup. Did big club 4,000 down to 2000. That was amazing.

Speaker 3 (54m 4s): Yeah. Down to maybe 2,500. And, and then got up and at that point we decided to, yeah, that was just before crossing. We made the call, we're gonna keep going east. Like we, we know what's, we know what's between here and Annecy. We've, we've spent like last few years in this area. Let's go to some new terrain, especially for Martin new terrain from Martin and just continue east as far as possible and crossed over the, I forgot the name of it.

I'm so that no ash, that that the longest glacier in Europe there. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (54m 43s): Oh, the all Alex

Speaker 3 (54m 44s): A Alex Glacier. Yeah. Got some nice pictures over that. Yeah. And at that point it was starting to get a little ripe. There were some pretty big looking clouds. So, you know, there was one we had to cross under it, but to avoid any kind of cloud suck, I decided to give it like a thousand vertical below it. And then we started sinking out. We got onto the terrain and to my surprise, we were getting a, an east wind. And when I, you know, we were getting now probably coming outta kilometers

Speaker 2 (55m 15s): Coming outta the Grimms. Yeah,

Speaker 3 (55m 16s): Yeah. The grimsey snake. Yeah. I've forgotten about the Grimms snake. I remember hearing, you know, when you get that heat low over the Alps, it, it starts to draw in these north winds through, especially in the northern Alps, it'll draw in winds through pretty high passes and wherever it can. And so it, it overcame this, you know, this, this massive valley wind gets overcome at that point. And Yeah. You suddenly hit get a wind reversal there. So that's, that forced us to, well we tried to establish, tried to reestablish and get like above valley wind layers, but it couldn't and landed there hiked into overhauled Yeah.

Speaker 4 (55m 52s): Over.

Speaker 3 (55m 54s): But we, it was nice on the way we got some ice cream and Yeah. Got a few groceries and Yeah. The, it was really interesting as we hiking through that valley, just seeing what the wind was doing there, like the way that, you know, as that brisel snake kind of spills and down into Overal, it was just, it was all over the place. Yeah. The direction would, you know, something change gust really strong and then be nothing for a while. So it was, yeah. The more, you know,

Speaker 2 (56m 20s): It's almost like a mini fern, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah. Don't you think, I mean, it just really dumps when, when, when the snake starts going. I mean, that, that's why it's so, people respect it so much cuz it's just, it's it, it is like a little localized fern effect it seems like.

Speaker 3 (56m 34s): Yeah. And we were so, we were glad we were actually on the ground, but I think it had, we had, we tried to push more into that area, just might have made landing even more funky, even though the fields were really big and grassy. It was still, it was, it was, it was fine. We'd, we'd flown. That was prob I think that was the longest flight. Yeah. Not time wise, but longest distance, distance wise. I think we made 70 kilometers that day and Wow. So now we're just finishing day four. Ended up camping out in, in the woods just near Al.

And the next morning, what was next morning was kind of overcast. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (57m 9s): It was quite overcast. But we knew that we had to get over the fork pass

Speaker 3 (57m 13s): And that was a long hike to get to the fork pass. We, there was a lot of blueberries along the way, which was nice. Yeah. And, and got to the fork pass.

Speaker 2 (57m 21s): Did you fly it or you, you so you hiked over it? We hiked,

Speaker 3 (57m 23s): We hiked. We hiked. Yeah. We hiked. That was up and got,

Speaker 4 (57m 26s): Yeah.

Speaker 3 (57m 26s): Got to the fork pass and it would've been launchable. There was basically like an east wind at the past. And that that, that was a tough call because Yeah, it launch it, but it, I wasn't seeing any guarantee of getting up. It was a very shallow valley that kind of leads out of it. Yeah. So if we'd launched it, we were looking at maybe, you know, if we sunk out 300 meters, we'd just have another big hike up, which we'd been doing all morning. So we decided of traverse a bit and try looking for launches on the hillsides and we burnt a lot of time doing that.

Yeah. And it was, nothing was looking too ideal. Yeah. And then we had the scariest moment because I said I was gonna say to Martin, we

Speaker 4 (58m 9s): Decided to continue on, on the road. Yes.

Speaker 3 (58m 11s): We're hiking the road. Yeah. We're hiking the road. And I, I was telling Martin I was, well I should have stated this way, I should have said, once you look to, to see if you're clear we can cross the road. But I said we can. I was, I said it the wrong way. I said, we can, we can cross the road. And, and then I was about to say, once you look so Martin, Martin heard, stepped out. Yeah. Crossed the road and there was a, a bicycle zipping down. Yeah. Ooh. And he just did the, he luckily did a quick avoidance maneuver and just Italian cursing like crazy because Martin

Speaker 2 (58m 50s): You mean motorcycle or pedal bike? A

Speaker 3 (58m 51s): Pedal bike. Just a pedal bike.

Speaker 2 (58m 53s): It was downhill cruising.

Speaker 3 (58m 55s): Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (58m 55s): They were going fast

Speaker 3 (58m 56s): There. And it was, yeah. I mean that was, that could have gone terribly back. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (59m 1s): Could been.

Speaker 4 (59m 2s): That was probably the most dangerous moment of the whole trip.

Speaker 2 (59m 4s): Yeah, totally. Well that's usually the case. Yeah. The ground stuff that gets you. Wow.

Speaker 3 (59m 9s): But we finally found a launch that made sense that, that that would traverse so long that it, you know, now we had good elevation over the valley and we're trying to get to under map pass. Yeah. At least just to save ourselves a bit of hiking. And that was the shortest day. That was, I mean, if we flew only 45 minutes that day, but just shows how good it was. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (59m 28s): It was a good 45 minutes. I mean, we covered a good amount of distance. We

Speaker 3 (59m 31s): Kind of, we covered a good amount of distance and, but it was, it was, it was basically when conditions, speaking of kind of the limits, it was, it was ripe, you know, turning towards rotten as far as the sky. There's, you know, in the distance there were some big Q names pretty far off. And we got to under mud pass and even though lift wise we could have kept going, I said, no, we need, we, we need to get on the ground. It's just, it's just, we need to land with for this ods and set up for really nice long grassy landing approach.

And I think that we hit a batch of sink behind us cuz suddenly what should've felt like would've been into a valley flow. Yeah. We had tailwind, we just given along the grass.

Speaker 4 (1h 0m 13s): Yeah,

Speaker 3 (1h 0m 13s): Yeah. And just flared up onto this grassy patch and just it together.

Speaker 4 (1h 0m 18s): Yeah. It's hard to coordinate four legs,

Speaker 3 (1h 0m 20s): 4, 1, 2, 3

Speaker 2 (1h 0m 22s): Roll.

Speaker 4 (1h 0m 24s): It was fantastic.

Speaker 2 (1h 0m 24s): You often just kinda skid in. Yep.

Speaker 3 (1h 0m 26s): Or no, it was, it was skid in tumble kind. Yeah. It was tumble grass. It was really nice grassy

Speaker 4 (1h 0m 31s): Spot. But yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 0m 33s): And, and then

Speaker 2 (1h 0m 36s): The, were the windmills churning.

Speaker 3 (1h 0m 38s): Yeah, they were, yeah. Yeah. The wind. Yeah. Yeah. There were, there was, it's

Speaker 2 (1h 0m 41s): Always, that always freaks me out in there. I don't, Ander mount's just one of those places where it's, I mean, you've got four huge passes right there. You've got the stuff coming up from Bellona and you've got the whatever that passe is going out to the north out to Zurich and it's just Yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 0m 56s): It's a complex place. Yeah. It's, it's, yeah, it really is. But we're happy to be on the ground and took, you know, there was a great, there was a nice little stream there and yeah, just we took, really took our time right now at that point. About

Speaker 4 (1h 1m 7s): 45 minutes. Yeah. At

Speaker 3 (1h 1m 8s): Least. We took at least 45 minutes to pack up. There was really no big hurry, big push. And it was, we're, you know, seeing if it was gonna start raining or not. And it looked like it wasn't. So we finally packed everything up,

Speaker 4 (1h 1m 20s): Walked about 200 meters, maybe

Speaker 3 (1h 1m 22s): A kilometer.

Speaker 4 (1h 1m 23s): Maybe a kilometer, but not, not much. Like we could still see a spot where we landed and then it started coming down. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 1m 29s): It started raining. So we quickly set up tent and so, so we, we could've, we could've just set up tent where we landed. That would've been best practical thing. But right after all that packing up, then we just had to unpack it all real quick. And then we had, we were watching the, you know, on windy, you can see the radar returns. I mean we had some really big storms pass right over us through

Speaker 4 (1h 1m 49s): The night. Yeah. The night the, the tents around. Really Well, well I slept through it, so it was all theoretical for me. I remember. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 1m 59s): Fantastic. Quick side, you have, you have two bags, two sleeping bags? Nope.

Speaker 4 (1h 2m 4s): No sleeping bags. Just glider. Just the glider.

Speaker 3 (1h 2m 6s): Oh really? Yeah. We have these two super light thermos pads. That was after the first year where we didn't bring any,

Speaker 4 (1h 2m 13s): There's three quarter lengths or, okay. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 2m 16s): So there's three quarter lengths. Just, just air thermos, like they're less than 200 grams each. Yeah. But, and then the tandem is our blanket. So we basically have the tandem, you know, I, I fold old school half, half half. So then basically when you un unroll it a little bit, you get, everybody get, you know, each one of us has half a t the, there's a bit of tandem underneath us. Yeah. And then we get half a wing to work with for temperature control. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 2m 42s): Geez. And you can sleep Honza. I'd never,

Speaker 4 (1h 2m 44s): You can sleep through it. Your feet get tangled in the lines.

Speaker 3 (1h 2m 47s): Yeah. You feel like you're, feel like you're in a fishing net

Speaker 2 (1h 2m 50s): Tangled all night. Well, and wings make so much noise when you move. Oh, too much mattresses. I would, I would drive everybody crazy.

Speaker 3 (1h 2m 59s): Yeah, you have to, you do have to get tired. The first nights are kind of, but ends

Speaker 4 (1h 3m 2s): Up melatonin. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 3m 4s): You can take some melatonin. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 3m 6s): Ah, there you go. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 3m 7s): Little sleep aid. Yeah. And,

Speaker 2 (1h 3m 9s): Okay, so you're, you're, well you're in Andermatt sick

Speaker 3 (1h 3m 12s): Day six now in the Yeah, we wake up day six. It's still a little rainy, so there's no hurry to get out. And we're in cloud. We're basically in cloud and little drizzly. Yeah. But the first good break, we, we pack up hike just to the pass itself.

Speaker 4 (1h 3m 29s): Yeah. There, there was like some restaurants and some stuff. So we got an ice cream. The ice cream. And I served as a travel agent figuring out all of our bus options back.

Speaker 3 (1h 3m 40s): Yes. Cuz now we know, we know the, the, you know, the, we're on day six, day seven. It's done. So the morning of day eight Martin figures. Well yeah, we're definitely gonna get the core. So we got us a bus on FFLs bus back from court to Prague.

Speaker 4 (1h 3m 54s): Yeah. But it was, it was a bet trying to figure out where we're gonna get to or from, especially in the days where I was also looking at it. And for even a minute I was considering, what if we take the bus from, it starts with the w the capital of Luxembourg because, so I was thinking what's the big city between her and what are the previous cities? So

Speaker 3 (1h 4m 15s): Yeah. So we, we, we had, we had a ticket, we had a bus ticket for, you know, the morning of day eight. Yeah. So we knew had to dec finish by day seven. And yeah. So we knew which should all things considered we should be able to get decor. But we at that point we're deciding our goal is Davos Davos looked like a really cool goal. And I think we spoke and you said take a swim in the lake. And it's funny in the xop, I completely, like even I spaced, I don't remember remember the lake, but there's definitely a nice big lake there. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (1h 4m 44s): So we landed, right? No, but no, sorry,

Speaker 3 (1h 4m 46s): We're not there yet. So, so we're morning. Yeah, we're morning of day five. Getting, you know, the kind of, the weather's overcast. We're getting certain logistics taken care of. Martin's really good about getting all, you know, we do have power banks with us, but whenever we get to any place where there is a place to plug in, we'll just charge up all power banks and all Yeah. In reaches and, and

Speaker 4 (1h 5m 8s): We also have solar panels and stuff.

Speaker 3 (1h 5m 10s): Yeah. We did have a solar panel. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And then some ice cream and then it started to break up and we basically hiked to found a good launch. And that day was really nice and easy once we got going around two o'clock. Yeah. It was, it was just nice textbook flying kind of trip down memory lane from many mini x Alps ago. And really that was a really nice, not, not super challenging, but just beautiful flying. Yeah.

And around four 30 I start to notice a lower cloud coming over some of the passes to the north. And they're pretty high passes. They're passes that are like 2,600 meters. And that, and remembering, you know, from the two days prior, the Grims snake and the whole experiences have been the ex ops where I've been on perfect south, you know, south facing southwest facing slopes in the late afternoon and been flushed completely all the way down to the valley.

I realized, okay, it's starting to come in and we need to, our best bet is to, to top land high. Which, which we did, we landed about 2300 meters and it was a hot one of those hot days too. Yeah. And really hot down in the valley and Yeah. Even though it felt like we were landing early, I think it was a really, it was, it was a good move. It was a good move. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 6m 37s): So you're not down to Coru yet? You're just flying down the Rhine? No, we're

Speaker 3 (1h 6m 40s): About halfway. Realistically, we're halfway maybe a little past halfway between under Moss under Pass and, and who, okay. And it's only four 30. But I decided to pull this, this didn't seem right, this top hill. A top hill ending and basically we, I think it was a smart move cuz as we hiked then we hiked a little bit north to find a camp spot and then we start to hit that wind towards afternoon. And it was pretty, yeah, it was pretty strong. It was a big, you know, it was a big flush.

So we yeah, we, we we side hilled it before that got to our area, but it would've affected I think even the next crossing. Yeah. Everything's really shallow in there and we would've risked being flushed in there. So it was a good move to stay high. And we found this really just really beautiful place to camp out. Yeah. And found all these bullets that were, you know, probably a good, you know, probably fifth, maybe 10 centimeters tall and maybe two centimeters wide. And they were rusty and they must have the Swiss, the Swiss army must have had a lot of practice there and Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 7m 44s): Yeah. Right.

Speaker 3 (1h 7m 45s): Yeah. I mean it's, well and

Speaker 2 (1h 7m 46s): Co chorus has famously windy and that, that place gets crazy strong valley winds. I've had some beautiful flights down the Rhine to then just suddenly be, whoa, what is going on here? But it can be, you want be

Speaker 3 (1h 8m 0s): High. Yeah. It's one of those arteries that feeds it. And we knew, we knew that, that the next day we would want to be crossing chorus as high as possible. Yeah. So the next, the next morning, let's see, so we, we wake up in this beautiful place, but it's not a launchable place. So we had a bit of hiking around to do. Yeah. And we got to a place we're scoping out launch. Wanna tell him that funny story.

Speaker 4 (1h 8m 29s): Oh yeah. We're scoping out launch and my dad goes to go to the bathroom and look at the wind conditions and while taking the number two, his phone falls into his,

Speaker 3 (1h 8m 41s): I dropped my phone in my shit. Dude, that was the word. What, what a crusher. Yeah. That was a, that was a bit of a cleanup at my phone. Oh

Speaker 2 (1h 8m 57s): Man, that's a man. Maybe we should leave this behind. Oh

Speaker 3 (1h 9m 1s): Man. Brutal bud. Yeah. But finally get to a good launch even though we, you know, we were, we probably could have launched a little earlier, but once again, we're being a little conservative. Don't wanna lose that height. Don't wanna lose the day. It's our last day and we got kind of one shot at Davos.

Speaker 4 (1h 9m 17s): Yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 9m 19s): And so, so we get flying and it is a windier day. It's, it's a, it's a bit of a southwest, which is fine cuz it's crossing, you know, we we're trying to go east, so, so we're not You got a little bit of tailwind. Yeah. A little bit of tailwind. But this whole terrain now, this last bit of, as you're getting close to who it's it's shallower and with very steep terrain only at the crest.

So with often we'd be stuck running to ridge soar the crest and then we would venture out, venture out and you know, try to find thermos and then sometimes run back to actually ridge soar back up on the, on the steep crest mountains. So it was a, it was,

Speaker 4 (1h 10m 11s): It was not easy flying. It was, yeah,

Speaker 3 (1h 10m 14s): No, it was not easy flying. Especially that part decor was not easy because, you know, you, the crest was pretty deep in on sh on relatively shallow slope. Yeah. With now some wind in the picture. So it, it definitely, I think from, you know, tactics and, you know, it was the most challenging Yeah. Day. Yeah. But once we finally approached the mountain before Core, we were able to top out, just touch Cloudbase at 3,300 meters.

Yeah. And that was great. Every meter counted cuz the, we crossed core onto some steep west facing cliffs. But those were actually not quite working yet. So it made for a, it made for a tough decision there. Do you sink out into the core valley or do you jump over the back and hope to Frisbee along? Yeah, into the, you know, that valley that leads to the past that'll go into Davos and we, we, we went for it and there, there was, you know, could have found places, certainly there was places to land, but it would've been tight if you had to.

And luckily

Speaker 4 (1h 11m 18s): Also getting out of there was public transportation wouldn't have been, I mean there probably would've been buses, but it wasn't that big that, yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 11m 27s): Yeah. I think there was, you know, there was, it was that initial part after crossing or deciding jump over the back frizz being along, that was a little bit of a, the last of the, what I would call real challenging parts. And then we finally got established in there and then it was, then it was basically like yeah. Clockwork again making a way towards core, I mean towards Davos and got to da. Isn't

Speaker 2 (1h 11m 51s): That beautiful terrain there?

Speaker 3 (1h 11m 52s): Yeah. To

Speaker 2 (1h 11m 53s): Go. It's just magnificent. So amazing. I mean it's hard to say. I mean everywhere you've been has been amazing from Anea all the way. But you know, the Rhine and the huge terrain around Fesh and the Alex Glacier and the Matterhorn and yeah. Mount bla and everything else. But that green, it's just a, it's just surreal that from CO to Davos is one of my favorite legs. It's just gorgeous in there. Yep. So cool.

Speaker 3 (1h 12m 17s): And it was, it was, it was interesting to fly it in this direction cause I've flown it twice the other way in, in various x Alps. But this time flying it back up in, as we arrived in Davos and got to, got to the lake to the, to the north of us was already a pretty good ripe looking, you know, not quite Qin yet, but it was definitely a big cus congest Yeah. Forming. And so yeah, we basically ended up basically doing a spiral dive down to the lake. We weren't sure whether you're allowed to land by the lake or not, but with side, well land land by this big, it's a big open grassy area and pack it up.


Speaker 4 (1h 12m 52s): So it was a great spiral down. And then we packed up, jumped in the lake,

Speaker 3 (1h 12m 56s): We jumped in the lake Martin figured out what place to go to. Bob.

Speaker 2 (1h 13m 1s): There's a train station right there. You guys nailed it. It's just perfect. Yeah. Camped

Speaker 3 (1h 13m 5s): Out one more night. We got our train tickets for the next morning. Cause we had the bus out of cor around 10 o'clock. So we, we just, you know, hiked up into the forest. One more, one more rain hike. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (1h 13m 14s): One more rainy night in

Speaker 3 (1h 13m 15s): The forest. But yeah, like mission accomplishment and then some. Yeah. I mean more than doubled the, it was 120.

Speaker 2 (1h 13m 23s): I mean that's a dream mission. Yeah, it really is. I mean that is, that is the vbi in the Alps. Yeah. And you pulled it off without a tandem. Amazing. Yeah,

Speaker 3 (1h 13m 32s): It was ended up being even via that turn point right around the 300 K mark and the original goal was only 120 K, which seems so, so tough. So Yeah. Right. This was a, this this was a dream to make it this far. Yeah. And you see all the Southern, Southern

Speaker 4 (1h 13m 47s): Twists out. Definitely. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 13m 49s): So what do you, I mean, what's, how does it work now? You've had the three attempts, you made it, what do you do? You start in Davos next and just keep going or what's, I can't wait to hear what the next one is. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 14m 1s): So yeah, so we decided to make Davos to start. We could have, actually, by the way our rules go, we could have chosen a completely random start. Totally new thing. Yeah. But with Martin, tell 'em what to go. So we

Speaker 4 (1h 14m 12s): Decided to go from Davos where we finished this time to Grava where we finished the goal before

Speaker 2 (1h 14m 18s): To where

Speaker 3 (1h 14m 19s): Grava, it's dolomite mites. So it's,

Speaker 2 (1h 14m 22s): It's a big ah, so you're gonna jump the spine.

Speaker 3 (1h 14m 24s): Yeah. So we got 150 k the, as far as goal, like, like it's less distance than what we just had this summer. But as far as a, but that's big, a big goal. It's at least a 50 K away and it'll, you know, and I know there's some, some parks that sw get kind of upset about. Yeah. A member through some of the X Alps. We were, we

Speaker 4 (1h 14m 43s): Still need to look at Google Earths for that one. We

Speaker 3 (1h 14m 45s): Need to figure out, figure out

Speaker 2 (1h 14m 46s): What. Yeah. There is some, there is some funky stuff. I mean you could go, you could go straight south to St. Maritz's, you know, and remember Hanzo, we've went through there in, in 2015, or you probably, you know, more course line would be more down towards Murano, I guess. Right. And, but yeah,

Speaker 3 (1h 15m 2s): I think towards Murano would be the line. Yeah. But that might hit, you might hit some of those parks. So we just have to,

Speaker 2 (1h 15m 6s): You're gonna hit the na, you're gonna hit the Swiss national park, which they definitely don't want you to land in. Yeah, for sure. But there, the, that's where it gets tricky is right around Aaron's place there. There's, there's a lot of, there's a lot of the Swiss parks. There's a big one, the big national park. And but you can fly over it. Yeah,

Speaker 3 (1h 15m 24s): Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 15m 25s): You just can't land in it.

Speaker 3 (1h 15m 26s): I remember when my supporters, it was I think Luis and Jesse in the 2013 and the, and they were supporting and one of the rangers was saying, telling him that flying over his national parks is like walking naked in front of the Pope. He was very adamant about his part. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (1h 15m 48s): Yeah. No, I'm, they're very particular about that

Speaker 3 (1h 15m 50s): For sure. And we are too, you know, the Gavin, it's not just us. I mean, you, you

Speaker 2 (1h 15m 54s): No, no, no. It's, if you were to

Speaker 3 (1h 15m 55s): Fly in and out of Yosemite I bet you'd stir the hornets nest. I bet. You know, I mean,

Speaker 2 (1h 16m 1s): Yeah. And I mean that's the thing about the, the flying over there too. I mean, it's, you're not gonna get away with it. I mean there's, there's, you know, there's, there's a lot of people. Somebody's gonna see ya. And that's, yeah. They're, they, we have to respect their rules too. But, but that's, you know, there's definitely, there's a route through there that you can figure out that'll be, that'll be pretty spectacular. What an neat end. And are you going next month again? Or are you going in June?

Speaker 3 (1h 16m 26s): No, this is gonna be, it's gonna be later. It's late July. Yeah, late July. Late July. Yeah. Like mid, mid to late July is when we'll be

Speaker 2 (1h 16m 33s): Done. Well that should be fine. I mean, that should work because I, I, I would've said that'd be pretty hard to do what you just did cuz it's getting outta Annecy. That late's pretty tough. But you'll be in the high terrain and, and that should, that should work pretty well. And then you're getting the dolomites when it's starting to be nice.

Speaker 3 (1h 16m 50s): Yeah. So fingers crossed that we get some good weather. I mean it's the, the, the, obviously as all of these things go, it's, it's the weather that plays a role. I mean yeah, looking back at it, we were just looking at the track logs that we emailed you and it's, I think it's 90, 85, 90% was covered by air. We had Yeah. A total of 26 hours over that week. And our shortest flight was 45 minutes. Our longest was six and a half hours. So it was just, we put a lot of air time in.

Speaker 2 (1h 17m 19s): That's amazing. Six and a half. And Martin, do you ever get air sick? Nope.

Speaker 4 (1h 17m 24s): Luckily not. Nothing. No. That's

Speaker 2 (1h 17m 26s): Amazing. Six and a half hours. Oh man. With dad in this guy. Okay. So for both of you, since 2008 to now best flight.

Speaker 4 (1h 17m 38s): Gotta be the one getting into Zermatt.

Speaker 2 (1h 17m 41s): Really? Yeah. Just flying from brunette over those huge tall peaks. Yeah. And it's posting up on the matter horn. Yeah. That's hard to beat.

Speaker 3 (1h 17m 49s): Yeah. That I would, I would agree. And I would put number two as the second year when we made it almost to corra, that was a 50 K flight. That was just, just a beautiful, beautiful flight. We'd had two days of rain, so we actually didn't, yeah. We flew day one outta czi going, going west and then we had two days of hiking and then we had just a beautiful 50 K flight that took us Yeah. You know, right into the Dolomites, which was, that was, that was pretty sweet. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 18m 19s): You, you mentioned Martin, you mentioned at one point you guys kind of had this rule, you know, the three, three attempts rule and that kinda thing. Are there other rules? Are there, are there guidelines? Are there, you know, philosophy? Is there a philosophy of the, of the Sky Camp Hanza Martin team that kind of guides the principles?

Speaker 4 (1h 18m 38s): I'd say not really. The well

Speaker 3 (1h 18m 40s): Self support. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (1h 18m 41s): Self support. The only other support rule is also that we can't have, we can't use any public transportation or any like, non paraglider foot transportation after we launch, after we get up onto the starting spot.

Speaker 3 (1h 18m 56s): Yeah. So the, you can, you can, you know, whatever the initial start launch you can take bus, taxi, whatever, taxi whatever could get to the initial start. But once we've begun our mission,

Speaker 2 (1h 19m 6s): Yeah. No gondolas, no trams, no cars, no taxis, no scooters. No. You're, you're you're on foot or you're flying. Yep.

Speaker 4 (1h 19m 13s): Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 19m 14s): Love it. Love it. Do you think Hanza is, is the years go by, you know, you start dealing with Tomas, can you see this changing in any way? Would it be, you know, I, I remember when I did the thing with, with with Will his, his style was that we would, we had to connect the line. In other words, you couldn't fill gaps with walking. You could walk, but you had to, you had to basically, if you were taking off 20 K down, you had to fly back and tag where you, where you'd left off and then keep going.

You know, you had to have a kind of a continuous track log. Do you guys talk about stuff like that? Or is it just self support that's clean enough?

Speaker 4 (1h 19m 58s): I think self support. And I think you could tell by that that just having to go back. Cuz if you get a span of rainy days, then it's better just not to move.

Speaker 3 (1h 20m 7s): Yeah. But yeah, it would, it would almost incentivize not moving the the which, so I think just, just getting there. I think part of it's just whatever it takes to get there. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 20m 16s): Yeah. Just get there. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 20m 18s): Or attempt to get there. But obviously with the, with terrible weather, you, you quickly realize the con you know, the, you

Speaker 2 (1h 20m 24s): Can't do it

Speaker 3 (1h 20m 25s): How convoluted the Alps are. You know, what seems like straight line distance to be not so big. It, it, it gets really hard to make progress if you're just stuck on foot. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 20m 37s): Hanzi the, I think I asked you about this in the last one, but has this in a sense replaced what you've lost with the X Alps? Or is it even better cuz you've got this incredible connection when you're doing something with your son? I'm, I'm asking cuz I'm getting so fired up to do this with Fallon. It just seems like such a great way to spend time with your kid.

Speaker 3 (1h 21m 0s): Yeah, no, it's, that, that is, it is just a great way to connect without any of, you know Yeah. Life's normal worries or chores or anything like that. Just to, to be on a mission where you're, you're just trying to make distance towards a goal and, and doing it by your own rules. I mean Yeah. It's, you know, it's, it's, it's, it's, it, it is apples and oranges. I mean, there's something about the race of the X Alps and the shear, you know, just like the live tracking and, you know, everybody's there. There's something about the X Alps and, and the sheer tiredness and the mindset.

You, you don't, you don't quite reach that and it's good. You don't, you wouldn't wanna be that tired in this No. In this adventure, you, you need, we need all the, all the focus and the rest you can get. But I do remember even in the ex ops thinking, wow, this would be great places to return to and just like check it out in a slightly less hectic fashion. So Yeah. Yeah. In some ways this is it. I mean the, the rules are really simply, you don't have to show up for some prologue. You don't have to, you're not satisfying any sponsor. You just kind of, you keep the rules as simple as possible. I think one other rule I would mention is you don't move forward at any cost.

I mean, there was a point where we thought, okay, on the second or third one, we could just hike the sea on valley and just make distance. Yeah. And then just making endless distance down the road lose loses. Yeah. Becomes, becomes pointless. You really, you're there to be in the mountains. So that's why we're trying to, you know, land high whenever possible or, or keep it on the mountain routes. But it does. Yeah. I think it, it definitely fills, it definitely fills the gap. And it's not, it's not the same, but it's in many ways just as good.

Yeah. It's a different kind of, just as good. Definitely. Yeah. And with Tomas, it's gonna be a diff you know, we'll see how, how his patience is because we've had, among some flights, you know, after about half an hour at this age, he, he's ready to land. I mean, he's, he is excited to get airborne, but then he is also happy to land. So a lot of things we're talking with Martin, a lot of things have to come together to make these kind of trips. I mean, a the other parent usually mom I guess would have to agree that's Yeah.

That that's the that's a big one. Yeah. That it's not gonna even you don't consider B, c, D before that. If, if that one doesn't

Speaker 2 (1h 23m 20s): Yeah, no. Getting around a Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 23m 24s): Then, then then B is probably, you know, the, the, the, the dad or could be the mom or whatever. It has to be a good enough pilot to confidently and safely pull it off. The, the kid has to be wanting and willing and excited about doing it. And they also cannot get air sick. Yeah. So there's at least four things right there. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (1h 23m 48s): They gotta come

Speaker 3 (1h 23m 49s): Together. Gotta come together.

Speaker 2 (1h 23m 51s): Ha Hanza, I'm, I'm asking this for personal reason. I don't know if this would be totally interesting to everybody listening, but maybe, maybe to some, but you know, as I'm thinking about this with, with Fallon, you know, I've obviously got a lot of pilot experience and solo experience and X Alps and that kind of thing. But I've never been a tandem pilot. Is that, would that worry you? I mean is this something I can very easily figure out? Or should I go become a, you know, I've got tandem gear, I have flown people tandem, but I'm not a tandem pilot.

I never have been. I I don't have, you know, you've got thousands of hours in tandems and you did all those years of tandems. Is that re is that necessary?

Speaker 3 (1h 24m 31s): You know, I don't, I don't, I wouldn't actually. I think the sheer piloting experience is more important than the tandem experience. Cuz in this you'll be side hill landing. You'll be, you know, launch. You're not doing the, you know, if you're, if you're working as a professional tandem pilot, you're often using the same launch and landing more or less. You're not, you're not taking people into in deep, you're not side hill landing somewhere with people. So I, I think, I think your idea of getting an extra large glider is probably a lot better than getting a full-blown tandem, especially in the early years.

I would, I would recommend that just to be like right in the proper weight range and Okay. Then yeah. Then obviously it's all about just, you know, respecting what you're, that you're now with your daughter and, and giving yourself huge margins. But yeah, I don't, I honestly, I don't think, I don't think it's so much the, the, the tandem pilot thing. I think it's the x Alps pilot that's gonna play a much bigger role in this, the pilot that's feels comfortable, you know, side hill landing a lot of places and just the, just, you know, at that point you just try to pick your days when it's, you know, wind, avoid flying, good days, avoid wind as much as possible.

Yeah. Initially.

Speaker 2 (1h 25m 52s): Right,

Speaker 3 (1h 25m 53s): Right. And the rest will fall into place.

Speaker 4 (1h 25m 55s): And I think you've

Speaker 2 (1h 25m 56s): Also, guys what a, oh, go ahead.

Speaker 4 (1h 25m 58s): And I think you've also got to put into consideration that you're driving a big bus on a sports car and

Speaker 2 (1h 26m 3s): Yeah. What very different details. Yeah. Very, very different weapon, aren't you? It's a, maybe weapon's not a very good choice, but I like to think of these wings as Yeah, yeah. Sharp blades. And this is a very dull blade with a tin shirt. Yeah. But guys, thanks so much. I've just been smiling ear to ear for the last hour and a half. I, I appreciate it. Always so fun to hear about these adventures. Hans, I appreciate the pictures that you send me when you guys are doing this and the stoke. And it's just a, it's pure joy to watch how much joy you are both having doing this.

So have a great adventure this summer. We'll be following along and maybe we could even put a link up to your shared page or something so other people can watch and send you messages and messages and stuff. That'd be a lot of fun. But good luck from Davos to the Dolomites. That sounds, that sounds terrific. Yeah. Thank

Speaker 3 (1h 26m 56s): You. Thank you Gavin. Thanks for giving us an opportunity to share our story again. And it's amazing you got, you're fast approaching number 200 on your podcast, right?

Speaker 2 (1h 27m 5s): I know, I know. We should, we actually, this is gonna be real close to 200 cause we've got a couple logged here in front of you, so we're gonna be right on the cusp. Yeah. And this goes live, but yeah, I can't believe it. Right. Unbelievable. It's been going on for a while now. As long as you guys have been doing these trips, actually. Yeah, pretty

Speaker 3 (1h 27m 22s): Much. Yeah. Yeah. Well, well, thanks again, Gavin. It's been, it's been great and lots of luck as you start doing this with Fallon. I, I, I, yeah. Hope she enjoys it and you know, can you too, even I would start, you know, with as simple as an overnighter somewhere, just super chill.

Speaker 2 (1h 27m 38s): Definitely. Yeah, definitely. That's how it'll start it. We've got a great place to do that here in our backyard.

Speaker 3 (1h 27m 43s): Yeah. Yeah. Hoping

Speaker 2 (1h 27m 44s): To start there and come to the Alps and maybe we'll glom onto you guys one of these days. That'd be fun.

Speaker 3 (1h 27m 49s): Yeah. Yeah. One of these years we might, we'll try to make some time to get back out to Sun Valley. It's been a while. Yeah. So

Speaker 2 (1h 27m 54s): Please do. Yeah, please do. Yeah. Thanks guys. Appreciate it.

Speaker 3 (1h 27m 58s): All right, thanks Gavin. Yep. Bye.

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2 thoughts on “Episode 197- Honza and Son strike gold in the Alps

  1. Amazing adventures and a great show, as always! I listened to every show, bought the book, a ton of great information for free flying! Thank you for everything! Related to this show, i wanna share my last year’s flight with my daughter, which is now 28, so twice as Honza’s son, it’s only a one day adventure, so i’m aware that it’s nothing compared to a multiple days hike&fly quest, but it’s such a great achievement when you fly with your kids! It happened to be the Romanian tandem best flight, but the feeling to share such a flight with your daughter is much more than the numbers! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKOvDFzW82w

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