Episode 49- Honza Rejmanek and Understanding the Invisible

Honza makes goal in Monaco, 2015 Red Bull X-Alps

Honza Rejmanek competed in the Red Bull X-Alps five times. He finished in 3rd place in 2009 and made goal in Monaco in his last campaign in 2015. Many of our listeners will also know Honza from his regular weather column in Cross Country Magazine. Honza makes a living as a meteorologist and in this episode we tap into his vast knowledge of the invisible world we operate in and how to understand how it works and how to use this knowledge to fly farther and fly safer. Honza’s passion for flying and for weather are obvious from the first word of the show- consider this a masters class in understanding the sky! Gust fronts, blue holes, wave, cloud streets, water vapor, energy, thunderstorms, stagnation zones, the difference between desert air and humid air (ie the Rockies vs Europe), catabatic and anabatic winds, the three levels of weather you need to understand before launching, where to potentially land in a super strong wind scenario (this will surprise you!) and a LOT more. This is an important episode- get out your note pads!

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Show Notes:

  • Honza discusses flying in Wave in the 2015 X-Alps
  • A full discussion on how air moves and how terrain affects the air- think rivers
  • Stagnation zones
  • Thermal strengths, thunder storms, assessing gust fronts, how air moves…
  • Hail and hoovering- how strong is too strong?
  • Visibility and humidity of air and how it affects gust fronts- think avalanche or burst dam
  • Escape Routes and landing options when it goes big
  • How important is location on the hill- thermal cycles vs wind?
  • How to assess and deal with Gust Fronts
  • Weather tools and forecasting tools- the importance of understanding Skew-T
  • The importance of local knowledge
  • Water vapor and energy- without water vapor our weather would be very boring!
  • Catabatic and Anabatic winds- geographical differences to understand
  • Dew point and temperatures and what it means for energy
  • Cloudstreets and blue holes
  • How to develop a mental model of the weather and making good judgements. Using the little things-  how to use cloud shadows, etc.
  • The three kinds of weather and how to think about them- synoptic (ie the forecasts), local (ie geographical), and thermic (short term, heated faces, draws, valley flows, etc.).
  • Convergence
  • Safest place to land in a major wind scenario. This will surprise you!
  • Low saves- where does that energy come from?
  • Developing intuition

Mentioned in this episode: Ben French, Trey Hackney, Rodrigo Cidad, Cedar Wright, Nick Neynens, Tom De Dorlodot, Berkhard Martens, Chrigel Maurer, Denis Pagen, Will Gadd, Dave Turner

Honza takes to the air near Lake Tahoe, Nevada during the Sierras Expedition, 2012, Photo Jody MacDonald

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