Episode 81- Damien Lacaze and Touching the Void

Damien and Antoine dial up the Trango Towers

“During their six-week expedition to Pakistan this summer, Damien Lacaze and Antoine Girard traveled more than 1,500 kilometers in just 14 days of flight, making the second highest flight in the history of paragliding, bivouacked at more than 6,000 meters and attempted the ascent of Spantik, which rises to more than 7000 m. It was an adventure at the extreme boundaries of what is humanly possible.” – Alpine Magazine

Damien Lacaze has had an incredible couple years. He was Benoit Outters supporter in the 2017 X-Alps, the only other team to reach goal in Monaco and he flew EVERY SINGLE FLIGHT in the race with Benoit. But that was just a warm-up for the main event: a monster 1500KM vol biv with a big mountaineering objective in the Pakistan Himalaya. In this episode Damien recounts one of the most harrowing and yet magnificent and inspiring adventures in the history of the mountains, let alone human flight. Enjoy- this is flat out AWESOME!

DO NOT MISS Damien’s amazing three part story of the expedition- it’s an incredible, jaw-dropping story:

Episode 1: https://alpinemag.fr/le-survol-des-geants-episode-1/

Episode 2: https://alpinemag.fr/le-survol-des-geants-episode-2/

Episode 3: https://alpinemag.fr/le-survol-des-geants-episode-3/

And another great article and photos on the Advance website.

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Show Notes:

  • 2017 Red Bull X-Alps- Damien was Benoit’s supporter (the only other athlete to make goal in Monaco in 2017, in second place behind Chrigel). And he flew EVERY flight with him!

  • Why their team did well and what it’s like to support an X-Alps athlete.

  • Dicey flying on Day 2 of the race

  • How the team met and how the expedition took shape

  • What gear was used and how did the team decide what to bring?

  • Things go bad right off the start when Antoine lands hard day one

  • Problems on the climb of Spantik- including Antoine getting a bad case of Cerebral Edema

  • A close escape

  • Flying at 7900 meters in the biggest mountains on Earth- how does it compare?

  • The size and scope- how to compute MASSIVE?

  • Flying without oxygen- how did the team deal with acclimatization?

  • The mental side- how to deal with the unknown?

  • Making big decisions when you can’t fuck it up- rescue is not possible

  • How to come back to the “real” world after such an undertaking?

  • Damien discusses the difficulties of leaving on the expedition when he has a 6 month old girl, his first child

Mentioned in this episode:

Jayne Desantis, Foundation for Free Flight, USHPA, Willi Canell, Tony Lang, Marko Hrga, Doug Sharpe, Benoit Outers, Red Bull X-Alps, Chrigel Maurer, Antoine Girard, Gaspard Petiot, Cross Country Magazine, Maxime Pinot, Tom De Dorlodot, John Sylvester

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Episode 81- Damien Lacaze and Touching the Void

00:00:00 - 00:05:07

And. Said that. The young in this whole wide were that matter. Hi there. Everybody. Welcome to another episode of the cloud base may him. Got a great show for you today. Lot of people have been want me to talk to Damien let 'cause if you don't know that name you should. And if but if you don't you you'll be site he do after this show. He was Antoine Girard partner on that huge, Bibi. Those guys went and put down the summer and the Pakistani Himalayas flying through some really seriously RAD terrain, the triangle towers and broad peak, and they did some mountaineering on that. It's awesome. Awesome story. And really appreciate him giving it to us. So before we get to that though. A couple of little bits of housekeeping. There's a race coming up down in Viei right before Minorca Yemen divide before you need to get down there. It's amazing, but monarchic filled up pretty quick. And this is this is a good reason to go down Marco's race. Marco ahead on the. On the podcast while back. He is check pilot. He's also in the X ops. This year's is I go at the X apps. Really awesome. Piloting one of the arc last year on ENC glider. But he last year was the inaugural in what's called the exc- sky race, which is really aimed at just the best XY pilot. They have a really cool scoring algorithm that combines X contest. But also, your your your wing classification, and how fast you fly, and you're basically just rewarded for going big and getting home so putting up the best points. So you can definitely win this thing on like E N B glider Superfund, very casual great way to get warmed up for the Minorca much less stressful than kind of race to goal comps. It is the six to the twelve two hundred bucks pupa cheap. They did a great job last year. He's refined the scoring system bit to adjust for the different wings, and is just gonna. Be a blast. There's three is. No, I think there might be more than that. But there's at least three X pilots in it myself Willie canal and Markham south at the race director so great opportunity to fly with some some good pilots and get a lot of mentoring and get used to a and get all warmed up for the Minorca. So go to exc- Skyros dot com. Check that out and sign up. If you can the second bid housekeeping spent a long time this morning with the foundation for free free flight with chain who took it over little while back after the hang gliding episode. We did David Glover. They put me in touch, and I've been working with the foundation for free flight for quite a while. Because the last two x outs campaigns. They've been super supportive for hang gliding and paragliding competitions the worlds teams, but also their their biggest work by far is site preservation and safety and a lot of people just really don't know what they do. This is totally separate branch. From. Jane actually used to run. But those of you who fly in North America, especially those who fly in the states, please go check out their website, just Google foundation for free flight and he can in this holiday season if you can bump them few dollars. They do really really really important work. Their entire staff is volunteer, and they keep most of the of our precious sites open around the country. So they do very very important work a lot of people don't know about and in this. Tis the giving season they could use some some dollars for sure. And promise you there. They're just fantastic people doing wonderful things, and they're making it possible for all of us to enjoy our sky crack addiction. Okay. Let's get to the show Damian LA's. He was been why outer support I'm not saying been Waugh's last name rhymed name saying his first name, right? But those of you who watched the 2017 X apps, you know, that only too. People got in Kriegel. And Ben wa what I didn't know. Unbelievable fascinating. They're actually not allowing this in twenty nineteen but Damian flu every single flight with bet with Ben watt. So clearly a super talented pilot. You kind of got the best of all the worlds of of the x outs. He didn't walk on the roads. But he did every hike with men wa and he did every flight within wa including day to those of you the watch that race when we talk about this in the show, some terrifically strong north fern going from the south side over cross our site from the north side or the south side. I watched Ben Ouaga coming down through the canyon, and the landing on backside of cliff in the trees, and he actually got a little bit hurt knowing that.

00:05:07 - 00:10:05

And and I was wondering who was right with them. And that was bows. And so very very talented pilot was in southern France and maritime outs. And kind of near brand sewn and in that race or just before the race got to know Antoine Girard who on that exact same day day to got really hurt. Trying to launch those very dicey conditions and wasn't able to keep going, but Antoine got healed up and went back as you all know, he broke the he was the first person to break eight thousand meter record. I think two years before that flying over broad beak. So we got a good look at the Himalayan. Gotta look good look at that whole zone and desperately wanted to go back. And so those guys became friends at Kupa car and the rest is history that fifteen hundred KM incredible baby some pretty wild mountaineering some cerebral Dima and the very first day Antoine land super hard because you're landing you're flying very very high there, and you're landing very high. So you're flying really fast. And he thought he broke his ankle. And the Damien really thought the expedition was over and. Antoine. Just powered through as he does. So. Yeah. Tough, dude. I won't tell you anymore. You're gonna love this story. Appreciate Damon fighting through it and his non native language, but we had a blast doing this that you're going to really enjoy it. So now further delay, please enjoy this conversation with Damian Gaza. Damian nod. So great to have you on the show. I really appreciate it. I just read your three incredible articles. I mean, I did the translation from French English with Google. So I'm sure it loses some of its some of its articulation. But it was a mazing story. A can't wait to talk to you about the the big vol- bib trip. You did with with with Antoine. My friend Toine it's he's been doing some amazing things lately before we get to Pakistan, your big expedition. I'd love to just ask you about the briefly about the X apps. You're Ben laws supporter in the in the race in twenty seventeen. And you're the only other team to finish other than Kriegel. And before we started recording a couple days ago. You mentioned that you did quite a bit of flying with with Ben wind the race. I wonder if you could just tell us a little bit about your experience in the. Exiles? Thank you. Thank you. In. I I think nobody next, of course, country MAG will. An English teacher. All great. I don't know when I think so the next one. So we a bitch. But it's quite the same. Then the fora of yourself with been well. Into sixty. No when was civic teed. I just send the Hema inestimable today to him rispler Mia do come with me. I'm looking for a Bislett four for five with missile. He had already own the people to the us. He's full full drive in full cooking and things it it wasn't foamy to do this rise. But only the good the the good things only fly or what can the mundane and no running on into the shower in the in the flat roads. Perfect. It was like the it was like the perfect accepts experience. So also a and the and the we do we did that I flew with him Everyday's a of and that you won't on thing. Everyday's only when Ben was on the road. I I stay in the car and had appeared to to eat into do know away while year ego in were you over were you friends before or or you just we have friends of all nuts. A long time not very long time because been wise flying sing for four years three. As is a is a beginner in Barack lighting before he was a he was a coup- Stater. So he in one day. He he didn't go don't go to allow yet. Beautiful. And one day. He he lended a very close to my home in in ongo.

00:10:06 - 00:15:10

We were friend with me, and I didn't know bin and the zero guy my friend, go to commune said, the could you could we sleep a new home because it's later on the now it's night in the we all can go home. So he come sleep in my home and been watt was only one year flight and did the fight with a UK's three data. One hundred sixty case. Amazing talent talented pilot. Yeah. The very very fuss broker probation. And I I know him like that and to two years ago, we from those are yes. The after we end after lots of we fly some cross contributor together and the tweet hours ago, a he was two weeks out bend the proposed to me to to come with him. I said yes at the I I wasn't sure been wa wants to go to the rice not only for discover a rice for participate. I know he's a bio two qualities, and I know too. He's a runner qualities and the I I knew. Eat was able to to do a big thing this race in the idiots. What do you think? I we. I know I know we need to speak about Pakistan. But just because I'm such an Alps junkie. You know, I'm going back this year. And I know you applied to go back and the French are so deep with talent, you know, with gas barred and Antoine and. In maxime. It was you know, I feel I feel bad that you didn't make the team but make the X apps because obviously you're very very well qualified in. I'm sure you'll make it in in twenty twenty one. But you know, what what do you think was the real? What what was what made your success in the race because you know, for a rookie and someone who hadn't been flying very long. I mean, obviously, very good pilot and very strong physically. But you know, it's it's challenging for a rookie team to to come in second. What do you think was the reason for your success? It's like I think it's like cross country competitions me, I I competing relation and the the the best buy lots win. But I always Jen spectacle knows your gentle and the Benoit nervous strong in flight. And the I think we've meet we will only French with a flight super to. I think it's a ready ready. Good helpful full for be competitive and the more. Maybe we have a little itching. We the white place. What time in the? Very strong because the own the night after the flight you push the push to to run into twenty K gays more by food every night every morning on the moaning ago up the two thousand meters. And he did maybe three thousand betas by day for ten days every day. Yeah. Palooza bruiser a tick as by foot? It was in credited indignation. He I. Swing. So used his to night bus very in promoting the the Sagawa the second one team to to pass the to pass in front the poor and. Paul Paul is polish right in there with you guys after the Matterhorn. It was pretty tight wasn't a so. This year, they Damien they they've changed the rules now. And you can't you can't teen fly in two thousand nineteen because that's been a component of some of the pilots in the past. And I think for me personally because Kriegel has never done it. I I've always I don't care it to me. It's doesn't matter at all. But do you think will you be two questions? Will you be supporting him this year again? And then. What how do you think it will affect him without having the team flying? Because clearly you guys really flu well together. So I'm the new rules because a condo a speed to to do the same with him last year next year half.

00:15:10 - 00:20:00

So end the Zanna we the year with the the residents how Dan rules the regulations. And these so a puppy done to to the flight. So are you gonna be supporting Tom this time? Yeah. So no, I I been asked me to do the same. And I take the time for reflection and the I e. A I said the note to the two guys because it's too much Stein. To to do that. It's a lot of time and not for me. Yes. Always want. One one thing. It's a wonderful experience to it's too much to major major commitment. Okay. One more one more excerpts question. And then we then we switched to Pakistan day two of the race. Remember day. One was terrible. And then day to was really strong, north fern and very very dicey. I had taken my night passed. So I was down with Sebastian Huber Heuberger down in the key. Because when we got to the past that night that morning, it was totally unflappable. And then it started getting better. And at one point I was down making my way, south towards Slovenia. But you know, just out of that very deep canyon, and I turned around, and I started seeing, you know, gas barred and Ben wa and people Paul flying out of that canyon. That was just terrifying. They really re. Really incredibly strong and very very dicey conditions. Did you fly with him there to really if you were to older history? It's a bit funny because we will on the the bus Yunos about. Yeah. Yeah result. And the Cam would like, yeah, we would like to take on this bus. And the when we we which it a we we so the win. Then we we said we said this is not possible. Fly very very strong fun- fund wind. So we we go buy food in flat. We we don't we don't go down. Now you understand onto her won't. They not say not to choose down down the window to Andrea. We we would like to find unsalted takeoffs may be one. To kick gays more under the win the with with taught. The maybe it was it will be the big last LeBron's. So we we try to to find his ankle badly that goes and ninety two hours three hours later, we find a takeoff a beat a Beata protectee the. By the fun that we ate. It was very very strong to end the. We we watching the valley, and we so the white wing of Gus bath. The going valley at maybe eighty. England in older positions, and we still lives every gust out here and Gus by the. Oh. Is the only guys of high. No bus Dowd in-flight. Yeah. He just. I just recently went back and looked at the replay of of the of the race. And a he he he had taken off from way over on the south side, the up and over on Jesus terrifying. And so we so Gus Bosso we set us we have to we have to fly. Now, it's not going to. So I got and I and the because I it's my my job. It was my job, and the my we fly you may be ten meters. End the nothing Irene my wing Doma own. I dunno big fully upended that the no fly, and the I crush into the aggress may be ten metres who I don't know why not collapse. No one. Oh, okay. But my yes medicine was a was a we us too.

00:20:00 - 00:25:19

So I said to bananas on okay? If you want to go, I I what you and after I will the I try again. So I go. Then I go end the each a bad moment. I think you take a small connects end the flyer going the goes, but the was low very low, and in the gore, he he going down very very fast, very fancy his whole flight. I saw him land in the trees, and it was just a God. With no, son. We wear in the takeoff, and we can see. So we thinking of together just after and the it was later we go the little beaten in Seraing with the fan and the going the goes but higher and the. Maybe five minutes later. I so been what lended in the golden just behind the big big rock on those arena. And the you said mean in by radio go away go away don't to. And the. So I fly a bit with the Augusta and the Nelson, and I lend the just after the valley when the phone is was a lighter, and I I learned bugger backer flight, so very strong end. But. He's food to catch the the ground the thought the I I'm gonna die gonna die all the time. Oh, it was not experienced that. After that. He. A friend of a FEMA who drunk driving the team recite? He's comfortable in trans Kaleem and send him you have take off at the six six hundred metres above you. If you want to try again, and then what Cup and again in and again in the in mecca of big flight until just a maybe a twenty kick as before Slovenia. Yeah. Just I I actually was just getting ready to take off right one. Ben wall was coming down the canyon 'cause I was just beyond the canyon. And I'd found a little launch in. It was I had to kind of go around a corner to get out of the fern out of this really strong wind and in looked back. And I saw Ben wa go in there. I saw him go into and I couldn't tell from my perspective if he was in a tree or he was okay. But I I called the safety director in other red bulb safety director, and I said there's. A lot of wings coming out of this canyon and someone's going to get hurt. This is crazy. I don't know who it was. I don't know if it was gas Barna, it wasn't gas Bard because he kept going, but one of the pilots got out of the canyon there, and he was quite high. He had enough height to to go quite a bit further, and he just spiraled right to the ground was like, okay. That's it. I'm done. Spy out onto the ground because I. But it was me at the end of the valley. I landed here because it was more safe, and the the I I have to wait infobahn wa. I had the same. I. I don't I didn't hear the gospel. So and the he said he said the after he sold me landed here in the he didn't the understand why. And the and the didn't know it was me rate. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Man. He was a sure having a good race until he got hurt. It was it was fun fun to watch him. But well amazing. I have to hand it to you. That was obviously very very good training going through the Alps for what was to come. Did you know then during the race that U N antwon we're going to to Pakistan or did that happen much much later? Yeah. I I'm we talked about that. It was in during the play week because right? Okay. You know, we have lots of time for. And some individual shooting photo. So we talk about that with wa and the maybe we that we said the weekend go in Pakistan by two teams of two personas. All one teams three may be. It was the first time. We we talk about that. And then the in September, the become been less at us, a Kenda, I can come with you because I'm find a job in the bone, Bruce, and the so onto was already looking for one guy or I said, okay.

00:25:19 - 00:30:02

I'm I'm okay. And the I I know a new Antoine a beat before. But it wasn't a friend. We flew some. Cross country fly together, and we talk a bit. When we we we shouldn't competition, but it wasn't a friend the before this adventure. So tell me about the the kind of the lead up from from Kupa car too. When you when you went to Pakistan, you know, obviously Antoine had done the big solo journey there. The year before the before the the X apps and he knew that's when he got the the altitude record at in front of broad peak. And you know, the made that amazing film. But when you decide the team up together, you know, was it did you fly much together before the trip or was it mostly that winner just talking about logistics, and what you would bring and equipment in that kind of thing had what what were you doing in the kind of between September and June. No, we twenties. Very busy guy. So we we didn't fly a lot together between September on the departure. When just a ongoing is the a weekend weekend to with all the equipment may be one month before the departure to check an all the Donaldson. The better we didn't fly a lotta together before the, but I know I know he's a good buyout. He knew me a-. We know it was not a problem. But the for the listeners if if you're not aware the day, we were talking about the second day of the access that was so incredibly dicey. Antoine. Also tried to take off than the quite a similar place where Dame talking about yet. And he got really hurt and that was the end of his his race. So that was another question. I had for you. How how? Was he when he was that in because I think in Kupa car, he was still pretty injured wasn't he? And then was he was he one hundred percent by the time of your trip. I'm to think. Yeah. His new was not maybe not Semper sound. Better was good. You could. Yeah. You can be about religion Wonka. Normally, you can take a big bag. Okay. The against can to run right, right? Okay. Under the it was the same for me because I had the surgery three months before the departure little surgery, but the. I wasn't a simple some of the two. So we were to do injury. Okay. So. You you got to fly together and kind of test the equipment about a month before you went. But the how did you decide on the route? Because it was you forwarded that link to me, I looked at. It's amazing. It a in. It's in your articles all point the listeners to your articles in the show notes. But well, I had you been to Pakistan before was this your first trip. No, I it was my first. Timing as Asia. Okay. I yeah. And for the route choice. I I let them tuna. Choice. The the main the main thought of the roots? Because I didn't know these Melania in the I just a say the set him I would like to get back in may be to fly in battle like you two years ago onto a now's the country because he he did a big a mobile to tweet ago and the each choose a route to dress a cross a Harare. He didn't know yet. So we would elect to go on the west in the Inara gun boulder because you're. He said, it was very nice the repeats spend the in the very of Foget, so veg avai hand.

00:30:03 - 00:35:09

I like that word savage. Very remote. And. We we want to to do a little. Do you know during the trip? We we include nunnery Montanari down there option. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I was going to was going to ask about your your your gear. What did you have, you know, crampons ice axe ramp? Nothing doing I we. Zarar? There was a three. I bought a one around the one one thousand cases of believe between scout do and about. Okay. And we we decided to stop in getting to two. Food. Yeah. And the and to them. Take some rice it and the in to do set some seven someone Mitchell's the mounting refund. Regulating approach into to go up and go down in two days to a guy about to meet and to me to kind of today's. Okay. I I didn't quite understand that from the articles. Okay. So the first developed by if you want to make a a seven four seven thousand metros summit, maybe a Sika. On urine. You have to take one month may be commission approach of Volta. The trip was to to make a little revolution in in monitoring and the to lend directly a- at the bottom of the face and the just the climb the face, and they from the sumit go going down in now, did you were you using your? You're just light normal the wings that you had flown with for the first thousand K or did you single surface wings, like superlight gaffer that part? It was a from about two hou- lending on the big IRA under the summit, we add to to fly forty gaze across country to hell not will maybe two three hours of flight. So with singles who faucets was not possible with we we need to cost to close country rings that we we took a string Hanis baby Thomas and no rescue. Okay. All because we we have had to watch with all the stuff after or try to to take a from the Smith in. So in the opinion Jere, we we have send a we've also stuff in a two to a contact guy. You know, who we know in about in the he was key. Keeping the bag and the going going back going back when we are arrived in getting in that did that work it all worked out. So you flew you flew, the forty K to the kind of the base of the mountain or the base area. And you switch you switched out your gear. And then you did the summit yet. Wow. Yeah. We sex is a component rope. And the an only in the bag. Today's of food a little tense. No, no sleeping bag, resolving good. Stepping bag end the end the wing flight for going down and. Was this where Antoine got hurt? And or is that later. He's hung coat. Not Twas the first day first lending on known case. So he. But it wasn't. It wasn't broken. Was it in article? He said, oh, I think I broke my ankle in the first on I fly day. We we made a an amazing flight from skull due to the west of Nunca about we flew on the the so festival of nuggets. Do you know the? History of this winter now, the French. No, it's a women who blocked in the in this from three or four days with his company dead in the we've big expedition to to rescue and the the so we just on this bottles a month on the nugget, apple and the and BAFTA we we end the may a forty as a.

00:35:10 - 00:40:01

In the west of this month thing how first lending maybe we. Fifteen you over. Limited. Yeah. And we to full and five hundred meters, though, we lend very fast with without wind. So we refused and things of this first landing on broaches is on under. End the zone Kelly's became blue very quickly. And the. I don't know the name of very big big hunk. He can't won't in the said Mia. So for the next it's probably won't. Now, we have to land on the on the top every day. And we deduct the Damian so the the thousand K between Skardu and and the seven thousand meter climb. What was the name of that place? I I should have the map in front of me. Spending stumps Fonte. Okay. So how much of that? Because his ankle. Did you fly all of it? Or were you still having to walk or some? I know. After that, we knew each was impossible to walk for him, the more we had that very very back. Big. Because a we we took a fifty no sixteen days of because we playing to not going down before Kareem about so he was the one ks of a do by a Ruto. So we take. Bhagwat around the thirty five ghetto reflect two very very eighty. So do don't walk. In the end the plus forty done for us to to end in the bottom of the valley. We we try everyday to London high-altitude between four thousand six thousand metres in foes that we we find the ending place. Very Heli maybe at full. PM five PM at the not later because we don't want to lend the Hainault about one a bomb out the so I was writing to you before when we were kind of thinking about some of the podcast questions and the two really big Bibi's that I've done in Canada and Alaska, I never found it very reasonable to carry more than like seven days of food. How how did you manage sixteen days of food at like what what geared did you have? 'cause that's it's a lot of weight and a lot of space. I just it's always been the space. It hasn't really been the weight. It's just been the the place to put it. The the minimum. We took only for one day in food with with. One Bizet writer, the pack. You're and the two hundred grams of Ciro like full the Mony. Okay. And the the some Sarai like hormones all notes or during the day, but no more. So maybe. For your four hundred grams. Food waited by no more. It's it was not enough. If if we walked bare minimum calories just just for flying. Yeah. And we we knew if if we are forced to work and the to eat more, we we can going down a immediately end the find villager when when we won't but the the the plane in west to to try to reach Kareem about the one. Okay. Okay. So. How much busy experienced? Did. You have coming into this. This trip. Before. For me. I did the only one decide before I cross the Moroccan atlas with a friend in two thousand searching. So you had the one busy in the in the atlas in Morocco. And and then so this was the kind of the second big one. It's my second begun.

00:40:01 - 00:45:03

Of course, the the biggest. Does it doesn't give bigger than that? So how many days how many days did it take you for the first segment from the from the start the first day? Antoine breaks. His ankle was literally broken know number. But I don't know the name. I think I think spraying looked at the pictures, and it was really swollen and very very purple. And and I it looks like to me a sprain, which is really painful because tearing fleet. Yeah. Of course when out the lights. It was very bad. Because now, it's he's not a is not in one hundred percent of a for his hang Coutts. And the he said a Tele to his Soedra the doctor you want to do the next to accept. So you don't doesn't want to to suit and the he has to play a surgery for after the next excited because he's he's not good. Ouch. It's going to be tough. And I think he was a him at this moment. I choose to stop the expedition. I don't know why he doesn't want to stop I eight to twenty one. If you want to step in to prevent don't don't go only for me in the no, no it was not for me. He he go on for for him. Just be because he never give up. Wow. Just see strong strong in the mind is very strong because because not good. I mean, it's one thing to do the the flying in all the way down to to the. The climbing section. But once you got to the climbing section and technical climbing is really hard on the ankle that must have been excruciating for him while the ascent of spent. Each was okay. Because he was maybe twenty days before is. Shocker. He's XL K the. That was not good. But the the painter was potable end the he wear he wear the big big shoes. Hide Munton shoes. So the anchor don't move and the in in the snow, so it's not like when you walk in the on the road. The for example, the foot don't move enough. And it was okay. Okay. In that briefly outline after the climb in. We're gonna come back, and do, you know get into each of these areas deeper, but the so the the third segment after what is the name of the peaky climbed? I spent two ESPN tick after that. It's it it's completing the circuit corrected getting back to the beginning. Not so. From scholar to carrying about we we we fly twelve days for the third spot k into day. We then spent we had bad weather during the session. So yeah, we wear full to going down only once one hundred major. Before the summit when may be thirty minutes, Floetry aware that the radio was very very bad. And the we were forced to do going down more on while they we. Tide and the I I didn't understand why I I knew twenty he is very very strong guy in the ligon doom megs the tracking snow is to tied it. It's not a non situation in the when we go down. I see. The radio situation of twenty was very everybody sleeping sitting down in the snow and sleeping in it. I was forced to to him for wage up and the going down going down again in the after Boko said us, so he was making a a syllable high. No, we're about. Yeah. You sleeping always. And then who the wizar- we we stay two days in the snow at the six thousand five hundred meter on the plateau.

00:45:03 - 00:50:05

And we can do. Doing down the because a under the there is only cliff and CEO in so we we we absolutely absolutely need to take off. And the we we waiting today's a for bitter weta who are oh, man. He was really sick. I mean, that's an incredibly dangerous. We take off in in the talk because it was very important to to go down to everybody. And the the the win the was in the good ride duration and the not too strong. We we made the route on the how jeopardy s and the taking of through the clouds, and we fly five kilometers through the clouds to go down by follow. The how the the? After we go how to the clouds and the so the valley and glossier, and and we we said, it's okay now, we all say that was that was that a really scary flight. It sounds terrifying. We after takeoff we round. Reggie White out. Couldn't see. We will. You know, where yet really relieved. Yeah. Yet, very happy really the because we didn't fight very very scurried by the clouds and the around house we ever they are there is lots of big over six supplemental six thousand metres and the Siyam it was afraid to photos zero and the don't dunno. If big Montaigne the show is his face. Behind the five PM like such very long a long way. That's really. Yeah. That's that that scary. I don't know if you've seen the the opening of Alaska film, but I get stuffed into a cloud in very different circumstances. But again, cloud cloud suck and got up in a cloud for about twenty minutes. And you you start following the Aero's and trying to trust your instruments, and it's really it's a very very tense to say, the least scary, you hope you don't you? Hope you don't just suddenly run into a mountain. Yeah. Because we haven't any choice and the. The moment when we are in that situation for today's and the, you know, you'll have to go down now because the issue you white one days more, maybe your friend the can to wake up because maybe he dies to enter you can drink you sleep everyday. So you you said us, okay. I take off if I if I crush in the non Dana dump e come on jump. I will try and the we will see, but the I prefer to crush on the Dana in the cloud to to end then to identity. Man. Okay. So you make it down you get down to the bottom. And and what is the third. What is the next step? What the third segment going down. We all some problem with police because a they they knew replied in the area in the we haven't in your relation. So we. We take today's in the office to to regularise the situation. But. Policy's very kindly and the jets they explaining it was forbidden to fly with we out to relation and the summer Scheepers in the mountains, we meet some cheaper in the month. They took some pictures of us and the button Facebook, and we didn't we didn't know that. In Houghton about it's a policeman. Come come. Come end the show me featuring Honey spunk spots owning anymore. It was me on Facebook. Is it true? I think it was a tourist, and they I tell him. Yes. It's me. It's nice. What do you find it and said, I'm forty spend for them to fly in the month was funny. You have to be careful with the cheaper. But. They all have I phones. Now, come believable. Unbelievable. Sposa? And after we are waiting for one week one week about what that was again.

00:50:05 - 00:55:02

So. We we we made a good choice to to try to go done by flight because of the way. Wizar- was not a better the next day a sewer, if we if we just wait on the patio. On the spongy. Maybe we wait to their longtime in that whether so one week later, the the wizar- became better. And we try to go back to scout that we we have easy to to battle and the tongue Goto Kate you and the pitch. So for that. We we had to to cross over the spent tick and to go east to ask what school is the last day before about all blessed is stopped of every every every big tricks until a K to basecamp and the eastbound last year, very famous trick in Pakistan. So we did a fly over one hundred thirty K as to from. About two Scully. And we lend that on a on a regia Feis dozen three some the reserves may toes and wait till the fall good day for on dry to to going battle. So. She's flight's gonna kick. Vine connection flight. It's very very wide. Another very survey. Ge- we we we are all crosses the spending. So we we have to to fly over six thousand five hundred metal to to pass ender across the spending. So we to end the the cloud. Buzzer was very just very limited. We are forced to to climb maybe two or three hundred meters above above the to to cross the spending. And after we go in going down big blush. Euro of maybe so ticket amid to going done with no lending Nolan area in lots of lots of walks days. If we lend them. Yeah. Osa? Maybe older flight if we during the twenty three lender on the blood share or maybe a we all to work one week through to going to the day JR. And with the Henkel the ankle impossible unto. Complicated. Prevent. Yeah. So the. Very hard to to integrate to to keep in mind during all the flights. Yeah. And then is that how many how many days was from Spanish to the end spent to end the we flew one day to escort than a we out that one they of very bad razor, we spend the tenth of all the day ends they next day. After we go in Buttle. Let's redo one tentative to to go to the broad peak. The the widow. And account was wasn't a higher. So we going down we going back at the same place and the make another. Another flights. A three day is end after we going back. Maybe. Okay. Okay. I will. Finish the trick. While and to tell me just briefly about your gear, obviously, you had the different gear when he did the climb. But what wing what harness what other different things that maybe wouldn't be obvious. Like, the difference of the what you had in Morocco and the atlas versus what you had in Himalayas. The I think you dumped know, this brand the nail view. It's a French fringe Brown the bar lighting make the last the brand the who makes his paraglider in France K is that's that's will. And the for full Pakistan, yet, the advance lighter to onto the ozone layer. Because a he's unwanted. So we keep his six and fallen Esa forest only, honest Bemis to transport to own stuff, and the maybe ten days or moral Fuda.

00:55:02 - 01:00:06

It's zuccotti. Zuccotti quickly because a the the backpack. He's very ah large. You can remove the back protection in the the aspiration to the sleeping bag tent water. You can I dunno. Maybe you can put inside a maybe AT little of stuffing germs. Very very good Hanis and the Berea rubbish to netted the end the. Yeah. And full. Mattaya? We are the Pennzoil Jeter very light the ice access and the play. The name industry honest to a harness for climbing. It was him in full rescue yada to to company by company on Q era. Like, okay, okay. That's a round. Yeah. Yeah. That's a no not wrong. It's a. Unabridged between a square and round. Okay. Okay. But not not a steerable. It's very lightweight. Nike seventy nine hundred seventy grams up to a one hundred Cheetos yucca had like a like an x apps. Reserve. When you think back now on the trip, obviously there is like the ankle and and Antoine getting sick, which is really scary. But and I know this is difficult. You did a very good job of this in the article, I know it's difficult in English. But can you tell us like the the high moment of the trip and the low moment of the trip if dearly I think the low month was on. On the spun tick the stunt why we we we sleep to false night doesn't stole amend. We thought one. In very tuition, so foamy very difficult. Because I asked me always, oh, what's gonna happen? Now, if you found when Kent can take off what can I do can I? Let he here Latini around here to to call a rescue can. Can I? Can I stay with him? I so for me was very it's from allow Noah's point ends Obeida the higher. Some lots of good very good moments and the. Higher for me each when we through abo- the triangle rose onto. Because before. I I wear I was a another opinion so foamy stronger. It's like end the a month. I will be they who jug Rennie to our and to fly over that. We just just a when in putting putting the handle. Interrogating, some some ascendancy Asia. It was incredible. And the the big too. But for me, the better bet amount to was just trying to tell me about the tell me about the flying. Because it's you know, I have often heard I spent some time with John Silvester who's done a lot of flying in in Pakistan, and the Himalayas, and you mentioned in your article that you you you frequently had climbs that were you know, as strong as you can get in the world. Really? I mean, we we get we get twelve and thirteen meter climbs here in some valley on a really big summer day in the Rockies. That's that's quite unusual. But it sounded like that was pretty common. But was it. Was it scary flying? Or was it because I've heard that the the flying and can be quite soft. It's quite nice, strong thermals. But they're nice that true. Before the trip said Mia, you will see demos of every very strong, but very largest move. It's it's cool. And the first flight we see that's not the same as on two years ago. The are very strong not cooler a bit liking insurance month than you know, sharp your yes that it was not street.

01:00:06 - 01:05:04

Of like, Swiss maybe the bit strongest very strong, the strong oil. I have never seen that. No. It was not done jerus-. It was a. Likey Montaigne that in big month victim. Everyday. We we flew in ten bicyc- on demos everyday. The first very impressive agenda, but to after today's geo. It's no matter when we we are in full maters by bicycle you said, you said a okay go away. It's not. That's bad climb. Propulsion of the Montaigne demo also saying it's saying ripple show that always biggest. So it's not the when we eulogized rec- Montes. You knew you said you can say is like the outs. It's the same valley. Among ENZA is not very high. The proposal equal. All very very when we cross valet about ten minutes. You you your look at your position. And you say out I'm not in the middle of the valley yet is very long. You. So that's when we tried to cross it's MIT if you if you so does the valley picture or just a look you. You think it's a classic valet liking the ops. Is that the is is very Basnet the Rhone times ten. Yeah. It's huge and the father the searching metros bicycle. These was about it. I think with. After after the tree, I think it was the day also year really a perfect the a ten a m. We we we fly over six thousand medals attention and. Yeah. Out became strong strong in stone dent such emit or by. And we reached. Seven thousand nine TV or nine ninety seven thousand nine hundred rose. But above above smarten, not above a amid as we flew above the five hundred. Five thousand meters montains it was incredible on this day. I think if we were on K two area, I it. Sure, we we we made a maybe eight foes in full on widow five hundred it was very very very good day that too. The, you know, Matt Wilkes as done a lot of really interesting study on on high altitude flying, and what it does to your your physiology and your mind, and obviously with the with Antoine getting pulmonary. Cerebal Dima not pulmonary cerebral Dima at the very least extreme altitude sickness. That was you know, I would imagine most likely after the long rest down in the valley, and because of the physical exertion of of flying. But. You guys didn't have the space or the capacity obviously to have oxygen too heavy and you can't fill up every day. How did how did you approach that? How did you deal with not having oxygen because also when you when you fly that high without oxygen? It's it's also very cold oxygen helps you stay warmer. So I imagine the cold was must have been fierce. Yeah. So occupation was a big concern. About to go to the first days of flight. So for first as we we said said us a two don't fly above five meme. Maybe five on five hundred and the we we spent two days at four thousand meters in Barack because of the wizard was not good and the so we try to fly not very high.

01:05:04 - 01:10:01

Let's hope this date. The wizar- was a very good first day. So I am out we go up at six thousand six hundred. And we we say shit. It's too high. We can we can talk. It was too difficult to talk, and we we have to repair between each. Was very complicated. And we are very Trivedi to how concedes into how respiration and after the first the fuzzby wack when onto onto broke hanger. We sleep at the full five hundred the day after was the better the day after. After maybe six seven days, we flew over seven thousand metro we've outing catered because we just go in the in in going down in the Knicks transition. So the time spend in over six of them does not very don't get. It was. Okay. But we'll spend take we we spend a very long time at this altitude. And we we done physical if art and the I think how. On on where where where the two twin twenty trading full, and the it was very difficult. Difficult. More difficult are them flight at the same attitude. When you when you look back at it. You know, when you I mean, it's just it's almost seems impossible to compare. A busy in the atlas mountains, which are big and beautiful amazing place. I've done quite a bit of flying there too. And the and the Alps your home, which is incredible. But then the scale like you spoke about in in Pakistan, and the Himalayas is so much bigger. Was it? Was it mostly just awesome? And you know, like, wow, I can't believe I'm here or was little was there quite a bit of fear to like my God at this. Maybe maybe bigger than. Did you feel confident going there in in the first days or was it just really scary? Days after each flight. I I thought why was a flight of my life. And it stays the next day. I thought the same same fitting because oh also they it was more and more impressive and more ex- huge things than the huge flight that we were not not to fly the. When when the collision while while good, it was cool to fly here. Just you have to keep in mind. It's probably to to at the next forbidden to lender the on the glass year. And you you try to keep high every time, but it's not very. Today's on the west of the Ruta near of Aniston, we had the very strong west wind, and the yeah, we we today's with afraid condition. Maybe maybe forty K K P H A west wing the at six thousand metres was. But the win was not strong. It was cool. It was a very very nice to fly in this. Hurry. If you did if you did have an emergency. Like, let's say, you know, you you you you couldn't have flown of span tick and Antoine is very sick. What what did you have to communicate? What would did you have an N reach. Or did you have a satellite phone or enrich? Okay. In reach to in which one. So we can send SMS to a how many in the almost Bendik. We we send regular. SMS might be Dan Ben wa because then. Send the middle bridge bridging the but the memories. Very bad focused on everybody in this country. And the when we when we leave for spending focus too didn't didn't the the bad was common one day later. So maybe to have a good focused.

01:10:01 - 01:15:06

We've through every day when like that. Oh today. Clydes good. No. Yeah. Not too strong, Wayne. Okay. Let's try in the we'll see that the. Yeah. In which was only for rescue. When for me to to for my my wife, and my daughter was a six month, six months. When all my it was a bit from. She she's the real hero in this story Damian. You know, what I mean, she she while what an amazing woman hats off to her the good for you. That's that's incredible. When you look when you look forward now. I went through this very interesting time after Alaska because it was something that I planned for years, literally. It was six years something that I really wanted to do. And I'd look at and looked at all the maps and everything and then you do it. You know, you Antoine. You go there, and you do it and you complete it. What was it like to be done and to come home and to to have that kind of for me? I don't know if you know this word, it's like a void. You know? It's like. For so long. It's it's a it's something you strive to like the X apps. You know, you train and you train and you train and then you do the race. And it's just amazing. And then it's done and then and then it's done. Yes, we we didn't rip the exponential. Light you affoil several years before. And the we made the switch from route that it's it it. It was not a fixed route it was just a U haul. I hope that goes. But it doesn't have to go. When the weather was not good on on the direction of how how route we take on the right of on the LeicesteR. If if the cloud looks better the south of of the NAS, it's magical to to say Ted us, a, okay, if I hear, Nope. Roden? Nope. Roden food. I have. This is better on this one about. So I go this one. Yeah. We we went on when objective won only objective. And we we did the some extra extra Ruta when the wizar- said on the north on the shoe, so yeah, the rich west. All right, but not the not fix the right? Not understand. Yeah. You you had an idea of what you wanted to do. But you could you could do you could follow the weather. You could you could the weather would dictate what you would end up doing. What about you know, when you're done when you've completed something, you know, when you've when you've had, you know, something that's so intense and so beautiful and. Hard and good flying. And I'm sure you know, you develop a great friendship with Antoine. There's a there's a bond there. But then it's done and for me. That's that. When it's done. It's always kind of difficult to maybe get back into the swing of life. It's true. And the for me when I'm coming back for me. It wasn't mistake. I think I I spend only one week at home, and I I leave immediately for beatable. Ishi competition in the two K in. It was too much. I I I went to this competition because a booked on the oldest. The flight to get on the registration before. So I was. Forced to do to go, but much I was not a mind was not in the competition. I was a in Pakistan. So I I I was not f- amount of competition. I leave alone again, my wife, and my daughter it was difficult for me. And the after I when I think back was that. I am I think it was a mistake due to do but to compete to this race in the flight.

01:15:06 - 01:20:01

Yeah. Yeah. The normal life on the transition was not easy in the I think it was too too early to to fly with my race race wing and the into leave my familia again, and my job was different to to going back to my job. Every day. But during two mounds, we call the everyday we won four rating out Chikosa to foreign the pitcher on the show of light roomful. May made a good pitchers. The try to to think about the movie. So we will my mind was a fated by the. The tony's. Bostering quickly. Yeah. I'm sure I'm sure Damien. I want to be mindful of your time. And just a great talk. I'm imagining it all and I encourage all of you who are listening to have the the links to the three articles that Damian wrote the pictures are just unbelievable. Awesome photography. You guys. Did a great job documenting it. I can show refu- a some. Movie salty of determines or flexible about the why dunno if your see it or see it. Yeah. I saw a couple of them. And I I spent a lot of time on your Facebook page and looked at some of those that would be that would be terrific. So I'll I'll have a have all of that in the show notes for for all the listeners to look at. But one one final question Damien. What's next? What's next? I don't know. I would like the beginning. I would like to participate next exotic, but it's not possible. So full next year. I think. I want to to try to do some more competition until masonic competition Belushi. See the I I don't play any expedition next year. I think maybe I can fly comp- in Europe in the if I'm still motivated for night on for. Next exciting twenty twenty one. I don't know the to fall nineteen ninety one twenty nineteen only competitions Damian. I'd thank you so much. I really appreciate your time. This was this was a blast and took us a while to get the the right connection. But we finally did. So thank you so much and good luck to you. And I hope to see you soon will. I'm sure I'll see you. It's impede WC's maybe not this year because it's an ex apps here. But the, but but soon so, but we'll talk soon. Now help enjoyed that man that inspires me to do some bigger and better things very very cool story, if you're getting something out of the cloud base mayhem. There are many ways you can support you can support it directly financially on if you go to cloud base may dot com. You'll find the links to do that as a one time deal through PayPal or you can set it and forget it through patriot on patriot dot com for slash cloud base, ma'am. Again, you'll find the links to that on website, and we also accept crypto kind of a new thing, which is kind of fun. But through patriot you'll be rewarded for for contributing. You're only pay when we put out content. So it's all on us. And you've probably heard my spills in the past. We just are not funding this through sponsorship. We're going to wreck because I feel like that's just a more thank way ago. And no here some some of the past episodes of here, why more about why that's the best way to do things. But anyway, but if you can't spores financially totally understand. And there other ways you can do it. You can give us a rating on I tunes or Stitcher or however, you listen to your podcasts, we get them. You can blog about an on your own website. You can share it on social media, which is really big on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, her every liked to get your social media. You talk about on the way to launch what this is all about is just spreading information and knowledge to try to help all of us be safer, and better pilots and help our communities. So thanks for the love appreciate it. Happy holidays. See on the next show.

01:20:01 - 01:20:02



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