Episode 84- Adrian Garza and Chasing thin Air

After getting his novice sign-off in Mexico (30 flights) under the instruction of 2019 Red Bull X-Alps pilot and recent podcast guest Marko Hrgetic Hrga, for his very first solo flight (flight 31) Adrian Garza hiked up one of the highest volcanoes in North America and flew off. And it’s been all volcanoes since. Adrian is an experienced high-altitude mountaineer and when his wife showed interest in paragliding he thought he might as well give it a shot as well. It’s been a year since he got his license but work, living in Mexico city, and having a new baby has made it difficult for Adrian to chase cloudbase as much as he wants so he’s taken a very non-standard route to getting airtime. Finding the biggest volcanoes in Mexico and flying off! What’s possible with a wing and a ton of desire? Have a listen- this is super, super inspiring!


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Show Notes:

  • InReach best practices
  • Winter flying- what to look out for
  • Flying the right wing to match your skill level
  • SIV vs a real situation
  • Adrian takes his 31 st flight, his first solo off one of the biggest volcanoes in Mexico.
  • Dealing with altitude, especially as a new pilot
  • Training for high altitude and the risks of flying at high altitude
  • How to speed up high altitude acclimatization in advance of the trip
  • How to assess flying a volcano- weather, route, where to launch, the ascent, landing…
  • Baby on board! How having a baby has impacted Adrian’s flying
  • Equipment Adrian uses to fly off the volcanoes
  • Preparing for the Red Bull X-Alps


Mentioned in this episode:

Marko Hrgetic Hrga, Red Bull X-Alps, Matt Henzi, Miguel Gutierrez, InReach, Reavis Sutphin-Gray, David Wheeler, Valle De Bravo, XCSkyRace, Cedar Wright, Jeff Farrell, Matt Wilkes, Tom De Dorlodot, Triple Seven, Anneka Herndon


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Episode 84- Adrian Garza and Chasing thin Air

00:00:21 - 00:05:01

Everybody. Welcome to another episode. The cloud base mayhem recording this for a hotel in. Aw will on my way to British nationals just wrapped up a couple of unbelievable weeks invited Robbo did Marcos exc- sky race of the second edition of that. He's doing that every year Marco of courses excerpts this year and put on really really fun comp. It's really designs that race two goals really designed to reward the best pilot forgoing big and flying fast, and he has all kinds of algorithms to handicaps for different wing. So in theory, you could be on a being and win the race hats off to Matt Hindi who won that knows of really terrific race. You had six days of awesome flying a day off and the Minorca hundred and fifty pilots in the Minorca monarchic has always was just amazing. They put me on the task committee again, which was super fun with Gunar Seibu and Ricky figura we just had a blast. And the flying was was soup. Epic few days of some pretty big OD. But it never went too big. And yeah, another six days. So just terrific. Before we get into the show with Adrian Garza is super inspiring got his actually went to to. He's actually one of Marco's XL supporters this year the race. And then he is he went through his p to stuff and got us thirty flights with Marco about a year ago. And then on his thirty first flight when up in hiked one of the major volcanoes, Mexico and has been kinda volcano hopping. So it's really inspiring. I thought really cool to see somebody such low hours chasing things. Really neat. And he's you know, he's got a lot of altitude and climbing experience and sounds like he's really safely, and I think you're just gonna enjoy this is not really on the technical aspect of flying. But more just the inspiring side of what you can do with a wing even with very low our so Nick, you're gonna joy at before we get into the show, though, one of the little bit about some of my observations one. There was. In that two weeks ban at least sixteen major incidences. So and by major reserve toss most reserved tosses were were pretty benign than people hanging entries for a long time, and some cases, but the Rosso some pretty major injuries and some e Bax some helicopter eve axe. And the percentage is not great. I think this was you know, there was quite a bit of high pressure which makes by even more spicy than typically is. But I have some thoughts on why some of this is happening. One people rusty they're coming into a place that is notoriously pretty sharp air and pretty dynamic. And there's a lot of trees don't have an often have a lot of room to work. So between cloud base and the trees so people use you haven't been flying in quite a few months. So they're not really on their game vise, high altitude, Mexico City tile, toots, you're coming and. You're more tired and less sharp than new typically are often hydration. It's one of the problems. People are tired often deal with maybe a little bit of an offs stomach that kind of thing. So all those factors for certainly play a role into something to be really aware of we travel and good fly. Being not current is huge one. I always talk about that. In the winter as you're coming into spring thermals of sharp you have to treat it kind of like being in the spring. So. Even if it's a cop you're there for cop just recognized that you might not be totally on your game. The other thing I saw a lot of in. This is distressing is just way way too. Many people flying wings that are above their skill level and above their hours level. This is a topic that we talk about on the show again, and again, and again, and again, and most of the people I talked to the the experts the really high hours folks are always talking about not moving up to fast way, too. Many people are moving up to fast in the Minorca where we had one hundred and fifty pilots the gaggle are obviously really big. And you know, a lot of the folks that are on wings above their level or spending the whole time looking up at their wing and not looking around at the other pilots and makes super dangerous and the gaggle mix gaggle flying pretty sketchy, very different than EMC's where everybody's on the same wing pretty much and everybody's really confident and they're looking around and.

00:05:01 - 00:10:04

Not saying looking up at your wing is a bad thing. I do it all the time. But you if you're just staring at it because you're nervous about it. You're on the wrong wing nuts. You know, you should be able to feel it as well. Sita in something to think about I'm seeing a lot of people on Xenos. And and the peak four which you know, just a couple years ago was one of the hottest hot comping. Okay. So it's now a more mellower complex, but it's still complex the Sinoe is to liner. It can be definitely I mean farmer got third overall in the Minorca you can make that thing. Go really good and just because it's a stable two liner people say really good things about it. You know, if you're not getting two hundred two hundred fifty hours year, and you don't have years and years of experience and whole bunch s IV a whole bunch of SAVE on your belt that is way too hot of a wing for you. So it doesn't blow out super easily are never see those wings. Go that doesn't mean. That they're quote, unquote safe for you. So be thinking about that the other thing that I still find incredibly distressing is how many people either don't have a satellite trackers or still on spots. Y'all know that I'm sponsored by Garmin. But this is not a sponsored thing. There were quite a few people that were hung up in trees for hours and hours and hours without cell service. So I'm always hearing. Oh, we'll I've got my three little messages that I can send our spot will big deal. I mean, you're in a tree. Wouldn't it be nice to communicate? Hey, I'm okay, or hey, I have a broken leg or hey, I need a helicopter. I don't or hey, I need really need some water one guy that spent till three AM and got pretty hypothermic because neither way to communicate. And so you you need it in reach. I mean, we travel we buy very expensive gear cost is just a ridiculous excuse that. You don't have an in reach. You can text do people know exactly where you are. And exactly what the problem is. And they can pull in the correct kind of resources. So if you are a pilot in your Flying Cross country. There's just no excuse me to have one of these. But you also need to know how to use it. There's if you go to my website, cloud base may dot com and just put in in reach best practices or in reach. You'll find articles on kind of how to set them up and how to best use them. But there were quite a bit of confusion. I landed one day in the sky race to help to people that throw in the reserves together and Reveiz and Matt Henze revson, gray and met Hansie were above me. And so they immediately gave me lat long locations, I dropped a dropped away point in my in reach change, the Latin long to to match and walked directly to them. It was super easy took only a few minutes. They were both totally non events. But a lot of people don't know how to do that one. You gotta make sure your group is in the same lat long format. So I recommend decimal degrees. That's pretty standard for emergency Vokes. If you're in the PBC or something they're still in UTM. You know, see if you're in a cop that asked for something else. Obviously you've got a switch switch instruments to that. But decide in your group what you're gonna use. Again. I recommend decimal degrees. It's just it's the easiest to earth is automatically in that works pretty well. And then if you need to know, either your location, or or if you're flying over somebody's head that you've seen gone in and you need to send that location. Somebody else the easiest way to do as drop away points. Got a little Waypoint icon, you can do it with your device or you can do it with your phone through earth made and then bang and just chose it to drop it. And then you click on it you can name it. And like in this case, I did pilot one in pilot too because I didn't know who the victims were. And then if you need to edit the lat long, you can do it right there. So like in in other words, if somebody is giving giving you the lat long just drop Waypoint open it up, and then you can add it you can put the numbers that they give you in there, which is what I did. So make sure you know how to. Do that. The other thing is what I see a lot of is like the first day. Oh, yeah. We need to we need to make sure we all have each other's enery, Chad recipes, and then you go and launch in regress are still very confusing to some people the in reach address for your device. So like mine is mail thirty five at in reach Doug, Armand dot com. That doesn't mean that the outside world can Email me at that address. That's in reached in reach. So the easiest way for people to have your devices. Address is just send them a message. So before launch get everybody. Gather get your ten pilots your ten buddies together. Make sure you're on XY fine. So you've sent Dave you're Dave Wheeler your money in your on there. And and he's got your your share page or your spot share page, but hopefully in reach share page, make sure your share pages set up correctly. So that takes just a couple minutes, go to Garmon, and you log into your account and make sure you've got that.

00:10:04 - 00:15:03

You know, people can message you and people can see where you are. Some pretty basic stuff there that you just need to change. It's real obvious. And then send everybody a message from your device to their phone, and then also to their device, and then that you've got the message threat, you never need to worry about what their address is ever again. It's in your message. It's right there. The other thing that Atanas people are not doing when they in their flight. They just turn their tracking off never put an okay message. That's also super simple. It's in your message threads. If you go to messages, you'll see one of them is called map share. It's always there. It's automated with the device you just type in. Okay, bam or you can just do it with the OK message on the device self. So make sure you do that. Because otherwise people are if they're watching C fine and not really sure what's going on. Now, do they need help? Because if it just stops tracking. You could be in a tree could be hurt. You can be dead, and nobody knows. And so make sure you put that okay in there. And then make sure you talk to one another about, you know, what? You guys are doing and and make sure you have each other's radio frequencies, and all that kind of basic stuff, but be looking out for one another because I think the what people think they go to buy in there. So many people that you know, somebody's looking after you, but all those people are like well, somebody else's looking after them. And so I think a lot of people just get left out there. And and those trees down advice swallow you up and you disappear. Both those reserves that that I saw go in and I landed to help the I washed them right to the ground, and I couldn't see him again. And that's why landed out like, I don't trust the radio's probably all hopped up on journal in even other saying, okay, I want to make sure they're all right. So anyway, some things to think about lastly there were several folks that got into kind of auto rotation situations which makes reserve tossing pretty hard to do and often the reserve right into the wing. S IV if you've done it. Hopefully, you've done it over the water with instructor in your ear. And all that kind of thing is way way different than SIV in a real situation your journal and starts pumping may or may not be thinking, very clearly depending on how much s IV done and you're in really spicy air. You're not over the lake and totally still air just going out to glide out where you know, initiating. A flat spin is just no big thing you initiate clasp in five hundred feet off the deck in a big massive thermal because you hit too much break. You might have a pretty you could cascade there and up in an auto tation situation pretty fast, which is really dynamic. So I want to encourage all of you to do more. If you can or s I get on a wing. It's you're you're really comfortable with and really practice. Practice practice. It. I had a situation in one of the race days and the Narcan. We were poor. Shing out just after the start out to visit in Theresa place where the Air's material rough and had a pretty good tip tuck on one side, and I went to when I went to fish that one out and huge whack on the other side, and I looked up and I thought, wow, there's not very much of this wing open. And I was kinda wondering if it was still flying in took quick look at the ground, and I was only about three hundred feet off the trees. So I had had to make a decision really quickly to either throw or deal with this. And then I heard my my vario just doing that whole plunge sound and realized I was like instantly an parachute oh situation. And if I hadn't had, you know, so much practice over the water and done so much SIV that definitely would have been reserved situation. So I just stalled at really fast, let it go. It went a little bit as symmetrically had come back deep stone. Let it go again flew weighing on the thermal and kept racing. It was not. But you need to that stuff, especially when you're that low needs to be automatic. And I think another thing that people are doing, and I see this over and over and over again is your revenue talked about this in his podcast. So valuable at every stage of your flight, you know, even if it's a ten hour flight, you need constantly aware of right now thousand feet right on at five thousand feet right now at two hundred feet, and he'd know exactly. How much height you have? So if something goes wrong, you know, approximately how much time you have before. It's a it's a throw situation, you know, like in that situation for me at a few seconds. If that didn't work I really need throw three hundred feet, you've got almost nothing. So for somebody else if if that had happened that's an instant throat scenario, and there were just there were a lot of people that through this week, and we're fine.

00:15:03 - 00:20:03

And there were quite a few people. Who didn't some of them were fine. But some of them were not and so the testament to reserve they really do work, but you gotta get them out. Now, we've said that many times on the shell. But just want to reiterate that all right cool. Well, enough seriousness. Let's get into this very fun talk with Adrian Garza. The sound is is tough. Here. We sitting in the backyard up by on row where we were staying for the for the comp and there's trucks in their dogs, and there's chickens and just classic Mexico. But I thought that was kind of fun. So we've done our best here drown most of that out. But there is going to be some background noise. But you're gonna find this really inspiring and volcano hopping in Mexico, please enjoy this very cool talk with my friend Adrian Garza. Adrian, welcome to the mayhem. So did to meet you spend a little time with you this week and sorry could join us for the sky race that was a blast but shout DeMarco for putting on a good cop that was super fun by came through as it always does six great days of flying. But yeah, I'm excited to talk to you. Because you're doing some really cool stuff is a very new pilot so on volcanoes and x Alps because you me supporting Marco in the race and learning and babies and family and living in Mexico City and chasing it. So I thought maybe where we'd start off the top. Here is is just have you. Tell us a story about your most memorable flight because we just did this for the last twenty minutes recording wasn't working. So we're doing it again. But we did dress rehearsal dressers kicks. Yeah. Yeah. But pretty amazing tell again that the history of the thirty flights and then going out and doing your first. One off of a big volcano, sir. Thanks for having here you hear gabum super excited. So. Yeah. Learn to fly here in by. My wife had been on a trip to Peru. And and she did attend flight in Lima and loved it. So she got me into this on super glad she did we learned to fly together here with Markle and from the start when she came up with the idea first thing that came to my mind was, you know, I'm already climbing these big mountains, and I would love to be able to fly off summit. Right. So that was kind of my main motivation when I started no, it's it's volved since then. But that's how it began. So after you know, my thirty flights, and my practical and theoretical exam to get my license flight number thirty one as my first solo flight real solo flight was going to be off of a one of the big volcanos Mexico City, which is five thousand two hundred thirty meter tall volcano, it's about two hours from Mexico City. So I been. Preparing for that. With the equipment that I would need checking out the the weather forecasts, I had already been on the mountain many times by myself, and you know, camping out on summit and did circumnavigation of the mountain. So I would pretty well. And it's free accessible from ExCo CD for like weekend climb to drive to basecamp, which is about three thousand nine hundred meters. And then from there to the summit, it's probably like four and five hours and all in all it's ten hour day, if you if you walk back down to so I really wanted to fly for that volcano, I knew that other people had done that before. And I wanted to do that as well. So I got out there on a Saturday took it easy. So I could get used to the the altitude and started early. And at night. When I got some it. You know, it took me about maybe an hour to get everything ready and be ready to take off just because you know, you've been climbing for four or five hours with with back on their way. Maybe ten kilos, and I have to get re-hydrated have food, and you know, as saying that altitude, sometimes just tying your shoe laces, your boots can can get you out of breath. So anything that's usually done, you know, quite easily Islam more complicated over there. And of course, you wanna have head clear. So you can judge the conditions and make sure you check your in all of that. Did you have a lot of time at altitude like a lot of climbing experience in that kind of thing.

00:20:03 - 00:25:07

'cause I know it could be like when I when I was first learning just interrupt your. But when I was first learning just getting my p too. So gonna go same phase, the you were it was like the last sign off light that I had and I was with some friends that were good pilots, and then my instructor and it was middle of the day. And it was hot. And it wasn't that. Hi, this is outside of Salt Lake City's but nothing like what you're talking about. But like I just heat. My instructor was kind of watching me, and I was really having a hard time. Like even just kind of like, do I turn right or left? He could tell that. I was just kind of being used, and I was just dehydrated and it was hot. And I was kind of out of it. But now after years of flying, I would recognize that I'd hope but at the time, I didn't really and he was he just walked over to me really nicely. And he said Gavin today, you're done is it. So did you did you feel pretty comfortable that you kind of knew, you know, the difference between a little bit outs to sickness and just kind of being out of it. Yeah. Yes. So I've been on the mountain before many times in like a year before that year and a half before I went on a climbing trip to Peru and climbed the six thousand meter peak. So I really train hard for that. So summit at that same in four times in a month on the weekends straight. And and when I started doing that I got into really the literature about, you know, acclimatization and training for altitude all of that read a lot of books and articles and my secret weapon for that was a hypoc sick generator that have at home a little machine, and it's it makes probably same amount of noise as like like a standalone air conditioning system. What it does basically is it takes oxygen out of the air, and it substitutes nitrogen into it. Which is what air is mostly made up of anyway. So you don't it's not a toxic or anything, and you can use that to simulate altitude. So since I knew that I wanted to do these hike and fly trips I used that beforehand, and I used it before when I went to Peru. So before going to Prue a slept in the little plastic ten covers my body from like my chest up, and you sleep in that, and you're able to gradually increase the altitude to where you feel comfortable, you know, what should depending on what your objectives are so already in Mexico City were pretty high as it is. I mean, it's like two thousand two hundred meters just is like almost no it is highest Aspen or higher than Denver high. So then if you put two thousand more meters on top of that you're already at four thousand two hundred so you start gradually increasing the simulated altitude, and I have a like a poll sock similar where before going to bed, and I check my pulse in my on. My my poll socks. Meeting in the morning as well. And try to keep it like under ninety and above eighty and so gradually when you start using it you start to see that the same simulated altitude you have a higher poll socks reading. And that's why you know, your body's starting to get used to it and use that to calibrate the intensity of of your your climatize ation training. So that that hold period really made me aware of. I mean, the all the theory behind that. And and also more importantly as you mentioned like how does my body feel when it's starting to get high talks? Yeah. Would that same machine you can also do hypoc intervals so you wear a mask on your face? And I can like bump it up all the way to eight thousand meters and just breathe the're for five minutes. And then you take it off and give it a rest for maybe two minutes, five minutes. And then put it back on you can do the same thing while you're doing exercise treadmill or something like that. So that really gives you a lot of practice for actually, you know, observing and feeling effects of hypoc Sierra in. That really helped me out on that trip to Peru. And I'm doing decided flight trips started sleeping in ten for like six weeks before I plan to go out to do it. So it gives me a really big advantage. When I got up there, and you can really feel it. I mean, you're your resting heart rate, really drops, your your body actually produces more red blood cells, and you just have way more aerobic capacity than than you would beforehand and your your aerobic threshold relief goes up so you can push harder before you start to feel a lack of oxygen.

00:25:07 - 00:30:07

It's a very cool. Tim Herron, Tim Ferriss type hang like that. I mean, that's super useful. I mean mino- like some like Michael Phelps use something like that. And the US soccer team trained with one of those things before they came up to Mexico City for a match because do difference. So a lot of you know, big athletes use it. And I think this probably going to be used more often in, you know, in monitoring for sure some agencies that are starting to rent out this kind of equipment to their clients for some like like big trips big mountain in the Himalayas and the Andes, and and they really allows him to shorten the time that it takes to to you know, to go on one of these trips. Acclimatize nearly as much when you get there. You're already already done a lot of the hard work. Yeah. Exactly. So you shave a lot of time off of that. And I think it makes it a lot safer. You know, anytime you're abroad, and you're eating different kinds of food even different water source. You can really myself, your gut and. Rotate you as time goes on. So just timing that timeshare off I think really makes it a lot safer more useful in and it's like also having like reserve fuel in the tank in case something goes wrong. You're going to be a lot more well equipped and prepared to handle something unexpected where you can have to push yourself part of than you thought would not taking you down a really cool side road there. We're gonna have to come back to that. Because that's fascinating. And I think a very applicable you, maybe you've read some a Matt Wilkes staff he's been doing and cross country with with Tom door dough, and the guys that have been flying a lot in Pakistan, and they've done some really fascinating work on those guys. Because it's it's quite different isn't what we deal when you're dealing up. You can go up really fast. And it's they're finding affects people in really different ways. Interesting. Interesting research there. Okay. We'll actually. Back to your story. So you're you're you're you're going to have the your wave less than half the time because you're able to fly down. But you're not you're on the ascent that first day it takes back to their get to the summit, and it's a pretty early morning. Get everything ready, and it's a little windy, and I'd seen people seem the flights of people that done this before. But the winds coming in the completely opposite direction. So sort of what I had envisioned envisioned was useless at that point so that improvising. Find another takeoff. And it worked while I was able to take off. And in the feeling it's is like like your very first flight where you're nervous super excited and wanna take it all in one. You wanna have pictures flight? You wanna have video you wanna look around, and you have to fly the wing, of course. So that that made everything just go by really fast. And it was like a twelve minute flight is I just I was really, you know, worried about how the wing would behave close to the volcano. How fast would sync with no in the air. That's a lot less dense up there. So that was my first experience flying at that height. So a lot of things going on and a lot of excitement and just went by really fast. What was the wing? It was it was my school wing. So since I knew I wanted to do this. When I started learning I got a wing that is in a wing it by triple seven, it's d light the light version of their deck, which is through beginner wing schooling. It's really it. I think it's really great wing to to start using when you learning because it's makes ground handling more fun because it doesn't doesn't way as much and the harness also lighter harness at has back protection and like air protection on the bottom. So. Yeah. Today wing, which also it's comforting in case you run into some turbulence or something weird and insult so nice to know that not going to be hitting the ground fast when you land 'cause I landed at three thousand eight hundred meters still pretty high. So think is a good choice for for for those kind of situations. I mean, they will to function as mice beginning. And also as a a kept it now as as a hike inflaming as well. Was there any moment? You know, being your thirty first flight and your first flight without an instructor. Was there ever a moment you're up there? You're like what the hell am I doing do? I know do I was there any like proper, self doubt.

00:30:08 - 00:35:00

Not once I was in the air still has to excite it to be worried. But definitely once I got the summit, and I mean, not even even before that it would say because I was hiking alone. And you have like four and a half hours five hours to just to just have that voice in your head. Tell you all kinds of things. So plenty of time to question if. When in over my head or not if I should do this or not, and I wanna still dark can really see what sky looks like. And then sun starts coming up to start trying to observe while you still hiking, and you you're out of breath and your little hypoc seek, and so yeah, for sure a lot of moments where I where I was constantly checking if is still something that that want to do is still something I wanna do the condition still what I expected them to be a win still look like it's doing what I thought it was going to do did you kinda have parameters set beforehand like if it's extra action. I'm not doing it. Yeah. Well, your regular like a flight, check stuff. Like if I mean, it's like whether really changes on it's raining or can't see the landing stuff like that normal stuff. But also since I knew it was going to be a little windy, if if I couldn't if I didn't feel comfortable with with the glider on the summit even before taking off didn't feel like I was going to be able to handle the the wing coming up over my head. It's going to abort or if I can find a place where I I felt that if something went wrong, I would be I was still be. Okay. So I wanted to have enough space. You know, behind me I wanted to make sure that if in front of me, it could also have time to abort or if I tripped or something I wouldn't fall cliff. So. So all those things were really on my mind and. The take off that I had in mind wasn't going to work because the wind was coming in different direction. So. It's also part of the reason why took me an hour to to really get ready to to to double check in to make sure that still thinking straight. I'm not hype box still convinced for for an hour straight after being there that I still wanna do this. And on the other hand, you're also also worried about you know, maybe it's getting late. Maybe it's going to, you know, get over developed soon. Maybe it's going to get more windy. So you kind of feel rush or temptation to to be rushed because of that. So it's kind of a finding finding a balance in taking your time to make sure you're comfortable with the situation and not letting yourself get pressured by changing the possibility of changing conditions, but also being aware that if conditions change, and you can aboard and to go up with a mentality, and the mindset that that that you might have to walk down. And that's okay. You have to enjoy you know that. To otherwise, it's going to be a lot of pressure on yourself. I mean super unusual progression for for a pilot. And I know that Marco's really safe very very good instructor. I've seen him instruct. He's amazing. It sounds like you told them about this beforehand was what was his reaction. What was his what his thoughts? Before going on that first flight Quesnoy, I talked to Mark. When thrown when my plan was and no. That point in with the forecast said and told them wanna planted you and give me a few tips as well. Like, you know, be careful when you land because we're going to be going faster, you know, practical things like that. Send me a message when you land. So yeah, he was really supportive and think also, you know, like any any really good instructor or teacher. Really good at the. Judging what where students are going stepping out of their, you know, they're they're they're being slept or whether it should be so yeah, for sure it's not the typical progression on. And it's not like I had in mind that at one it. You know, my first solo flight has to be on volcano. That's not the way it happened said, you know, this is something I eventually want to do whenever I'm ready. Whenever minds structure also feels that. I'm ready as well. And by the time, you know, my third first solidified Kim around I had already been flying for while. And and did p two twice because I started a full week like an intensive course wasn't able to finish.

00:35:00 - 00:40:03

Then it did it again with a wife. So I had more time to train I didn't SIV as well before that. So that really helped give me more confidence with wing and handle those situations. And I think also a pretty non-typical background as well think. For one thing. I'd been on these same out many times by myself and carrying heavy loads as well. So that part was a new either, and I been into kite boarding a lot before that. So I mean, those things also really made me get used to forecasting. What the conditions are going to be different kinds of places and judging on the spot, and and always constantly being aware that conditions might change. And you might have to at that. And maybe your plan is going to have to change or maybe you're not gonna work and flying sizes and kinds of sites. You know, also think made it easier for me to to be able to feel out the wing in paragliding, even though it's a different technique and everything, but I think it helped me a progressive bit faster than would have otherwise. So I think it was more of a coincidence that by the time it was my first solo fight that. I felt that was ready. And no worked out. So you have this twelve minute flight in the the major thing that strikes you is that's not long enough. Exactly. In what? So that you can come down and twelve minutes instead of three hours, but it's not looking for efficiency, unless you're competing, right? So so after that, I said, you know, I have to have to do again, and I have to make it last longer than that, you know. So, you know, the advantage of living in Mexico City is that I can, you know, wait for the conditions to to be right now for flying in your home site. He can have that luxury. And you don't have that when you're traveling. So so I take advantage. So I went out there again about a month later, and I knew the wind was going to be hitting the volcano kind of clearly kind of an elongated volcano. And that time thought maybe I would be able to soar for like, maybe twenty minutes close to glacier. There's two glaciers on on that volcano and managed to take off. And I went headed towards the central glacier and was able to soar and bid for like twenty minutes. And I tried to go back to to see if I could fly over the summit, and I didn't make it. I didn't get the out to do it. So I turn around and that point I was content. I was satisfied as well is already a longer flight. I took some video took some photos. Check those boxes, you know, I feel fine. And plus I was starting to get a little cold because you know, win in your face for for thirty minutes at five thousand two hundred meters it was by the close to zero degrees celsius and with a hypoc. You get cold. Or faster might as well go land. And when I was at four thousand six hundred meters that was crossing over a lower part of all no again, and then I stumbled onto this convergence. So I had the sun coming up on east, and then the winds coming from the west and in the hit this thermal, and it just shot me up to from four thousand six hundred meters. Two five thousand two hundred meters again, so back up to where was when when I took off, and I was able to go back to almost beginning on my flight and sore over the glaciers again for. As long as I wanted until, you know, my fingers started getting cold, I put on just my liner loves because I wanted to be able to handle the lines more easily on the takeoff. And I was not expecting to to be able to stay up for an hour. So basically, I just got cold. And that's why the golden so it was an hour an hour flight versus the twelve minutes from the first one. So that's some favorite flight so far. Yeah. Wow. All the volcanoes you've done. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. And then, and then I understand you PICO dealers the one that that cedar did ledge link film about. Yeah. Yeah. So thanks. Thanks a lot to to cedar for putting that out there. And I'd seen that film before I started flying. So that was a big part motivating me to do this really that was the kind of volcano catalyst. Yeah. Oh, yes. So since I'm in these like social media on these like, mountaineering groups locally and somebody saw that posted it out there.

00:40:03 - 00:45:02

It's like, wow, that's super cool have to do that someday. So between those two flights on you, see what I I went to fly off because he's ever in that stood third iced its third highest in in North America. Denali in Alaska than mount Logan in Canada. And then or in Mexico, and it's five thousand six hundred meters. Little bit more than that. Okay. About eighteen thousand feet. Pretty high glacier on it as well. And cedar and his team that went up the north face of the glacier. I went up the south face because I was going alone gin and on the south face. You can get a little bit higher on the approach to to to your base camp. So instead of starting at four thousand two hundred start at like four thousand five hundred so three hundred meters at that altitude really big difference here, and I got to summit, and and it was really windy. The forecast said. Ten kilometers and hour. And then it said fifteen and when I was there. It was definitely more than fifteen probably implicit. Fun twenty-five and looking back probably should've walked back down again. So I did really question if it's still the, you know, the right thing to do. And I was also afraid that I would I would get blown back if I lost control of the glider into the fall into the crater volcano, which is really really deep, and and it's no there's no way you're getting out of there. So that was definitely on my mind. So I climbed little over down on the south slope to a point where I felt that enough distance between me and the craters full what's in that big of danger anymore, and I would have time to react to something wrong. So so I took off and it was not inelegant take off with thing went. Okay. And then another state here. I was started first thing I did was turn. So I didn't have the crater behind me anymore. And then once got that done. I started feeling with camera to turn it on the video camera, and I'd probably took twenty seconds or less pretty fast. But when I looked back out to my, you know, my flight route that I had planned I realized that I wasn't going forward at all basically. So again, it's it's an gliders schooling's normally meant to penetrate, you know, twenty plus our wins. So I was just kind of falling straight down. Then with the speed bar on. I finally started getting some forward motion. And but I had to land on the volcano again wasn't gonna be able to get down. So that point it was either I turn left and go out to Veracruz somewhere. And then no-go see how we get back to the car Orland on the mountain, and then gather my stuff and walk back down the the way. So I landed four thousand nine hundred meters. So in that took like a minute and a half like six hundred meters of vertical in amid and a half super fast. And then I just fact glider and walked on the rest of the way, and and I had to kind of traverse across to get to the root again and then down. So in the end, it was it would have been faster to just walk down. Once I got to the summit instead of fly down, and then traverse, and then pack your glider up in the volcanic sand on an incline. And get back to the car. So does not without its challenges. Yeah. Yeah. It sounds really glamorous. Right. Yeah. I fly off the summit and down in in. No time doesn't always quite work out the way. And what about how are you going about? Now that you've done we'll get into. I know you've done many more. But how are you going about forecasting and figured it out? Because I mean, these these mounds are so high they kinda create their own weather. I mean, I I know you're launch him super early grad at sunrise. And so, you know, ideally, it's pretty mellow conditions. But you know, like in cedar stone, the fledglings little windy up there. And you know, I I know that they spent a lot of time down here before even attempting it because it's windy day after day at your day dictate through the process of their 'cause you're also little limited on time. Right. You're you're doing the weekend thing. Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Only up usually the weekends available for that. But the the big thing for me is having enough experienced Pacific on these mountains to where I can.

00:45:05 - 00:50:00

Check the forecast. And then like I don't ever commit to going out there until like the night before. So I'm ready, and you know impact, and I know I'm well trained and made time for it. But if they before that things really change, then then I'll wait for another another time when other weekend in which the you did these the first two in January says like John so is it now is the season for doing these volcanoes in the winter. Yeah, I think knows probably when you have the better chance of of actually being able to fly off the summit's. So here we have two seasons in Mexico City. It's it's like rainy season and dry season. So monitoring season really coincides with the with the flying season. So that's perfect. So you have a release lower probability of. Big thunderstorm systems, really bake over development stuff like that. So it's good that those two things coincide here at least. And, but yeah, I mean in the end always have to be be willing to to walk down if things change and try to check the forecast at the last moment and the whole way up on trying to looking around and seeing what what the weather's doing it still looks like what I what I thought it was going to do. And if it changes and. Are you using paragliding specific forecasting like exc- skies, and that kind of thing or using more like Noah, and I imagine these mounds don't have win cams on top of them. They have some of them have some webcam. So you can at least look there's clouds there. And and. And I use a website on not forecast and think they use data from Jesus. So I think that's accurate enough in try to check what what is going to do on the summit and then Lord down as well. And also just mean like any like fire gliding flight in place to look at the broader weather system. See if there's anything weird in the area any like here with hurricane son both sides of the country. So there's a hurricane on other side of Mexico than stay away from from those kinds of plants. So just make sure that everything's kind of mellow all around the bar regions. Well, so yeah, windy also helps but for me mon- forecast with data's been reasonably accurate as long as you check it like every day and up to the last minute possible. So I mean to me, they're all successes. You know, the even the walking down or in some ways more successes, but what what's your? What's your win loss ratio right now for how many have you done? And how many of you had to walk down. I have a only walked on once eight and in phone the six times on high volcanoes. So that was to the the first one was that he did that twice a hunt or his Ombu ones. Other ones are another volcano called NAMA Lynch, which is like four thousand six hundred beaters. And they're down. This is getting cloudy. Another one is Nevada DeLuca here from here from by. And that was a really super short flight from the side of the crater back to inside the crater was also really cloudy. So I have to do that again some time. And then the last one I did was also on on east acce- what the first of all Quesnoy from but from different side of the of the volcano. So even like way past the summit on the normal wrote psych on the. It's like a it's like a a woman the slang down the form. And the summit is on the chest. And this other summit is like past the head on the other side. So it's kind of a separate summit, and it's like four thousand six hundred sixty meters, but the approach from the north from completely different side. And I didn't I don't know of anyone that has flown there before and and I was looking for something that I could do like on a day trip without having to camp out in the mountain. So this can do from starting from Mexico City like five AM, go out hike to four thousand six hundred meters fly and then come back same day. So it's kind of a practical reason why look for that. But it ended up being a place where nobody flown before.

00:50:01 - 00:55:02

And. There's a lot of fun to tell me about right about when you got this obsession if I've got my math, right? You've got two month old. So that was right about when your wife got pregnant, you guys learn fly together. Let's talk about that whole dynamic a little bit later. She. It was she also into the volcano thing or you more flying by and and then since you've had this baby was now two months old. How does does that you perceive that changing things much? She she's she's been super supportive. And it's we learned to to fly together was also really a really cool way for us to, you know, spend time together and something fun. So on the weekends. We'll come out to buy in. And you know, be be out here by ourselves. I mean, and with the other students, and and it was a really good time. It's really good for us as a couple. Yep. If your your significant other piles, well, that's really things work and then and then when she got pregnant last year on February and she hasn't flown since. So now, I'm working out. What would be the best way for to get back back on that horse? And having the two months old definitely makes is a factor in in the whole risky valuation. Part of these flight. It's do you find that? It has it is are you thinking things I thinking differently about risk. And I think for sure. So that last flight I did from from from this other volcano as a day trip was in late November. We're in January now, and I mean, this is the unknown writes in nobody had flown. There was myself again, and and I had been on once before. So I tried to climate without Mike Lang park lining. Just to to get to know the rules and get to know like the possible takeoffs, and and not have any pressure of trying to to fly off that same day where you just getting to know the place. But when I got there with with my quick -ment the takeoff that thought I would use it really didn't seem to to be to work. There was not much wind. So I was going to have to wait for you know, a little bit of gust to take off and didn't have room behind me. So that I could run. So I wasn't going to be able to run. And then it was going to be kind of a step into the void launch cliff in front. So I hadn't a out in the hat in my lighter glade laid on front of me. And and then that, you know, the being apparent thing was on my mind right sorted. You know, this is this really worth it might just now can always walk back down. And then I said, okay. Well, I'm going to try and and get the gladder over my head. And if I can keep it over my head for thirty seconds like under control for under control, then I'll take off. And if I don't then I'll pack up, and we'll see what happens after that. So I tried to get the glider up, and I wasn't able to keep it under control. I should do more ground hounding. I think it really helps knows situations. But then I said, you know, I'm going to pick up, and then tell us a lot of pressure because backing up your glider and then walking around carrying your Queant to look for another possible. Take off it. It's a massive for that now too. And at that place, total really rocky. So it's not like you can just like carry it over your shoulder. Like, you would when you're about to launch on your home site. So at really packet all the way up so the more efficient with packing packing. Elsewhere else. So said, you know, what I'm going to going to look for another site. And and if I don't find something that's safer than just walk down. And and it took me maybe an hour more in place. Like way safer at plenty of room in front of me. It was wasn't rocky was sandy. So it was lot safer. There was some snow. So I can put the glide on the snow, and we'll have to worry about the lines getting caught on the rocks which happened on the previous site. So all of that was because partly because I was thinking about having one month old at the time. And so it does factoring.

00:55:02 - 01:00:10

Sure. Tell me about you relationship with Marco. And and kind of preparing for the x apps when I was down here last year. So for a year ago in refining in the Minorca. And he mentioned that he was probably going to apply, and I was really excited to see that he he got in this year. So we're you friends before you did the instruction stuff with him. Or did you guys know each other before then and take me through you know, how how that all came about? That's a big commitment. It's a lot of fun. Yeah. I mean, you're you're you're going to be going to Europe for imagine more hopefully more than just the race. But yet big minute diet is there's a big commitment time wise, and you know, all the preparation and all that and Marco met him. When when it started learning to fly with him didn't know him before that. And. And when we when I was still taking lessons with him. We started talking about about maybe going on like hiking flight together. So we started talking about that. And and he was interested in monitoring aspect of it in. The course I was still learning. I'm always still learning. But that point I was more of more of beginner, and we never made it work because you know, his weekends is when he has the most work and my weekends. It's one I can go out and do this stuff. So it's hard to make the schedules work. Hopefully, we do that soon before the accepts. But that kind of started developing a was still a student of face. And when you asked me if I wanted to to to be part of his team on the excel uninhabitated for a moment. Just get. Yeah. Well, we'll figure out how it's going to work later. And it who who else is team is how many people so his his main supporter is is also former student of his he's French. He's going to be coming down later this month to divide the flights or we'll have some time to to to work on our plans and all that. Is spelled his name is spelled almost like my and Frenchtown leeann. And then there's me as a secondary supporter. And then we have think I thought from from what does team in expert? So we bring a lot of experience to the table only helping with what the forecasting in with getting van to the right place, and we have another former student, Marcus Argentinian, Fleiss Fleiss here, and he's helping with you know, the the budgeting and in of sponsorship search and those kind of things to do beforehand, and hopefully he'll he'll he'll be out there with us as well. Help drive the van stuff like that. So. Yeah. Three three of us on the team or former students of his in. And then the actor brings a lot of experience. I think it's pretty good combination. Yeah. Now you guys love blast. So your year end of this volcano hopping? What's what's going on the radar? Just more get a lot of Elcano down here. But is that? And then also what what other kind of, you know, flying or you pretty engaged in right now is it mostly the high confli because you've just got the weekends. Or you still? Are you doing a lot of training here in by a so so when I started paragliding, I, you know, this is idea of what paragliding was before. And I I didn't know now the slightest idea of, you know, the possibilities that, you know, cross country flying on a Praglia. I thought it'd be just sore on the coast like didn't Lima and fly down a play. A place. And that's it as soon as I started learning, you know, that's when I got the at the Joe, I don't just wanna fly down. I want to be able to thermal and joy and fly around the mountains and wanna keep trying to do those kinds of flights like from from these other peak I flew off. I think there should be possible to thermal and then go up higher over the main summit of of the cane of Easter and above the head of the volcano, which is something that's really hard to to climb climb to because it's pretty there's less ice. So I think those are the kind of flights that I wanna do on the volcano so kind of combining my initial aspiration of flying down with with what I've learned thermal and just starting into cross country, and and and then doing some vulgar later.

01:00:14 - 01:03:09

Also, part of what drives me to to, you know, being a supporting the excels getting to know the place and seeing what all the pilots do out there and doing something like that by myself sometime not in the race. But you know, in a more of a relaxed Volpe trip, and yeah, just since I've been flying. I mean, looking at what other people are doing on the world thinks that you've been doing in Alaska in the Canadian Rockies and all that. And then until then and was on the show recently. I mean what they're doing is incredible. Yeah. That's that's next level. Yeah. I mean in high altitude monitoring. That I think that's really tight to see you what where that leads. But for me, it's more thermally over or the summits of the volcanoes and trying to do some both cool eighty nine free. She ate it. I think we gotta get the skier out in the rain, and and go get registered Minorca, but cool stories, and I'll be watching with fascination take more of these off and look forward to doing some fun stuff with you in the outs here in gem. That'll be fantastic. Did you're going to really enjoy that. It's a precious experience. Thinking in three she like Lisin Cuban. Hope you enjoyed that. As always if you're getting something out of the cloud base, mayhem, please support it there number ways, you can do that you can share it with your friends on social media. You can walk about it. You can talk about it on the way up to launch. And you can support us financially. You find the places to do that on cloud base may dot com. Do it one off through pay pal or Ben mo- crypto Incan also support us on a regular basis. All we've ever asked for is bucket show, and you can do that through patriot dot com for slash cloud-based. Mayhem where you'll be rewarded to do? So and there's more bonus content. They're like shows Kriegel and in shows with other patriot supporters and so get on there. And check that out. We've also get t shirts and hats and all kinds of stuff you go to my website, cloud-based me, I'm dot com. You can also find the store Rican by those Patagonia t shirts. With our logo. Fly more talk less on the back. Those are pretty fun. And he recaps hats on a ca- makes many of you know, like of awesome. Recaps may not recycle materials or just bitching. Every single one of them is unique. Discover a whole new low to those and whole new load of new t shirts and some new color. So check that out and ship anywhere in the world. We psych see you in that gear. And yeah, that's it. Keep real thank you so much for your sport. And that's what makes all of this possible MC on the net show. Cheers.