Elizabeth (Eli) Egger is one of the rookies in the 23′ Red Bull X-Alps. She’s also a paragliding instructor, Niviuk team pilot, high-level competition pilot (we sat down after the Superfinal in Mexico to have this chat), has supported Simon Oberrauner (2017) and Aaron Durogati (2019 and 2021) in the X-Alps, and has a very interesting professional background in earth mapping and engineering. In this wide-ranging talk we discuss her training for the upcoming race and what she’s learned from supporting Simon and Aaron, preparing for comps, progression, instruction, and going to bat against the best in the world.
We keep the absolutely nutty going this week with 5-time Red Bull X-Alps competitor, 2 X Superfinal champion, and winner of just about everything in our sport, Aaron Durogati. Aaron and I sat down in person on the final day of the Superfinal in Valle De Bravo in Mexico and he had me in stitches from the get-go. Aaron is a fantastic story-teller and his triumphs and beat-downs in the X-Alps are jaw dropping. Enjoy these incredible amazing tales from the edge!
Christina Kolb is the current female world acro champion and one of the few women in the world who has perfected the Infinite tumble. In Annecy this year she won the female class and was 12th overall- an incredible achievement. In this episode we visit and revisit the cause of many accidents and how preventable they are, how to learn acro, the importance of SIV and ground handling, why altitude is more important in many cases than water, best and worst advice, how to reduce stress on launch, and a lot of advice for beginners and how to avoid the “lemming affect.”
On Monday, the morning after our flight from Scuol we aired out Bruce’s reserve and got it packed back up and came up with a plan. Much of the eastern Alps were now looking possibly very good for Tuesday, even “Hammertag” good, depending on what forecast you were using. A big heat wave was moving in from North Africa which meant the air might be more stable, but with the summer solstice only a couple days away, we had very long days to work with.