Episode 132- Bastienne Wentzel and the Beginner’s Guide to Paragliding

Bastienne Wentzel is a professional science writer, editor of Lift magazine and assistant pilot instructor based in the Netherlands. A few years ago she became frustrated with the lack of comprehensive, correct information available for newer pilots trying to learn to fly and decided to write an instructional book in Dutch. It was such a hit that the team at Cross Country magazine, headed up by Ed Ewing decided to take three years re-writing and editing her original book in English.

Read More...

Episode 129- Piedrahita, Wild Stories, Accident hindsights and more with Steve Ham

Steve Ham’s fascination with flying began with hang gliders in 1981, which subsequently ended any attempt at a serious career path. In 1991 Steve discovered Piedrahita in Spain and began a crusade to put the site on the world map for flying and competitions. During the 90’s Steve organized and ran some of the most memorable and successful comps of the decade, including 4 World Cups, the Europeans, the Hang Gliding World series and multiple national events.

Read More...

Chasing Fool’s Gold in Texas

You don’t come for the views. You don’t come for the cultural experience. You’re going to suffer quite a bit. You’re going to wait around a lot. You better like meat. And be able to deal with extreme heat. And you better have a smooth tongue when confronted with big dudes with big guns. Like David Prentice says “chasing records in Texas will drive you crazy.” He’s right. Is it fun? That isn’t the right word. But it’s…compelling, in a weird sort of way. And for some reason that I can’t articulate…I’m excited to go back.

Read More...

Episode 122- Storytime with James “Kiwi” Oroc

James “Kiwi” Oroc is a journalist, photographer, artist and pilot born in the small South Pacific nation of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Since 1998 he has been pursuing and reporting on the cutting edge of extreme sports in more than 40 countries around the globe and has written three books- the non-fiction cult classic Tryptamine Palace, The New Psychedelic Revolution and the just-published fictional Under the Influence, 20 Tales of Psychedelic Noir and has been flying paragliders since the mid 80’s, when gliders had 7 cells!

Read More...

The Corona Virus- Critical Choices in a Critical Time

This is an emergency episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem that everyone needs to hear. I sat down with two people on the front lines of Covid-19, my sister Lesley McClurg who is a Health and Science reporter for KQED in San Francisco, who has covered the pandemic since early January, when only 6 people had died; and Terry O’Connor, an ER doctor in Ketchum, Idaho- one of the most affected towns in the country (on par per capita with New York, San Francisco, and Seattle). We are in the largest public health crisis of our times. Covid-19 is being compared to the Spanish Influenza in 1918, which killed 50 million people. No one alive has ever seen anything like this before.

Read More...

Episode 110- Juan Sebastien Ospina “Seb” and Piecing it all Together

Sebastien Ospina “Seb” has been chasing all things paragliding for years now. Seb works the tandem scene in Interlaken year round; has been chasing the world record in the Sertau in Brazil the past few years; is a regular on the podium at very high level competitions; is frequently at the top of the XContest every year; and has been an XC instructor with Pal Takats and Mike and Stu Belbas with Verbier Summits.

Read More...

Episode 99- The 2019 Red Bull X-Alps (Installment 2)

This is a special episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem to give all of the fans of the race a little insight into the greatest game on Earth directly from the perspective of the athletes. In this second of three installments we hear from Tom De Dorlodot (BEL 1), Patrick Von Kanel (SUI 2), Chrigel Maurer (SUI 1), and Cody Mittanck (USA 3), and Eduardo Garza (MEX 1).

Read More...

Episode 98- Learning it all from an XC Master, Alex Robe

There is the most information-dense podcast than possibly any previous show we’ve done. Alex Robé and one of his main flying partners Primoz Susa are nearly always the two guys right at the top of XContest on the big days. Alex won the XContest in 2015 and 2017 and is currently in 3rd this season (his lowest value flight is over a 260KM FAI, and the two pilots ahead of him both went to Brazil last fall!). But Alex is extremely limited with his time and how much he can fly. In a typical year he’ll only fly 10-15 times! So for those of you who are restricted with time, prepare to be inspired!

Read More...

Episode 81- Damien Lacaze and Touching the Void

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.

Read More...

UK Film Tour and Master Classes with Gavin announced!

Cross Country Magazine is hosting three film tour dates in the UK in April (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th) and two masters classes at Jocky Sanderson’s Flight Park in the Lakes District (8th and 9th) where we will have a full day of instruction, flying, talking about the X-Alps, expedition packing, vol-biv, equipment and a lot more and then a film screening of North of Known

Read More...