Episode 17- Will Gadd and the Mastery of the Sky through Mastery of Self

Will Gadd began his flying career in the early 90’s and quickly became one of the most prominent pilots in the world. A Red Bull original gangster, Will is considered one of the best mixed climbers on Earth. He’s a world class whitewater kayaker, mountain guide, speaker, author, journalist, expedition leader and is highly regarded for his views on risk management; maintaining a safety margin; his model of the “positive power of negative thinking”; his studied ability to appropriately assess weather and terrain; and his amazing knack to keep pushing the limits in a unique and pure style.

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Episode 14- Paul Guschlbauer and conquering the Red Bull X-Alps

Paul Guschlbauer has become one of the best adventure cross-country pilots in the world and showed his amazing skills this year in the 2015 X-Alps by coming in 3rd place and giving Chrigel a hell of a run for his money. In this episode Paul grants us an intimate view of what he’s done right, what he’s done wrong, some hard lessons along the way and a lot more like the pressure of making a living from sponsorship. And most importantly- can Chrigel be beaten? Listen to find out.

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Episode 13- Veso Ovcharov and Finding Balance

Veselin (“Veso”) Ovcharov is a cross-country and acro ace. A long-time Red Bull athlete Veso was the first Bulgarian to nail the Infinity and has traveled the world perfecting his craft, pushing the limits of what can be done by paraglider. In this episode we travel back in time to find out how Veso got into the sport; the many hurdles he had to jump to become one of the very best (including literally spending the last few cents to his name before signing with Red Bull); how he has approached progression and safety; the difference between acro and cross country (you might be surprised!); and a LOT more.

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Surfing the Sierras in Sidetracked Magazine

I’m really digging Sidetracked Magazine, an image-heavy publication dedicated to adventure. True Adventure. Our vol-biv expedition up the Sierra range in 2012 was certainly the epitome of epic. We began with 6 people and 18 days later at the Oregon border we ended with 3. All of it was shot by Jody MacDonald. It was my first experience with vol biv and frankly I was scared shitless to do a trip with so many legends. Here is our story.

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Episode 8, Nick Greece and Progression

I met Nick Greece in Haiti in 2012. I was living in Morocco trying to figure out how to become a better pilot, and getting an invitation from Nick to fly around in the sky wasn’t something I could pass up. Nick has become a great friend and one of my greatest mentors. We have worked together on film projects like 500 Miles to Nowhere, and Malawi and I’m forever trying to figure out how he’s always at the top of the stack. In this episode we learn how Nick got started, how 9-11 affected his choice in careers, what brought him to Jackson Hole, his epic 204 mile flight in 2013, winning US Nationals in 2014, why the US Team hasn’t done well in the Worlds, and all his own mentors in his own journey to the top.

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CNN’s “The Great Big Story” takes a new view of 500 Miles to Nowhere and More

Just completed a great project with CNN called “The Great Big Story” that came out really well. They took a bunch of the footage from 500 Miles to Nowhere and some other tasty bits from other shoots from around the world and packed it into a really fun couple of minutes. Stunning, and makes me want to get out there! Hope you enjoy.

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Episode 3 – Jeff Shapiro and the Dark Arts

Jeff Shapiro is a world class sponsored athlete and a world class human being. He’s flown and competed on hangliders since he was 17 all over the world, he sends 5.14 big wall routes in climbing, he flies wingsuits, rides sport bikes, is a gifted Falconer, and is also a Dad and family man. But don’t call him extreme and don’t call him an adrenaline junky. Jeff is grounded, thoughtful, eternally grateful to be able to pursue his passions and his approach to risk and danger is something we all need to ponder. In this amazing episode we discuss the incredible numbers of losses in the wingsuiting community the last three years, including his close friends Sean Leary, Dean Potter, and Graham Hunt; an amazing close call flying at King Mountain Idaho a few years back on his Hanglider; how he has flown for more than twenty years without an accident; his own brush with death this year; and if it’s possible to justify participating in a sport with such terrible odds, among many other things. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and prepare to be whisked away into a realm that very, very few people inhabit. It’s a special place.

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Episode 2- Matt Beechinor (the Glider Podcast)

Really excited about this second episode with one of my mentors in the big XC game, Matt Beechinor, aka “Farmer”. When he flew 193 miles in 2012 from Mt Baldy in Sun Valley I decided my choice to move to the Wood River Valley later that summer was about the best decision I ever made. Matt has been flying for almost 20 years, is the best tandem pilot I know, is an amazing instructor, guide, and a Jedi in the air. In this episode we hear about a couple of amazing saves, what the “alien world” is, how Matt approaches risk, how to thermal better and how he has become one of the best gliders in the business. Enjoy!

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Red Bull X-Alps and National Geographic Adventurers of the Year!

This may line up as one of the most exciting weeks of my life. The world premiere of our film, 500 Miles to Nowhere gets screened at the Banff Mountain Film Festival; Will Gadd and myself have been nominated as the National Geographic Adventurers of the Year for our Rocky Mountain Traverse; and last week the announcement that I’ve been waiting for months to hear finally came out. I’ve been chosen to compete in this year’s Red Bull X-Alps, lauded as the hardest adventure race on Earth.

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The things we carried

Will Gadd and I just completed what we believe to be the longest connected track log that has ever been flown. About 650 kilometers across the Canadian Rockies to the US border. One rule: all forward progress was made in the air. Most of the line had never been flown. All up it took us 35 days to complete, with two long bouts of bad weather that shut us down completely for more than a week at a time. A great deal of media will be out shortly documenting the journey, that is not what this essay is all about. I’m still too frazzled, thrilled, shocked, and exhausted to put into words what the expedition meant. I haven’t even begun to look back and process the risks, the rewards, and ultimately what comes down to a lesson in humility.

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