Into the Lightness- Review of the Niviuk Skin 2 P and the Roamer 2

After 30+ years of testing and innovation I imagine the climbing community is getting pretty giddy. I recently received Niviuk’s new Skin 2 P single surface wing. At a measly 1.9 kg I figured it was going to feel and fly pretty weird but when I learned from Fabien Blanco at Flyeo during a recent podcast that pilots were doing 100k triangles on these certified wings I was pretty excited to give it a try.

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Countdown to the 2017 Red Bull X-Alps

Today is the day. With less than 40 days to go until the gun goes off in Salzburg it’s time to pack the bags and head to Europe, where I’ll have a full month to keep up the physical training and fly as much of the course as possible with Bruce Marks, my air-support guru in the race. I’ve got a quick stop at the Mountain Film Fest in Telluride this weekend with a couple screenings of North of Known, then Monday I’m on a plane. The flying in Europe all spring has been epic which has frankly been tortuous to watch. Sun Valley has been kind to us after a massive winter with a lot of flyable days, but we haven’t had a big day or an easy day yet. Ratty thermals, lots of wind, low base- ie perfect training!

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Episode 32- Joanna Di Grígoli and 400 KM Sending

On the 25th of November 2016 Joanna Di Grígoli beat her own personal best by 240 km and landed than 2 km away from beating the longest women’s footlaunch in history flying just over 400 km in Quixada, Brazil. But this talk is a lot more than chasing records. The flight in Brazil in the topping on the cake. Joanna grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and hasn’t been able to ignore the flying dream since she was a child. Her drive and stubborness to pursue her passion has at times caused some problems (like when she sold her violin to attend a comp!) and in this talk she takes us to at times some dark and very personal places (surviving a terrible crash at the Superfinal, losing her husband to flight, recovering from eternal fear), but the journey, like a great flight pays off in spades and is one you will not soon forget.

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Pounding gear- A look at what we carried in Alaska

The Alaska Traverse took 37 days to complete. Bashing for days through dense alders, slipping on talus and hurtling down glaciers, and living in the dirt for nearly 800 kilometers put our gear through the test. Here’s what worked, what didn’t, and where we went wrong.

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Bivvy Flying- What’s on your back?

This post is a follow up to an earlier gear post I wrote about the kit Will Gadd and I carried on the Rockies Traverse, “the things we carried” and hopefully answers many questions I’ve been getting about what’s critical and what’s not. I actually haven’t changed much but it has been refined and I’ve been able to cut more than 10 pounds of weight which is considerable.

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Episode 9- Thomas de Dorlodot and the Endless SEARCH

Thomas de Dorlodot is probably the most enviable pilot in the world. He’s made a living out of traveling the world and documenting his expeditions. A 5 time Red Bull X-Alps competitor and Red Bull Athlete Tom started flying when he was 15 years old. He’s flown above 7,000 meters in Pakistan, paramotored over the Marquesas in French Polynesia, glided over volcanoes in Guatemala and Tanzania, hucked acro over Victoria Falls and is currently working on sailing around the world. His accolades and accomplishments are too many to even list here, but it hasn’t all been a rosy romp through la-la land and in this episode we dive into his two accidents this year, one a major accident during his Adriatic expedition with Paul Guschlbauer and the other that ended his X-Alps campaign on day 7; we talk about how Tom approaches risk; how he plays the sponsorship game; how he prepares mentally and a lot more.

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Traversing the Rockies Podcast with Judith Mole

Last winter I “sat down” with Judith Mole and the Paraglider.com via skype to discuss the Rockies Traverse, the expedition I completed with Will Gadd in August/September of 2014. The expedition was filmed by ReelWaterProductions and produced by Red Bull Media House for their “Explorers Series”. Judith has held onto the podcast until the film was released, and with the upcoming premiere at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in November, 2015 the time has finally come.

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Episode 5 Nate Scales and Staying in the Game

Nate “Papa” Scales got his first flight in 1991 on a glider that had 11 cells in Sun Valley, Idaho. The next day he moved to Utah to learn how to fly and hasn’t looked back since. I’ve never met anyone as passionate as Nate is about flying nylon and string and he’s even more psyched today to go big than ever. We cover a LOT of ground in this hysterical episode. Nate discusses the value of competitions; his only (and very wild) reserve toss; risk and safety; his recent decision to step down to an ENC glider after flying comp gliders for more than 15 years; his “dream” line; learning from failure; and we go way back in time and talk about the days of taking pictures of waypoints before there was GPS; his 2007 X-Alps campaign and much more.

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The Red Bull X-Alps in Sidetracked Magazine

The Red Bull X-Alps is known as the toughest adventure race in the world, and for good reason. Athletes and their supporters race from Salzburg to Monaco, a straight-line distance of over 1000 km, by foot or by paraglider, tagging 10 turn points as they travel along the spine of the Alps.

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