Episode 148: Red Bull X-Alps 2021, Gavin answers your questions!

This year’s Red Bull X-Alps, if you could put it in a word- scary. We didn’t have a single “standard” day of flying with light wind, nice cumulus, and good base, unless you count the Prologue! We had incredible heat the first three days, low base, wind and stable conditions, then the thunderstorms started, strong Fohn from the South and North, window-breaking hail, severe lightning and really, really strong wind for the remainder of the race. Every athlete I spoke with at the awards at the end had a look of just going to battle. For the first time in my four races, the bad weather got everyone, regardless of where you were on the course, and it didn’t let up. There were times when all 12 pairs of my shoes were soaked. After a good showing in the Prologue and going into the race pretty beat up from a crash at the end of May, and carrying the remainder of a flu into the race, which later turned into some kind of pneumonia (we’re not sure, but it was ugly!) and having a terrifically bad start, Team USA 1 started clawing back.

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Episode 147- Special Red Bull X-Alps Podcast with the Salewa athletes

I sat down for a special edition of the Cloudbase Mayhem directly after the Red Bull X-Alps Prologue yesterday with my Salewa teammates Paul Guschlbauer, Aaron Durogati, Markus Anders, Chrigel Maurer, Simon Oberrauner, and Tommy Friedrich to find out how they are feeling going into the race, what they are most concerned about with the course, how they take care of their body for 12 days of pounding, how they train, what they changed coming into this race, funny stories from previous editions, critical gear choices and a lot more. We all had a blast with this and we hope you enjoy. The race kicks off Sunday, we hope you’ll follow along and cheer us on!

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Thinking about competing in the Red Bull X-Alps? Read this first.

Tomorrow, October 14th the world finds out who’s going to compete in the 10th edition of the Red Bull X-Alps, which kicks off June 20th, 2021. We’ll find out which 33 athletes from around the globe get to spend most of their waking hours over the next 9 months getting physically and mentally prepared for what’s billed as the toughest adventure race on Earth.

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The Flying Gear Post

As 2019 comes to a close I’m trying to wrap up some loose ends. One of them is to fulfill a request from many of our podcast listeners to review and talk about the flying gear I use and why.

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Episode 87- Paul Guschlbauer and the Ultimate Adventure

Paul Guschlbauer and his wife Magdalena have just completed a proper awesome adventure- flying his supercub two-seater bush plane from the northern tip of Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina, across thirteen countries. The journey took six months and took them slowly and usually at very low altitudes over the mountain ranges of north and south America all the way to Patagonia. “Project Overland” was the ultimate flying adventure – in search of mountaineering, paragliding and wild traveling experiences along the way.

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Episode 59- Christoph Weber and Behind the Veil of the Red Bull X-Alps

Christoph Weber has been the race director of the Red Bull X-Alps since 2007. This episode dives into the behind-the-scenes for our fans of the show who wanted more than what’s available on live tracking. How do athletes get chosen? How is the route decided every year? What’s the story with how the rules have changed over the years? Is it possible to beat Chrigel? How has the race changed over the years? What are the major logistics involved and what is Red Bull’s role? This and a lot more…

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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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Behind the scenes- Preparing for the Red Bull X-Alps

This post is about some of the random but critical things that go into the lead-up to the event. Obviously you fly as much as you can and when you aren’t flying you’re pounding your body. I’m not going to talk about that aspect as that should be pretty obvious, and the physical training I do would be five blog posts just to touch the surface and probably of very little use for 99.9% of pilots so we’ll leave that a mystery. And lets face it, you would have to be pretty twisted to want to do it! What I thought might be interesting is all the side stuff that is so critical when it comes to having a successful campaign.

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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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