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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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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A life uncomplicated

I answered immediately: “Fuck No!” Training for what is billed as the hardest adventure race on Earth has consumed my every move and thought for the last 7 months, and I’m sure will only get exponentially worse until the race starts July 5th. And I mean CONSUMED. I eat; I train; I eat and eat and eat; train and train and train; make lists that have no end; and sleep whenever possible. This is my life. Unless you have competed in this race, or are a rookie like me this year I promise you can’t possibly imagine what goes into this kind of campaign.

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And so the Training Goes. Countdown to the Red Bull X-Alps

2015. An absolutely terrifying combination of 4 unique digits. Two reasons. It is a reminder that is bigger than any billboard of how fast time keeps skipping along at an ever faster pace; and it is the year that in just over 6 months time the Red Bull X-Alps will take place. If all goes well between now and then I will be one of 32 international competitors standing at the starting line in Salzburg, heart beating like a snare drum, thrilled and terrified at what is before each of us- quite likely the most grueling adventure race on Earth. My only question now, and my only question at the start will be the same: have I got what it takes?

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500 Miles to Nowhere a Finalist at the Banff Mountain Film Festival!

We just got some INSANE news- our passion project from last year “500 Miles to Nowhere” has just been chosen a Finalist at this year’s Banff Mountain Film Festival.

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Stupid Lines in the Stupidly Pretty

I was very tempted to call this post “Balls Deep” in honor of Tony Lang, who started this rather genital based thread after watching my Spot page and noticing that the flight track did in fact have quite a phallic outline. Of course that was not exactly what I set out to do. Coming off 7 straight days of flying some incredibly awesome tasks (including a 204 km send into the Palouse region of Eastern Washington, a place I’ve always wanted to see), but hardly crushing the US Nationals in Chelan I was in a bit of a funk.

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