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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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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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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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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