Episode 75- Dominic Rohner and Chasing the Dream

Dominic has been flying for 21 years, recently sold his share of a very successful school (Paraworld) in Zurich and has been living the dream- traveling the world in the pursuit of the skycrack. From Tanzania and Kenya to Brazil to Colombia Dominic takes us on a journey that only a paraglider can do. This one is filled with great advice, many laughs, a few solid warnings, fantastic travel stories, the heuristic decision making process, and does what any good free flight talk should do- get you STOKED to go flying!

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Episode 69- Armin Harich and Sending Flatlands and Flying accident free

Armin Harich is the co-founder of Skywalk Paragliders, started flying in 1989 and has never had an accident, and is the first person to fly over 300km in Germany, and he did it on a EN B wing (the Skywalk Tequila). I was told by many people before speaking to Armin that he’s a flatlands “SkyGod” so we focused much of this show on flatlands flying techniques and how people started flying the flatlands, dealing with airspace, how to assess weather in advance of a potentially good day, and a lot more.

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Episode 36- Nick Neynens and the art of Vol Biv

“If the conditions are too gnarly, don’t land, climb and get to better air!” Thoughts like this from Nick Neynens are what allowed him to finish the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps in 10th place. Nick has an untraditional approach and it works- he’s flown vol-biv all over the world and has competed in the X-Pyr and X-Berg as well. In this episode we learn more about his untraditional approach and talk about risk justification, progression, meteorology, and using sandals in the hardest race on Earth. A special episode with a special pilot.

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Episode 30- Michael “Micky” Sigel and building greatness

Michael “Micky” Sigel began flying before most people learn how to drive a car. His early talent and passion got him on the Advance team when he was just sixteen years old. These days Micky makes a living as a test pilot for Gin Gliders and has been a dominant force in the Swiss League and the World Cup for nearly a decade. In this episode we catch up on what went down with the Gin factory last year in Northern Korea; what a test pilot actually does; how the Swiss League turns out so much incredible talent; the importance of mentors and how where you fly affects the pilot you can become; the local advantage and the traps of flying the unknown vs the known; what separates the best from the good; the importance of mental strength and believing in yourself; the importance of a glider in a competition and the importance of choosing a glider that suits the task- and a LOT more.

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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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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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6 Months and Counting to the Red Bull X-Alps

Niviuk pilot Gavin McClurg is having an amazing year. He is one of the 2015 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year for his ground-breaking vol-biv across the Canadian Rockies with the legend mountain athlete Will Gadd, and he’s been selected to compete in this years edition of the hardest adventure race on Earth, the Red Bull X-Alps. We sat down with Gavin recently to find out how his training is going, here’s what he had to say.

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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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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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