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- Nationality: United States
- Date of birth: 23 November 1981
- Profession: Ecologist/GIS Consultant
- Supporter: Huntley Brockie
- Glider: Zeolite MS
- Sponsors: Ozone Paragliders, Braven, XCskies, Coalatree
When and why did you begin paragliding?In 2009 I hiked up a hill with some friends and watched them launch, core a thermal, and take off down the range. That was when I realized the potential of the sport. Living in the U.S. I didn't have any exposure to it and had no idea what you could do under a wing.
Do you paraglide competitively? List rankings and events.Yes. I am currently ranked 19th in WPRS. My best finish was 3rd place in the Bright PWC 2018. I have had 4 top ten PWC finishes: 7th Castelo 2016, 8th Serbia 2017, 10th Baixo Guando 2018, and 3rd Bright 2018. I also took 3rd in the U.S. Nationals 2014. I came 1st at the Willi XC Challenge 2016 where I flew 700 km in 3 days and broke the Canadian distance record. I have won the Utah Cup for the last 3 years with 293 km, 313 km, and 328 km flights.
What is your mountaineering experience?I have climbed 5.13b sport and 5.12d traditional. I have done many bold big wall climbs alpine style in one long push. Some highlights are: "Scenic Cruise" in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison 13 pitches 5.11 and "Tricks of the Trade" V, 5.10+, A2. A couple of multi-day big wall climbs such as "Sling Shot" 5.9 C2 and "Prodigal Son" 5.8 C2 in Zion Canyon. I have also done many difficult ice climbs including "Stairway to Heaven" 10 pitches WI6 M6 in Provo Utah.
What is your paragliding experience?I fly race-to-goal and XC competitions in at least 6-7 competitions per year. I fly solo for distance in the western US. I do hike-and-fly multi-day adventures for fun within the Rocky Mountains and Nevada. I also train acrobatic. I can competently do all the old school stuff like misty-to-heli, heli-to-heli, mactwist, infinite, esfera. Some new school stuff like the Joker and Cowboy and I am working on everything twisted. I recently did my first twisted infinite.
What is your adventure racing / endurance sport experience?Nothing official. I have only done long endurance bike rides, climbing adventures, and bike rides for fun.
What does your typical training week consist of?When I am not competing or training acro I am doing 3-4 hrs each day of mountain biking, swimming, hiking or XC flying.
What are your best and worst adventure/flying moments?Worst are the accidents I have witnessed for sure. I recently got hypoxia while doing a hike and fly adventure with Gavin McClurg in Nevada. We didn't have oxygen since we were going lightweight. I spent most of the flight above 15k and after 6 hours with a cracking migraine and nausea I finally landed and puked. But the worst part was seeing the beautiful cloud streets from the ground and leaving 3 hours on the table!
What are the sporting moments you are most proud of?Taking 3rd at the Bright PWC.
When and how did you first hear about Red Bull X-Alps?in 2009 after I first starting flying.
Have you competed in Red Bull X-Alps before and if so, when?No.
What will be your strategy during the race?Stay in the air as long as I can each day. The race is won in the air. I plan to be smart about when I hike. Thinking of hiking as putting myself in the right position/launch to take advantage of the flying window.
Why do you think you will make it to the finish?I know if we get good flying weather I can make it to Monaco. But anything can happen. If I am accepted my primary goal is to make intelligent decisions and not put myself in desperate/dangerous situations. Flying a paraglider is all about being patient and taking advantage of the possibilities that are presented to you. As soon as you try to force an outcome you are no longer perceptive to the reality that is in front of you. I try to remove my ego from my decision making and I think that is what has kept me from having any bad accidents during my career.
What scares you the most about the event?Fatigue affecting my decision making and as a result making a bad decision and injuring myself.
Have you ever done anything of this magnitude before?Not as a competition, but I have pushed myself to my limits physically and mentally plenty of times.