- dtg-- km
- height-- m
- speed-- km/h
- heart beat-- bpm
- : United States
- : 20 April 1972
- : Paragliding pilot/ Athlete, CEO Offshore Odysseys
- : Ben Abruzzo
- : Zeolite S
- : Patagonia, ONNIT, Garmin, Niviuk
I was sailing around the world and my girlfriend at the time handed me a wing and showed me how to groundhandle - this was 2004. I took a couple tandems and thought it was painfully boring. But one day I got to take the controls, and when I learned you could use a wing to fly distance and land somewhere where you had no idea I was totally hooked. I've been a junky ever since.
1st Place US Nationals 2015, 2nd place Pre-PWC Colombia 2014. I compete in the PWC once or twice a year if I have time and US events in non X-Alps years.
I was a guide/instructor for Outward Bound in the Northwest of the United States for several years where I instructed rock climbing and raft/kayak guiding. I have mountaineered in the Andes (Bolivia and Peru), run many class 5-6 rivers in North and Central America and have done vol-biv expeditions across the Canadian Rockies ("The Rockies Traverse" in 2014 with Will Gadd, a Red Bull Production), the Sierra Mountains of California ("Surfing the Sierras"), the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and Wyoming ("500 Miles to Nowhere") and recently completed a full paragliding/foot traverse of the Alaska Range from east to west, nearly 800 kilometers (37 days to complete), which was documented by Red Bull for their Explorers Series.
I crossed the Canadian Rockies with Will Gadd in 2014, the longest series of connected flights that I believe still to this day have ever been flown. That mission took us 18 days. I crossed the full length of the Alaska Range (500 miles) in 2016 and finished the last 1/3rd of that route solo. I currently hold the foot launch distance record in North America (set in 2013- 240 miles from my home town of Sun Valley). I competed in the 2015 X-Alps (8th place) and the 2017 X-Alps (14th place).
2015 and 2017 Red Bull X-Alps. I sailed around the world for 13 years, completing nearly 2 full circumnavigations.
My training regimen for the X-Alps has become quite well-known. Because I'm older and short - I gotta train hard! In both the 2015 and 2017 races I felt awesome at the end and would have really liked to just keep going!
Best: Flying the full length of the Alaskan Range and finishing solo; crossing the Canadian Rockies with Will Gadd; being the first American to make goal in the Red Bull X-Alps in 2015; and every time I launch. Worst: getting blown over the back and landing in a river in the Dominican Republic and walking out over a series of massive waterfalls; nearly getting killed in the Red Bull X-Alps 2015; getting caught in a gust-front in the Wallis of Switzerland; and battling SUPER high winds in Alaska on a very dicey day!
Red Bull X-Alps 2015 and 2017, becoming a Patagonia ambassador, and making the US Ski Team.
I've been an Red Bull X-Alps junkie since I first heard of it in 2007. In 2011 I was captaining our vessel "Discovery" and my supporter Bruce Marks and I would watch the event on our laptops whenever we could get cell service in small little ports in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. In 2013 I hung my harness in front of the computer and didn't move for 7 days, watching Chrigel massacre the Alps by air. It is the best race in the world!!!
Yes - 2015 and 2017
The risk, the strategy, the teamwork, the physical challenge - it is everything awesome wrapped up into one event! I've been fortunate to have done a lot of crazy and wonderful things but the Red Bull X-Alps was the highlight of my life in 2015 and I've been dying to do it again since I got to the raft - Although I didn't actually land on the raft!!! And in 2017 we didn't make it which was a huge disappointment but I felt strong at the end and made a fraction of the mistakes we made in 2015 so it's time for another go.
The same as it has been - have a blast, laugh a lot, be TOTALLY prepared and fit and punch it as hard as we can but be smart.
The Alaska Traverse made the X-Alps look like child's play. I'm a sucker for punishment and know what it takes.
The race can be absurdly dangerous. Training, good decision making and understanding thoroughly that it's a just a race - it's not worth getting injured or worse. I understand the risks but proper training mitigates all but dumb decisions, which I don't plan to make.
Alaska Traverse was harder! And it was 37 days so this is just a warm up:)