Red Bull X-Alps

Team SUI2

Krischa Berlinger

  • Nationality: Switzerland
  • Date of birth: 19. Sep. 1980
  • Profession: Bartender
  • Supporter: Benjamin Jordan
  • Glider: Ozone LM6
  • Website:
  • Sponsors: Ozone, Kortel, High Adventure, Delorme, GoPro
  • A supporter during Red Bull X-Alps 2015, Krischa Berlinger will now be undertaking the greatest adventure race as a competitor. With 5 years of flying experience, he's one of the novice pilots in the pack. Will his flying skills be on par?
  • When and why did you begin paragliding?
    I started paragliding in 2012 in Lake Tahoe, California in the United States. I was on a two year long climbing trip through South and North America and came to a point where I needed to do something different, even though climbing was my absolute obsession to that point.
  • Do you paraglide competitively? List rankings and events.
    I rarely do paragliding competitions. Manilla XC Camp Open Distance 2015: 2nd place Sports Class, Trans Balkan 2015 Hike'n'Fly Competition in Sopot, Bulgaria: 1st Place.
  • What is your mountaineering experience?
    I've started climbing and mountaineering as a child in Switzerland and have done some alpine ascents since. I've been mostly into rock climbing, but I had an interest into alpine climbing as a teen. Summits and experience to note: - Weisshorn 4505m / Switzerland / 1997 ; - Finsteraarhorn 4274m / Switzerland / 1998 ; - Mont Blanc 4808m / France / 1999 ; - Nadelhorn 4327m / Switzerland / 1999 ; - various First Ascents in Cochamo Valley / Chile / 2012 ; - El Capitan via Zodiac / USA / 2014 ; - Stok Kangri 6140m / India / 2016.
  • What is your paragliding experience?
    I haven't been flying very long, I only started in 2012. But I have logged many flying hours since. In 2015 I've flown over 500 hours which made me as current as I could. I have had many 200+ kilometer flights in the Himalaya and also in the flatlands of Australia. I've tried to fly in as many different areas of our globe as possible, to expand my knowledge of flying.
  • What is your adventure racing / endurance sport experience?
    I was the single Supporter for USA4 in Red Bull X-Alps 2015 and I came first place in a Hike and Fly Competition in Bulgaria, the TransBalkan 2015.
  • What does your typical training week consist of?
    I do around three days of climbing training and two days of cardio training, consisting mostly of trail running. But this is subject to gross changes, as I tend to adapt my training regime to whatever aims I have. If I plan to climb hard sport routes, this will be much more climbing training, if I plan to go to the mountains, it'll be more cardio and muscle build up.
  • What are your best and worst adventure/flying moments?
    I have just come back from an unsupported 1400 km vol-bivouac by fair means through the central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It took us 46 days to complete as the weather was far from good. In this time I definitely collected my worst and best moments. We flew to 7000m without oxygen which was clearly one of the best moments in my flying career. But we also landed backwards multiple times due to very strong winds. So landing backwards 25 kmh in an uninhabited zone was clearly one of my worst moment, even though I came off relatively unscathed.
  • What are the sporting moments you are most proud of?
    The 1400 km vol bivouac through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is surely the strongest performance I've ever shown, physically and mentally. And therefore this is probably my proudest endeavor. But in my climbing career I've done many things that I am very proud of and that took months of training and determination to complete.
  • When and how did you first hear about the Red Bull X-Alps?
    I heard about the Red Bull X-Alps many years ago, must have been one of the very first editions, long before I started paragliding. I remember it was on TV. In Switzerland the Red Bull X-Alps has quite the audience, even with people that have otherwise no interest in paragliding.
  • Have you competed in the Red Bull X-Alps before and if so, when?
    I haven't been an athlete in the Red Bull X-Alps, but I was the assistant of Dave Turner (USA4) in the edition of 2015.
  • What appeals to you about the Red Bull X-Alps?
    The fact that it is the toughest adventure race on the planet! I love endurance sport and I am obsessed with paragliding, so this the one and only event in my opinion. It is the pinnacle of our sport, so to be able to take part in this is a big dream. One more thing about it, that appeals to me greatly, is the camaraderie between the athletes. There is no unnecessary competition and people help each other out during the race.
  • What will be your strategy during the race?
    The race is won in the air and not on the ground. If its flyable, I'll be in the air ... and try to stay there. Even though flying fast can get you far quick, it can also mean that you race yourself into the ground, just because you wanted to get that next pilot in front. Patience is of utter most importance, even in a race.
  • On average, over a third of the Red Bull X-Alps participants fail to finish the event. Why do you think you will make it?
    I know the Alps quite well from my climbing background and have flown a lot here as I live in Switzerland. So the local knowledge combined with my experience of flying very deep in the biggest mountains of our planet will take me Monaco no problem. My endurance and willpower lasts a lot longer than the average Red Bull X-Alps, so I'm not worried about that.
  • What scares you the most about the event?
    There is actually only one thing that is scary to me flying in the Alps: the Föhn.
  • Have you ever done anything of this magnitude before?
    I was a supporter in the Red Bull X-Alps 2015 for USA4 and my 1400 km vol biv through central Asia was a little more intense I'd say, as our backpacks weighed up to 30kg and we hiked 750 km with those. Flying there means also no safety net whatsoever.