What is your greatest sporting success?
Climbing a big first ascent on all 7 continents.
When and why did you start paragliding?
I thought it would be a cool way to get down from climbs, but quickly became obsessed with XC Paragliding.
What is your mountaineering experience?
I’ve been a professional climber and have done big alpine rock first ascent in the greater ranges of Pakistan, Alaska, Antarctica, etc. I guess you’d call my experience pretty extensive.
What does your typical training week consist of?
It’s pretty eclectic, mostly I’ve been focusing on getting lots of hours in the air. Almost 300 since October, and I’ve been doing some trail running to prepare for the X-Pyr. I’m planning on ramping up the training for March with some cross training in the gym, and rock climbing because it feeds my soul.
What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Freeclimbing El Capitan, and my first 100 miller and my first 200k in the USA stand out as great experiences. I’ve been lucky to stay injury free in both climbing and paragliding, so no really terrible memories as far as my sporting life goes.
Why did you choose the X-Pyr?
I chose the X-Pyr because doing a big hike and fly race is on my bucket list, and after visiting the Pyrenees last year I knew that I loved the flying and that I would enjoy the race. I’m looking at it more as an adventure than a race really, especially after seeing that this is probably one of the most competitive fields ever for X-Pyr with a bunch of veterans who have more experience with hike and fly races, the Pyrenees.. etc. If I can finish, I will be over the moon.
Have you participated in the X-Pyr before? How was it?
I was going to do the last one until the pandemic shut everything down.
Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? What do you think about them?
Yes, and I think the mountains are spectacular. I’m looking forward to spending the month leading up the race exploring the range in more detail.
What will your strategy be during the race?
My strategy is to have fun, and do my best.
What excites you most about the X-Pyr?
It’s exciting to have the privilege to fly with some of the best hike and fly athletes… at least from turn point one, and to tour one of the world’s iconic ranges by air and foot. I’m excited for the potential to have some epic XC flights in the middle of it all!
What scares you the most about the event?
Exploding in a bloody mist.
Why will he/she make a good assistant?
Mike Lester is a great friend and pilot, who is also very tech savvy. He was one of the key developers behind Ayvri.
Anything else you like to comment?
My general life philosophy has centered around collecting experiences, and embracing adventure, and I’m pretty confident that the X-Pyr will be an incredible experience and adventure.