What is your greatest sporting success?
Successes come and go. A true achievement will be remembered in many years from now. I did a tandem Hike&Fly with a 10 years old a few months ago. Seeing his excitment flying for the first time… that was a magic moment that he will remember for life. That is a great success for me.
When and why did you start paragliding?
2013. One day while rock climbing a wall at 3000m I saw a wing soaring at my altitude. I was hypnotized. A few weeks later I took my first lesson. After my first 2 minutes of being airborne (that ended in the mud) – I fell in love. It’s a pure form of freedom. I do believe that some people have a tendency with a specific element. Some with water or fire. Air is my thing.
What is your mountaineering experience?
Long before I was flying, I was climbing mountains. With over 15 years of alpine experience (based partially in Chamonix), I really enjoy long alpine-lines with a fly-out possibility.
Some notable routes from last year:
– Aiguille Verte North Face (Couturier), Mont Blanc Massive (D, IV)
– Salbitschijen Westgrat, Göschener Tal, Switzerland (TD, 6b)
– Aiguilles du Diable Traverse, Mont Blanc du Tacul (D+, 5b)
– Küffner-Grat, Mont Maudit (D, IV)
What does your typical training week consist of?
Training is really changing according to the main project ahead. For the X-Pyr:
– 16-30 hours of uphill power hike with full kit (approx. 4-8k accumulative elevation per week), usually combined with a takeoff at the top
– 2 sessions of intervals running per week
– 2 sessions of Core (Gym) per week
– If it’s fair weather I go XC flying
What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Best: Hard to point… Im practicing different mountain sports and each one has its greatest moments: climbing solo the Forbidden Peak in North Cascades, volbiv in the Indian Himalayas, breaking my first trail-marathon… hard to choose. That said – I am proud that after 15 years of sporting in the mountains – my passion for the mountains is only growing. In the big picture – that’s my biggest sport success.
Worst: An alpine climb that went out of control and my partner’s life depended on me. Looking backward it was an emotional experience that scarred me.
Why did you choose the X-Pyr?
Ever since I started to fly – crossing the Pyrenees has been in my sight. And what’s better than racing it in the X-Pyr? It’s a pinnacle event where all my skills, experience and capabilities are merging together into one mega-challenge.
Have you participated in the X-Pyr before? How was it?
Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? What do you think about them?
Yes. One can find diverse terrain for all types of flying. Really interesting.
What will your strategy be during the race?
My strategy consists of: (1) meticulous preparation, (2)strong team support and (3)focusing on the “Next Mile”.
What excites you most about the X-Pyr?
I am really eager to put myself in this multi-discipline challenge which combines endurance and flying. The range of skill-set required for the X-Pyr is nothing less than a mind-blow. Not only from a flying and from a fitness perspective: stamina, time management, navigation, logistic planning, decision under pressure, mental strength and team-playing are all put into a crrrazzzzy test. Brilliant!
What scares you the most about the event?
Not giving everything I got.
Why will he/she make a good assistant?
Omer and Nadav are both smart, motivated and ready to kick my butt when it gets tough. What else can I ask for?
Anything else you like to comment?
Long before the X-Pyr, there were a few explorers who thought that man can fly. Without an engine. Using the sun and air. They took a piece of nylon and started to play with it. I thank all these pioneers. Without them this kind of racing wouldn’t be possible.
Being among the best Hike&Fly athletes in the world. These are all gladiators. Im excited to race with them.