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The biggest adventure so far. Let’s have some fun!

Markus Waltl


Markus Waltl


  • Nationality
  • Age
  • Occupation
    Making vinyl records at
  • Residence
    St. Johann in Tirol (Austria)
  • Experience
  • Wing
    PHI Scala 2 light 19
  • Harness
  • Helmet
    SUPAIR Pilot

Sarah Riedmann


  • Nationality
  • Residence
    St. Johann in Tirol (Austria)

Team details

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Why did you choose the X-Pyr?
Hike & Fly racing has brought me to many awesome places in the Alps. Now it’s time to go south.

What is your greatest sporting success?
Winning my first hike & fly race named Bordairrace close to home was pretty special for me because it was pretty unexpected. I chose a route through the bigger mountains which worked great.

When and why did you start paragliding?
I started flying in 2016 in the Alps. The thought of not having to hike down a mountain was quite cool. Of course it became much more diverse than that.

What is your mountaineering experience?
I grew up in the Austrian Alps and since I’ve been a little boy I went into the mountains with my parents. I’ve also learned a lot from my grandpa who worked as a mountain/heli skiing guide his whole life. My dad had a heli skiing company and I went to Canada to ski many times. My entire life the mountains have been my playground. I like to do sports climbing, ski mountaineering, cross-country skiing, cycling, trail running etc. Some fun things I did: On Teneriffa I hiked up Pico del Teide (3715 m) from sea to summit in around 7 hours. Last year I climbed Grossvenediger (3657 m) with a friend. Hiking to 4000 m in Kyrgyzstan with Sarah following horse poo tracks in the middle of nowhere. I climbed & flew the longest via ferrata in Austria (Königsjodler/Hochkönig).

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
The best paragliding experience was an alpine main ridge crossing above Felbertauern during an XC flight. The special thing about it was that I was trying to get enough altitude to get onto the southern side but it was difficult. Then I saw a male ibex walking around in the snow on a ridge at 2700 m. He wasn’t bothered by me at all, but for me it was quite special to get that close to this animal. Then I could soar up and barely make it over to the other side.
I’m really thankful that I didn’t experience any really bad situations until now. But it’s the worst when friends get hurt.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? Do you have a favourite area?
I’ve flown in Foix and near Pamplona – also Organya was pretty fun.

Is there anything you like to see (or not) in the route?
The finish line.

Apart from flying far and walking little, what will your strategy be during the race?
Having an awesome adventure together. While flying I’ll try to follow my gut feeling – usually this works out quite well.

What does your typical training week consist of?
As much hike & fly as possible and some strength training when the weather is bad. Cycling or running to work is also something I enjoy.

What has been the hardest part of your race preparation so far?
This Google docs form :).

What excites you most about participating in the X-Pyr?
Flying amazing routes in new terrain. And it’s always cool to end up in some remote area where you wouldn’t go to in any other scenario.

What worries you the most about the event?
The local wind systems can be quite funky I heard…

How do you know your assistant?
She’s been my partner for many years.

What are your assistant’s main strengths?
She’ll keep me motivated when it gets tough and maybe also prevent me from doing dumb stuff.

What advice would you ask of the race veterans?
Probably talking about route choices and learning about local wind/weather/terrain specialities. Also where to get good cheese.

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