Red Bull X-Alps-the hardest hike&fly competition is unstoppably nearing its kick off time. It starts off 5.7. 2015 in Salzburg [Austria] with the sole purpose to get over 1038km to Monaco. The rules are simple, to clear the distance its either walk or fly, hence the only means of transport are paraglider and legs.
Standa Mayer, a member of our team, representative of czech paragliding, our colleague and friend is setting out to join and participate in this race. On the last weekend in may we've headed together with Petr Kostrhun and Tomáš Breburda towards Alps to train. The weather didn't look too good, but train we must and so train we did. The first day we went to Italy on Antholz-to try out to fly the furthest distance and the longest time spent in the air possible. We got up at 6:00, gobbled up a really fast breakfast and legged up a 1000m in altitude. At the starting point tailwind was blowing heavily from the west and the cloud ceiling overshadowed all the surrounding hills. We're taking off westwards and the flight is quite unpleasant and turbulent so far, I'm coming off with quite good ,,climber” and after all deciding to try and fly a bit further. Reaching 3500m later on and flying on with heavy tailwind bearing at 170km/h. As I get to Lienz, the wind coming up from the valley turns on me and is bearing the opposite way. I finally reach a well known starting point Emberger Alm in Austria and around 17:30 I turn an head back. Feeling great, the wind finally calmed down somewhat I've managed to do 152km in one go. Happy as a puppy.
The next day me, Kosťa and Tomáš went to Merano to meet with Renča, a friend of ours. On that day we flied with Kosťa northwards and the weather wasn't friendly at all because of the high and massive clouds that kept forming up pulling us dangerously upwards and so we were really glad when we've landed approximately 2 hours later. The more we've enjoyed the nightlife in Merano that evening.
The next day we've surveyed TP5 Cima Tosa, a turning point where the contestant has to sign in. On the last day we did two short flights with Tomáš, heavy clouds kept forming right below us and in the valley near Paso Tonale the wind was blowing quite heavily. It was all in all great experience and thrilling adventure. We've experienced some of the ,, traps and pitfalls” of this alpine competition and reconed the sections we wouldn't want to walk. So keep your fingers crossed for us.