18 January 2016

Feeding the Winter Rat

If your sanity is crumbling as the winter blues hits hard, I have a couple of suggestions.
The first is a brilliant book by X-Alps pilot John Chambers called Hanging In There.

Hanging in There: One Man and his Dad take on the Alps in the World's Toughest Race

It tells the story his participation and 5th place finish in the 2013 Re Bull X-Alps.
I loved it. It is a great account and helps the reader appreciate the struggle and the elation. The flying side of it is great of course but all the other things like logistics of Jon's support crew and the training to change to fat metabolism to improve endurance were fascinating too. Nice one Jon!

The second is the 6hr+ and 220km flight by Chrigel Maurer and his brother Michael through the Swiss Alps. They fly with two Go-pros each, one helmet mounted and the other pointing back at the pilot. A helicopter joins them periodically to get even more great shots. The boys commentate on where they are, the decisions they are making and where they are heading to. There are English subtitles. You see up-close and personal their glider handling, thermalling and speed bar use. As I watched it I followed their progress on map and Google Earth and the whole thing really came to life.
The video is here.
Swiss map on line is here.
There really is over 6 hours; its hypnotic!