Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2019/01/29

Nepal and the Western Disease

Kavu Days 34 (Hike, Fly and Romance in Nepal)

gptempdownloadSo, what do I think about Nepal? It’s a beautiful country. It all started when my friend Max told me he was headed to Nepal in October/November. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to join. Max is a National Geographic photographer and had been to Nepal several times before. His photos of epic Himalayan mountains and undeveloped culture captured my attention and I began planning in the free time I had in between work missions. Finally, the day came to board the Southern China double-decker jumbo jet and cast off to a foreign land. The goal was to hike and fly from the top of Mardi Himal at 4500 meters running up the mountain in alpine style. Max is fit. He’s got the Max Siegal super strides that pretty much triple an average man’s stride. I knew in order to keep up with him I was going to have to perform at my peak and take advantage of every opportunity possible. Power Film Solar

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Day 1- Way over my head… On the first day, the psyche was high. We hiked up to the launch together with Cody Tuttle. Cody is also a Nepalese veteran and experienced paraglider. Throughout the trip, he would be the one leading the charge and setting the standards for each day. Me being Walker and fighting an ego with nine heads in which each time you cut one off two more grow back in its place, wasn’t going to be left behind. There was no way. I had been thru more than most with all my wingsuit and climbing experience throughout the years and believed I was unique, talented and had good judgment. Why wouldn’t I. I mean I was the guy that had survived 8 years of wingsuit flying, several expeditions to Patagonia, and a career in professional skydiving. I was good, better than most and I knew how to survive. Somehow, I managed to work the house thermal up to 2600 meters and started traveling flying after the boys into the unknown of the Green Wall. I had been in Nepal for a total of less than 24 hours and I was venturing off chasing the experienced guys into the depth of the jungle. When I reached the Green Wall, I was low on the guys, scraping. With stubborn determination, I scraped like a desperate resin addict who couldn’t score. I had to stay with the guys. Prove something. Be someone. I was in lift and lift was everywhere, but as I cut the margins super close across a flatter plateau, I exited the small lift bubbles that were holding me up and I clipped a tree with the outside line. Instantly my glider dropped out of the sky and I was tumbling thru the jungle canopy. I fell at least 50 feet. Not in a freefall manor, but a backward slow-motion fall that wasn’t stopping. The only thing I could think was “protect your head and neck.” Before I could think anything else I landed on my ass and then rolled to my side contacting my head. It was soft. The jungle had eaten me and not just a little bit. I had somehow fallen all the way thru and bottomed out. Fully disappeared like magic. It took a second to pull myself together and process what had happened. The wing was lying next to me undamaged. How…?

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I put on some music and cried. I hadn’t’ cried in years. What really got me was a moment when I sent my brother a message telling him what had happened. His response was “you need to make good decisions.” An obvious piece of advice that we have constantly traded back in forth over the years on our quest to master human flight. I knew I had let him down. I had let my friends down, my family and most of all myself. Here I was in the middle of an undeveloped country in the middle of a jungle. No hospitals in miles and I was plummeting thru trees and impacting the ground. I honestly thought Max and Cody would never fly with me again. Of course, they were worried and not angry with me and we would continue to fly together throughout the trip on several other cross-country missions.

 

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What I loved about Nepal is the pureness and happiness of its people and the simplicity of life. Labor is a constant for these people. Straps across the head with loads of cement is a normal Monday morning for the Nepalese. Rice field tending is Tuesday and Wednesday is building brick structures in sandals. The manufacturing facilities are producing goods at the expense of child workers who get 2 dollars a day to sew clothing. Even with all this turmoil, they smile. That’s what I love about Nepal, the smiles. Toothy grins with brown, scattered and missing teeth. Kind eyes that droop with age and a life full of love.

 

 

Upon returning to the land of privilege I have found it a hard adjustment. A good friend asked me if I was calmer and less stressed upon my return from Nepal. My answer was no. As soon as I got back it was snap right back into the daily work missions and production mindset. The Nepalese people have the same stress as we do, except it’s on a different scale. The disease of humanity is our desire and need to produce, reproduce, do something with your life. “Be somebody.” In a world saturated with a constant assault of sales, advertising, and marketing we are hit at every angle. The constant exposure in this “developed” world to sales influence has shaped us into consumptive minions. Obediently, we submit to pressure from those who want to sell us stuff. We believe in this never-ending quest to achieve production and therefor intern become the pressure. Voicing our opinions out load we further the pressure of the capitalist and become part of their plan. We join the motion and encourage consumption. Half unknowingly and half blindly we push that pressure on our family and friends.

I am guilty of the same push. I want so badly to be successful that it is all I think about. Morning, day and night. Even in my dreams, I’m plotting ways to get Instagram followers. It’s a bit of a curse of my privileged lifestyle. I’m thankful for that curse. I’m lucky compared to some and to others, I have totally dropped the ball. Comparison is another source of turmoil in the capitalist world of consumption. The Hindu religion says we should never compare, but the capitalist constantly compares numbers to measure growth, achievement, and who is number 1. I’m not saying that one is better than the other. I certainly enjoy wealth and the benefits that come with it. I would not want to live like the Nepalese village people in straw huts. I did, however, appreciate the pace of life and the reconnection to the spiritual world that the experience of being surrounded by such poverty made me feel. It’s a big sea out there and I’m just a small fish. Always striving to learn more and become a better person.

 

 

Redemption came later in the trip when Max and I planned to do a vol biv flight fully loaded with equipment and food. The first step in the mission was to return to the Green Wall, the site that had eaten me alive and spit me out unscathed. It was nothing less than a scratch fest once again. I had to work the low lift, but eventually, I was pushed skyward and managed to leave the Green Wall at 2600 meters headed for Corchaun. Corchaun was an amazing adventure. That wall is massive! Huge jungle waterfalls pour off the back. It’s a far way away from our ultimate destination but produces really strong lift. Max and I worked the wall up to cloud base again and decided to push toward the campsite 360. We arrived high and top landed at 360 to a festival celebration of many local kids dancing and singing. It was unbelievable. A four-hour flight and 75K of deep big mountain air. I was absolutely in love with Nepal. Know I know that the possibility of doing huge flights in Nepal exists. I can’t wait to return.

 

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After our vol biv adventure, Max and I decided to run to Mardi from Pokhara. We achieved a 15.6 mile run with 9,200 ft. elevation gain in four hours and six minutes. We arrived at the high camp in a complete whiteout. I was absolutely blasted, but it was an amazing achievement and a great finish to the trip. We had to wait three days before the cloud cleared and we were able to fly. Bellow is a little video I managed to shoot before my camera died. The cold sucked all the battery life out of my equipment, but just before my go pro died I managed to pull off this shot. Your true character shows when you’re stuck in a tent for three days in a cloudy zero visibility mountain. It was a long wait, but I felt super happy to get off and the view was worth every moment. Thank you Nepal.

 

Kavu Days 34 Hike, Fly and Romance in Nepal

Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2018/09/03

#Switzerland

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So, what to say about Switzerland and the mission to spread Grambo’s ashes. The goal before I left for Switzerland was to work towards a carrier outside of rope access and move into the world of a sponsored athlete. Graham and I had often discussed taking this human flight art and turning it into something bigger. We were always searching for a way to connect with people on a larger scale. I wouldn’t say he was the outgoing personality that was pursuing a conversation. With anyone really, but on what I call our “mission moments” (The times shared together in the mountains, which often yield very powerful conversation) together we shared a desire to change the world. Thru the art of human flight, inspire people to be better. To develop something that was significant. Something greater than ourselves. To live a life unconditionally committed to loving with no exceptions. Upon returning from Switzerland, it’s become even more important to me to discover how to transition free flight into something more than just casting off a mountain with style.

 

The past few days I’ve been driving to work listening to the radio, as I usually do. The horror of the state of the world and US involvement in pretty much every dirty job there is out there has really shaken me deeply. This new policy of cutthroat capitalism that doesn’t take into consideration morality, humanity, or balance has left me feeling internally anxious and uncomfortable. The world is rapidly being divided by threatening redirect. It’s the opposite of what a humanity facing global warming temperatures and environmental destruction needs. We need love, understanding, compassion, and unity to solve the problems that face the future of humans. I hope that someday we will all come together uniting as one world equal and balanced as one spaceship earth.

 

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The beginning of the trip started with a mission to learn to cross country paraglide. Since the birth of my niece, my brother and his wife have toned down the BASE jumping and transitioned into Paragliding. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of traveling with a paraglider. Free flight is all about using the environment to your advantage and moving across the landscape using whatever tool you prefer. There isn’t like a set goal, except to be out there and stay in flight as long as possible. For the first time, I was able to fly for long periods of time and only landed because I needed to go to the bathroom, which will be something I will have to look more deeply into solving for the future. Pretty much every day Rio and I managed an hour-long flight and one day we sent a 76KM triangle around the Lauterbrunnen valley which yielded 3.5 hours of flight time. It was amazing! Of course, Rio got in trouble for abandoning the baby with mom for too long, but it was worth it. A solid bro-venture that I wouldn’t trade for a million dollars. My brother is an excellent human flight artist. We totally shred as a team. He is one of the strongest minds I know, and I trust him more than anyone.

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I started gearing up to do some BASE. My brother had to work every day from noon to four, so it was a good chance to get after some freefall. The big walls where closed to base jumping during the morning hours for paragliding, so doing some Paragliding on the warm side when the air was lifting in the morning and then switching to BASE in the afternoon as the valley wind picked up was a really nice routine. I was pretty tame regarding the BASE front this trip. I usually would be quite a bit more active, but I discovered that the paragliding was filling up quite a bit of the motivation and drive to fly allowing a deep sense of satisfaction. That said I did get after it a bit. It had been years since I saw my old BASE friends and the new Onesie I had acquired opened up some really cool opportunities to be a really crapy wing for a few seconds while I was plummeting toward planet earth. One day I had the privilege of sharing an exit with some heroes of mine Ian Mitchard and Steph Davis. I had read Steph’s book High Infatuations when I was in college and actively pursuing the vertical realm of climbing in The Black Canyon. To think back to those early days and see how far I had come to now be hanging with my heroes and proud to call them friends filled my heart with joy.

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Rio and I had dreamed of flying from the Jungfrau and been chatting about it for a few years now. It was a mega vertical mountain. Jungfrau is glaciated from the summit down and stands at 13,642 feet. We arrived at the launch to find that the wind was a bit strong. We spent several minutes assessing the conditions and wondering what the flight would be like. The models showed smooth air all the way up to 15,000 but standing on the summit yielded a different condition. After strong debate and some advice from Gary (our fearless leader and 17-year veteran to paragliding), Rio kited up his wing and said he was going for it. With a strong push, he cast off into the sky and started a 30-minute flight down to the valley floor. I was very impressed with Rio’s bravery to step out there first. I could see that the wind was stable and following Gary we all launched into the Swiss airspace. I was using an Ozone Ultralight 4 that I borrowed from Jen Rapp. The 19M hike and fly kit was the perfect tool for the job. Light and agile with a slight capacity to thermal.

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The most rewarding flight of the trip was a wingsuit flight I managed with my friend Ellen Brennan. I love to hike and fly/Paralpinism! I find it to be the purest form of free-flight. Gaining every inch of altitude with human power carrying your wing on your back is as equal a feeling as pushing out into zero gravity and allowing the physics of the world to take over your body. Accepting the inevitability of the fall, while timing the angle of attack with airspeed to create the expediential ejection from the wall and out into nature. Viewing the world from a birds perspective while feeling the speed of the world’s fastest nonpowered invention taking you on the rollercoaster of a lifetime. What makes paralpinism so special to me is that it’s all under your own power. Free flight in its purest. No machines. Just a man and the mountain and some organic tools to serve as transportation. #flightlife = #lovelife

Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2017/05/28

Home is a perspective

For this project the idea was to go beyond your normal hardcore extreme sports flying video. We’ve all seen the action packed red bull banger’s that run one action real after the next, bumping deep drum and base beats at high volume. The action packed real is worth something and don’t get me wrong, I love a heart beating thumper some times, but the truth is this is such a small portion of the actual reality of living the skydive and base jumper lifestyle. What I call flight life.

Often people ask me where I live. I struggle with the question. For the past 10 years I have been living on the road finding my home in different places all around the world. Sometimes its under a mountain in Norway and other times I find myself living on the side of highway 99 in Lodi California. Where ever it is that I sleep I can usually see the stars. It’s not until recently that I have found myself inside a room with a bathroom, but even now I am still crashing on a air mattress and use my sleeping bag as a blanket. The flight life isn’t always flames of glory and super hero status moments of triumph and joy. For every high there is usually a equal low. That’s life.

This movie explores the idea of home as a perspective. A moment in which your achieving your goals and surrounded by people who support your dreams. Home isn’t a place, but more of a feeling. It’s something that fades and appears. A constant, that flows in and out of every human experience. Home is where the heart is. We tell this story thru a group of skydiving friends that spend there lives nomadic in the pursuit of flight.

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Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2016/01/14

Ted X Vail

 

To be one piece of the Ted X Vail seminar was an incredible honor. Never have I felt so much enthusiasm to be associated with such great people. It was quite exciting to be part of such a group. I am glad that I was able to bring an idea like finding balance thru appreciation to the table, but I have to say that the real pleasure was found in connecting with a group of some of the most supportive, innovative, and interesting people I have ever meet. It was a challenge to step into this group. To take a risk and travel outside my comfort zone with an open ear and vulnerable heart was a reward I’ll forever cherish. When I arrived, the Ted X Vail team embraced me with open arms and eyes of understanding welcomed me. I am very grateful for all of your worm eyes and open hearts. Thank you.

 

Public speaking is something I haven’t done since I was a child. I remember some time around high school performance art and acting became uncool. I would say that nothing really changed in the past fifteen years. It feels very good to return to that childhood state of excited playful wonder. I’m very excited to keep the ball rolling and take advantage of any and every opportunity to share with the world that comes along. I’ve been searching for the link that would allow me to share this passion of flying and contribute to the greater good. I think after searching my entire twenties, I may have finally stumbled upon something! The psyche is high!

Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2015/07/03

World Wing Suit Qualifications and Questing Onward

Hello my friends, Hope this message finds you excited about the day. I am very excited today. Last week we finished up an amazing Extreme Week here in Voss, Norway. It was a wild week of sports action. Picture a super colorful sports festival with people from all over the world gathered for the purpose of playing in the mountains. It’s quite an amazing event! “The One and only unique Ekstrem Sports Veko!”

(http://ekstremsportveko.com/)

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The qualification for the World Wing Suit League (http://worldwingsuitleague.com/) was an incredible success. We were a bit worried about the conditions of the mountain before the event started, because of the unusually large amount of snow that fell this winter in Voss. For me especially, I was struggling with the possibility of survivable mountain flying. We needed to go visit the site and see if it was actually possible to bring all the competitors to the cliffs of Gudvangon. We scouted out the area by air dropping world famous wing suit pilot Espn Fadnes just above the mountain and were able to come up with an overview of how much snow we were dealing with and what level of avalanche danger we were looking at. From what we could tell it looked possible, but we needed a team to go explore and truly find out what was up there. Espn (winner of the first ever FAI Wingsuit Flying World Cup), Nils (5 time freestyle free fly world championship winner and ski patroler), Sigurd Ielde (Tindeveilder international guide) and I decided to go check out the summit and see what was up there. We arrived at a 45-degree snow slope that went right to the edge of the mountain. We concluded that there was work to be done. In order to make the competition happen we would need to spend some time clearing the edge of snow, rig a safety line, in order to provide a nice place to safely approach the edge, as well discover a safe place to land the helicopter. We spent the next few hours digging and planning in order to come up with a strict plan that would provide a platform for a smooth competition.

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The course was set and it was time to go down for the day. I had spent the past month and a half really trying to determine exactly why it is that I have chosen this quest for human flight. It comes down to basically that I love it. For a month my soul had been tortured. My heart was totally broken. I had a few deep conversations with my parents about why we are doing this and in the end I’ve concluded it’s a balance act. You have to do what you love, because if you don’t do what you love you’re wasting the ultimate gift of life. Living your dreams in this life is very important. Its what drives us and pushes us to move forward. It keeps our minds happy and makes our heart beat. At the same time if you overstep those adventurous boundaries and push beyond your limits you risk loosing everything and finishing the dream all together. It’s a fine balancing act of assessing risk, holding back when the risk is too much and moving forward when you know the moment feels right. At the end of the day the moment felt right to fly. I jumped from the wall flew straight out and pulled high. My perspective has changed quite a bit. My goals in this pursuit have become clearer. More then ever before the definition of Paralpinism has become a clear vision in my mind, like looking thru the still water of the pure Norwegian fjords. The basic guidelines of flying fast, high, and when the balance feels pure.

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Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2015/05/25

Life and Death Inevitablity

Two of my best friends died last week in Yosemite, flying wing suits. These guys were true pioneers and some of the best people I have had the pleasure to know. I am incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to fly and climb with them.

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For the last birthday of Grahams life we got to climb El Cap in a day together. He had never climbed El Cap and I’ll never forget his smile. He was deeply challenged by the experience. As an extremely experienced wing suit mountain flyer and one of the best in the world, this new element of moving fast over splitter crack terrain was a gift unlike anything he could have imagined for his birthday. He was so psyched, but totally scared! After 10 hours of full on short fixing and speed climbing we arrived on top of El Capitan. Not bad for a first run. I will forever remember the smiles we shared on the top. Pure Joy! We were supreme that day. We were wild native flying monkeys of Yosemite in our natural habitats.

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Dean took me to one of his special jumps just before I left for Europe. It’s a flight that I dreamed of flying for many years and one that’s only been done by hand full of wing suit pilots. Before the jump you arrive at a very special rock ledge that sits perfectly amongst the cliff walls with a beautiful view of the spectacular Yosemite Mountains. Those moments siting in the “hot tub” will forever be ingrained in my mind. I honestly didn’t realize that these moments would be the last ones we would share. For me, it felt more like the beginning of a dear friendship, not the end. We got along so well on this hike and the previous month working on his house and shredding missions after mission. Just like everything in life you never realize what you have at the time. Its only in retrospect that you come to truly appreciate the fleeting moments that you shared with your loved ones. To me, Dean was the most sacred of wizards. The last e-mail I sent him was to let him know that I had watched the hobbit on the plane ride over and his name was not the “Dark Wizard,” as many had come to call him, but to me he was “Radagast the Brown.” Radagast was the tender of beasts that was mostly concerned with the well being of the plants and animals of the forest and there for was not concerned with the war for the ring. This is who Dean was. A protector of one of the most beautiful place in the world, Yosemite National Park.

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The lessons I learned from these special people are priceless. I’m honored to have been a part of there adventure. They will forever remain in my mind and I will never forget the reverence they have bestowed upon me.

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So, how to move forward? To be honest it’s a hard question to answer. These people were some of the key components and sources of my inspiration and what I considered the best guides for success in this perilous quest for human flight. Dean was one of three people on a list of individuals that inspired me the most. Now I’m not totally sure how to proceed. I know I will never stop flying. When something is so much a part of you it’s impossible to stop. It’s my passion. I’ve felt like this many times. With alpine climbing, the second season I was in Patagonia, I went thru a near death experience were my partner and I were simul-rappeling and our anchor failed. We got lucky. When I returned I was confronted with the question “Do you quite something you love because it could kill you?” For me, of course you do not. This is the thing that gives you heart and what is a life living without heart? You learn from your experiences and you move forward with caution and thanks that your friends taught you something. This is the best thing I can think to do. Originally I started this path with the intention to climb big mountains and use the wing as a means of decent. I have come to know this activity as Paralpinism. This accident has reinforced my original intention and re-established my connection with these roots. We were originally meant to be Paralpinists, climbers that jumped. We ended up being BASE Jumpers that climbed. Up until the last day of my friends lives we were working on developing plans for projects in the high mountains. In Graham and Deans honor I will fulfill these commitment’s to climb high peaks and spread the ashes of my loved ones. They would have expected me to do this and I of them. It was an unspoken pact. This is how the flying monkeys live, with grace, honor and commitment. I am extremely grateful for the redefinition that my friends have given me. It is a final gift that could only be given from there hearts. Flying monkey love forever. Huooooo!

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Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2015/04/26

The Gift of Capturing Joy

I knew Niccolo was going to need an outside videographer for the tv show series Liftoff and I couldn’t miss the smile a psych that would come along with seeing one of my best friends do his first ever wing suit BASE jump. I had to be there to make sure everything went well. I had been training all winter at my home in Yosemite and I felt super confidant I was going to be more then capable of getting some of the worlds best images. I was prepared to tackle the project full on. Wing suit videography is the worlds most dangerous pursuit and can only be done by a select few us who have paid our dues and put in the time. Many have died chasing this dream of making your friends stars. I had some uneasy feelings, but I knew I was working with some of the best and psyched people out there. Proximity I flew into Switzerland totally jetlagged from a wicked overnight flight and luckily arrived in some marginal weather. I took a couple of days to shake the trip of time travel and my first project was High Ultimate. High Ultimate is an awesome jump, which can be tracked and allowed for us to tone some skills. After shooting for a few days it was off to Mount Brento to do Niccolo’s first wing suit BASE. Working with a full production crew to capture Niccolo’s first jump was intense. We had to spend a lot of time organizing, planning, and of course adjusting those plans to what we could actually pull off. I was super excited to work with the Liftoff crew. It was my gift to Niccolo to capture his progression and get the shot of his first wing suit BASE jump in 4K. I used three different cameras top mounted on my helmet. Nicollo's First Jump Everything went to plan. We lined up on the exit, counted to three, and “boom” we were of the edge and into flight. I nailed it! Every shot was spot on and Niccolo looked like a star. All that hard work had paid off when we landed and I could hear him scream a howl of full psych. His joy upon landing was fantastic. It felt really nice to share these tears of joy and moment of pure bliss with my homeboy. The gift of capturing joy like this and spreading it to the world is what I live for. I am super thankful to live this life of human flight.  

Here Dominik follows the boys off on Nicollo's fourth wing suit BASE jump.

Here Dominik follows the boys off on Nicollo’s fourth wing suit BASE jump.

Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2014/08/13

Lodi High

I spent 4 years on my knee's packing for skydivers in this hanger. Blessed......

I spent years on my knee’s packing for skydivers in this hanger. Blessed……

Life next to highway 99 is anything but glamorous. The desolate, vacant and scorched parking lot of “The Parachute Center” is a hard place to maintain. Huffing exhaust, sleeping in the dirt, and waisting away in the sun is the definition of suffering. Its quite a drastic step up compared to the third world though. Often times I will find myself inducing living situations in my life that are privation in nature. I can’t understand why some have to live so poorly while others have unlimited opportunity. Seems a bit unbalanced. “The key to life is happiness.” Even though we are living the homeless life of “trailer trash,” sucking from the bottom like catfish, we are still happy. The moments that we get to share together in the sky are fully worth the time spent groveling in the heat next to the highway. The Parachute Center is were the worlds most talented skydivers crawl from the primordial muck of society and blossom into world class pilots. Its a long road, but it has been worth it.

Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2013/10/07

Wampler’s Ascent

This unbelievable story touches my heart every time I watch it. Please share this incredible source of inspiration.

http://www.wamplersascent.com/

Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2013/09/15

Europe Adventure

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It all started with a message from the Hopper’s saying they had bought there tickets and were headed to Switzerland on the 26th. I jumped on board and bought my ticket for the next day. I had been working rope access all winter long. The full time shut down schedule, twelve hour days seven days a week and I was fearing for the mountains. Being locked inside the refinery was poisoning my soul and I feel the drive for adventure building inside me. I needed fresh air and wind against my face. I thirsted for the feeling of living. To feel the elements. I had grown quite comfortable in refinery. The lifestyle had made me soft. I burned for the uncertainty of day to day life. For the feeling of waking up in the morning with the unknown lingering in my mind. I needed to live now!

I rolled off the train in Lauterbrunnen with my mouth wide open. I walked toward the upper end of the valley limping with jet lag, completely blown away by the massive vertical uplift that made up the Lauterbrunnen Valley. I was carrying a black duffel bag that resembled the type of bag the officials would use to carry out diciest personnel from the back country (a body bag). It was a good reminder that the path I was walking on was nothing less then serious, and many of my friends that had walked this road had ended up nestled in these black bags. I spent the next few weeks jumping with the flying bro’s, visiting several different exit points in the valley training my exit and having a blast. The Lauterburnan Valley is a jumper’s paradise. Easy access to some of the most amazing cliffs in the world make it the perfect place to party in the sky!
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After an excellent session in Switzerland it was off to Norway. The land of big walls. My plan was to visit Kjerag were I was going to work as an instructor and ground crew for the BASE Klubb in Lysebotn. This was an excellent experience. My brother Rio was going to meet me there. I was super excited to share some jumps with him. He is a great person to jump with. Five years ago we started skydiving together, and through this journey we have come super close. Rio was super excited to get after it. He was super eager, which in this case was good because he was eager to jump exit six the safest jump on Kjerag. He charged at the big wall with repeated attacks leaping off of the thing like there was no tomorrow. The Heliboogie went super smooth. Only one minor injury and one malfunction that the pilot was able to clear and land safely in the water.

Instructing BASE is an extremely wearing job. For me its so difficult because I take on responsibility for my students. In Kjerag the students show up, we have quick class room session and then they jump out of the pendulator. Once they have showed competency in these tasks its a walk to the edge. For me being a BASE guide was killing BASE jumping for me. It turned it BASE jumping into a job and I started loosing motivation. I didn’t want this to happen, so I decided it was time to explore the mountains on my own. jumped into a car with the BASE bro’s and it was North to Andalsnes on a quest to become a Para-alpinist.

In Andalsnes Rio and I lived in tents cooking from a stove and living in the nature everyday. It was a simple existence. Wake up, make some food, start hiking, fly from a cliff, land and pack, eat and repeat. This experience was one of the greatest months of my life. It was amazing to live the gypsy life. I was really happy and content…… and tired. The weather this season was unbelievably good. We got super lucky. Everyday was jumpable, so we continued to jump two big walls a day for the length of our stay. I love hiking, climbing, and flying. I feel like it makes me a better person and on the last day in Andalsnes I remember thinking, “Wow what a lucky person I am to be able to live this life. I honestly felt like the months I got to live in Norway made me a better person, and I felt like I was being the shining light i wanted to see in the world. My experience there had allowed me to grow into a Para-Alpinist.

In the last few weeks of the trip I got to work on an extremely important project. I was lucky enough to be part of a production that is a documentary/love story about the history of BASE jumping, and Carl and Jean Banish, the founder’s of repeatable cliff jumping. It was a great experience! My hope is that this project will bring a little bit of public awareness to our activity and open up new opportunities for the expansion of human flight in the United States.

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