X-Pyr 2016 – DAY 7 A Whirlwind Finish to an Amazing Race.

X-Pyr 2016 – DAY 7 A Whirlwind Finish to an Amazing Race.

As the last day of the X-Pyr dawned I was feeling good. I was on pace to make it to the Cadi mountains nice and early which I hoped would put me in prime position for flying. As the dawn light brightened into day, I cut across dewy farm fields and then through the town of Seu de Urgel in the middle of the valley. There were scattered clouds after the thunderstorms the night before and the sun shone through them beautifully as I climbed up through the gently sloping…

X-Pyr 2016 – Day 6 Gambling on Thundery Flights and Mountain Routes.

X-Pyr 2016 – Day 6 Gambling on Thundery Flights and Mountain Routes.

Day 6 started off wet and showery as I headed east along the main road from Vielha. Juraj the Slovakian athlete who had passed me the previous afternoon was only a little bit ahead of me and we soon were walking together sharing out experiences of the race. Company was a welcome break from the often solitary racing we’d been doing. It’s hard to keep up on what other athletes are doing when you’re racing and we were each very interested to hear how the other person had managed to…

X-Pyr 2016 – Day 4 and 5 Pushing Through the Highs and Lows

X-Pyr 2016 – Day 4 and 5 Pushing Through the Highs and Lows

As the dawn light of day 4 crept across the sky I struggled into action. The next turnpoint was only a few miles away and I set off down the road fueled by granola bars and hot coffee. I could tell my right leg was in trouble. My thigh was really tight and my knee hurt with each step. It was IT band pain, like shin splint pain that most people have  experienced sometime after hiking down a long steep trail but involving the larger muscles of the thigh. IT…

X-Pyr 2016 – Day 2 and 3 Faster Than Most but Far Behind the Leaders

X-Pyr 2016 – Day 2 and 3 Faster Than Most but Far Behind the Leaders

None of us got much sleep the first night of the race. At the end of the first day I had started down what seemed like the most direct road towards TP 2. It was the way I had gone passing through scouting the route a couple weeks prior. When we had stopped the night before I had realized that the other pilots ahead of me had taken a parallel road that ran a little further away from the course line. I knew the road I had taken got very…

Thank You X-Pyr Contributors!

Thank You X-Pyr Contributors!

I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone that donated to support my journey to the 2016 X-Pyr. I hope you enjoyed following along online and through my blog. I still have lots of cool videos, photos, and stories to share so keep an eye out here and on my social media.   2016 X-Pyr Contributors Owen Shoemaker Nigel Mayberry TJ Sopher Jared Lyman Rosa Heuvelmans Eleonor Ugay  Harry Siempelkamp Derek Baylor Ruaraidh Stenson Aaron Price Chris Amonson Robert Brockie Gregory Sadowy Justin Martin Jamie Fullerton Kevin Ault Ray…

X-Pyr 2016 – Day 1 Kind of ready, X-pyr, and GO!

X-Pyr 2016 – Day 1 Kind of ready, X-pyr, and GO!

On the eve of the race things felt a bit surreal. I was sitting in a campground outside Hondarribia with my crew. Pavel was my official supporter who would drive our van and carry food, water, and cloths up the hill with me whenever possible. Sam was along to film and photograph as much of the race as possible. Many of the X-pyr teams were camped in the same busy campground. Some had gear spread around their vans, Maurer’s team looked bored sitting in their camp chairs. I was trying…

Hike and Fly Gear, What I’m Currently Carrying

Hike and Fly Gear, What I’m Currently Carrying

The following is a quick rundown on the gear I’m currently using while traveling through the mountains on foot. Everything is going inside my home made 13 Oz silicone nylon pack which is holding up pretty well all things considered. More on that soon hopefully. I’m currently carrying an OR helium biivy sack and a home made silicone nylon tarp for shelter. The tarp has snaps along one edge so it doubles as an excellent rain poncho. I’ve downsized to a 2/3 length small neoair light thermarest. I’ve been a…

Mt. Baker Ultra Run, a new twist on an Old Adventure Race

Mt. Baker Ultra Run, a new twist on an Old Adventure Race

On June 3rd I set out on foot with 11 other runners. We started in Bellingham WA on the beach of the ocean and made a 108 mile round trip journey to the 10,781 ft glaciated summit of Mt Baker and back. Bellingham sits in the cradle of the cascade mountains at the edge of the Salish Sea. It’s a glacier carved landscape with large volcanoes jutting out of rugged mountains. We are far from the open Pacific ocean but none the less connected by convoluted salt water passages of…

About Me, a Brief History of Jesse

About Me, a Brief History of Jesse

I first tried paragliding in New Zealand in 2001. I was travelling internationally for the first time in my life and with a cheap Kiwi dollar lots of exciting new things were suddenly in reach to try out. I had gone skydiving and bungy jumping already but I was drawn to paragliding because I liked the idea of spending time in the air instead of having an intense falling experience for a few seconds. I did a 3 day course and flew for almost 2 hours on the last day….

Around Baker and Shuksan, a whatcom paragliding first!

Around Baker and Shuksan, a whatcom paragliding first!

This is just a quick post to get some pics up. I just flew an approximately 100 km loop around Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan yesterday. The forecast looks great again today so I don’t have time for a full blog write up but wanted to get some pictures up. I started and landed at our  local flying site called Big Johnson on North Fork Rd near Kendal WA. This is a first to circumnavigate these mountains in a foot launched glider. You can view my track log in detail…