Cross-country paragliding pilots are a rare and tenacious breed – not only do they like to haul 30kg packs up really big hills, they then hurl themselves off them in often less-than-ideal conditions – after all, it's easier than walking down.
But Pascal Purin may be the rarest and most tenacious of them all. The pilot recently set a new world record for the most vertical height metres in a day.
Two years ago, the Red Bull X-Alps pilot helped his mate Florian Evanbeckler get the record – this time, Florian helped him. Purin is already in hardcore training mode for the upcoming 2017 Red Bull X-Alps, working out six days a week.
The attempt was scheduled for the longest day of the year to give the athlete as much time as possible to hike and fly – but while June 18 was the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, Purin had only 17 hours during which he was legally able to fly. The biggest challenge? Weather. Good weather meant 'sled rides' down – quick, easy flights right back to the start point.
Hopefully all the training will pay off come Red Bull X-Alps 2017.