CEDAR WRIGHT / MIKE LESTER
"It’s going to be awesome to hopefully fly with the best.. at least for the first turnpoint.."
|Pilot: Cedar Wright
Birth Date: 03.16.1975
City: Boulder, Colorado (USA)
Job: Professional Climber, Filmmaker
Glider: OZONE Zeolite
Sponsors: The North Face, Five Ten, Fat Tire, Black Diamond
|Assistant: Mike Lester
What is your greatest sporting success?
My greatest success is having lived a life adventure, with love, laughter, and friendship. Career Highlights include free climbing El Capitan in a day, 5.13 first ascents and speed records in Yosemite Valley, and recently completing my goal of putting up a big multi-pitch first ascent on all 7 continents.
When and why did you start paragliding?
I started paragliding as means of decent from big climbs, but quickly became obsessed with Cross Country paragliding. I’ve spent the last 5 years flying obsessively, chasing big flights, and learning to race. I’ve found the sport incredibly addictive and coined the term “sky crack.” Personal bests include many flights of over 100 miles and a couple of over r200km in the rowdy turbulent WILD WEST of the USA.
What is your mountaineering experience?
I’ve been a professional climber for over 15 years. Most of my mountaineering experience is in the “alpine rock climbing” realm, with multi-pitch first ascents in the Karakoram, The Ruth Gorge of Alaska, and Queen Maudland, Antarctica.
What does your typical training week consist of?
I don’t really train in a traditional sense. I just get out and get after it as much as I can. I rock climb, and hit the climbing gym, and like to ride my mountain bike. Leading up to the X-Pyr I will be trying to climb 15 of the biggest peaks in the Northern Cascades by bike, starting in California and finishing in Canada… so I’ll either be really fit… or totally broken.
What are your best and worst sporting memories?
My worst memories center on the unfortunately large number of friends I’ve lost in the mountains to adventure sports.
My best memories, are less accomplishment based and more centered around laughter in the mountains with the people I love.
Why did you choose X-Pyr?
I chose the x-pyr because since I got into cross country paragliding I’ve wanted to try one of these hike and fly races, and now I finally feel just barely qualified enough as a pilot to give it a try! And the Pyrynees look BAD ASS!!!!~
Have you participated on X-Pyr before?
Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
I have not flown the Pyrenees before but plan to spend a few weeks before the race doing recon with my good buddy, fellow X-Pyr competitor, and paragliding hero/mentor Mitch Riley.
What will your strategy be during the race?
My strategy will be to have a good time and keep my expectations low. I’m pretty good at putting my head down and suffering. I’m more of an intuitive pilot then and engineer minded pilot. I’m pretty bad with the cardinal directions, so I’ll rely on my supporter Mike Lester to tell me where to fly.
What excites you most about X-Pyr?
The chance to fully immerse myself in a beautiful mountain range and have an outrageous adventure.
What scares you the most about the event?
I’m scared of being a dumb ass. So I’ll try to avoid that. Obviously paragliding is a dangerous sport, so I just want to fly my own flights, and not do anything rash, or out of my skill set. I’ve only been flying for 4.5 years so my skill set is nowhere near the level of the top compeitors…so... If I don’t think the conditions are safe, I won’t fly, and if I have to land low and hike further because… I’m not Chrigel… that’s fine. This shit is supposed to be fun.
Why will he/she make a good assistant?
Mike is super talented pilot in his own right, and avid climber. He has spent the last couple years working for AYVRI, which most paragliding pilots know and love. I specifically chose Mike as my supporter because he is strong in places that I’m a bit week like navigation, technology, and most importantly Mike is chill…and a good guy.
Anything else you like to comment?
I’m honored to be part of X-Pyr this year. I’ve worked really hard to progress as a pilot, and it’s exciting to have reached the point where I can even enter a race like this with a straight face. I’m a total paragliding fanboy and newbie, so it’s going to be awesome to hopefully fly with the best.. at least for the first turnpoint.. ha.!