Fabian Umbricht

FABIAN UMBRICHT / STEPHANIE WESTERHUIS

"X-Pyr is an amazing adventure. After my participation in 2018, it was obvious that I wanted to start again on this race."

Pilot: Fabian Umbricht
Nationality: Swiss
Birth Date: 07.23.1988
City: Solothurn
Country: Switzerland
Job: Meteorologist
Glider: ADVANCE Omega X-Alps 3
Harness: ADVANCE Lightness X-Alps
Helmet: SUPAIR
Sponsors: SP1
Assistant: Stephanie Westerhuis
Nationality: Swiss
Birth Date: 03.13.1993
City: Langendorf
Country: Switzerland

INTERVIEW

What is your greatest sporting success?
-Participation on X-Pyr 2018 (15th)
-Participation and podium places in multiple H&F-races in Switzerland (GruyereFly 2019, Gantrisch H&F 2017-19, Jura H&F 2015-2019, etc, etc...)
-Winning 2 times (2014 & 2018) Patrouille des Glaciers and multiple podiums in other Skimountaineering races in the Alps.
-Climbing the North-Face-trilogy of Eiger, Matterhorn and Grandes Jorasses in 2011

When and why did you start paragliding?
I started paragliding in 2013, first to make descents easier after climbing mountains. However, I quickly got addicted to H&F and XC-flying in general.

What is your mountaineering experience?
It's quite extensive - before I started paragliding, I was mostly doing climbing, mountaineering and skimountaineering.
Being an instuctor in these sports and having climbed most of the 4000m-peaks of the alps, 2 times the Eiger north-face and a lot of other difficult routes, I'm confident that I will be able to move efficiently and safe through the pyreneean wilderness!

What does your typical training week consist of?
Depending on the season, it's a lot of endurance training - trail running, skimountaineering or Hike&Fly, mixed with some strength training in the gym or rock climbing.
When the weather allows, training flying skills is also an important part.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Best moment: There are alot, basically very time I can push my limits and share the experience with friends is a contender for best moment - this may be flying or some other activity in the mountain.

Worst moment: These moments when you realise that you pushed the limits too far and something bad happens.

Why did you choose X-Pyr?
X-Pyr is an amazing adventure. After my participation in 2018, it was obvious that I wanted to start again on this race.
The landscape and wilderness in the Pyrenees is amazing and relatively unknown to me. You can find experiences which are hard to find in the Alps.
Also the sporting- and flying-aspects are a real challange and very interesting.

Have you participated on X-Pyr before?
Yes, in 2018. It was a great adventure and experience. We had quite a lot of bad luck, because of sickness I wasn't able to move for 1,5 days.
But we learned a lot and are ready for 2020!

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
Yes, during X-Pyr 2018, but not else.

What will your strategy be during the race?
Basically the same as in 2018:
Try to keep up with the big guys.
Being safe & fast in the air and clever & efficient on the ground.

What excites you most about X-Pyr?
Being out there in the Pyrenees, crossing through unknown valleys and finding solutions to difficult situations.

What scares you the most about the event?
Being caught on the ground because of bad weather. The Pyrenees can be quite windy...

Why will he/she make a good assistant?
She was supporter on nearly all of my H&F-races, including X-Pyr 2018. She knows exactly how the things are running and also my strengths and weaknesses - when to push and when to slow down.

Anything else you like to comment?
See you in Hondarribia!