Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To cold to train on the mountain

The last 10 days it got really cold. The temperature dropped down to -37 Celsius on the mountain (about -27 in the valley). The kids where still gung ho to go skiing last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This cold keeps me down in the valley training in the gym and on the stairs (with backpack and sometimes with ski boots). Penny put me a new program in the gym. The exercis she gives me looks way better on her then me, but hey, what ever works will be done.

The cold temperatures and early evenings has also given me some time to work on the flying/hiking route. I am inserting notes into maps that I received from the Nova Pilots the last couple weeks. The Nova Pilots support is a huge value and I am looking forward meeting most of them next summer.

We are also looking for ways to raise money and possibly get some more sponsorships. Based on our estimates, we will face a cost of about $25.000 for the race and the preparations. So far we have established some great sponsorship in products and services.

Once we receive the products and services, we will write why we have choosen the sponsor and what benefits we see with it.
The first sponosr I would to thank and talk about is I will get a light Triton 24 for a reduced cost (unless we end up int he top 10, then it will be for free). It is not just the wing that makes this sponsorship so valuable. It is the people, their attitude, passion and willingnes to share their knowldege. The Nova pilot team is a huge value, as I have previously mentioned, in helping me plan a detailed route of the race. Local knowledge and connections are the most critical part of the race and with the help of the best x-country pilots in the alps, I could not have any better sponsor.
This help from Nova does not end here. Team leader, Till Gottbrath, who has arranged my communication with the Nova pilots, is also connecting us with other sponsors. For now, we will receive high end sports clothing from CRAFT, and reduced pricing with Hanwag shoes and the weather support from

The harness and reserve we will get sponsored by Finsterwalder & Charly.
Superfeet will sponsor us with insoles.
MBT shoes will supply us with some special shoes, which assist in core-strength building as well as many more benefits. Urs Loetscher used these shoes in the alst 2 races. I will write about this in the next blog.
Frank Kernick, with Spring Creek Mountain Village (Supporter from 2007 and who got me into this) will sponsor the pre-race. The pre-race will happen mid June for 3 weeks where we drive up the main route and fly into some areas with a motor paraglider (we get the motor from Nava).
There is also my wife Penny Powers with her business as a personal Trainer and Columbia River Outfitters and my company

Right now it is -30 Celsius outside. To keep us warm we are practising our disco moves.
Check it out at

Seasons Greetings and all the best and health for 2009

Max, Penny, Katia and Erik

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Training just before the snow arrived.

The fall was just amazing. It got cold but we had no snow and this was just perfect for training. Now with the snow on the ground, the training changed to be more active with the kids. The last couple days I ended up to be the Ski lift for Katia and Erik.
See the short video in how a ski lift works and how Penny kept me timing and chasing around.

Friday, November 28, 2008

x-Alps training video

Fall is still amazing around here. It is cold without snow.
I am happy without snow as for now most of the ski lifts are not open anyways.
In the mean time I am very busy with work and with the x-alps preparations. Joining the team was the best thing ever. I do have so much support from European pilots that I have a hard time to follow up. Thanks again to everyone. I will get back to everyone and I am looking forward to work with your ideas and suggestions.

A lot of people are asking about my workout plan.
For the last 3 month I am concentrating on walking with bag-packs on pavement and on the mountain. On an average i hike about 15 km a day with up to 850 meter elevation gain. I am also strengthening my Achilles tendence by running up stairs. Just 5 minutes from my place we have about a 40 meter vertical stairway going down to the beach. I call them stairways to heaven and run them about 10 times up and down before I go to the gym. Penny also put me on a program to work out one day a week in the gym to improve core strength and hip-flexes. Right now I work out at least 5 - 6 days a week. On some weeks I have a bigger break due business travels.
Below is a video of the stair workout and a hike up Mt.Swansea. This also gives you a good idea about the area I am living in.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back from meetings and more support is shaping up

I am so glad that I can work from my home and do not have to travel and work like many others have to in the cooperate world. The last week I had to attend meetings, presentations and conferences in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver. This was kind of a wake up call to see how many others are going through their carrier. Now back home I am catching up but can get back to the long hikes and my training program right from the house. I do feel very luck where I live, as this kind of training would almost be impossible living in big cities.
In the mean time we are getting more support. Till (head of Nova team) arranged a sponsorship with CRAFT. Craft is a high end sporting cloth manufacture. CRAFT will sponsor clothing for training and the race. You should check out their products at and see your self the cool and hot stuff they offer.
I am amazed in how much support I do get from Nova team pilots offering their local knowledge to us. Thank you again to all Nova pilots for all the support and keep up the great spirit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nova Paraglider support and Nova Team confirmed to support us with a glider, help in route planning and to get some sponsors for equipment. Thanks to Till Gottbrath (Nova Team leader) for his very fast responses and to get this all organized. This is very exciting as we will be able to discuss strategies and have access to local knowledge with some of the best pilots from alps. Already I have some of the team members contacting and sharing information with me. I am very happy and proud to be with the Nova team. I have to say that I have never seen such a warm welcome and fast support from any paragliding company. If anyone from Europe likes to get some information to fly in the Canadian Rockies, please do so as I like to keep up the Team Nova philosophy.

In the mean time, the last 3 weeks I was training hard. I train about 6 out of 7 days. At my last blog you can see that I trained a lot on the mountain. Now I split it up with one day of walking (with full gear and more) 15 km on the flat and a 450 meter hill. Then the day after I run about 400m elevation on stairs to warm up for the Gym.
Now I am off to a conference in Toronto and Vancouver and I will only work out in the hotel gyms.

I will keep you updated on more news.

Max Fanderl

Thursday, October 30, 2008

x-alps 2009 now official

today I received an e-mail from Nick Warren that my application for the 2009 x-alps is now approved.
"Your application for participation in the 2009 Red Bull X-Alps has been successful.
We look forward to seeing you in Salzburg, Austria in July 2009 for the world’s toughest hiking and paragliding adventure race."

I am very excited and as everyone can see, I am in full training for it anyways. Now (besides the training) we are looking for all the logistics and sponsors.
We are also researching the right nutrition plan, so if anyone has some good ideas or can give us pointers, please do so.
Penny is very excited as well as she will be the supporter for the 2009 X-alps.
Now this letter will help Peter Shatalow (film producer) to get a TV network in place to create a documentary about our training, pre-race and the race.
Please feel free to send us any tips about training, nutrition, information about route and anything else you can think of.

Monday, October 20, 2008

October update

We had a great fall. The weather was great and we had a lot of fun. The kids spend a lot of time outside and so did we. The last month and a half (Sept & Oct) I concentrated a bit more on my hiking and walking. So I started to do hikes right from the house to the summit of Mt.Swansea (about 10km) I got my time down to 1 hour 38 minutes with the pack. I also worked lot on the downhill walks to strengthen the muscles around the knees. In total I did plus 20.000 m (65.000 feet) in elevation and plus 250 km in distance. Penny joins me a lot with these hikes and we both hike and fly from the summit. The good part is that all these can be done without any pain in the knees or achilles tendence. The rest of the time besides playing on the mountain and the kids we worked hard on fine tuning the and move now more aggressive into sales and marketing. No word if we will compete in the 2009 x-alps yet, but this should come now sooner then later.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

August already ...

This is hard to believe. It is already getting to the end of August. This summer went by so fast despite the rather cold summer we had. Overall the season started late and we only had a couple of days with good flying conditions. Most of the time I was extremely busy with work. One was to compete in "New Venture BC" and by moving from "Product & Development" into sales and marketing with . Penny and the kids are healthy and in real good spirits. We had a lot of fun in June with my parents visiting us from Germany which allowed us to sneak out for some good flights. Since beginning July we have Bea (Nanny from Germany) to help us with the kids as Penny is very busy with and personal training courses.
My training is coming along well. I do a lot of hiking and most of the times I do hike up Mt.Swansea with my gear. Some days I even take my Bike and the Paraglider to bike to Mt.Swansea and then hiking to te summit. Most of the flights I have done where short from 1-2 hours and all of them where out-returns.
Our was amazing again and we had 55 pilots competing. Penny placed 2nd. Well done Penny.
One flight I like to mention was just a week ago with my old flying buddy Ron Ford. The launch was going direct into the start of thermals and climbing out was not as easy as it seamed. Once we got above the mountains we could get up to plus 4000m right to cloud-base. It was just fantastic to look across the valley into the Bugaboo Glacier. At the same time we could look down to Diana Lake. It just felt like the good old times. Well I flew my 10 year old Bagheera from Apco as I sold my Sigma6 a month ago. But it was good to see the x-alps Nova Mentor (this is what Ron is flying now) flying with me. I had a hard time following him but I could eventually catch up. The flight ended at my house (50 km later) and all we really needed where 4 thermals to do so.
Anyhow, this is just a update of this blog and I will try to get our for another great hike and x-country flight later today.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

X-Country season started

What a great day we had today. Sunny, sunny and sunny again. Not a cloud in the sky, Lots of white Mountains and tons of blue thermals.
Nick, Jeff, Brett and I hiked up Mt. Swansea (2 cheated by getting a ride half way up). It was just beautiful and the snow was not as bad as it was a couple weeks ago where I had constant hip deep snow. Today it took only 1 hour 10 minutes and it felt great.
On top we all had a struggle with the takeoff. The thermals rather came straight up and the snow was knee deep and made running harder then it should. I had to abort my launch 2 times, but the 3rd one was perfect.
Today the thermals came straight up. So it was a little different then normal as you had to stay more away from the mountain then normal.
After a couple scratches and sink outs I learned quick, flew out and got what I needed. After I let Mt. Swansea heading south, i watch how it looked very stable at Canal Flats (40 km away), but we said we would go to Fairmont and go from there. So getting to 4 point Ridge, I hooked a 7 m/sec thermal and got up to 2300m then it seamed the inversion started. The more south I flew the lower the workable thermal got. Eventually at Teggart Mountain summit, I decided to turn around and on the way back i see Brett getting high at 4 point ridge. Right after this he headed south not following the ridge, heading to a ridge running into the valley. I watched him and he got high there and kept on going south. Well, I thought I better follow as Fairmont was the goal. So I got up high enough to follow Brett to the ridge, got high as he did but I kept watching where he went from there. I saw him once lower and trying to get up, so I thought I hang here for a bit enjoying the great view and see what he does. I was not interested to glide to Fairmont and then to try to find a ride back home. I wanted to fly to Fairmont and back home. Anyhow I watched how stable it got at Canal Flats, I did not see Brett going anywhere, so I decided to fly back to Mt Swansea. Wow, that was the best thing I could do. The wind turned slightly south and the more north I got the higher the thermals where working. So I passed Mt. Swansea, #1. got even higher, then to #2 got even higher and this all at 6:00pm. so I decided to keep on going to the North and when I had Dry Gulch below me (just south of the Radium Golf Course) I decided to head back home as it would get to late. I had to work my self back against the wind but nothing to hard and I landed at 7:00 pm right in front of the house.
This is great, first x-country from Mt. Swansea, landing at the house and i do not have to worry about any retrieval, Happy kids and Penny was getting me a bier. How much better can it be.

Thanks again to Penny and the kids to let me have this great day.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Review of March and the Easter Meet

I decided to continue my blog with the blogger instead my website.
Anyhow, March was a great month. We got lots done with work and it looks we are getting to the end of the development of The sales are picking up and a lot of bigger companies looking at us.
Training was a bit slow due all the work, but I still got in at least one hike up Mt.Swansea with a flight. Penny and I started to free off every Thursday afternoon to do what we like to do. Most of the the time we ventured off to Panorama for a flight and a couple runs (ski).

The highlight of March was our 10th annual Easter Meet. We had 26 Pilots and great weather.
On Friday some pilots had up to 6 flights. Saturday was like in the picture book. Most people had about 3 flights and a lot of people made it up to plus 9000 feet. Only 6 flew out into the valley and others decided to land due cold hands. Saturday evening we had Pizza and then went to the Pup. The party started slow, got into Boat races (with beer), then to our annual "Tray" race and than a great 80th music and dance night. For the Tray race we had great conditions on the hill but after 2 races on food trays security shut us down for out own safety. Sunday morning the weather was ok but you could see that snow was coming in. We got about 4 flights in total and then stopped due snowfall. At noon we handed out the prices and then we finally could go for a couple ski runs. Overall it was just picture perfect and everyone had a great time.

By the way, we forgot to clean up the landing site with all the attempts to hit the Easter Nest. So Penny and I send the kids to friends for a couple hours and headed up the mountain to clean up. We where looking everywhere and could not find any. We even looked at Taintan Bowl without any luck. Eventually we went home as we had a hard time to find any under 25 cm of new snow .