Nick Greece and Jon Hunt took off from Wilson, Wyoming, and flew for seven hours passing the Teton Range, the Gros Ventre Range, and the Wind River Range to finish near Rawlins, Wyoming.
The new record, which broked the pair’s previous record of 199 miles made just 3 days earlier, was an amazing 204.6 mile flight at speeds of up to 40mph and more than 18,000ft high for seven hours over some of the most remote terrain in America resulting in some outstandingly beautiful photographs of the Red Desert and numerous mountain ranges across Wyoming.
A photo of Jon Hunt crossing the Wyoming ranges
Weariness was another constant that had to be factored into the flight. “Time is surreal when you are up there for so long and while fatigue definitely sets in it is almost unconsciousness. At times it was snowing on me – my hydration system froze so it was below freezing. But it was all worth it for the amazing experience and record,” said Nick later.
They had to carry everything from oxygen to food, flight computers and cameras with them, in fact quite a lot of stuff: Oxygen, three flight computers, two down jackets, camera, food for two days in case you land in the middle of nowhere, a spot locator and bits n’ pieces of other necessities.
Nick Greece and Jon Hunt
Speaking for the pair, Nick added: “The flight was a culmination of years of flying in the Jackson Hole area. Jon, who has been flying paragliders in that area for over 20 years, and I looked at the forecast the morning of the flight and thought it looked decent. It wasn’t until an hour in that I realised that this was the day I had been waiting five years for – like big wave surfing, paragliders pushing the distance envelope are always searching for the perfect swell…
… We flew an amazing cloudstreet down the whole length of the Wind River mountain range, which is one of the most remote ranges in the US.”
What is incredible about this is that these two friends and neighbours were able to step out of their houses, into their backyard and off into this surreal flight. Incredible thought isn’t it?
“Luckily I had one of the best flying partners in the world for this route in Jon. We started the flight from a ridge in our back yard. ‘The foot launch record was broken in the US four times this year by a close group of friends in three different states but they never hit the 200-mile mark. Without the inspiration of our friends pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible we wouldn’t have been ready to break 200 miles.”
“I still think back to this day and visualise some of the climbs, and amazing traversing of unbelievably beautiful lands from a bird’s perspective. I feel incredibly lucky to have shared it with such a good friend, and mentor which is very rare in our sport and simply put to just be in the right place at the right time.”
Photos courtesy of Nick Greece and Jon Hunt