In issue 146: Sierra Surfing

“Life becomes a blissful routine. Fly, camp, eat, sleep and fly again. Every two or three days we’d try to land at a place where the truck could meet us so we can restock food and water and charge batteries. Below us the terrain is in a constant state of awesome change.”

Day something, somewhere in the California Sierras. Photo: Jody MacDonald

Day something, somewhere in the California Sierras. Photo: Jody MacDonald

“Life becomes a blissful routine. Fly, camp, eat, sleep and fly again. Every two or three days we’d try to land at a place where the truck could meet us so we can restock food and water and charge batteries. Below us the terrain is in a constant state of awesome change.”

Last year a group of pilots embarked on the Sierra Safari, an audacious 18-day vol-bivouac from southern California north to the border with Oregon.

Gavin McClurg was there, flying vol-biv for the first time, with pilots who are masters of the art. His tale is one of how this sport can deliver time after time, day after day, the most intense experiences, and then still keep giving when the world once again stands still.


Gavin McClurg narrates a slideshow of Jody’s photographs

“There is nowhere else I’d rather be,” one of the pilots, Nick Greece, says, and you believe him. Flying at up to 5,000m across terrain so remote there are more bears than people below you, Gavin brings the landscape, the characters, the flying alive.

Out now in Cross Country magazine March / April, the story of the Sierra Safari told through Gavin’s words and Jody MacDonald’s expert eye is one from the very heart of our sport. This is as good as it gets. And that, Gavin tells us, is pretty damn good.

Out now in the March / April issue of Cross Country magazine.


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