Sky-Excessive Journey Racing: Elite Paragliders Take On the Pyrenees Traverse

This weekend, one of many hardest hike-and-fly rallies on Earth returns for its fifth run. Six days, 376 miles, and a remarkably stacked area — X-Pyr 2022 is one paragliding race you gained’t need to miss.

On June 26 at 10 a.m. CEST, 45 seasoned paragliders will launch from Spain’s Atlantic coast for a multiday hike-and-fly race. Supported by only one private floor operator every, the pilots will try to navigate 370-plus miles over the Pyrenees vary. The primary paraglider to go by means of all 9 race waypoints and land on the Mediterranean coast wins.

After a 4-year hiatus, the X-Pyr is coming again harder and extra aggressive than ever earlier than. Right here’s what you want to know.


X-Pyr 2022 Route

The trajectory for 2022 charts groups by means of a winding course from Hondarribia on the Bay of Biscay to the japanese seashores of El Port de la Selva, Spain. Pilots should navigate to and “tag” all 9 factors alongside the route.

“It’s longer, extra complicated, extra worldwide, and tougher!” race officers acknowledged.

(Photo/X-Pyr) paragliding adventure race
X-Pyr 2022 kicks off on June 26, 2022, from the Bay of Biscay in Spain; (photograph/X-Pyr)

Flight Path Plot Twist

The X-Pyr organizers have utterly revamped the flight path and concentrated 4 waypoints close to the 200-mile mark. The 4 factors kind an X-like configuration, and pilots should attain every level in precise order, from southwestern Peña Montañesa to northeastern Arbas, then on to northwestern Midi de Bigorre, and eventually southeastern El Corronco.

See also  ENVE Builder Spherical-Up: Scorching Customized Biking Builds to Spice Up the Summer time

The sequence requires pilots to show again on their path and tag midrace turnpoints earlier than traversing the Pyrenees enchainment’s major backbone and persevering with east.

Race Waypoints

  • Hondarribia – 0-ft. elevation, mile 0
  • Larun – 2,854-ft. elevation, mile 9
  • Accous – 3,950-ft. elevation, mile 68
  • Peña Montañesa – 8,176-ft. elevation, mile 119
  • Arbas – 3,560-ft. elevation, mile 168
  • Midi de Bigorre – 9,442-ft. elevation, mile 205
  • El Corronco – 8,343-ft. elevation, mile 253
  • Pic dels Moros – 6,798-ft. elevation, mile 313
  • Santa Helena de Rodes – 1,765-ft. elevation, mile 374
  • El Port de la Selva – 0-ft. elevation, mile 376


The a priori rule of X-Pyr is that this: pilots should at all times carry the minimal quantity of kit with them. A minimal paragliding equipment consists of the glider, harness, parachute, helmet, cell phone, and reside monitoring tools.

In contrast to most different journey races, the X-Pyr doesn’t fiddle with phases. Pilots are permitted to maneuver as much as 14 hours per day.

The official cutoff is Saturday, July 2. Any groups that haven’t reached Porta de la Selva by then will obtain a DNF.


This yr’s area of rivals contains a handful of successful paragliding pilots. Amongst its seasoned, nonprofessional veterans is award-winning American filmmaker Cedar Wright.

Notably, just one feminine pilot, Kinga Masztalerz of New Zealand, makes the lineup.

The race’s most embellished pilots embody Pierre Remy (France), who was the 2017 Paragliding World Cup total champion; Maxime Pinot (France), who beforehand positioned second at X-Pyr 2018; and the indomitable Chrigel Maurer (Switzerland), who has gained mainly all of the gold {hardware} accessible within the sport sooner or later or different.

See also  Bentonville Strikes Once more: ‘Expedition Ozark’ Joins Journey Racing World Sequence
(Photo/X-Pyr) paragliding adventure race

Dwell Monitoring: Tips on how to Watch

Anyone wishing to comply with the race can use X-Pyr’s reside monitoring platform, which incorporates 3D rendering of pilot positions. Be taught extra concerning the 2022 sky-high journey race at or @xpyrrace on Instagram.

And are available again subsequent week for GearJunkie’s wrap on this yr’s race outcomes.

Persons hand pointing to a spot on a map during a USARA Adventure Race.
Race Varieties: Journey Race Codecs Defined
From expedition-length occasions to 4-hour ‘sprints,’ the game of journey racing is available in many styles and sizes. Right here, we discover its varied codecs. Learn extra…