cedarwright cedarwright

692 posts   192,263 followers   621 followings

Cedar Wright  Climber, Filmmaker, National Geographic Explorer, The North Face Athlete, Paraglider, Writer, Chronic Goofball

#AD Since January I've flown over 50,000 miles chasing Climbing and Paragliding Adventures. You'd think I love air travel, but I actually hate it. Between overly chatty seatmates, the battle for elbow room, and the general ultra noisy reality of the jet-powered germ tube...airplanes can be a Sufferfest. Pro-Tip... get a pair of noise cancelling headphones, pop a @Duracell battery in to make sure they last the entire flight, and all the cacophony just fades away! Duracell will not, however, guarantee that your seatmate isn't a 7-foot pun-loving lumberjack with a really bad case of bronchitis! Swipe the Album to see my travel necessities and share your crazy travel stories below using #TravelWithDuracell !

A ladies place is...on the mountain... or... wherever the hell she wants to be for that matter. At it’s heart the #shemovesmountains @thenorthface campaign is a celebration of Bad Ass Ladies.... climbers, runners, skiers, scientists... shit... hopefully sooner than later a president! For an example of a bad ass, take @pfaff_anna pictured here, who is one of the most obsessive expedition climbers I know. She’s been all over the planet putting up first ascents like this one I joined her on in Antarctica. Anna has paid her dues as a climber, dirtbagging in Yosemite, and scrapping together hard earned cash for her love of exploring the world, and climbing big beautiful mountains.... and it paid off last year with a well deserved spot on the TNF team! Anna is an accomplished climber, R.N., and most importantly... she’s a warm loving human being! Stoked to have her rope gun me up the gnar in the future!

A rare view of Joshua Tree National Park! Yesterday I flew my paraglider over a hundred Kilometers from a launch called "Marshall" overlooking San Bernadino all the way to and over Joshua Tree National Park...landing (outside the park) after sunset! This was a special flight for me, considering that I spent countless days in the park exploring and climbing in this wild wonderland of rock. I've climbed hundreds of routes in that park!! To fly over it was surreal...and almost "karmic" feeling. The crux and most committing part of the flight took me over the flanks of San Gorgonio, the highest peak in Southern California, but for sure the highlight of the day was flying over J-Tree. I wanted SO BADLY to go land in Hidden Valley campground where I had spent a good part of my dirtbag career honing my trad climbing skills...but it is illegal to launch or land a paraglider in a National Park... a tantalizing forbidden fruit. It is, however, legal to fly over it...so pretty damn cool I got that opportunity while watching the sunset! I landed to the smiling face of my good buddy @whitewaterchristo who drove out to grab me. He handed me an extremely delicious beer and high fived me for an epic flight. Was that a dream... or did it really happen! This sport is so outrageous!!!

EXTREME SELFIE! Soaring over some good looking climbing and a waterfall while in Kerio Valley Kenya with @nicgreece . Looking back on my trip there this January, it all feels like a surreal dream sequence! My goal was to fly a hundred miles, which I managed to achieve, but just as memorable, were all the villagers I met in the most unusual of ways...by gliding into their world from the clouds! When you do these big XC flight, you never know where you will land and who you will meet when you arrive unexpectedly from the sky. It’s one of my favorite parts about the sport... and when you land far from where you launched, the adventure has only just begun! Getting back home can be memorable. In Kenya this often meant hopping on the back of a local’s motorcycle and bouncing down a rutted rugged mountain road. One day, I landed in a remote spot, and the whole village circled around me with an excited and warm curiosity. In large parts of Africa people are living without electricity or running water... mostly off of subsistence agriculture, which was the case with this small mountainside village where all kinds of produce surrounded the harvested cornfield I landed in. Like most of the people I met in Kerio these locals didn’t have a lot but seemed really happy... but the contrast of my privileged risk taking lifestyle wasn’t lost on me... and landing that day in that village, I couldn’t help but feel the absurdity of it all. There was a particularly smart young woman who spoke good English who was fielding all variety of questions from the villagers. When they asked me how much my Paraglider cost me, I cringed knowing that all the equipment I landed there with was worth more money than most of these people would earn in the next 20 years! When the young woman translated the cost of my wing, jaws dropped all around me, but soon they had moved on to other questions and there seemed to be no disdain at the incredible cost of my equipment. They asked me what I thought about Trump and Obama whose father was Kenyan... a point of great pride! We chatted and laughed for an hour, and then I hopped on the back of a villagers motorcycle and rolled down the road.

Another trip around the sun with this one... @nmilfeld who I love far and beyond the ends of the earth! For my birthday I got to simul-climb this spectacular 1000 foot 5.11 multi-pitch up the wild Peñón formation that guards the jagged limestone coast of Costa Blanca Spain. It takes a bad ass wifey to tiptoe up technical 5.11 with no belaying...good thing I have one!! It was a nice cap to an all time adventurous year! Just In the last few whirlwind months I’ve climbed or flown paragliders in Antarctica, South Africa, Mexico, Kenya, Colombia, and Spain... and of course good old Boulder Colorado! I know..life is rough!!!one thing is for sure...Life is a crazy beautiful adventure if you are lucky...which I am in spades. Now it’s time to get to work back home where @tay.keating and I will be working on the Antarctica film. While we were here in Spain, @nmilfeld and I worked with @worldexpeditions to help a gaggle of newbie climbers step up their game which was super gratifying. It reminded me of when climbing was young and fresh for me, and rekindled a youthful spark for this sport that I love! Thanks Olivia, Anetta, Pascale, Ann, Jeannine, and last and least Derrick the token dude of the trip! Hopefully you guys are less Gumby than before you met me! 😜 Love you guys!!!

Portuguese, German, Spanish and French speaking friends! Stumped and Safety Third now has subtitles in your language! Link in my Profile to purchase the films. Turn on subs for your language... or if you are just an English speaker who is curious how, “Suck my stump @tommycaldwell ,” translates into The Languages of the world! Thanks again everyone who has purchased the film so far!!! And... thanks to stars @moinmountains ... pictured here, and @bradgobright for trusting us with your stories! Love you guys.

OMG!!! Thanks everyone who purchased Safety Third + Stumped this week! Link in my Profile if you still haven’t seen the films! Also... for those who bought the films through Reel Rock and Want to see the 18 minutes of Extras, deleted scenes and general hilarity...go to Vimeo and search Stumped + Safety Third The Extras and you can purchase just the extras! This is a @tay.keating image from the start of @moinmountains epic journey to one hand a 5.12! Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve filmed! Also the @bradgobright Extras are pretty over the top and feature @alexhonnold completely naked. There also several deleted scenes that didn’t make the final cut, but that are really great! One of the above statements is a lie.

Safety 3rd +Stumped + 18 minutes of extras for sale! Link in my profile! If you aren’t glued to your phone and a brainwashed social media robot like I am... then you may have missed my post yesterday launching my babies to the World. And we can’t have that!! Huge thanks to my filmmaking compadre @tay.keating who busted his ass on these films. Without Taylor we wouldn’t have heartwarming moments like @bradgobright breaking his back, when a cam rips out😬, or @moinmountains using her stump in unspeakable ways, and he made these cool posters too...so pretty!! Definitely Follow @tay.keating for a sneak peek into upcoming projects. Currently looking for a 7-figure big budget sponsor for first ascents on the moon... @elonmusk ....call me.

Stumped and Safety Third are up for sale with over 18 minutes of bloopers and outtakes available exclusively through the link in my profile! It’s wild to think that it was over 3 years ago that @tay.keating and I started following around @bradgobright ...and a year later that we first met @moinmountains ! Neither of the films had funding at the time, but I knew it was worth taking the risk on these unknown but compelling characters. I’m proud to say that both films have gone on to tour in @reelrock and @banffmountainfestival and win multiple awards at various other festivals! These films have helped both Brad and Maureen to launch well deserved climbing careers! Brad went on to break the coveted Nose speed record, and Mo is gearing up for her first climbing expedition to The Cirque of the Unclimbables! You definitely haven’t seen the last of these great climbers... who are also wonderful good hearted people. I’m excited for what my filmmaking future will bring, and I look forward to working on more stories about lesser known, but bad ass characters! Thanks everyone for supporting these projects!!

If you could see my face in this photo, it would be a look of horror! This is NOT how your Paraglider should look and I did it on purpose! Last Fall I decided that I needed to take safety more seriously. I was stepping up to my first “C glider,” The @advancegliders Sigma 10. Gliders are rated A through D....a safety and performance rating system for Paraglider’s. An A is a beginners wing and a D and the “open class” wings represents the cutting edge of glide and speed technology. As Paraglider’s increase in speed and performance, the level of piloting to fly them safely also increases. Most expert pilots will tell you that the “Full Stall,” is one of the best maneuvers for becoming a safer and more skilled pilot. Basically it involves pulling down on the breaks until your wing stops flying, at which point you fall backwards and your wing balls up into a horrific flapping mess, at which point you release the breaks in a controlled manner to about half way up and enter into what is called “Back Fly,” at which point Your wing is half open and bucking around a bit, and you are flying backwards. It is extremely unnatural and in the beginning… mortifying. From that position you release the breaks symmetrically and the wing shoots forward dynamically and begins to fly again. If you don’t catch the wing with a quick stab of the breaks, it can collapse or worse, and it’s not uncommon for people to have their full stalls go completely out of control in the beginning. This maneuver teaches you a ton about what is called “Active Piloting,” in the sport. Active Piloting is something akin to a good kayaker staying upright in a raging rapid with quick and adept paddle movements, and believe it or not… sometimes the air we fly in is an invisible raging rapid of turbulence. If you have the required skills it can be exhilarating, and if you don’t it can be really dangerous. After over 40 full stalls, I started to get the hang of it, and while it was uncomfortable at first, I’m really glad I took the time, and I’m super grateful to @codymittanck for coaching me through it! I’m half dreading and half excited to do more of this type of training in the future!

Summit Glory! Photo: @tedhesser from the summit of Mt. Kenya 🇰🇪 last year with @maurybirdwell and @alexhonnold Who is sitting in this photo due to crippling altitude sickness! At over 17k Mt. Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa, and unlike the highest point Kilimanjaro there is no easy way up; you have to rock climb. No one has ever flown a Paraglider from the summit, and I brought up a lightweight glider with the hope of being the first, but the ground was invisible under a bank of clouds making an attempt foolish, and frankly I was kind of glad because the only launch point I could find looked extremely committing and technical. I pictured myself broken and battered and hanging off the sheer face of the mountain and never pulled my glider out of the bag. I did fly from the base the next day, but not before botching a launch and rolling down in the talus a little bit. Alex and Ted both wondered about my sanity and safety that day I think, but once the glider was in the air, it was a delightful flight! Good memories!!! We enjoyed the top of Kenya for a while, and the ...Always teamplayers, Maury Alex and I downclimbed, leaving our media team of @tay.keating and Ted to fend for themselves on the endless rappells. They may have had the 1000 yard stare when the stumbled into basecamp hours after we had eaten and snuggled into our sleeping bags! @thenorthface

Today I had the opportunity to fly in a sailplane with expert pilot @ty_gunnlaugsson in Mountain Wave, a phenomena where wind rushes up over a mountain range creating a wild band of lift that can be taken to 40,000 feet or more! The sailplane altitude record is over 50k, and it’s theorized that if a “stratospheric Mountain Wave” were harnessed on the right day, that 85000 feet may be possible! Here in Boulder it’s not uncommon to fly my Paraglider with the Sailplane pilots, sharing thermals with this high performance aircraft, but, this Wave phenomena is very rarely experienced in a Paraglider, because it tends to set up in winter, with lots of wind and turbulence. Your average Paraglider has a top speed of a little over 30mph and a glide ratio of about 10 to one. A nice sailplane has a top speed of over 150mph and glide ratios approaching 60 to one. Today at nearly 18k we were seeing wind speeds of over 60mph, and being in that air in a Paraglider would have been the most horrific experience of my life. While Paraglider’s have much less performance, you don’t need to be towed up in an airplane, and you can launch and land virtually anywhere, in comparison. For me paragliding has an untethered purity to it that I think I prefer, but seeing the continental divide enshrouded in clouds from 17,980 feet was truly an outrageous experience! Thanks Ty!!!

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