Skiing Stoke from Lake Tahoe

Month: July 2008

Shane McConkey’s Norway Trip Report

NorwayJust finishing up our annual base jumping trip to Norway. Once again it was mind blowing. Traveling with base jumper friends JT Holmes and Cliff Ryder (yes that is his real name) and our Norwegian buddy Tom Erik Heimen. Norway is stunningly beautiful. I highly recommend a visit there sometime. We made 18 base jumps in 16 days and hiked up a total of around 16,000 meters. We only didn’t hike 2 days and that was due to needing to drive to the next town. Tons of fun charging up mountains with Norwegian base jumpers. They are all in very good shape. It is common to see old men and women 1,000 meters up in the mountains in places you would NEVER see Americans hiking let alone old ones. The Norwegians were always joking about the typical fat, lazy American. They decided that because their country is so rich they are going to take over The U.S. by buying McDonalds and then giving away free hamburgers all day every day and then watch us eat ourselves to death.

img_0752.jpgWe did some very cool flights in Voss and in Stryn. One really great canyon flight and then ended the trip in the Romsdalen area where base jumping has some deep roots and a lot of history. Here we entered the World Base Race which is basically a wing suit speed flying competition to see who is the fastest flying human in the world. Very very cool and exciting competition. It is head to head, duel format heats. First guy across the vertical finish line wins and moves on to the next round. Amazingly I placed 2nd and won 1,000 Euros! So for 1 year I can claim to be the 2nd fastest flying human in the world!

NorwayJT and Cliff also entered and flew very well but everyone who weren’t flying Vampire suits didn’t stand a chance against them. The Vampire wing suit is incredibly fast. They were jumping the S-Fly Expert suit which is a very easy, fun and great suit for proximity flying. We stayed with some Norwegian friends in Romsdalen who’s kids became our cheering section and fan club. Very cute little girls! When we were in the town of Stryn we were able to rent a very cheap car from a friend of a  friend of a friend. Everyone said that it suited our loud American style.

It was another great trip and an incredible learning experience. Norway will be on the schedule for years to come now!

-Shane McConkey

Epic Action Cam Captures Rugged Footage

Epic Action CamI received a sample of the new EPIC Action Sports Video Camera from Stealth Cam last week and we’ve been testing it on Tahoe’s mountain biking and four-wheeling trails. The camera is a compact, lightweight device that weighs 2.5 ounces and measures 3 inches long. It has a 45-degree field-of-view and 2x zoom. The camera shoots video at 30 frames per second and can take up to nine consecutive still images at 5 megapixels. The small, cylindrical camera is housed in a waterproof case which screws on and off. It comes with a variety of straps, clips and pads so that you can attach it to a bike seat, helmet, your handlebars, or almost anywhere else. The camera stores video and still images on an SD card. The 2GB card we’ve been using stores about an hour of video. For longer trips, it’s easy to swap in new cards as you go.

Overall, the camera is a powerful tool in a small, rugged package. The video quality is pretty good and the camera is proving to be durable and easy to use. We’ve started on a project to collect footage of local trails and match it up with GPS data for those trails to present Flash movies that let you see what each trail looks like around every twist and turn. We hope to get the first few videos posted soon, so stay tuned for that.