Riding, climbing and flying with Squash Falconer.

As Isaac Newton, the discoverer of gravity, once observed: "What goes up must come down". But what goes up doesn't always have to come down in the same way. The British adventurer Squash Falconer rode a motorcycle to Mont Blanc, climbed to the top and paraglided from the summit. It's as if she was trying to show the world that no mountain is steep enough to keep her from her dreams.

She had long been attracted to the mountain, the snow king, sitting on its majestic throne in the French Alps. During a ski trip to Les Arces at the age of 18, the petite British woman Squash Falconer, was absolutely fascinated by Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. "I can still remember being so impressed by the mountain, even from far way", says the 35-year-old, her eyes lighting up. "I remember thinking it would be cool to climb it one day". Years later she completed the expedition that would involve more extreme endurance than merely climbing to the 4,810-metre summit.

A thirst for adventure.

Her penchant for extreme sport and adventure were obvious even when she was a kid. "I've been riding motorcycles ever since I can remember", says Squash Falconer, whose name is actually Louise, but has always gone by the nickname Squash. "I grew up on a farm and had an electric tricycle when I was four years old. Later I tried quads and then real motorcycles – I love everything about them", she says.
Her thirst for adventure led her to her first trekking tour in Argentina. Together with friends, she summited Aconcagua, at 6,961 metres, the highest mountain in South America. Squash Falconer passed the 7,000 metre mark when she conquered Muztagata (7,546 m) in the Pamirs, and went on to break that personal record by climbing 8,201 metres to the summit of Cho Oyu in Nepal. "I got the love for climbing straightaway. But I wasn’t keen on walking back down", she says. "So I snowboarded down Muztagata and bum-boarded down Cho Oyu”.
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On the way to a record.

When Squash turned 23, she decided to concentrate on everything that was important to her in life. She finally acquired her motorcycling licence, she started to learn how to paraglide and she began doing her first climbing treks. With this passion for different types of sport, the idea for her record-breaking challenge emerged.
"I remember thinking it would be great to ride to the south of France, climb Mont Blanc and paraglide down from it", she says. "People thought I was mad. But I had all the skills and the perfect team-mate to do it. So I decided to just go for it”.
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I set my wing out, held my breath and off I went. ”

Squash Falconer

NEVER GIVE UP. Never give up.

Only around 30 per cent of people who attempt to summit Mont Blanc succeed. After two attempts, Squash started to wonder if she would ever make it to the top. Nevertheless, she and her climbing partner Irwyn Jehu made a third attempt. Once again, they encountered difficulties. Climbers on the other side of the mountain were turning back due to avalanche warnings. But the two kept going and made it to the top of Mont Blanc. Success!
But there was still the paraglide back down. "We were expecting strong gusts of wind and I felt scared about the paraglide. But there was no way I was going to climb back down", she says, explaining her hesitation. "All of a sudden the wind dropped I set my wing out, held my breath and off I went. It was incredible". She tried to control this mind-blowing sensation during the 22-minute descent. Despite the feelings of euphoria, she had to focus on landing safely. On touching down, she became the first British female to climb Mont Blanc and paraglide from the summit. An amazing achievement after having ridden 1,200 kilometers from her home in Derby, England, on a BMW F 650 GS motorcycle.
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Wearing an oxygen mask at the summit of Mount Everest.

Mount Everest and other summits

Uplifted (quite literally) and full of energy, she set her sights on realising every mountaineer's dream – to reach the roof of the world: Mount Everest. Two years after breaking a record on Mont Blanc, she set out on her journey. Once again, her plan was to paraglide down from the summit and break a new record. She had no problems reaching the summit of the highest mountain in the world at 8,848 metres. But her dream of becoming the first woman ever to solo pilot a paraglider from Mount Everest was deemed out of reach due to bad weather and high winds.
Setbacks could not stop Squash. She simply loves exploring new horizons and having more and more outdoor adventures. She’s since flown her paraglider from the top of the Gran Paradiso (4,061 m) in Italy, been part of the largest ever group (94 people) to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, recently set a new world record by travelling nearly 5,000 kilometres through six countries on an elliptical bicycle (a combination of bicycle and cross-trainer), and became Women’s ElliptiGo European Champion.
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It doesn't matter how unattainable a dream might seem: With the right mix of self-belief, preparation, training and imagination, almost anything is possible. ”

Squash Falconer

Accept no limits.

Squash Falconer and her GS.

Accept no limits.

On her quest for adventure, Squash always returns to motorcycles – and the GS. She rode an F 800 GS across Mexico for the Mexican TV series "Rodando por México". A film crew recently followed her through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Columbia and Brazil for a travel documentary. Ever since she chose a GS for her first challenge at Mont Blanc, the adventurer has relied on the bike, which she says "always get the job done, whatever the conditions".

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Filming for a South American travel documentary.

"I have a can-do attitude and always just go for it. And the GS encapsulates that very same attitude. It's the perfect bike for explorers – it will always be the rider who has to stop first". A thirst for adventure is what drives Squash Falconer and other GS riders to keeping pushing the limits in order to experience the feeling of boundless freedom, the spirit of GS. "It doesn't matter how unattainable a dream might seem: With the right mix of self-belief, preparation, training and imagination, almost anything is possible".

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Ready to jump in the cool water during a photo shoot with the R 1200 GS.

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