Boulder man goes missing in Switzerland while speed flying

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BERN, Switzerland -- A Boulder man has disappeared in Switzerland and his family is desperate to bring him home.

Harrison Fast, 28, was speed flying with a group of friends Saturday in the Swiss Alps when bad weather rolled in. Five people made it out or were rescued, but Fast is still missing.

For Fast, the summit of some of the world’s best peaks is where it all begins. The Boulder resident is a mechanical engineer by trade, and an adventurer and action sports photographer by heart.

In a video posted on his social media account six days ago, Fast is seen speed flying, a combination of skiing and paragliding.

The post was made after he jumped with friends off a mountain in France. It was his last before going missing just days later after jumping off one of the tallest peaks in the Swiss Alps.

“I think Harrison really thrives a lot on the outdoors and pushing the limits and seeing where he can go next. ... But having said all that, he's also very smart and very skilled and very technical,” said John Solis, Fast’s brother-in-law.

A skilled mountaineer, Fast was the last of his friends to take off Saturday morning. Swiss authorities said a sudden downdraft caught the group by surprise. Most were able to ski or hike out and two were rescued by helicopter.

“I’m tearing up because he's my brother. We want the best for him,” Solis said.

Swiss authorities called off the search Monday morning. Family and friends are raising money for private search and rescue operations set to begin Tuesday in the dangerous terrain.

“I don't really go to that place where bad things live, if you will. I keep joking with the family that he's in some mountain-side bar, talking to a girl with a dead cellphone, not knowing what we are all going through,” Solis said.

Fast is a senior engineer for RealD, a visual technologies company in Boulder. The company is flying Fast's mother, cousin and flying partner to Switzerland on Tuesday to coordinate search efforts.

The family has set up a fundraising effort to help with costs. Fast posted to Facebook the day before he disappeared about his trip to Europe.

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