a visual journey
Follow along with us as adventurers take to the skies for the first time on a tandem, learn valuable paragliding skills or even catch a glimpse of pilots just goofing around!
After tagging the low hill in this picture and failing to get high enough to fly over the ridge to go back to the club landing zone at Mt Woodside, I picked out a bare field and set up a landing approach. As I got closer to the ground I saw the "poop truck" spreading manure over the crop fields…including the spot I was aiming for! Luckily the furthest corner was still…clean…so I spiralled down to land, packed up super quick, ran off the field and left before getting sprayed. That always makes for a good day, and still makes me smile when I see this image.
There's a magical place in southern Oregon where you land next to a vineyard and the owners bring you a glass of wine as soon as your feet touch ground. It totally exists, and I've been there! It's a mutually beneficial arrangement, as a lot of pilots like wine, and the gliders landing beside the outdoor tasting room draws in business. With all the vineyards in the Okanagan there has to be a way to bring this to BC…hmm…time for some more research!
Each year there is a super fun event held in Chelan, Washington around the Halloween weekend. You can dress up in costume to fly, or if your costume is too skimpy (I'm talking to the men here) then you may want to wait for the evening party to dress up. I'll write a post with more info soon, but for now here's a picture from 2006 (?) where Lynn pulled out her Matrix moves and I rode the skies as a cowgirl. This year the event looks like it may fall on the weekend beforehand (Oct 24-26)…keep your eye on the Northwest Paragliding Club calendar for more info and dates to be confirmed.
After a tough hike up to launch with my full kit (no hiking gear this time!) I took a few extra minutes at the landing zone to chill on the grass and enjoy what may just have been the last of the hot summer days before packing up my Cayenne4 and starting the hike back to the trailhead to retrieve my Jeep.
My friend Joe came into town recently to introduce Mt Woodside to a friend of his. He took the SupAir Delight pod listed on our Used Gear Page for a demo, and appreciated the warmth as he got high over launch. He left the pod behind for now, so you can still drop me a line if you're interested in this lightweight pod, or any of the other gear listed.
A picture snapped at the perfect moment (thanks George!). We are running hard, straight into the wind and our tandem paragliding wing is lifting us into the sky. A few more steps and we were flying!
After playing in the sky, all pilots have to put their toys away. Luckily as a tandem pilot I can make my passengers do the work! Rudy helped fold up my paraglider after our flight this afternoon. He originally came paragliding with me years ago during the BFAR fundraisers we used to have, and decided just this morning to come out for another one. Thanks to big lift we got over the landing zone high, then did a steep spiral that left us both full of adrenaline! He finished his flight by hopping back on his motorcycle and heading back home over the Coquihalla. A full day of excitement for sure!
I donated a tandem paragliding flight as a prize for a friend's dry Grad last season, and when Grant came to redeem his prize he brought along his brother for some airtime too. We had a blast, with both of them taking the controls and learning how to turn in thermals. Mom and Dad came along to watch and take photos, and I'm pretty sure they'll be back to soar the skies themselves!
This is a picture from October of last year. While it's sad to think about summer slowly coming to an end, this shot reminds me of the gorgeous fall days we have ahead of us - flying just above the tree tops as they change colours at Bridal Falls, or fine-tuning your spot landing skills at Riverside after shifting into scratch mode at Woodside. Not to mention the beautiful views like this one when hiking out of the landing field. Fall isn't so scary after all!
We don't "jump" off the mountain - we run until the wing picks us up. I often tell my passengers that we are like Wile E Coyote from the old Road Runner cartoons, where he runs off the cliff and keeps running in mid-air until he realizes he has no ground under his feet. Instead of pulling out a miniature umbrella like in the cartoon, our wing has already started supporting us. Chantal did a wicked job of running as you can se in this photo. You can see her feet still underneath our harnesses as we take to the air. Moments later she was sitting comfortably in front of me as we soared over the tree tops.