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!
Fall is in the air...we can feel it in the cooler temperatures and the random rain days. As the season winds down we are still able to fly most days over the weekend, with bright sunny days mixed in with the days that clouds obscure our mountains. Diane managed to snag one of those beautiful days when she came to soar Mount Woodside and even got to take control of our aircraft!
A couple of weeks ago I got to hang out with a super fun group and take two very excited bloggers for tandems. Lucky for me, they brought along a professional photographer (www.yingerdesign.com) who happily shared his pictures of that day that looked like THIS! Wow! The cherry on top was this article written by that tiny and giggling lady running her heart out behind me in this photo. I will definitely be sharing more pictures from their weekend of adventures!
Yikes! It's been too long since I've posted...must mean we've been having too much fun!
I got to take my old co-worker Kathryn tandem this last weekend on her birthday, we lucked out as the weather got squirrely afterwards and we postponed the next mystery passenger's flight. Here's a little video showing how easy it is to take the controls and how soft landing can be:
With a block of 3 days off in a row, Damian was ready for his first flight on his shiny new Skywalk Tequila 4. With a sporadic training schedule due to being an airline captain, finding time to train has been a bit challenging. Only being able to come out once a week (or even less!) to kite, it can be hard to build up that muscle memory. But Damian was committed to becoming a paraglider pilot, and today he got his first flight off Mount Woodside, and even 2 more after that! The only reason we stopped at three flights was the horrible smoke we have hanging around in the valley due to nearby forest fires.
Despite the fact that I was holding my iPhone without looking at it, I managed to get him in most of the video!
Thanks Andrei for coming out to help guide him in to land. Back at it tomorrow!
You know it's been great paragliding weather when your house is a mess and your website hasn't been updated in forever (oops)! Coming up over the next few posts...pix from some tandems this past weekend and maybe even glimpses from some solo flights.
First up - my neighbor finally had enough of just watching me walk back & forth to my FJ lugging my gear around. He gathered up an entourage (we had 3 carloads drive up to launch!) had a great flight and even supplied champagne at the landing field. Glad to help check this one off Andrew's bucket list!
The last 2 weekends have been filled with tandems, and with this nice weather May is booking up quickly too!
What happens on a tandem? It's up to each passenger - some ask lots of questions and it's quiet enough up there for us to chat. I talk with my hands a lot...it's no different when flying apparently!
I still can't believe this is "winter". My passenger came out after work and we nabbed this beautiful tandem flight, launching around 5pm and to enjoy the colours of the valley as the sun started descending for the day.
I was looking for some friends to fly with on Sunday, but the only pilots coming out were planning a hike & fly. Still nursing my tweaked knee (that I got from hiking! See? Flying is so much safer!) I couldn't join in so decided to go kite my student wings instead. Taking the long way to the training hill so I could pass Mt Woodside, I soon heard from one pilot already on launch looking for a ride up to retrieve after he flew, then another on his way out. Perfect! Hammer & I had to wait a bit for an uphill breeze and then we both got to fly.
Here's a GoPro screenshot as I do a quick shoulder check before starting my reverse inflation. I got to fly through a few wispies before they disappeared...one of my favourite things!
After seeing this video where a pilot missed a crucial step in his pre-flight (he looped his speedbar line through his reserve handle, causing an accidental deployment when he stepped on bar while flying!), it made me think about all the times pilots sometimes hurry on launch either because conditions look great or there are people waiting to take-off. This is a good reminder to take the time you need...safety is always the priority!
Here is a picture of my launch helper William (who came tandem with me for his birthday a couple of years ago) who helped sort out my lines. A second set of eyes is always helpful, and after a double check I was good to go! Keep an eye on your buddies, and don't be shy to speak up if you see something that doesn't look right!
This winter has been stunning on the West Coast of Canada. No thermals to keep you up in the air, but the sun's warmth has been strong enough to heat the front of launch and send up nice cycles to take off in. Loving life in BC!